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Don't say I didn't warn you.
October 1, 2005 9:24 PM   Subscribe

Oliver North's advance publicity for a US war on Iran : Over 25 years have passed since the takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention. Now, accusations that the organization fosters a Theology of War, call attention to SBC head Bobby Welch's new campaign to "baptize a million people in one year and develop “warrior leaders”. This conflation of Christian faith with military terminology is - some feel - quite intentional. Will "Christian soldiers" once more go into battle with Bibles in hand ? And, is faith best advanced by the bayonette point of "discipleship" ?
posted by troutfishing (46 comments total)

 
* Jesus weeps
posted by caddis at 9:30 PM on October 1, 2005


Whatever happend to the June war on Iran?

Sy? Scott?
posted by dhoyt at 9:32 PM on October 1, 2005


Scheduling conflict.
posted by dopeypanda at 9:35 PM on October 1, 2005


The Jesus of the SBC is a muscular Christ trained in a variety of martial arts techniques and fond of Sun Tzu.

The pacific Jesus is currently overmatched. Leading your oppostion is a militant Jesus with a flamethrower.
posted by troutfishing at 9:38 PM on October 1, 2005


dhoyt - should I round up rightist predictions to parade here ? That might be fun or not - but, these things amount to percentage games - advance PR for possible scenarios.
posted by troutfishing at 9:41 PM on October 1, 2005


I heard the reason we're going back to the Moon is to wage war on the pagan aliens who live in hidden bases on the dark side of the moon.
posted by keswick at 9:49 PM on October 1, 2005


"Assassination Bill"

I think he meant the Consensus Building Aid Act.

"Threat Mitigation Unit,"

No, no. That's the Happy Love Gathering Group.
posted by 517 at 9:54 PM on October 1, 2005


Is it true that David Koresh was the next true savior?
The Fightin' Jesus?
The Jesus that 'knew sin' and could relate with the plebians?
A Jesus with an Assualt rifle?
Back off you pinks and anti-Jesi!
posted by Balisong at 9:55 PM on October 1, 2005


Account of a military love in at a Baptist Church earlier this year.

It's not just the baptists... IMV there was a strong evangelical/eschatological Good vs. Evil thread among Catholics during the cold war ... fighting Godless Communism in Vietnam ... the whole "Under God" insertion into the Pledge of Allegiance...

There's 20M catholics in this country and maybe, what, 10M of them lean conservative. Add them to the 20M fundies and you get half of Bush's base of 2004.

My mom is a fundie and she totally bought into the global war on Satan crap, tho now she's kinda lost on what's going on in Iraq.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 9:58 PM on October 1, 2005


Bring it. Bike racks. 4 o' clock. You're going down sucka.
posted by puddles at 9:59 PM on October 1, 2005


Good post. From the "Theology of War" link:
This president positions himself as a prophet, issuing declarations of divine desires for the nation and world.
(emphesis added). In The Fourth Turning (1997), Strauss and Howe classify the Baby Boomer generation archetype as the "Prophet Generation", which repeats every four generations:
Entering midlife (and national power), they are trumpeting values, touting a "politics of meaning", and waging scorched-earth Culture Wars.
It was a prophet generation in power at the start of the Civil War. It was a prophet generation in power at the start of the Great Depression/WWII. It was a prophet generation during the American Revolution. Nothing but fun times ahead.
posted by stbalbach at 10:12 PM on October 1, 2005


Theology of War - lousy theology, really lousy foreign policy - and yes a major concern if, in fact, that's what's developing within the current admin - but I'm not sure the rest of the links support the proposition:

Oliver North - whatever, the thing is... he's Oliver North.

Bobby Welch - he's talking spritual warfare which in this context means evangelism, common term, not new, not indicative of anything new happening imo; same with the rest of this militarized terminology, old stuff, the Bible itself refers to the word of God as being a sword able to cut to the heart of a matter, in the sense of being incisive; there's various metaphors referring to parts of armor such 1 Thessalonians 5:8 'let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet'

Bibles in hand - the link points to a group of soldiers who happen to be Christians, rather than a group of Christians who decided to form an army because they are Christians

Is faith best advanced by force? No. Meanwhile forceministries is an interesting site but I don't see where they're suggesting the purpose of the armed forces is to advance the cause of Christianity, it's more like they're supporting Christianity within the forces - different deal
posted by scheptech at 10:16 PM on October 1, 2005


Whatever happend to the June war on Iran?
posted by dhoyt at 12:32 AM EST on October 2 [!]


Got pushed back due to scheduling conflicts. Can only screw up so much of the world at once. We'll get there, some way, some how.
posted by Rothko at 10:55 PM on October 1, 2005


I don't get it. Are those rhetorical questions?

Will "Christian soldiers" once more go into battle with Bibles in hand ?

Sure, why not? Christian soldiers, Muslim soldiers, Hindi soldiers, Jewish soldiers. If they want to carry Bibles or any other holy books, what's the problem? You're tolerant of other people's beliefs aren't you?

And, is faith best advanced by the bayonette point of "discipleship" ?

What bayonette points? I don't see anything in your links talking about forced conversions. Soo.... short answer yes with an "if", long answer no with a "but".

Thanks for the notice, but next time, if you're going to ask questions, why not actually ask questions instead of shrouding your "warnings" in an appeal for "debate".
posted by loquax at 10:56 PM on October 1, 2005


Well, it's doing a bang-up job with recruiting, isn't it?
posted by dhartung at 10:58 PM on October 1, 2005


I don't think this is as big an issue as you've made it out to be. Religion and the military have gone hand in hand forever. The bush administration took advantage of the religious networks to get elected and must pander to them in their language.

The whole bush-religion-war thing isn't by design, it is by coincidence.
posted by 517 at 11:01 PM on October 1, 2005


Is faith best advanced by force? No. Meanwhile forceministries is an interesting site but I don't see where they're suggesting the purpose of the armed forces is to advance the cause of Christianity, it's more like they're supporting Christianity within the forces - different deal
posted by scheptech at 1:16 AM EST on October 2 [!]


From "Who We Are":

"Our purpose is to impart faith in Christ, instill patterns and principles for victorious Christian duty and ignite individual calling and destiny."

Only the last item comes close to your intepretation. The first two are very clearly "imparting" and "instilling" faith in non-believers.
posted by Rothko at 11:01 PM on October 1, 2005


The whole bush-religion-war thing isn't by design, it is by coincidence.

Speaking of that, you know what isn't a coincidence? The actually theocratic governments in the world. You know those ones? They're the ones that you don't have to ask rhetorical questions about as to their intentions, because they're pretty clear about them. I find it amazing that the ratio of "Is the US stealthily turning into a theocracy?!?!" posts here outweigh posts outraged with the practices of actual theocracies about 50 to 1. Americafilter indeed.

Rothko -

Impart:
1. To grant a share of; bestow: impart a subtle flavor; impart some advice.
2. To make known; disclose: persuaded to impart the secret.
3. To pass on; transmit: imparts forward motion.

Instill:
1. To introduce by gradual, persistent efforts; implant: “Morality... may be instilled into their minds” (Thomas Jefferson).
2. To pour in (medicine, for example) drop by drop.

The entire page you reference only refers to efforts to spread Christianity within the ranks of the military. Where do the bayonetes come in?
posted by loquax at 11:10 PM on October 1, 2005


517 "The whole bush-religion-war thing isn't by design, it is by coincidence." Please show us cites or data to explain this coincidence. Cuz from my vantage point your comment seems terribly naive.
posted by filchyboy at 11:13 PM on October 1, 2005


Impart:
1. To grant a share of; bestow: impart a subtle flavor; impart some advice.
2. To make known; disclose: persuaded to impart the secret.
3. To pass on; transmit: imparts forward motion.

Instill:
1. To introduce by gradual, persistent efforts; implant: “Morality... may be instilled into their minds” (Thomas Jefferson).
2. To pour in (medicine, for example) drop by drop.
posted by loquax at 2:10 AM EST on October 2 [!]


Thanks for finding the correct definitions of those words.
posted by Rothko at 11:15 PM on October 1, 2005


call attention to SBC head Bobby Welch's new campaign to "baptize a million people in one year and develop “warrior leaders”.

Fuck SBC. I'll get my DSL elsewhere!
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 11:17 PM on October 1, 2005


Bush using religion as an excuse to war not bush being driven to war by religious belief, that's what I mean by coincidence.

As for citing that opinion, I cite myself.
posted by 517 at 11:17 PM on October 1, 2005


Rothko: Right. Neither of which appear to have any correlation to troutfishing's assertions.
posted by loquax at 11:19 PM on October 1, 2005


"Is the US stealthily turning into a theocracy?!?!" posts here outweigh posts outraged with the practices of actual theocracies about 50 to 1.

What a stupid thing to say, par for the course with rightwing dipshits happy with the way things are going now in this country, evocative of jenleigh's periodic fpp blarf about some fucked-up thing in the Islamic world.

I couldn't care less about the form of government of anyone in BFE suffers under; as long as they're not removing parts of our skylines that's their problem.

That's why we have separate nations in the first place, people theoretically get to self-determine what parameters of shitty government they get to live under. Here in the states we get 49-51% of the population telling the other half how to live their lives now. Wunnerful!

With 4 of 9 SCOTUS judges conservative catholic ATM, with another religious p(r)ick coming down the pike, yeah, I think this nation is heading for a bit more theocracy.

Doesn't faze me much, since I'm not a sodomite and probably live a life cleaner and more chaste than Justice Souter, so outside of the removal of the wall of separation the God botherers can do their worst for all I care.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 12:08 AM on October 2, 2005


The first two are very clearly "imparting" and "instilling" faith in non-believers.

Within the armed forces, among their own countrymen. The gist of the post is that the armed forces are being used to spread the faith outside the armed forces, in fact outside their own country at the point of a gun. Different.

But the point of this post is huge anyway. If that's really what's cookin in Washington everyone on planet earth has something to be worried about. Meanwhile as far as I can see, we're all just waiting for the current US admin to go away, figuring that any such thing will cease at the next election cycle.
posted by scheptech at 12:09 AM on October 2, 2005


The entire page you reference only refers to efforts to spread Christianity within the ranks of the military.

fwiw, I agree with loquax that this effort is directed internally.

There's a crusade going on, but after the nut is cracked they plan(ned) on soft-power for the conversions. Remember all the proselytizers licking their chops getting into the virgin Iraq of 2003...

Where do the bayonets come in?

It's kinda indirect. About 20% of the electorate believes the world is going to end in their lifetime, so they had a big hard-on in mixing it up with that arab dude running things in Baghdad, to sorta grease the skids or whatever.

Without this 20% core fucktard base that the Bush/Cheney team can rely on come hell or high water, there would have been no war in Iraq.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 12:22 AM on October 2, 2005


There's 20M catholics in this country and maybe, what, 10M of them lean conservative.

I would wager that most far right Catholics voted for Bush based on abortion issues instead of to support war. Remember, the Vatican was against the new War in Iraq so many conservative-leaning and conservative-toppling-over probably didn't fully support the new war.
posted by my sock puppet account at 4:35 AM on October 2, 2005


I find it amazing that the ratio of "Is the US stealthily turning into a theocracy?!?!" posts here outweigh posts outraged with the practices of actual theocracies about 50 to 1. Americafilter indeed.

I know. It's incredible. It's almost as if the majority of MeFi users were American and principally concerned with their own government, or something.
posted by shmegegge at 5:15 AM on October 2, 2005


I find it amazing that the ratio of "Is the US stealthily turning into a theocracy?!?!" posts here outweigh posts outraged with the practices of actual theocracies about 50 to 1.

I believe you to be easily amazed.
posted by rxrfrx at 5:42 AM on October 2, 2005


Get your own hobbyhorse to whine about, loquax. That one's already taken.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 6:56 AM on October 2, 2005


Oliver North - whatever, the thing is... he's Oliver North.


Wasn 't Oliver North a convicted traitor and violated the US Consitiution? An example

Why is any actual Citizen of the US giving him a platform to talk?

Supporting someone with a history of treason rates where you stand, in my book.
posted by rough ashlar at 7:20 AM on October 2, 2005


Liddy was busy.
posted by trondant at 8:57 AM on October 2, 2005


George W. Bush as a prophet? Jesus fucking Christ...
posted by clevershark at 9:14 AM on October 2, 2005


I'm a life-long atheist who currently serves in the US Air Force...have since 1987...and I have seen no cause for alarm with my particular branch of the US military as far as religion. Believe me, I am pretty sensitive to religious "stuff" in my workplace, and won't hesitate to call BS if I see it, but the truth is, the folks that I have worked with and for over the last 18 years have been very careful and discreet about religion + military. Yes, there are occasional "blips" such as the recent flap at the AF Academy, but it was quickly dealt with and represents the exception that proves the rule.
posted by davidmsc at 9:20 AM on October 2, 2005


I know the vatican was hard-core anti-communist, but did they actualy want a real war with the soviets?

The vatican was definetly against the Iraq war. I wonder how US catholics felt about it.
posted by delmoi at 9:27 AM on October 2, 2005


Force will disciple believers on domestic and overseas bases via special Force ministries Bible studies and curriculum.

Since when is "disciple" a verb?
posted by leftcoastbob at 9:33 AM on October 2, 2005


Disciple is used like mentor. A noun, used informally as a verb.
posted by scheptech at 9:44 AM on October 2, 2005


"mentor" is in the dictionary as a verb; I can't find any dictionary entry for "disciple" as a verb.

Just sayin'.
posted by leftcoastbob at 10:00 AM on October 2, 2005


Pretty silly. Reality must simply be to painful or complex for some people to acknowlege.

I suppose those are the only folks that would take Ollie North. /Still suspicious what happened to that Delta team during the Iran hostage crisis. I heard the sandstorm story was legit, but it's still suspect.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:08 AM on October 2, 2005


troutfishing - The Jesus of the SBC is a muscular Christ trained in a variety of martial arts techniques and fond of Sun Tzu.

Like this Christ?
posted by PurplePorpoise at 10:32 AM on October 2, 2005


Also like Jeezus here.
posted by LarryC at 3:10 PM on October 2, 2005


leftcoastbob: they mispelled 'discipline'
posted by Sparx at 3:35 PM on October 2, 2005


LarryC, lovely. I want my Jesus back.
posted by es_de_bah at 4:55 PM on October 2, 2005


Sparx: That makes a lot more sense.

Force will discipline believers on domestic and overseas bases via special Force ministries Bible studies and curriculum.

Kinky bastards.
posted by leftcoastbob at 5:25 PM on October 2, 2005


Whatever happened to the 1960s? Fuck.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 12:04 AM on October 3, 2005


Can I just point out that the Salvation Army talk in military terms but that this doesn't imply that they go out killing and maining people in the name of their god. Indeed, many of its members do more good work for those worse off than them than me or most of the people on MeFi ever will.
posted by biffa at 2:49 AM on October 3, 2005


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