REAL NEWS Feb. 04
Posted by Xaniel777 on February 4, 2012
TODAY’S NEWS : February 04, 2012
US and Israel: Promoting War, Spurning Peace
From Intel Hub
By Stephen Lendman
February 3, 2012
US and Israeli agendas need enemies. Both pursue rogue state policies.
They defy international laws and conventions, applying rule of law standards to others, not themselves. Their interests alone matter, no matter the toll on others.
When enemies don’t exist, they’re invented. Fear stirs public angst. Major media scoundrels spread it. Propaganda substitutes for truth and full disclosure.
America’s had no enemies since WW II. Israel’s had none since the 1973 Yom Kippur war. However, you’d never know it from regular spurious claims. Haaretz writer Amos Harel reported the latest in his February 2 article titled, “Some 200,000 missiles aimed consistently at Israel, top IDF officer says,” saying:
Military Intelligence chief General Aviv Kochavi alleged “a more hostile, more Islamic, more sensitive Middle East, one more attune to public sentiment, less controlled by the regimes, and less susceptible to international influence,” despite no evidence whatever proving it.
In fact, clear evidence suggests the opposite. Since regional uprisings began a year ago, some names and faces changed, nothing else. Policies remain the same.
Regime abuses and indifference to public need continue in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Bahrain, and elsewhere, despite public anger and calls for change.
Kochavi stoked fear with lies, alleging 200,000 missiles target Israel. Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas are blamed.
Iran’s alleged nuclear threat further escalates tensions, despite no evidence one exists. Nonetheless, he said, if Ayatollah Khomenei “issues a command to achieve a first nuclear explosive device, we estimate it would take another year before that’s achieved.”
On February 1, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz made similar accusations. He emphasized heightened regional threats and said Iran’s nuclear program must be stopped.
Calling it a “global problem and a regional problem,” he left unaddressed its legal peaceful purpose in contrast to Israel’s nuclear proliferation agenda.
He lied saying “There is no doubt that Iran is seeking military nuclear capability.” Israel’s had one for decades. It’s nuclear armed and dangerous.
In his 1997 book titled, “Open Secrets: Israeli Foreign and Nuclear Policies”,” Israel Shahak said “Israel (is) clearly prepar(ing) itself to seek overtly a hegemony over the entire Middle East (with no) hesitati(on) to use for the purpose all means available, including nuclear weapons.”
Moreover, its longstanding policy dictates responding robustly if attacked, including with nuclear weapons. America has the same standard. Both are aggressive. As a result, world peace hangs in the balance. They and rogue partners threaten it, not Iran, Syria, Hezbollah or Hamas.
Nonetheless, strategy includes spewing lies to blame victims. According to Gantz, other Gulf states worry about Iran’s alleged nuclear program. Moreover, he claimed:
“(W)e must not forget one basic thing: Israel is the only country in the world which someone is calling for its destruction and which someone is building the tools to do so. This is something that cannot be ignored.”
Spuriously suggesting Iran, Gantz said “The world and the region must continue to isolate” the Islamic Republic, despite no threat whatever from its leaders. Nonetheless, he added:
“It is correct to continue economic pressure and sanctions, from which we are starting to see signs of achievement and progress in terms of what is going on in Iran. It is correct to act and continue to disrupt processes associated with the development of the Iranian nuclear project and to work to enhance oversight over what is happening.”
Only Iran’s leaders “will decide at the end of the day if it will give up on a military nuclear capability. But determined and consistent action will (lead) to this strategic insight.”
Gantz and other Israeli officials know Iran’s nuclear program is entirely peaceful and legal. In contrast, Israel defies NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) provisions. It never signed the treaty. Iran did in 1968 and abides fully with its standards. Israel operates lawlessly like its Washington paymaster/partner.
Gantz also manufactured other “threats,” saying:
“Gaza and Lebanon are some of the largest munitions depots I know. (They) enter from Iran, Syria, and unfortunately even Russia continues to send arms to this day, where in Syria it is not clear who will control and operate them later.”
“The Middle East is the most armed region in the world, and the bad news is that we are the target of these arms. And we need to remember this.”
In fact, Israel’s been unthreatened for decades. It alone threatens others and wages strategic wars against Gaza, Lebanon, and potentially against Syria and Iran. Mainstream reporting ignores it.
It also lets Israeli President Shimon Peres spew lies about Iran’s “evil” leaders. Like other Israeli officials, he spuriously claimed Tehran’s nuclear program threatens Israel. He called it “ours and the world’s central problem at this time.” He accused Iran of pursuing regional and “even global hegemony.” In fact, Israel and America alone share that distinction.
Nonetheless, he said “Nuclear weapons mustn’t be allowed to fall into the hands of Iran’s Ayatollah regime.” He called its religious leaders the “most morally corrupt regime in the world.” Again, only Israeli and American political ones top the world’s rogue list.
Peres proved it by ruling out no options against Iran, saying “It is the duty of the international community to prevent evil and nuclear (weapons) from coming together. That is the obligations of most of the leaders of the free world, one which they must meet.”
Iran “funds, trains, and guides terrorists to spread terror and murder across the globe,” he claimed. Proving it’s another matter because saying so is baseless. He added more saying “the current Iranian leadership offers the future only destruction. It threatens human rights and the peace of nations.”
Now age 88, Peres served in various political posts for decades, including prime minister from April – June 1977, again from 1984 – 1986, and most recently in 1995 and 1996. Now he’s president, a largely ceremonial post.
In fact, he acts at the behest and discretion of Israeli ministers and other top officials. Israeli presidents don’t make policy.
Nonetheless, their comments are widely reported on issues of war and peace and state security, no matter how duplicitous, untrue and hateful. Peres had lots of practice. His recent comments show it. He echoes official policies.
They’ve been unchecked for decades. No one challenges them, including major media scoundrels promoting the worst ones. As a result, world peace hangs in the balance. The threat’s too grave to ignore.
A Final Comment
On January 25, American Conservative contributor Noah Millman headlined, “Is Israel a Failed State?” His article reviewed Gershom Gorenberg’s new book titled, “The Unmaking of Israel.”
What’s “exceptional” about it, said Millman, is Gorenberg’s framing. It discussed decisions made during and after the 1967 war. Occupation and repression followed. Progressively, Israel became “unmade.”
Expanded settlements and other rogue policies corrupted democratic values. However, Israel’s fall from grace began from inception. Ben-Gurion endorsed force, violence, and marginalizing non-Jews as policy.
Occupation intensified conflict. International law’s spurned. As a result, Israel’s settlement enterprise and other rogue policies “undermined the Israeli state top to bottom.” Secrecy and corruption followed.
Decades of lawlessness reflect what Israelis “should have grown out of when they acquired the power and responsibility of a state.” Instead, pursuing wrong over right “doesn’t just undermine the” immorality of injustice, but it provides evidence that the “Zionis(t project) failed in what was arguably its primary objective.”
Gorenberg wrote his book mainly for Jews. Instead of pursuing peace, Israel chose conflict. It persists aggressively against non-threatening targets.
Gorenberg’s an Orthodox left-leaning Jew. He also espouses Zionism, but not Israel’s version. He said its “goal was a sovereign, independent Jewish state in the historic land of Israel, as a means to the moral and spiritual rebirth of the Jewish nation.”
Historical inaccuracies and stealing Palestine aside, Gorenberg deplores violence and repression. Pursuing them belie Zionist ideals, he believes, though others view its early days much differently.
Either way, he sees greater trouble ahead unless future Israeli leaders change course. So far, prospects at best are dim.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at email@example.com.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
Numbing Out Of America – Public Apathy Explained
From Veterans Today
Connect the dots; the constant aerial aerosol bombardment of Chemtrails, the continued fluoridation of our water and acceptance of Genetically Modified Foods has pacified Americans to the extent that they willingly submit to the dictates of the corporate state, to the disintegration of their liberties and to the inevitability of a New World Corporate Order where the only choice is the sedating blue pill of public apathy
The numbing out of America through the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat can only be clearly seen when we seek the red pill of the truth and let go of our addiction to the sedating blue pill of apathy and unquestioned conformity.
In other words, It’s taking the blue pill of eternal unquestioned government allegiance or bondage and submitting to authority versus the red pill of critical thinking, individuality and searching for the truth. Morpheus explains it all to Neo in the Matrix ~ “Neo, Like everyone else, you were born into bondage, born inside a prison that you cannot smell, taste, or touch. A prison for your mind. Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself. “ The Matrix (1999) Four minute video
Let’s get something straight, what the global financial elite fear more than terrorism or any foreign threat, is the people armed with the truth. What better way to keep the masses at bay than spraying them with immune system weakening aerosol, sedating them with fluorides and finally slowly weakening them with genetically modified Foods ~ which are foods derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Let’s review all three of these and their global consequences;
The other day I saw an incredible number of these ‘persistent jet contrails’ in the sky above the city in which I live, but at timesI have been physically effected by them in terms of noticeable throat and lung congestion.
Chemtrails, once considered a ‘conspiracy theory’, are now admitted by the U.S. government to be a very real geoengineering program.
The problem? Chemicals with known health effects are being sprayed above our heads on a daily basis and without out any real understanding of their purpose or potential long term health effects ~ and in particular, respiratory effects.
Please watch this video and read the accompanying article for a better understanding of the government’s open secret geoengineering program… 4 minuteVideo:
Dan Bidondi (The truth Warrior) writes “ I myself am a Pilot for over 10 years and have worked in the aviation field for about the same amount of years; from a professional point of view, I can say that there is a huge difference between condensation (con-trail) and a chemical trail (chemtrail). A condensation trail dissipates as the jet moves along, a chemical trail will stay and expand into man-made clouds used for various weather experiments loaded with toxic chemicals that we breathe in on a daily basis … Chemicals include: Arsenic, Aerosol, Barium, Depleted Uranium, high levels of Mercury, Aluminum, and several other toxic chemicals. They are a huge cause in most respiratory breathing problems in America. I did a beta test on how many cases of an ambulance being called within a 8-hour period from respiratory problems, people of all ages infant to elderly that can’t breathe. I worked in a facility in Springfield, MA where I monitored operations and we had a Police-Fire scanner. I monitored an average of 8-13 calls every day within that 8-hour period of people who could not breathe.”
Bidondi rightfully concludes ~ “Once these chemicals are sprayed, several hours later they descend towards ground level and the human body inhales these toxic fumes. You may ask if wearing a gas mask is safe ~ well, you may protect your lungs, but also remember that the plants breathe these chemicals in as well, affecting your foods grown and water you drink along with the already added poison Sodium Fluoride and all its derivatives to the water and GMO food crops incorporated by your friends at Monsanto.”
And finally Alex Jones, Infowars.com, reports on November 13, 2011, that NASA reported 5 years ago that the earth is now receiving at least 20% less sunlight than 10 years before.
“After 16 years of denial, the White House Science Czar John P Holdren now admits that they have been “testing” the manipulation of Earth’s atmosphere with Barium salts, Aluminum Dioxide and other toxic compounds.”
Bottom line: there is a world-wide secret program to manipulate the atmosphere. They admit it’s happening, but they won’t tell us why. 4 minute Video:
One of the reasons I drink clean and filtered bottle water is because the menace of fluoridation. As I become more and more aware of why so many people are blind to the realities of the growing tyranny all around us, I realize… they’ve been drugged.
It was good enough for the gulags and concentration camps, well then by golly it’s good enough for you.
Wake up, man! How can you take the Red Pill, if you’re swallowing the blue one?
Here’s the stuff they don’t want you to know about fluoridation. 6 minute Video:
Genetically Modified Foods:
In this brief video Jeffrey M. Smith, author of ‘Seeds of Deception’, explains the difference between corporate science and independent science. The difference between the two can only lead you to call the former a bunch of liars.
The foods and drugs these corporate scientists lie about affect our immune systems, our reproductive systems, and our overall health.
Basically, they’d feed us poison if the company told them to sell it to us, and that’s exactly what they’re doing…with the main culprit being Monsanto. 2 minute video Video:
In addition, 19 studies link GMO foods to organ disruption!
According to the Institute for Responsible Technology:
“The GM soybean and corn varieties used in the feeding trials ‘constitute 83 percent of the commercialized GMOs’ that are currently consumed by billions of people. While the findings may have serious ramifications for the human population, the authors demonstrate how a multitude of GMO-related health problems could easily pass undetected through the superficial and largely incompetent safety assessments that are used around the world.”
According to Forbes:
“Monsanto is so despised by environmentalists that Google’s first suggested search term for the St. Louis company is ‘Monsanto evil.’ Readers … voted Monsanto the world’s most evil corporation in a January poll, giving the corporation a whopping 51 percent of the vote.” See story :
Among all developed countries, Americans are the fattest people in the world. The World Health Organization found over 60% of the American population is obese or overweight. Even more disturbing, the U.S. is the only country in the developed world to label obesity a national security health risk.
Top Pentagon officials have warned Americans are becoming so fat, most of those volunteering for the Army are disqualified because of their size. Child obesity is also on the rise in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control estimates 1 in every 3 American kids are either obese or overweight. Jeffrey Smith, the author of Seeds of Deception, points to the mass production and consumption of genetically modified foods in the U.S. as the most probable source of this on going problem.
Watch this RT interview where the hypocrisy of both Barack and Michelle Obama are laid bare with the appointment of several key Monsanto people to the Obama administration and FDA.
So there you have it, America is being numbed out through the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat as the Corporate global elite ply their trade at the expense of a sedated and apathetic public.
It can only get worse and here’s a recent example ~
Recently, two million live virus oral vaccine/bait units were dropped by airplane all over the state of Texas ~ to protect animals and humans from rabies. Each package was dipped in fish oil and fish meal crumbles to make the vaccine/bait appealing to animals. ( Yummy ).
The claim is that these packages are ‘harmless’, however they do contain a LIVE virus. They also add that should you come into contact with one and you have an easily compromised immune system you should contact your physician immediately.
Check out this video for details… 6 minute Video:
“Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I’m liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That’s what’s insane about it.” – John Lennon
Take the red pill before it’s too late!
About the Author: Allen L Roland is a Freelance Alternative Press Online columnist. He is also a practicing psychotherapist, author and lecturer who also shares a daily political and social commentary on his web site at AllenRoland.com. He also guest hosts a Truthtalk, a national radio show that airs monthly. He is available for comments, interviews, speaking engagements and private consultations via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brian Basham: Beware corporate psychopaths – they are still occupying positions of power
From The Independent
By BRIAN BASHAM
29 DECEMBER 2011
Outlook Over the years I’ve met my fair share of monsters – rogue individuals, for the most part. But as regulation in the UK and the US has loosened its restraints, the monsters have proliferated.
In a paper recently published in the Journal of Business Ethics entitled “The Corporate Psychopaths: Theory of the Global Financial Crisis”, Clive R Boddy identifies these people as psychopaths.
“They are,” he says, “simply the 1 per cent of people who have no conscience or empathy.” And he argues: “Psychopaths, rising to key senior positions within modern financial corporations, where they are able to influence the moral climate of the whole organisation and yield considerable power, have largely caused the [banking] crisis.”
And Mr Boddy is not alone. In Jon Ronson’s widely acclaimed book The Psychopath Test, Professor Robert Hare told the author: “I should have spent some time inside the Stock Exchange as well. Serial killer psychopaths ruin families. Corporate and political and religious psychopaths ruin economies. They ruin societies.”
Cut to a pleasantly warm evening in Bahrain. My companion, a senior UK investment banker and I, are discussing the most successful banking types we know and what makes them tick. I argue that they often conform to the characteristics displayed by social psychopaths. To my surprise, my friend agrees.
He then makes an astonishing confession: “At one major investment bank for which I worked, we used psychometric testing to recruit social psychopaths because their characteristics exactly suited them to senior corporate finance roles.”
Here was one of the biggest investment banks in the world seeking psychopaths as recruits.
Mr Ronson spoke to scores of psychologists about their understanding of the damage that psychopaths could do to society. None of those psychologists could have imagined, I’m sure, the existence of a bank that used the science of spotting them as a recruiting mechanism.
I’ve never met Dick Fuld, the former CEO of Lehman Brothers and the architect of its downfall, but I’ve seen him on video and it’s terrifying. He snarled to Lehman staff that he wanted to “rip out their [his competitors] hearts and eat them before they died”. So how did someone like Mr Fuld get to the top of Lehman? You don’t need to see the video to conclude he was weird; you could take a little more time and read a 2,200-page report by Anton Valukas, the Chicago-based lawyer hired by a US court to investigate Lehman’s failure. Mr Valukas revealed systemic chicanery within the bank; he described management failures and a destructive, internal culture of reckless risk-taking worthy of any psychopath.
So why wasn’t Mr Fuld spotted and stopped? I’ve concluded it’s the good old question of nature and nurture but with a new interpretation. As I see it, in its search for never-ending growth, the financial services sector has actively sought out monsters with natures like Mr Fuld and nurtured them with bonuses and praise.
We all understand that sometimes businesses have to be cut back to ensure their survival, and where those cuts should fall is as relevant to a company as it is, today, to the UK economy; should it bear down upon the rich or the poor?
Making those cuts doesn’t make psychopaths of the cutters, but the financial sector’s lack of remorse for the pain it encourages people to inflict is purely psychopathic. Surely the action of cutting should be a matter for sorrow and regret? People’s lives are damaged, even destroyed. However, that’s not how the financial sector sees it.
Take Sir Fred Goodwin of RBS, for example. Before he racked up a corporate loss of £24.1bn, the highest in UK history, he was idolised by the City. In recognition of his work in ruthlessly cutting costs at Clydesdale Bank he got the nickname “Fred the Shred”, and he played that for all it was worth. He was later described as “a corporate Attila”, a title of which any psychopath would be proud.
Mr Ronson reports: “Justice departments and parole boards all over the world have accepted Hare’s contention that psychopaths are quite simply incurable and everyone should concentrate their energies instead on learning how to root them out.”
But, far from being rooted out, they are still in place and often in positions of even greater power.
As Mr Boddy warns: “The very same corporate psychopaths, who probably caused the crisis by their self-seeking greed and avarice, are now advising governments on how to get out of the crisis. Further, if the corporate psychopaths theory of the global financial crisis is correct, then we are now far from the end of the crisis. Indeed, it is only the end of the beginning.”
I became familiar with psychopaths early in life. They were the hard men who terrorised south-east London when I was growing up. People like “Mad” Frankie Fraser and the Richardson brothers. They were what we used to call “red haze” men, and they were frightening because they attacked with neither fear, mercy nor remorse.
Regarding Messrs Hare, Ronson, Boddy and others, I’ve realized that some psychopaths “forge careers in corporations. The group is called Corporate Psychopaths”. They are polished and plausible, but that doesn’t make them any less dangerous.
In attempting to understand the complexities of what went wrong in the years leading to 2008, I’ve developed a rule: “In an unregulated world, the least-principled people rise to the top.” And there are none who are less principled than corporate psychopaths.
Brian Basham is a veteran City PR man, entrepreneur and journalist
ON THE BRIGHTER SIDE OF THINGS CHECK THIS OUT : MIT creates solar cell from grass clippings
February 2, 2012
A researcher at MIT, Andreas Mershin, has created solar panels from agricultural waste such as cut grass and dead leaves. In a few years, Mershin says it’ll be possible to stir some grass clippings into a bag of cheap chemicals, paint the mixture on your roof, and immediately start producing electricity.
If you remember high school biology classes, you will hopefully remember a process called photosynthesis, whereby plants turn sunlight into energy. Mershin has found a process which extracts the photosynthesizing molecules, called photosystem I, from plant matter. Photosystem I contains chlorophyll, the protein that actually converts photons into a flow of electrons.
These molecules are then stabilized and spread on a glass substrate that’s covered in a forest of zinc oxide nanowires and titanium dioxide “sponges.” When sunlight hits the panels, both the titanium dioxide and the new material absorb light and turn it into electricity, and the nanowires carry the electricity away. In essence, Mershin has replaced the layer of silicon in conventional photovoltaic cells with a slurry of photosynthesizing molecules. “It’s like an electric nanoforest,” he says.
So far so good — now time for the reality check. At the moment, even with the efficiency-boosting nanoforest, Mershin’s solar panel only has an efficiency of 0.1%. To be of any use — to power more than a single LED light from an entire house covered in these cheap solar panels — an efficiency of 1 or 2% is required. With such a low barrier to entry, though, Mershin hopes that scientists the world over can now work on boosting the efficiency.
Ultimately the goal is to create a cheap plastic bag that comes pre-filled with the necessary chemicals, and “one sheet of cartoon instructions, with no words.” The idea is that you’ll add agricultural waste to the bag, stir it around, and then just slosh it onto a sheet of glass. Suffice it to say, such an invention would revolutionize power generation in low-density areas that are off the grid and developing nations.
Read more at MIT
What Kind of Christianity Is This?
Though founded by a pacifist, Christianity has justified some of the most brutal slaughters in human history, from the wars of the late Roman Empire to the Crusades to the Inquisition to world wars to genocides against “heathens,” Muslims and Jews. Yet, Gary G. Kohls says the essence of Christianity can still be reclaimed.
By Gary G. Kohls
January 25, 2012 “Consortium News” – - From time to time, I read about condemnations of religion coming from non-religious groups, especially concerning the all-too-common violence perpetrated in the name of religious gods. Indeed there is plenty to condemn.
Altogether too many religions sects of both major and minor religions, despite verbally professing a desire for peace and justice in the world, are actually pro-war, pro-homicide and pro-violence in practice (or they may be silent on the subject, which is, according to moral theology, the same as being pro-violence).
Obvious examples include those portions of the three major war-justifying religions of the world: fundamentalist Islam, fundamentalist Judaism and fundamentalist Christianity.
I use the term fundamentalist in the sense that the religious person, who ascribes to a fundamentalist point of view, believes, among other dogmatic belief, that their scriptures are inerrant and thus they can find passages in their holy books that justify homicidal violence against their perceived or fingered enemies, while simultaneously ignoring the numerous contradictory passages that forbid violence and homicide and instead prescribe love, hospitality, mercy, forgiveness and reconciliation.
Behind the scenes, of course, there are hidden elites — amoral, politically and financially motivated operatives who are embedded in these religious organizations — who, through the strength of their political power, can easily manipulate the followers into clamoring for war, not against their enemies, but rather against the enemies of the ruling elites: the politicians, the financiers and the other exploiters of natural resources.
And so nonviolent portions of the various religions – and they are there, albeit often hidden and censored – can be erroneously painted with the same brush that justifiably condemns the hypocrisy and the violence.
It is certainly true that the Catholic Church endorsed and/or orchestrated the genocide of the Crusades, the Inquisition and many wars of colonization and exploitation — with the origins of these atrocities in fundamentalist interpretations of “holy” scripture.
But I do have to take exception to the blanket condemnation of the entirety of the religion by pointing out one reality — that the original form of Christianity, the church of the first generation after Jesus and even most of the first three centuries was a religion of pacifists, oppressed women, orphans, those forced into prostitution, despised people of all stripes and others of those called “the least.”
Though this history has long since been forgotten or ignored, the earliest followers of Jesus rejected violence, tried to return good for evil, fed the hungry, did acts of mercy and unconditional love and tried to make friends out of their enemies (by caring for them, feeding them, praying for them and certainly refusing to kill them or pay for somebody else to kill them).
Practicality of Nonviolence
It was a hugely successful ethical stance to take. It could be described as an act of divine genius. And it made tremendous practical sense. One bit of evidence of the practicality of gospel nonviolence is the fact that in the first couple of centuries, no early Christian male ever acquired combat-induced PTSD or the soul-destruction that always accompanies that reality.
And no early Christian ever felt depressed, ashamed, guilty or suicidal about killing, plundering or raping innocent unarmed women and children in wartime. The earliest Christians took seriously Jesus’s clear command to love and befriend their enemies, and – despite brutal Roman persecutions – the religion survived; indeed, it thrived.
In fact, by 300 CE, it had grown into one of the largest religions in the empire, at which point the emperor Constantine (who was a worshipper of the Sun god until his deathbed baptism into the “faith”) co-opted the church by stopping the persecutions and granting it power, property and prestige, thus seducing it into becoming the obedient and increasingly dependent state church whose master was the brutal, often satanic Roman Empire and its army generals.
Eventually – and logically – church leaders who were now dependent on the largesse and protection of the empire felt obliged to support it and its troops, pay homage to the emperor and send its young Christian men to violently defend the empire’s borders against the fingered enemy. Or homicidally enlarge the empire if it was profitable for Rome or the Papal State to do so.
Just War Theory
St. Augustine wrote the first Christian Just War Theory (CJWT) in the late Fourth Century, making legitimate, in certain rare circumstances, killing by Christians in wartime, which had been long forbidden to the followers of Jesus.
Soon thereafter, Christianity became a religion of justified violence, contrary to the teachings and modeling of Jesus, and it remains that way until this very hour. However, it is generally agreed among Just War scholars that no war in the past 1,700 years has been conducted according to the principles of the Christian Just War Theory; that if the actual principles were applied to an impending war, they would lead Christians back to its original pacifist stance. And so the principles of the CJWT are not taught to the vast majority of Christians.
So, the blanket condemnation of homicidal religions, especially Christianity, is justified up to the point of acknowledging that the bulk of the Christian church, over the past 17 centuries, has ignored – or become apathetic to – the nonviolent teachings of Jesus (forgiveness 70 X 7, unending mercy, ministering to “the least of these” and the unconditional love of friend and enemy).
Among the realities that keep the churches silent, of course, are the fear of losing the largesse of state-granted tax-exempt status and the threat that their pro-war, dues-paying members might object or leave if church leaders were to speak out prophetically about the ethics of the Sermon on the Mount and the incompatibility of nationalistic militarism with the life and teachings of Jesus.
But the Christianity of the first few centuries, when Christians refused to take up the sword, should not be condemned. Rather, critics of Christianity should start challenging the churches to go back to their roots where evil was not allowed to run rampant, but rather was aggressively and courageously resisted using the nonviolent methods of Jesus and his inspired disciples like Tolstoy, Gandhi, Dorothy Day, A. J. Muste, Martin Luther King, the Berrigan brothers, John Dear, Kathy Kelly and a multitude of other courageous prophetic voices.
The major motivation for the legendary civil disobedience of those modern-day prophets was their commitment to Jesus and the way he lived his life as pacifist (not passive) active resistor to evil.
The followers of that very real Jesus should be courageously “going to the streets” and saying “NO” wherever and whenever fear and hatred raise their ugly heads and try to provoke violence — no matter if it is coming from the US Congress or the Parliament in London, the Oval Office or # 10 Downing Street, in the Knesset or in the headquarters of Hamas, whether in Tehran or in Baghdad or in the Vatican or in Colorado Springs or in the bowels of the 700 Club – or from within the local parish.
Jesus, a Nonviolent Leftist
Jesus of the Gospels was an outspoken, nonviolent leftist who tried to reform his authoritarian conservative, dogmatic church but also refused to shut up with his call for justice for the down-trodden — even when his superiors threatened him with serious consequences if he didn’t.
The economic model of Jesus’s early church was socialist, where the resources of the group were shared with the widow and orphans and others who didn’t have enough. He would have stood, like the prophet he was, in solidarity with pacifists, socialists, antiwar activists and feminists and surely would have marched in nonviolent antiwar rallies.
Jesus was definitely NOT a punitive, pro-death penalty, pro-militarism conservative. His power came not from the sword but from the power of love.
Jesus would surely have condemned his church’s complicity in the ethnic cleansing of Native Americans, the enslavement of black Africans and the segregationist, apartheid policies that were designed by various ruling elites to destroy ethnic or religious minorities.
And if the leadership of his church had been found guilty of or just complicit with such acts, especially genocide, Jesus would surely have insisted on the formation of an independent truth and reconciliation commission to respectfully hear the testimony of the victims, the survivors and the families of the survivors and allow those victims to face their victimizers. And then Jesus would have insisted upon his church repenting of the sins, whether committed by them or their forefathers.
The power that Jesus utilized was epitomized by the willingness to do the right thing in the crisis situations even if it involved risks to life or liberty. Fear had no power over him or the martyrs of the early church. His power came out of the holy spirit of love, goodness, mercy and forgiveness and his certainty that, by refusing to do acts of violence, he was doing the will of God.
The practicality of that radical stance resulted in the healing power that Jesus’ disciples and apostles exhibited when they started implementing what Jesus had taught and modeled for them.
War and violence emanates from an entirely different spirit than the spirit shown by the early church. That spirit is the spirit of the unholy, the spirit of the satanic, the spirit of Cain. The willingness to kill was the spirit that was strongly present in such historic figures as Hitler, Goebbels, Himmler, Eichmann, Stalin, Mussolini (all baptized into pro-war, Constantinian Christian churches).
That evil spirit was also present in many saber-rattling militarists throughout history – the most ruthless presidents, Secretaries of Defense, generals, dictators, legislators, gun-running businessmen and trained assassins that have ever lived – from the ancient low-tech, PTSD-afflicted Achilles, who killed up close and personal, looking into the eyes of his victims, to the ultra-modern, high-tech Air Force, Navy, Army and Marines that orchestrate, usually from safe distances, such atrocities as were perpetrated by Christian soldiers against innocent unarmed civilians at Nagasaki, Dresden, My Lai, Baghdad and Fallujah, to name just a few.
A Challenge to the Church
It seems to me that the Christian church must start teaching what Jesus taught about violence – that it is forbidden for those who wish to follow him – or our so-called “Christian” nation won’t be able to stop the deadly suicidal/homicidal cycle of war that has been bankrupting America, both financially and morally, for decades.
Jesus was absolutely right about the satanic nature of killing. The Golden Rule and his warning about the consequences of living by the sword speaks profound truth. According to just those two teachings, we can say that theologically and spiritually, the high-profile pro-war “Christians” that dominate the news are dead wrong.
That brand of Christianity definitely deserves condemnation. What has been criticized by Christianity’s detractors as the norm for Christianity is not the Sermon-on-the-Mount Christianity of Jesus but rather the aberrant “Constantinian Christianity,” a religion that espouses an anti-Christic, punitive theology that justifies killing fellow children of God in the name of the one who forbade it 2,000 years ago.
Church leaders need to repent of their support for (or their silence about) their nation’s state-sponsored terrorism and start acting ethically, as if the Sermon on the Mount mattered.
The Christian church in America MUST take the lead in this or it is doomed — as doomed as was Germany’s dominant Constantinian Christianity of the first half of the 20th century, whose pro-military, nationalist, racist, xenophobic, domination theology permitted torture, genocide and two brutal world wars that ultimately resulted in the suicide of German Christianity, not to mention the complete destruction of the nation by its provoked enemies.
One wonders what would have happened if every German and Russian and American church had been a real peace church, as the founder envisioned? The real question is, will we learn the lessons of history, or is it already too late?
Gary G. Kohls, MD, is a founding member of Every Church A Peace Church (www.ecapc.org) and is a member of a local non-denominational affiliate of ECAPC, the Community of the Third Way.
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