Tuesday, May 23, 2006
BattleCry: Ron Luce's Holy War
...But how long must we put up with a world where religion plays a role in whipping up people to kill others, as in the case of Christian fascist general Jerry Boykin, who said in speaking about his Muslim opponent in Somalia : “I knew that my God was bigger than his.” (Boykin’s troops lost that battle, by the way.)
Graham next told the biblical story of Daniel “taming the Babylonians.” After celebrating the U.S. troops who are killing people by the thousands in Iraq right now, he preached that there is “no difference between the Iraqis today and Babylon 1,000 years ago.” In the Bible, Babylon is the epitome of evil and decadence. All manner of bloodlust and plunder against it is not just condoned but celebrated. As Psalm 137:9 spells out, even the babies are to be dashed against the rocks.
While calling on the youths present to engage in this “battle for the souls of men,” he declared: “No souls can be saved without the shedding of blood. Blood must be shed!”
Shortly thereafter the large screen above the stadium lit up with images of Navy SEALs making their way from backstage. Dressed in camouflage, carrying automatic weapons, kicking down doors and firing blanks into empty rooms along their way, they seemed like the embodiments of the house-to-house raids and indiscriminate killings that have been seen in rare footage that made its way out of Iraq.
Fireworks exploded and flames billowed as Ron Luce greeted the warriors, bragging that all of them had been involved in real battles. They are part of FORCE Ministries, a Christian organization composed of current and retired Navy SEALs, law enforcement members and other military personnel who evangelize at events like these and conduct Bible study sessions at military bases around the world. Among those on stage was a SEAL just back from Afghanistan and a member of a police SWAT team. All of them are trained to kill, and they apparently do so or have done so in the belief that God sanctions their actions.
One of the SEALs recounted how, at boot camp, he had been forced to surrender his entire will to the demands of his instructor. Luce stepped in to tell the audience: “That is your youth pastor. He’s going to make you a SEAL for Christ.” Of course, the great Commander of this religious army is God, who issues his foot soldiers armor—“a shield of faith, a belt of truth, and boots of preparedness,” according to Luce—as well as “offensive weapons” like the “sword of the spirit” and the “word of God.”
This merging of God’s army and the U.S. military echoed the event that opened the day: the reading of a letter of greeting and blessing from George W. Bush. After the reading, a minister led thousands to bow their heads and thank the Lord for giving them George Bush, the commander in chief of America’s military. ...
Posted by JLT at 12:26 PM