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Atheism in the Church, and the Pro-War Movement

by Brent Herbert Sunday, Mar. 16, 2003 at 4:20 PM

The Pro-War position, which is advocated by ‘bible believing Christians' who are part of the religious right, is actually an expression of an ancient form of atheism, in that those who hold to this position do not really believe in the existence of God, and therefore turn instead to a bankrupt philosophy that holds that ‘God can only work through people' (the military industrial complex in this example).

‘Bible believing Christians' often site what they call the ‘just war' theory to justify the plans of the American Extreme Right Wing (strongly influenced by Christian Zionists such as Richard Perle) to launch an attack on Iraq. Now much could be said about whether such a war is really a ‘just war'. This believe is justified on the grounds that ‘the Bible is inerrant, the infallible Word of God' and the Bible, as anyone who is familiar with the document would know, advocates the use of military force to enforce the ‘will of God' on earth.

There are two problems with this supposed religious position. The first is that this position actually encapsulates a philosophy of atheism, and thus has little to do with a ‘Living God', and the second is that this position is hypocritical and based on a load of perjury, falsehoods, and lying propaganda (so then it is much like the falsehoods and perjured propaganda being spread about to justify the war against Iraq, and the two have this in common).

Now much could be said about the inconsistencies and internal contradictions of the Bible, but given that the Bible is supposed to be ‘infallible' and ‘without error', the ‘very Word of God' it should not be necessary to write up a long list of these ‘errors' and really, only one example of this sort of thing should suffice to shoot down this dogma, but I will list a couple of interesting examples just to make the point that ‘the Bible says so' is a bankrupt intellectual position.

A good part of the book of Leviticus is devoted to spreading the weird superstition that teaches that the way to ‘make atonement for sins' is to bleed to death some farm livestock. As well we are told that if the god of Leviticus were to smell what is called the ‘soothing odor' of some roasted beef offered up in ‘sacrifice' this would turn away the wrath of this god and help to atone for a sin.

We find the following interesting and contradictory passage in the book of Jeremiah (a passage that is deliberately mistranslated, for obvious reasons, in the fundamentalist translation of the Bible known as ‘the New International Version', and for obvious reasons.) These animal sacrificing laws were fraudulent, according to this particular prophet, and when one considers how stupid it is to have a god sniffing beef steaks and beef roasts to ‘sooth' and ‘calm down' the wrath of this supposed god, this understanding in and of itself is enough to shoot down Leviticus and its ancient superstitious cult practices. The fact that a passage in the Bible also shoots them down demonstrates quite clearly that the Bible is ‘errant', ironically according to the Bible itself the Bible is ‘fallible' and therefore the doctrine that teaches the inerrancy of the Bible as a prop for ‘holy war doctrine' is a fine example of hypocritical deceit being employed for obviously political reasons (it is a gross form of attempted manipulation to suggest otherwise, a cheat).

In the seventh chapter of Jeremiah, at the twentieth verse, we read the following attack on Leviticus. "Burn your whole offerings and eat the flesh yourselves, for on the day when I brought your ancestors out of Egypt I gave them no instructions concerning whole offerings and sacrifice...But they did not listen, they paid no heed, and proceeded ahead with their own plans with the most stubbornly wicked and evil truth has perish from their lips and it is no longer heard in the land." Next the prophet condemns the burning at the stake laws, also found in Leviticus. "They build the high places of Topheth in the valley of Hinnom at which to burn their sons and daughters. That was no command of God, nor did it ever even enter God's mind.' The prophet then follows with a homily about the dogmatic stubbornness of religion. "Why are these people always perpetually backsliding...they refuse to repent and return...the stork in the heavens knows the time to migrate but my people do not know the requirements of God."

The Torah is the name given to the first five books of the Bible, by religious Zealots (and Zionists) and it means ‘the Law of God'. Not only does this supposed ‘law of God' contain superstitions like the bleeding and roasting of animals to ‘pay for sins' but is also the wellspring of the atheistic ‘Holy War dogmas' of the Bible. The Holy War Biblical Dogma teaches that you should invade a country, destroy the houses of the people who are living there, put the inhabitants to the slaughter and burn their houses down, rape their virgins, and then take over their fields and land and live their yourself forever (this sort of disgusting violent nonsense being the foundational scriptures for what is then falsely propagandized to anyone gullible enough to listen as ‘Just War theory'). For a long list of examples of these supposedly Just War passages which are said to justify such things as an attack on Iraq, see the page Is Zionism a Form of Racism...

After delivering a sermon condemning the animal sacrifice and the laws advocating burning at the stake in the Torah, the prophet continues in chapter eight, verse eight, with an explicit condemnation of the superstitious belief in the divinity of the Torah, followed by a damnation of the Holy War dogma taught in the Torah. "How can you say, ‘We are wise, for we have the Torah', when, actually, the lying pen of the scribes has had it falsified. Their leaders are dismayed, for they have been trapped and snared, but they rejected the Word of YAHWEH, so what kind of wisdom did they have? Therefore, I will give YOUR fields to other owners, and your wives to other men. For everyone, both high and low, is out for ill gotten gain...They ought to be ashamed of themselves for practicing abominations, but they don't even know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall with a great crash on the day of God's reckoning. They shall be overthrown."

This particular sermon is one of the most interesting in the Bible, because of its multiple attacks on the Torah, its explicit condemnation of the Torah as a conjured up fraud, intended to deceive, and for the purposes of this discussion, its condemnation of the Holy War ideology in the Torah. Once again I should point out here, that writing up a long laundry list of these inconsistencies should not be required to prove that the foundational doctrine of ‘the inerrant Bible' is a conjuring, spell casting fraud, intended to deceive by propping up some other agenda. Any person with integrity should be satisfied with even one example such as the above, but there are many more, and I will include links to pages that I wrote in the past where a more exhaustive laundry list can be found. Let's just say that the dishonest will not listen in any case, not to one example, and not to a thousand. They stop their ears so as not hear. They are just adamant in their stubborn refusal to accept simple truth or common morality, and despite the fact that they go on and on about ‘God's word' they are just as adamant in their stubborn refusal to listen to those things that are written in the books of their own prophets. I am referring here to that notorious psuedo-Christian religious hypocrisy that over the ages has become justifiably famous for both its deceitful doctrines and attempts to delude, and its devotion to causes which are plainly harmful and evil. No change can be expected from such people, although one can always hope to snatch a few twigs out of the fire, as it were, by making these attempts to break the spell being cast by these book quoting conjurers and wizards in some pulpit, and so it is worth the attempt for that very reason. Someone might snap to their senses and escape from their trap and free their foot from the snares which such so called (unethical) ‘ministers' set to capture human lives, for the purposes of propping up some questionable political agenda.

One more excellent example of biblical hypocrisy that relates directly to Holy War ideology can be found in the writings of the prophet Hosea. In the book of Kings we read of the so called ‘Divine Holy War' which was waged by King Jehu against the ‘priests and followers of Baal'. Baal was the name given to some other god in the land, and Jehu led a ‘Holy War' of slaughter against these people in the Valley of Jezreel. After Jehu does what God should have done in person, and slaughters these people in Jezreel, ‘god', as god typically does in such documents, shows up after the slaughtering is complete to ‘speak the word of god' to Jehu, saying ‘You have done well in slaughtering these people, and have done to them everything that I wanted done, and therefore your sons shall be kings over Israel for many generations.' This about all you can expect from a ‘war god' in the Torah. First the war god sends out a human army to do what a war god should do in person, but never does, and then this god shows up after the military industrial complex has completed its slaughtering to deliver ‘a word of praise' for the success of this human military campaign.

Hosea refers to this slaughter in the opening chapter of the manuscript, where we read, that far from praising Jehu for his slaughter in the valley of Jezreel, and promising to make his kingdom long lasting as a reward (the ‘just war' dogma promulgated in the book of Kings), the ‘word of God' as it is presented in the book of Hosea, becomes ‘I am going to punish the dynasty of Jehu for the blood they shed in the valley of Jezreel, and bring the Kingdom of Israel to an end.' So here we have a fine example of what I would call ‘dueling prophets', with both prophets referring to the same event (the prophet Elijah is cited as the prophet calling for the slaughter in the book of Kings). Sarcastically, Hosea chooses to reverse both the judgment of God on the slaughter, and chooses as the punishment the exact opposite result as that promised in the book of Kings (bringing Jehu's kingdom to an end, rather than making it long lasting). Hosea then devotes several chapters to condemning the Holy War against the tribe of Benjamin, waged against them on the grounds that they were homosexuals and deserved to be wiped out like Sodom and Gomorrah. The ‘just war' story of what today might be called a ‘gay bashing' dogma is found in the book of Judges, and Hosea's condemnation of this war spans several chapters in his document and those interested can follow the link to the full discussion, which can also be found appended to the end of this document.

The point to be made here is two fold. First the Bible is not ‘infallible' and actually contains ‘errors', although the ancient Jewish prophets went far beyond merely damning these things as simple ‘mistakes', but rather condemned them as deliberate falsifications intended to deceive. This brings us to the second point, which is that ‘just war' theory, based on the ‘writings of the Bible' is a deliberate attempt to concoct pro-war propaganda based on what is called ‘god's word', and is itself a gross attempt to deceive. It is hypocritical and dishonest. It is simply wrong, and those who would like to dredge up Jehu's war story from the Bible to justify, for example, an attack on Muslims, or any other of these ‘just war' Bible stories in an attempt to justify what they will then call ‘the just war theory', never bother to point out to people the internal contradictions found in the Bible itself, which condemn the theory. Such a one sided and deceitful presentation of ‘the evidence' reveals an obvious agenda to deceive people, to delude them and cause them to believe that somehow ‘just war' theory is meritorious not because it is philosophically consistent in and of itself, and not based on the morality of just war theory, which should be able to stand on its own if it truly is just, but rather based on a fraudulent misrepresentation of the Bible, which will be claimed to be ‘holy and sacred', which only makes the hypocrisy of mishandling and distorting what is written in the Bible that much worse. Such conduct is simply evil and it is disgraceful to attempt to preach what is transparently obvious propaganda for the military industrial complex by hypocritically twisting what is supposed to be sacred in the service of some base political agenda.

This point is important for several reasons. First, if you track the religious right and the pro-war ‘Christian' zealots, you will notice that every pro-war (or more typically ‘just war') sermon these zealots deliver consists of nothing more than some mindless shopping list of war mongering Bible passages delivered as though somehow something has just been proved by compiling such a simple minded and one sided shopping list of bible verses. This demonstrates the paucity of ‘just war' theory based on ‘scripture.' All it can do is cite some laundry list of pointless Bible quotations to support its case, while deliberately (hypocritically) ignoring the diversity of opinion on these very same matters presented on the pages of the Bible itself. To correct this laundry list problem (which is supposed to pass as some form of legitimate argument) I present my own ‘laundry list' of Bible passages above, and anyone who would like more detail, a really, really long laundry list of such examples, can follow the links organized at the bottom of this document at their own leisure.

There are those who might consider such a debate about the merits (and demerits) of the Bible to be ‘academic' or something only of concern to religious zealots, but this is not true, since in America, as one example, the religious right is the bedrock of support for the current Administration, and these same ‘just war' Bible verses (as they like to call them) is also the source of the unqualified support given to Israel by so called ‘Christian Zionists'. Religion then is an important factor in both the war against Iraq (a supposed ‘just war' being propped up by ministers delivering these one sided laundry lists which is then proclaimed to be sufficient justification for ‘just war theory'). The Extreme Right Wing and their coterie of Christian Zionists have been brought into power in America using just these kind of tactics and so religion, and its misuses, is a vitally important matter for the ‘anti-war' movement, as well as those interested in ‘regime change' in America. Religion and the Zionists use the same tactics of deceitful misuse of propaganda we have seen employed in recent times by the Administration in Washington, the same spreading of falsehoods and constant lying that have come to define the propaganda buildup to this Iraq war, and on the political side and on the religious side, these are just two flip sides of the same coin. The same tactics are employed in both cases (deliberate distortion of the evidence, the presentation of false arguments, the deceitful spinning of cobwebs designed to delude, the hiding of inconvenient evidence and the playing up of twisted one sided evidence). That there is no ‘moral voice' being heard in opposition from the so called ‘religious' preachers, who themselves practice the same forms of deciet, is no surprise, and given the great power of the religious right in America, their multi-billion dollar media empire, their failure to speak up for true morality is a double crime, in that the means exists but the will to do so does not, rather the people are kept blind and ignorant, an important element in any drive to feed them propaganda and keep them in darkness so they will accept falsehoods. This is not ‘religion' or the ‘work of God' but would be better described as a form of wickedness and sin.

Which brings us to the second point, which is that ‘just war theory' is not really an expression of a type of ‘religious faith' but is actually an expression of a type of unbelieving atheistic philosophy dressed up as a religious belief. We hear a lot about Joshua these days, an Atilla the Hun type character from the Bible who was responsible for committing genocide to clear the land of its inhabitants to make room for the creation of the first state of Israel. We are told that this was ‘a just war', yes a ‘holy war', not because such conduct can be said to be just or holy on its own merits, but once again using the simple minded ‘shopping list' technique which is supposed to pass as a form of argument, this was a ‘just war' because there are many quotes that can be dredged up from the Bible to support this position. This was a just war because it was a war written about in glowing terms in the Bible.

Now I have already given some examples above of just how bankrupt it is to deliver some laundry list of Bible verses as a form ‘proof texting' some position (which is valid, simply because the lines of text being quoted were dredged up from the pages of the Bible). "It came from the Bible, therefore it is valid." Given that this propaganda technique can only be intended to deceive, since the Bible cannot legitimately be used in this fashion, it then follows that some other criteria is going to have to be used to determine what should and should not be done, what is and is not a valid theory or doctrine. Since the Bible presents us with two contradictory and conflicting viewpoints in the examples I gave above, it then follows that the Bible itself must be subjected to judgment based on some other measurement by some other yard stick other than the refrain that ‘it was quoted from the Bible, and therefore is valid'. This is very obviously the case, and therefore the true yardstick is not the Bible. Those looking for an authoritarian solution to life's complex issues will be sadly disappointed, since no such authority exists in the supposed ‘holy book of divine authority', and the Bible presents challenges rather than a shopping list of easily canned answers.

Now I suggest that ‘holy war theory' concerning ‘just wars' as its has been based on shopping lists of Bible quotes (the only ‘argument' you ever hear in favor of this sort of thing) is in fact a form of ‘atheist philosophy' advocated by ‘god believing Christians' and is not a genuine expression of faith in the existence of God. Consider Joshua's genocidal massacres as described in the document bearing his name. Now simply book quoting Joshua to prove some point is going to go nowhere since the document is internally inconsistent and contradictory, and also contradicts the book of Judges which follows (the reason being that a number of different legendary sources were conflated to create single works, resulting in these internal inconsistencies as well as the contradictions between manuscripts...follow the link to the Joshua page for a laundry list of these glaring inconsistencies). So we can debunk a holy war theory based on book quoting Joshua in this first way, by pointing out how inconsistent the documents of the Bible really are, leaving people with a puzzle to solve, and authoritarians up the creek with no paddle to rely on, there being no cook book of answers to be found here.

We can then dispose of this book quoting form of ‘persuasion' and then move on to consideration of how we are to judge such matters I have suggested that the ‘book quoting' technique of manipulation is a form of atheism, not an expression of faith, since first it is obvious that to acheive results it relies on the cynical manipulation of the public. Goals will be achieved by people who, the doctrine teaches, ‘do god's work' for ‘god works through people'. The god then, does nothing itself, but rather ‘motivates and inspires' people to do the work. This work would include such things as committing mass genocide to clear the land for settlers. The god does not show up to do that, although the god will show up to tell people, through another person of course, to commit genocide. We should listen then, to certain special people, who tell us ‘the words of the god'. After the genocide is completed the god will typically show up again to congratulate the people on the military victory, express pleasure at the results, and then encourage them to do it again, by way an intermediary of course. The god will tell Joshua and then Joshua will tell you, and you will do the work yourself.

You can compare this to a scenario which involves some kind of Living God, and not merely some dead atheistic faith. What you would do in this instance is you would pray to your god to come down for a couple of minutes, maybe an hour or two at the most, and commit genocide. Since committing mass murder is such a morally serious business, and something a god should take care in person, that god of yours could take a few minutes of its busy schedule and spare you the blood thirsty slaughtering and years of warring and post traumatic shock disorder and the screaming and terror and horror of warring through that genocide, and just take care of the matter for you in short order. The land now empty of inhabitants, you could then move in and settle the place.

You never hear anyone praying to that war god of theirs to invade and conquer Iraq. That just isn't done because they are atheists, and like all atheists, including the most religious preachers who are in fact atheists, they know that no god is going to show up to take care of Iraq for them. Just war theory thus becomes necessary, and they must wade up to their hips into the raw sewage of political trickery and frauds in attempt to build up public support for a ruinously destructive invasion of Iraq, since ‘god works through people only' and therefore people must conquer Iraq. With god's permission and blessing of course. With the complete confidence that it is a ‘just war' according to ‘just war theory', for by book quoting some moldy old philosophically null and void ancient war propaganda of the earliest Zionist state, we can prove that god sent people warring over and over again, since, as the Bible proves, gods don't go warring themselves but insist on sending people out to do that filthy job instead. This makes one wonder what is wrong with the sanity of gods, who after all, don't get their arms chopped off with swords, and while sitting in thrones in heaven don't need to concern themselves with being disemboweled. Only people need to worry about that, and gods send people out to do their warring, so worry they will.

Therefore, given how bankrupt the ‘just war' doctrine really is, we can see, then, that the ‘holy war' passages of the Bible are simply ancient war propaganda dressed up deceitful religious garb, and thus there really is no such thing as just war theology based on the ‘totality of the Bible' since in book quoting this laundry list of war mongering from the pages of the Bible, all that has been proved is that long ago people used deceitful propaganda techniques in war fare, like they are doing right now in our day and time, and not much is proved by quoting line after line from their deceitful ancient propaganda other than that you can book quote ancient military propaganda. You have thus proved, beyond any shadow of a doubt, how long people have been at this sort of thing, which is not an argument for ‘just war theory' but rather evidence that you can read and they could propagandize.

A few brief words in conclusion -

Now one might suppose that what is written above is ‘an argument for atheism' but I am not an atheist myself, no far from it. As an example of what I mean by this, you can consider the following simple argument in defense of my own personal faith, and which informs what you have just read above. There are many examples I could give here, but I am going to just refer to one of the most dramatic. Two years ago I got the determination in my heart that I was going to ‘protest the Summit of the Americas' that took place in Quebec city on the Earth Day weekend of April 2001. On Friday evening and on into Saturday afternoon I went on a marathon email spamming session, where I sent out a ‘press release' that stated that I was going to be part of the unfurling of a giant banner made out of clouds that would be shaped like a wing, which would appear over the Sahara desert, or Eden as I call it, during the Summit of Americas. You know how people like to unfurl banners, right. Well this one would be shaped like the Eden Wing and would be thousands of miles long. Crazy idea right. But as I said, I have a long, long, long history here, and so the thought of asking God to do something for me, during that Summit is not a queer idea to me, just one of those things you do. If you follow the link you can read that foolish press release, perhaps the worst press release anyone has ever sent out about anything ever. You see I do have this naive gullible streak in my personality. Get used to it. As the last two years have gone by I have become more and more horrified and more and more appalled by this place, I have become increasingly cynical, and thus I think I sound more intelligent than I used to when I was credulous and gullible (isn't it funny how that cynicism sounds so much more intelligent than that gullibility?)

If you follow the link you can read the press release announcing that Wing Banner, and then you can see photos of the Wing as it unfurled on April 22nd, 2001, Earth Day, the perfect symbolic day to unfurl a Wing Banner over Eden, or so I thought. You can watch videos of this wing forming over the desert.

Those who would like to quarrel with me over that wing should bring forward their arguments then, and explain how someone can first send out all those emails to the press and newsgroups and wherever else they went, announcing that wing, and then (call me lucky) have a wing to show for it, made of clouds, just like it was supposed to be, unfurled like a giant protest banner over Eden on Earth Day, 2001. And please, reasonable arguments here, if you feel the need to quarrel with me about it, and let's refrain from such worthless hit as ‘character assassination', threats of ridicule or excommunication, and other such bankrupt tactics that people employ when they have no real argument. As I said there are many other stories I could share with you, but this one is the most dramatic, and does not rely on simply ‘my word' but rather was very public. So then I suggest that asking God to commit genocide is the way to go, if this is what you want, and if God won't do it, well I guess you will have to do it yourself, and then just tell people that some god told you to do it, and then put that shit you wrote into the Bible, so that hypocrits today have something to mindlessly book quote when they want to invade Iraq or give support for the extra judicial murders committed by those rogue Zionists of Israel, who are, after all, building that Zion of theirs with oppression, murder and theft, who are building that New Jerusalem of theirs with violent bloodshed, while book quoting Numbers and Leviticus to justify their wicked policies. Asking a god to do it for you would be a lot easier, but then these people are violent atheists who cynically use what is supposed to be holy as a propaganda crutch for their ruthless agendas, whether it be the invasion of the oil fields of Iraq or the oppression of people who were living for thousands of years on land that the Zionists now want to steal.

In short, go ask a god, and if a god consents to help you, let a god fight a gods own battles. If this doesn't work out for you, then do it yourself and tell many lies and commit fraud, deceit, perjury, present one sided evidence while silencing all dissent, you know, just do what you have to do...

As for me, I am looking for a War God myself right now, not because I want to go warring myself (God forbid) but since these hypocrites are to arrogant to pay attention to the warnings they were given on Earth Day, I think perhaps it is just about time for them to meet a real War God, you know the type that does its own warring, unlike that other useless block of wood that they call a god, that does nothing...


The Eden Wing page

Jeremiah rejects Leviticus in the Torah

Dueling prophets - Hosea versus Elijah

Hosea condemns the slaughter of the Tribe of Benjamin in Judges

Genocide and Ressurectino in the Bible

The contradictory book of Joshua

The late date of the composition of the Torah

The racist origins of the Christmas myth

The Bible Commentary Index page

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do the world a favor bh Sunday, Mar. 16, 2003 at 4:23 PM
is zionism a form of racism? bh Sunday, Mar. 16, 2003 at 4:52 PM
wow wow Sunday, Mar. 16, 2003 at 5:11 PM
Sick of the Lies Another Concerned Citizen Sunday, Mar. 16, 2003 at 5:48 PM
Uh, concerned citizen... Sheepdog Sunday, Mar. 16, 2003 at 5:52 PM
Reply to Sheepdog Another concerned citizen Sunday, Mar. 16, 2003 at 6:23 PM
Well. thanks. Sheepdog Sunday, Mar. 16, 2003 at 6:35 PM
Looney as a bat... Another Concerned Citizen Sunday, Mar. 16, 2003 at 7:20 PM
the press release bh Sunday, Mar. 16, 2003 at 8:20 PM

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