By Doug Newman
May 28, 2007
Posted at Liberty
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RB, an old friend of mine, caused quite a stir recently when he wrote the following in a letter to the editor:
“In the most recent Republican presidential debate, the loudest applause of the evening came when Rudy Giuliani rebuked Ron Paul’s suggestion that America’s long-term foreign policy of Middle East intervention might have helped to motivate the 9/11 attacks.
“Why is that such a far-fetched idea? Yes, I know it’s nicer to think that in playing our self-appointed role of “global cop,” we are on the side of God and justice. But many people in the world hate us, and it’s not simply because they oppose our money and freedom. Many European countries also enjoy money and freedom yet mind their own business. Why don’t we see more terrorist attacks in those countries?”
RB’s letter was more profound than he knows. He is a long-time believing Christian who calls it right about why so many people around the world hate us. Christians need look no further than the Book they say they believe is God’s Word to find the answer to the rhetorical question RB leaves us with.
When he was running for president in 2000, GW Bush was asked what philosopher had the most influence on him. He answered: “Jesus Christ … He touched my heart.”
Based on just these few words, millions of Christians drank Bush’s Kool-Aid. I am not talking about those people who voted for him because they thought he was just slightly less repulsive than Gore. I am talking about all those church zombies who, in the words of one observer, want to add him to the Holy Trinity.
However, if they were to refer to the Bible, they would quickly find that neither the Iraq War nor the War on Terror have any basis there.
What goes around comes around. You reap what you sow (Galatians 6:7) and if you live by the sword you die by the sword. (Matthew 26:52) When you throw your weight around militarily to the extent that this country does, you cannot help but have a whole lot of folks hating on you.
In 2002, Bush groupies grew quite wroth when France chose to sit out the Iraq War. Instead of hating on France to the extent that they did, they should have learned a lesson from what France did about terrorism. In the late 1950s, France had a problem with terrorism in Algeria. And then, when France pulled out of Algeria, their terror problem went away.
America is not hated because we are free and pure and good and because we went to bed on September 10, 2001 minding our own business. We are hated because of our arrogance and our belief that we are a superpower. We may be a superpower in our eyes but we are not in God’s eyes. Proverbs 16:18 counsels that, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”
Empires always fall. In the Bible, the Babylonian, Assyrian, Persian, Greek and Egyptian empires all fell. Rome, which ruled Judea so harshly in biblical times, would eventually fall. Mongolia, in the 13th century, was the mightiest empire on earth. The Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires are gone. Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Belgium and Holland have all cut their colonies loose. The Soviet Empire is under the bridge. What is left of the British Empire has a smaller population than Aurora, Colorado, where I live. Japan got into the empire business in 1931 and got out in 1945. Hitler’s 1000 Year Reich came up 988 years short.
The concept of Empire is not even a Christian one. In Matthew 4, the devil tempts Jesus twice and Jesus resists twice. Then, the devil makes Jesus an offer he believes He most certainly cannot refuse: all the kingdoms of the earth. Again, Jesus says, "I don't think so."
So where do so many Americans get the idea that America has some sort of mandate from heaven to rule the world?
I know, I know. There are all sorts of evil regimes out there. However, it is not America’s job to implement “regime change”. Acts 17:26 tells us that God determines the times and places where people shall live. God, not Bush, is The Decider in these matters. (1)
Also, if we are to emulate Jesus Christ, we must reject the initiation of force. Jesus only initiated force one time, and that was to boot the moneychangers out of the temple. This was His prerogative. However, He was not acting to solve some social problem or to “rid the world of evildoers.”
“Pre-emption” is just another word for initiating force. When we act pre-emptively, we become just like the people we call our enemies. An open-ended War on Terror based on “getting them before they get us” is not at all Christlike. Proverbs 6:17 tells us that God hates "hands that shed innocent blood."
But what about 9/11? On that horrible day, if you believe the official story, 19 Islamo-psychopaths commandeered four jetliners. (2) If they had intended to take over America, they would not have committed suicide in the process. They were not backed up by any invading army or naval armada. It was an act of terror, not an act of war. Terrorists do not even control Afghanistan, so the idea that they are going to take over America, let alone the world, is preposterous.
So why do so many evangelical Christians support GWB and his War on Terror? Scripture tells of a day when people will no longer want to hear God’s Truth, but will surround themselves with all manner of ear-ticklers. (II Timothy 4:2-4) It is the duty of Christians to discern and to beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing. (Matthew 7:15-20)
In the early 1990s, the Washington Post prompted widespread indignation when it stated that evangelical Christians tended to be “uneducated” and “easily led”. Was Pravda on the Potomac right?
(1) For an excellent account of why God let the Nazi episode happen, read Hitler's Cross by Erwin Lutzer.
(2) For the record, I believe that the official story on 9/11 is a lie. This is not the result of some “brain snap.” It was the result of somewhat extensive research over a few years' time. While I do not know exactly what happened on that horrible day, I do know what didn’t happen. The best source for 9/11 truth is the documentary “Loose Change”, which is 90 minutes long and can be found here on Google Video. While its approach might appear somewhat leftist, it is extremely thorough and impeccably well-documented.
Why do we put President Bush on such a pedestal? I wonder if part of the explanation is that we don't read history, we don't read our Bibles, and we don't read the classics (like Great Expectations & Crime & Punishment, books that teach you to concentrate and think), so we are not developing our mental capabilities. Thus, we can not think well and we can't compare events of today with previous generations, to see how we are being lied to and manipulated. We sense things are not right, with high crime, a devalued dollar, abortion, etc., but we don't know what, and are AFRAID to even consider that it could be our leaders. If we discover that the leaders that we trust and (foolishly) depend upon for safety are behind many of our problems, we would be panic stricken!! Who would there be to rescue us? We have grown so spiritually and emotionally limp we can imagine God using us to effect positive change, and we wouldn't know what to do anyway! So, we must avoid reading history, the Bible, the classics, and good articles like yours, and continue to vainly hope that our leaders are not lying to us after all! We are like the ancient Israelites who trusted their corrupt kings when it was clearly evident that God was not happy with them. God help us! -- WB
Freely Speaking: Essays by Doug Newman