“Many false prophets will arise and deceive many, and because of the increase of evildoing, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved.” Matthew 24:11-13
The love of many is growing cold in America.
There were several major news stories in the last few weeks that made this clear. The first was the resolution of the filibuster battle. Moderates like John McCain deserve our prayers because the religious right’s leaders are threatening retaliation against those who ended the filibuster battle. This is not entirely new – James Dobson threatened the re-election campaigns of six senators a few months ago. No where in the Bible does Jesus threaten anyone with retaliation. The Sermon on the Mount specifically preaches against it. Even for those who put Jesus to death, he pleaded with the Father to forgive them “for they know not what they do”.
It is all too convenient for the religious right to claim that God is with them when they win, and that Satan is behind it when they lose. Throughout history, people have decried anyone they disagreed with as the anti-Christ or un-Christian. We are all fallible human beings and we might all be upset when we lose something we fought for, but threatening retaliation is not the action of someone who is following Christ. It is the action of someone seeking the kingdoms here on earth that Jesus rejected.
The second news story concerns the allegations of mishandling the Koran at the prison in Guantanamo Bay. The Bush administration arrogantly blamed Newsweek for the deaths that occurred in riots over the story and demanded they retract it, which they did. A week later we learned that some desecration of the Koran did take place, that allegations of flushing it down a toilet were in fact made, but have not been proven, and that the Pentagon was aware of it the entire time the Bush administration made their statements. This story comes shortly after new details of prisoner abuse at the U.S. military prison in Afghanistan became public. I hope that James Carville does not mind if I paraphrase him, but “it’s the torture, stupid“. The torture and abuse at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, and Afghanistan, and of prisoners who were sent to countries where torture is allowed, are all acts of pure evil which the religious right in America has never stood up and denounced. They will never denounce the administration ultimately responsible for the torture, but will continue to deceive many by denouncing members of the US Congress who represent their constituencies instead of them.
The third news story is that of the Air Force Academy conducting an investigation of Christian persecution. This is not the Christian persecution that Pat Robertson claims, it is an investigation of Christians persecuting people of other faiths here in the United States where we are supposed to be guaranteed freedom of religion. Guantanamo Bay may be only the beginning.
The love of many has grown cold in America. In the face of all this evildoing, it is difficult to persevere, difficult to love, difficult to forgive. One of the purposes of evil is to cause us to fight evil with evil, and thereby become evil ourselves. But we have examples among these stories and many more of what we will become if we do.
We can stand up to the evil as Christians by following the examples that Jesus set for us. God will lead each of us in different ways, but if we let Him, He will lead us to resist evil, and deliver us from it. So we must persevere to the end so that we may be saved. And most of all, we must pray.[thanks again to Barb]
One tool we need in resisting evil, is to realize what is happening with the US media. It has been bought out, with a disturbing amount of foreign ownership. We need to come to grips with just how much we, as a people and as Christians, are being manipulated.
according to Al Martin, certain editorial staff of Newsweek – Michael Isikoff, Mark Hosenball and Steve Emory – are shills for Bush administration politics, like Jeffrey Gannon. Emory, Martin reports, was the author of articles in the ’90’s protesting that Richard Secord was uninvolved with Iran-Contra; that Oliver North smuggled no drugs and was uninvolved, and Iran-Contra never happened.
Martin cites Al Jazeera’s headline photo of the three Newsweek editors and a story maintaining that there is no way this story would be in Newsweek without sanction by someone among the Bush administration.
He says the story even originated in the Department of Defense, maintaining that it related to ￼the Gallup-Harris poll published a few days before the Koran story, which supposedly reflects working class and lower intelligence Republicans supporting Bush also urge strong measures in interrogating Middle Eastern terrorists.
Martin affirms Aljazeera’s position, that the D.O.D. even wanted the reaction, in the Muslim world: “Why? Because things were actually getting calmer. The coalition forces were actually gaining some measure of control, particularly in Iraq. This destabilized the situation both in Iraq and Afghanistan, and provided an excuse for the continuing presence of those forces at a time when there are increasing calls, particularly out of moderate and fiscally conservative Congressional Republicans, to begin to scale back U.S. presence in Iraq and Afghanistan because of its enormous cost.”
Martin agrees with Al Jazeera, finding it laughable that Newsweek even was chagrined, because the Department of Defense can muster claims for increasing forces and spending the $150-$200 billion a year it takes to stay there, via further budget deficits.
Martin reminds us of the Russian word ‘provokatsia’ – provocation to meet a desired political end – and maintains that such was the heart of the Newsweek story.
By the way, I have begun relying on Aljazeera for current news. They are the only ones running Scott Ritter’s story announcing how the Bush administration plans to begin bombing Iran in June.