War and Prison: Instruments of Christian Darwinism

Posted on April 29, 2011


Author: Stan Moody

A wise person once said something to me that I never forgot: “All evil goes back to ‘I want to be somebody.’”

Reflect on the evil that has occurred in your own life or on the evil that you have inflicted on others. At the root is the scramble to become or to remain somebody by shoving aside others who stand in your way.

The evangelical wing of the Christian church apparently is not above wanting to be somebody.

Impact of the Christian Right on Foreign and Domestic Policy:

For 25 years, I have been writing about the impact of the Christian Right on American policy in hope that professing Christians would return to the doctrine of the Kingdom of God embraced by the early church fathers. That doctrine envisions a spiritual citizenship that illogically transcends that of the nation-state by loving your enemies, doing good to those who oppress you and viewing the roots of evil as imbedded in the human imagination.

I fear that it is too little too late.

Abuse of Power:

The political drift in America is less about right vs. left and more about the rationalization of abuse of power. While it is true that secularism has its hidden agendas, the evangelical Christian church has committed a far greater sin – abandonment of belief in the sovereignty of the god it professes to worship in favor of its own ability to enforce by law the appearance of morality to appease that god.

If that all sounds too complicated for popular consumption, suffice it to say that the god of the evangelical Christian church has devolved into an impassive judge who accepts or rejects people by how they voted on abortion, gay marriage or minimum wage.

I have often called that judge, “The Great Gargoyle in the Sky.”

The Bible by Force:

David Barton, the religious guru for Republican ideologues, believes that the 4 legs of society – government, the judiciary, the family and the economy – must be governed by the Bible, a treatise that readily lends itself to smorgasbord consumption. Governors and presidential hopefuls who declare themselves as evangelical Christians are now intent on bringing God back into the public square by whatever means necessary.

That they may lie, cheat and use every deceptive strategy to get there is simply the means justifying the end, the end being Jesus’ instructions to His disciples, “Occupy ‘till I come” (Luke 19:13). In context, Jesus was not telling Christians to run the nation and the world. He was telling His listeners by parable to invest wisely and be diligent in attending to their own business.

The best way to occupy, especially if you are the military power in the world, is to bomb banana republics into submission and to imprison those whose behavior is open rebellion against the hypocrisy of pseudo morality. On both counts, we have done exceptionally well.

We pick on defenseless nations for violation of human rights while leaving alone such monsters as China. We support the apartheid of the Israeli government against the Palestinian Territories on the fallacious grounds that the boundaries of the modern nation-state of Israel were set by agreement between God and Abraham.

As well, with 5% of the world’s population, America boasts 25% of its incarcerated prisoners. Tough-on-crime neocons, reeling under the cost of corrections, now want to let half the prisoners out under something called “right on crime.”

The proof of compassion will be unveiled as these released prisoners violate. Federal and state governments are systematically extending minimum sentencing. We are not long from life imprisonment or the death penalty as the final solution for 3-time losers who urinate on the sidewalk.

The Step Beyond Theocracy – Dominionism:

Barton is not a believer in theocracy. He is a believer in dominionism, a step beyond theocracy. War and prison become ready instruments of dominionism.

Evangelical dominionism – “occupy ‘till I come” – expresses itself most readily in the police state. The false premise of WMD’s employed to obliterate Iraq were incidental to dominion over the “axis of evil,” just as the false premise of deficit reduction is incidental to obliterating employee bargaining rights.

The particularism implied in the rise of the American police state suggests a white, pseudo-Christian, male-dominated, legalistic society, the hidden agenda behind limited government too enfeebled to advocate for human rights. It is strangely Darwinian in nature.

Survival of the Self-Righteous:

What Darwin posited as “natural selection,” evangelical dominionists are jumpstarting as aggressive selection. What Darwin labeled “survival of the fittest,” evangelical dominionists have adopted as survival of the righteous – by definition, the self-righteous.

One wonders if it is possible that America is on the cusp of a “Fourth Reich.”

• Barton’s Bunk, AlterNet, April 18, 2011.
• Newt Gingrich and Pat Nolan. Washington Post, January 7, 2011.

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