My Marine son volunteered to serve when President Clinton was still in office. Clinton’s greatest sin was getting a blow job in the Oval Office. The next guy kept his pants zipped but fucked the world. Then he tried to kill my son.
We were not at war in 1999, when my son volunteered right out of high school to serve his country. I even wrote a book about learning to become a marine’s dad that became a New York Times bestseller after Oprah interviewed me. Then came 9/11. My son went to war, again and again and…
You see by then white right wing misinformed evangelicals had become the bedrock of a far right Republican Party and they elected the worst president in American history. These are the people I grew up with. I even became a spokesperson for them and a nepotistic side-kick leader along with my evangelist farther on the religious right before I fled to become — what I now describe — as an atheist who believes in God. (See my new book on the subject.)
Fact: White middle class right wing ageing evangelicals (the Fox News and Christianity Today magazine/Franklin Graham crowd) are the heart of the Republican Party.
Fact: They had just elected George W Bush based on a series of “moral” litmus tests unrelated to what makes good presidents.
Claim that you were against legal abortion, women’s rights, gay rights and you were electable. Question evolution, deny climate change and claim you were a born again Christian, personally ushered into the Kingdom of God by Billy Graham no less, and you were almost there!
You were elected president even if you were a fool elected by village idiots who believe in Noah but not the Big Bang. You were president even if you’d swallowed the pro-Israel nonsense that saw biblical prophecy being “fulfilled” in the Middle East by the state of Israel creating an apartheid state and annexing the West Bank. You were president even if you’d learned nothing from Vietnam and every American needless stupid dumb and dumber international “American Exceptionalism” escapade since.
So when the twin towers fell your next thought was: How do I use this to forward my idiot evangelical delusional agenda? (Sure, I’m stupid by worldly standards, but, hey, I’m a fool for Christ!) So you listened to a bunch of fascistic neoconservative warmongers hooked to a vast pro-Israel military industrial complex and said: “Here’s an idea: attack Iraq!” That way I can protect Israel, grab oil, flex muscle and teach those dirty unsaved Arabs a lesson and, oh yes, bring democracy to the Middle East…
…or uh, something.
When serving the cause of Jesus I’ll need to tell a few lies about weapons of mass destruction… and never mind that the immediate result of attacking Iraq for no reason will be the total exodus, murder and destruction of the small Christian minority there that’s been protected by Saddam. They aren’t “real Christian” anyway, not like Billy Graham-style born again saved folks are, they’re Catholics or something… and they are Arabs! They aren’t even good Arabs like the Saudi royal family that I’ve protected as they spread their Wahhabism/Muslim fundamentalist hate around the globe with American oil money…
- The Middle East is in flames while vets watch as gains they bled for evaporate.
- The Israel/American irritant has finally exploded into a conflagration that will eventually take a world war to contain…
- The total destruction of the Middle East is now underway as the outline of the spreading Shia-Sunni conflict emerges,
- Egypt is back under military rule,
- Syria is in a civil war,
- Libya… Oh what’s the point of even bringing that up?
- Iraq is about to fall to Muslim extremists that make the Taliban seem as harmless as Episcopalians arguing about the ordination of women,
- And not only have we lost both the Afghan war and the Iraq war…
- We’ve created a hundred year-plus conflict with extremist Islam stretching across the globe.
Good luck with those arms’-length no-boots-on-the-ground drone strikes! There aren’t enough missiles in the world to fix what that Stupid Deluded Evangelical Bible-Believing Fact-Denying Little Idiot and his cretinous evangelical white rube middle class voting base – that later became the gun toting “open carry” school shooting fans-NRA lickspittle Tea Party – and their neoconservative “advisers” hath wrought.
Here’s what Sarah Palin’s “America” and Billy Graham’s “America” and Franklin Graham’s “America” need to learn: As I write in my new book—
Jesus rejects tribalism, literalism, group identity, specific religions, and gatekeepers as well as his Jewish identity. The phrase “Salvation is from the Jews” is paradoxically a reference to his liberating departure from tribal identity in favor of common humanity.
What is the implication of Jesus-centric non-theological, non-dogmatic salvation? It’s the abolishing of exclusion of the other as “unsaved.”…
…In other words Jesus decouples the credulous attachment to a tribal geography and religion-based identity. Jesus declares we’re all one family. Goodbye, Abrahamic covenant, Jerusalem, Mecca, Rome and Constantinople. Au revoir, holy places, River Ganges, passports, borders, empires, Lourdes, clan, tribe, Hellenism, Russian imperial ambition and American exceptionalism. No more chants of “USA! USA!” for, “a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth.” According to Jesus, there never was and never will be a “greatest country on earth,” or a “city set on a hill” or a “chosen people.”
Do I sound angry to you? You bet I’m angry! Have you stood next to a father of a soldier lying in a coffin as that weeping father collapsed to the ground while your son was at war? I have.
You got a problem with anger at murder?
More than 5000 Americans – soldiers and contractors — were murdered (yes that’s right, murdered is the word for people killed in war for no reason), 40,000 wounded, 100,000-plus damaged for life, hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis were killed, and millions more will now die in the global conflict emerging with “W” stamped on it.
So go on, visit the 9/11 Memorial and look around… Take a picture.
Then when the new Islamist caliphate is established from Iraq through what was once Syria to the Mediterranean and is leaving behind a trail of severed heads; when Israel is an apartheid state that makes South Africa seem like Oprah at her most empathetic; when our overstretched military — full of kids like my son was — is being shot at perpetually across the globe; when the Islamists finally get the bomb and explode one in an American city…
…thank a Bible-study-leading, born-again, lifetime subscriber to Christianity Today magazine, hug a white aging middle class well-meaning nice evangelical who would probably give you the shirt of her back and is the salt of the earth… and– a fool.
- Frank Schaeffer is a writer. His latest book —WHY I AM AN ATHEIST WHO BELIEVES IN GOD: How to give love, create beauty and find peace
Available now on Amazon