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America struggles with its own evangelical Taliban (Left wing labeling alert)
Daytona Beach News Journal ^ | 08/02/2006 | Pierre Tristam

Posted on 08/02/2006 2:12:47 PM PDT by SirLinksalot

America struggles with its own evangelical Taliban

At this late stage of the Bush rapture, American evangelism is a lot like the Exxon Valdez: Massive, sloshing with oily energy and not a little drunk on its power as it steers through hazards of its own designs. The moment evangelicals began tearing down the church-state wall, the rubble became their shoals. The wreck will be ugly. It will take years to mend because, as one of their own, Minnesota's Rev. Gregory Boyd, recently put it: "Never in history have we had a Christian theocracy where it wasn't bloody and barbaric. That's why our Constitution wisely put in a separation of church and state." Meanwhile, too much damage is being done by policies keyed to the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" not to have lasting consequences abroad and at home.

The wreck's effects abroad are spreading. Remember William Boykin, the Army lieutenant-general who went around Christian congregations after Sept. 11, telling them how he knew that "my" God "was bigger than his" (one of Osama's lieutenants), "that my God was a real God, and his was an idol"? Instead of being relegated to sorting junk mail in a Pentagon basement, Boykin was promoted to undersecretary of defense for intelligence -- including the supervision of prison interrogations. It's "his" God against the jihadis now in Iraq and Afghanistan, and apparently "his" God against the Constitution or the Geneva Conventions.

The evangelical assault on secular values at home is no less dangerous than its Islamic variant. It's a difference of degrees, not substance. The difference is hard to see when evangelicals eagerly thump for blood-letting abroad or stage-manage it like Boykin and his crusading commander-in-chief do. John Hagee is a Texas evangelical and leader of that hybrid known as the Christian Zionist movement. He commands a huge following and the ear of politicians, Bush among them. Earlier this month Hagee led a rally of 3,500 evangelicals at a Washington hotel, where he called Israel's attacks on Lebanon a "miracle of God" and proof that Israel was doing God's work. Hagee was quoted in The Wall Street Journal as saying that for Israel to show restraint would violate "God's foreign policy statement" toward Jews. Bush sent Hagee a message of praise for "spreading the hope of God's love and the universal gift of freedom."

When he's not thumping for Israel, Hagee raises money for Republican causes and beats war drums in line with his clash-of-civilizations thesis. "This is a religious war that Islam cannot -- and must not -- win," he wrote in a recent book. He also sees the United States heading toward a nuclear confrontation with Iran, itself a fulfillment of a joyful promise: "The end of the world as we know it is rapidly approaching," he writes. "Rejoice and be exceedingly glad -- the best is yet to be." In other words, war is a good thing, rapturous and necessary and sealed with a kiss from God, as the world edges toward Armageddon. The Bush presidency is that evangelical view's self-fulfilling prophesy. Militants for Hezbollah, Hamas and the Taliban speak the very same language. Only the roles are reversed.

Gregory Boyd, author of those words in the first paragraph about every Christian theocracy's sorry history, is the sort of evangelical who wants to prevent a complete wreck. His profile appeared in the Sunday New York Times, yang to Hagee's Journal yin three days earlier. Boyd wants evangelicals out of politics, out of cheering for war and turning politics and patriotism into "idolatry." "America wasn't founded as a theocracy. America was founded by people trying to escape theocracies," he tells his Minnesota congregation. Boyd, writes The Times, "lambasted the 'hypocrisy and pettiness' of Christians who focus on 'sexual issues' like homosexuality, abortion or Janet Jackson's breast-revealing performance," as well as the claim the evangelicals alone know the right values. "All good, decent people want good and order and justice," he says. "Just don't slap the label 'Christian' on it."

Boyd and Hagee are the good cop and bad cop of American evangelism as it pulpits its way to 50 million congregants and beyond. The bad cop is winning right now. It's always easier to destroy than build. We should know. Boyd and Hagee have their twins all over the world of Islam, where theocratic thumping is the regressive rule. There, too, the likes of Hagee are winning. But that's not our battle. It's Islam's to resolve, if it can. Our battle is with our own domestic Taliban, if it doesn't sink us on those shoals first.

------------------------------------------

Tristam is a News-Journal editorial writer.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: ac; evangelical; israel; persecution; taliban; talibornagain; theocracy

1 posted on 08/02/2006 2:12:50 PM PDT by SirLinksalot
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To: SirLinksalot

But Mel Gibson has to apologize


2 posted on 08/02/2006 2:14:39 PM PDT by jbwbubba
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To: SirLinksalot
Oh those Taliban did make their nation the superpower of superpowers. (sarcasm)
3 posted on 08/02/2006 2:14:47 PM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: SirLinksalot
Pu-leeeee-ze

Is this clown for real?

The closest thing to an American Taliban I can think of --- and it's more humorous than threatening --- is the PC police!

4 posted on 08/02/2006 2:17:13 PM PDT by Publius6961 (overwhelming force behaving underwhelmingly is a waste.)
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To: SirLinksalot
Tristam is a News-Journal editorial writer.

Nope. Tristan is a hyper hysteric drama queen fully of patetically turgid prose and a repressed desire to write Gay ponography novels pretending to be a "Jounralist". Tristy here is merely lashing out at those who he fantasies are causing him to have to stay in the closet.

5 posted on 08/02/2006 2:17:21 PM PDT by MNJohnnie (Fire Murtha Now! Spread the word. Support Diana Irey. http://www.irey.com/)
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To: SirLinksalot
The wreck will be ugly. It will take years to mend because, as one of their own, Minnesota's Rev. Gregory Boyd, recently put it: "Never in history have we had a Christian theocracy where it wasn't bloody and barbaric.

Which government is that? History isn't exactly my thing but I don't ever recall any nation being a *Christian Theocracy*.

6 posted on 08/02/2006 2:17:36 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: SirLinksalot
Girly-man Butt-licking Bush Hater


7 posted on 08/02/2006 2:17:36 PM PDT by TexasCajun
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Comment #8 Removed by Moderator

To: SirLinksalot
Too much of this....

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Can lead to this.....

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

9 posted on 08/02/2006 2:18:45 PM PDT by AdvisorB (For a terrorist bodycount in hamistan, let the smoke clear then count the ears and divide by 2.)
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To: SirLinksalot
What a load of B.S. Trying to make it sound like Christians are a bigger threat to this country than the Taliban.

I would love for this author to go live in Iran and then come back and tell me about theocracy and the like. He could not even write what he has wrote in Iran. Much less in Afghanistan when it was ruled by the Taliban.

10 posted on 08/02/2006 2:18:45 PM PDT by yellowdoghunter (Vote out the RINO's; volunteer to help get Conservative Republicans elected!)
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To: SirLinksalot

Wow. It's hard to believe that so many stupid arguments can be strung together and printed in a newspaper somewhere.

The real Taliban shot women in the head for reading, fired cannons at Buddhist statues, enslaved a population with seventh century ideology, and killed and jailed anyone with an opposing viewpoint.

Our "Taliban" talked loud and bragged about their religion. Our "Taliban" said they'd fight to defend their culture and listed allies in their fight.

That's quite some comparison. Sounds like two peas in a pod. </sarcasm>


11 posted on 08/02/2006 2:18:58 PM PDT by redpoll (redpoll)
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To: Publius6961
The closest thing to an American Taliban I can think of --- and it's more humorous than threatening --- is the PC police!

The ACLU? Same goals, different techniques. And that's not humorous.

12 posted on 08/02/2006 2:19:01 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: ktown kat

What exactly is a religious zealot? I could make a case that liberals are every bit religious zealots as any group on the right.


13 posted on 08/02/2006 2:19:16 PM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: SirLinksalot

The journey springs from a promise Tristam made to himself when he became an American citizen in 1986 at age 22. He had emigrated to the U.S. in 1979, his family having escaped the Lebanese civil war. In introducing this series, he wrote: "I want to journey out from my past into the land I have chosen to be mine and immerse myself in its multi-meridian moods."

14 posted on 08/02/2006 2:20:35 PM PDT by TexasCajun
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To: SirLinksalot
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored,
He has loosed the fateful lightening of His terrible swift sword
His truth is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps
His day is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnish`d rows of steel,
"As ye deal with my contemners, So with you my grace shall deal;"
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel
Since God is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free, While God is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

15 posted on 08/02/2006 2:22:35 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
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To: SirLinksalot
America struggles with its own evangelical Taliban

From 1998...

THE MASSACRE IN MAZAR-I SHARIF

Funny... I don't see the resemblance.

16 posted on 08/02/2006 2:22:46 PM PDT by mewzilla (Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist. John Adams)
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To: Just mythoughts
What exactly is a religious zealot?

One of the definitions of *religion* according to Merriam-Webster, is *a system of beliefs*. Just try telling someone who doesn't beleve in God that they are exhibiting religious ferver and see what happens, but they are. Their system of beliefs dictates their worldview and their morals and actions. Every bit as real as someone with a religious faith in God.

17 posted on 08/02/2006 2:23:23 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: SirLinksalot

Yes, Christian ideology has ALWAYS gotten in the way of the US becoming a great nation. In fact, if it weren't for those meddling evangelicals, we might even be the greatest superpower in the world, upholding human and civil rights, giving billions to those less fortunate, spreading democracy to the world, defeating communism and...uh...fascism...and....um.....oh, wait......never mind.


18 posted on 08/02/2006 2:24:13 PM PDT by The Blitherer ("I left orders to be awakened at any time...even if I'm in a cabinet meeting." -Ronald Reagan)
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To: SirLinksalot

His name is Pierre!!! LOL!!!


19 posted on 08/02/2006 2:25:38 PM PDT by Niteranger68 (I gigged your peace frog.)
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To: SirLinksalot

Perhaps Pierre would care to prove his point. My suggestion is that he make an image of Mohamhead and place it in a jar of urine. Then he can take his creation on a tour of the mideast (or Detroit) where he can proudly display his work and get actual face to face feedback from the folks.


20 posted on 08/02/2006 2:26:36 PM PDT by cripplecreek (If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?)
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To: SirLinksalot

The difference between the Muslim countries and the USA is that we can tell our religious nuts to go jump off a cliff if we want to.


21 posted on 08/02/2006 2:28:53 PM PDT by WestVirginiaRebel (Common sense will do to liberalism what the atomic bomb did to Nagasaki-Rush Limbaugh)
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To: metmom

Good one. I remember one time posting the *Collegiate Merriam-Webster* definition for science and was written the riot act for their definition.


22 posted on 08/02/2006 2:29:03 PM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: WestVirginiaRebel

Exactly, and I've never had a fundamentalist Christian tell me that I had to convert or die.


23 posted on 08/02/2006 2:30:44 PM PDT by Mazda3Fan
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To: Just mythoughts

Try the M-W definition of *theory* sometime. But don't say you weren't warned.


24 posted on 08/02/2006 2:31:15 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: Mazda3Fan

With a knife held to your throat, no less.


25 posted on 08/02/2006 2:32:18 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: The Blitherer

Yeah, that *all men created equal* stuff, too.


26 posted on 08/02/2006 2:33:20 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: metmom

ok thanks...


27 posted on 08/02/2006 2:33:23 PM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: SirLinksalot

Note the French name of the author. What a bunch of written diahhrea that was. I'm dumber for having even read the first sentence of it, which was as far as I got before I felt brain cells draining out of my head faster than this Frog writer can write a tortured and over-wrought metaphor.


28 posted on 08/02/2006 2:35:17 PM PDT by MikeA (Not voting out of anger in November is a vote for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House)
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To: metmom
I don't ever recall any nation being a *Christian Theocracy*.

Depends on your definition. But for a great many centuries many nations enforced varieties of Christian belief.

And they were indeed all bloody and barbaric.

The problem was, of course, the enforcement of doctrine, not the nature of that doctrine.

Government-enforced monopolies of religion are bad for all concerned, including most especially the particular religion involved.

29 posted on 08/02/2006 2:38:50 PM PDT by Restorer
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To: SirLinksalot; All
For what it’s worth, this drama queen grew up in Beirut.
30 posted on 08/02/2006 2:40:00 PM PDT by dighton
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To: SirLinksalot

What amazes me is that this guy makes a living at this.


31 posted on 08/02/2006 2:44:11 PM PDT by Southside_Chicago_Republican (The moving finger writes and, having writ, moves on......)
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To: Restorer

But the problem was the government, not the Christian part. Those governments could have enforced other belief systems if they had wanted to. Christianity can't be blamed for the evil that is done in Christ's name by others just because it was the tool used. A brief reading of the Gospels and Jesus' own words would settle that. No way He justified that kind of behavior.


32 posted on 08/02/2006 2:48:13 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: MikeA
Pierre Tristam

About Me
I'm an editorial writer and columnist at the Daytona Beach News-Journal in Florida. The name notwithstanding, I'm not French except by education. I'm Arab by ethnicity (ex-Lebanese, to be precise), Jewish by intellect, Catholic by failed conviction, liberal by nature, and above all (and most gratefully, current presidency excepted), American by choice and nationality.... “Il n’y a rien de si dangereux qu’un homme indépendent comme moi, qui aime à rire et qui hait les sots.” [Voltaire]

http://www.blogger.com/profile/8713012

Anti-US article about Olympics

Anti-US/Bush/Captialism/religion article

Anti-Bush article comparing his re-election to the aftermath of a nuclear blast

Anti-Israel article about the war and equates Hezbollah to America’s neo-cons

Anti-US article about how terrible it is to live in America

33 posted on 08/02/2006 2:50:13 PM PDT by Tai_Chung
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To: SirLinksalot

All this idiot Tristram has to do is show all the deaths that Christians have caused in the last one hundred years in the name of Christianity as opposed to radical Islam. What religion flies airplanes into office buildings and kidnaps and kills journalists, workers, and other innocent civilians? Mr. Tristram, you are an extreme dope.


34 posted on 08/02/2006 2:51:40 PM PDT by driftless2
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To: metmom

Exactly. I've had various Christian groups send missionaries around, but they've always been very nice and have never been anything but polite. I'd hate to see a fundamentalist, is there any other kind, Muslim group come to my door looking for a convert.


35 posted on 08/02/2006 3:05:04 PM PDT by Mazda3Fan
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To: SirLinksalot
Never in history have we had a Christian theocracy where it wasn't bloody and barbaric

Where has there been a Christian theocracy? The papal states would qualify, but they weren't any more bloody or barbaric than any other government in their time. The commonwealth under Cromwell, while a theocracy, was much less bloody and barbaric than the Tudors or Stuarts who proceeded them.

36 posted on 08/02/2006 3:56:19 PM PDT by stop_fascism
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To: SirLinksalot

You can read dozen of articles like this any day of the week in this country, the authors and the publishers have no shame about it. The contrast with the Mel Gibson story is striking.


37 posted on 08/02/2006 10:22:54 PM PDT by jordan8
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To: metmom
But the problem was the government, not the Christian part.

I partially agree with you. The only problem is that this verges a little too close to the attitude of those Muslims who claim that any Muslim behavior of which they disapprove is by definition not "really Muslim."

During something like 75% of the history of Christianity "proper belief" was legally enforced over most of the area it controlled.

No other religion that I'm aware of, except Islam, for which it is 100%, has a record even close to that.

Obviously I agree with you about this being a misuse of the teachings of Christ and his immediate followers. However, I don't think Christianity, with its almost unique history of forcing belief on others, can be let off quite that easily. We really ought to examine what it is about our belief system that contributed to its being led astray for so long a time.

38 posted on 08/03/2006 3:56:23 AM PDT by Restorer
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