The Military-Evangelical Complex

Military-Evangelical

There are evangelical Christians whom I love and respect. Nonetheless, it’s time to face this: The military-evangelical complex is not just politically dangerous; it’s a corruption of the Judeo-Christian tradition and thus of Western Civilization itself.

Definition

Let’s start by defining this clearly: The military-evangelical complex is an intricate partnership between the US government and thousands of churches, typically evangelical. These churches support and glorify government-authorized violence. Their messages to their members are clear: To enforce laws is noble and righteous; to bleed on a foreign battlefield is godly; the US military is a great force of goodness upon Earth; America, manifested especially through military action, is God’s special tool.

Every American past high-school age should recognize this description, but to be clear, here are a few exemplary images:

  • It is announced in church that Johnny has joined the military. He is asked to stand and is heartily applauded by all.
  • Memorial Day church services (or Veteran’s Day or July 4th) feature dedicated sermons and proud displays of flags and uniforms. There is effusive praise for soldiers, casting them as godly heroes.
  • Military-themed ceremonies are held before every major sporting event.
  • Children are encouraged to choose “service” as a life plan; if not in war, at least enforcing state laws.
  • Enacting violence on behalf of the state is certain to get you public praise and pats on the back.
  • Government-ordered violence is prejudged to be good and right.
  • Funerals include the ritual touching of flags by military veterans.
  • Churches promote slogans like, “Jesus died to save us; soldiers die to keep us free.”
  • Rituals of saluting flags, singing anthems, and thanking soldiers for ‘service’ are obligatory.

Now, let’s be honest about this. Military service has become a sacrament in these churches; soldiers are the new missionaries, and wounded soldiers are the new martyrs.

And let’s be honest about something else: If we found records of such things in ancient inscriptions, we’d define them as the rituals of a military cult… and we would not be wrong.

How Did This Happen?

It happened because it was the easiest thing to do.

Christianity, however, was never meant to be easy. Not only did early Christians risk serious persecutions, but Jesus had warned them that “all men will hate you for my sake,” that they would be persecuted, and that they would “suffer for righteousness’s sake.” A follower of Jesus is supposed to lead mankind “into the light,” thus angering those who remain in darkness. (“He that dwells in darkness hates the light….”)

Most Christians, however, don’t want to suffer and don’t want to be hated. On top of that, leading mankind into the light is hard work. Alternatives to such things – easier ways – have always been popular.

And so, joining with the state – the biggest and most powerful entity – is the safest thing to do; once joined, no suffering and no hatred are required. And to gain that position, all you have to do is spin a theology that makes church-state partnership into a righteous thing.

Christians began making such arrangements just a few centuries after Jesus’s time. The Middle Ages had their versions, and modern times have theirs. And right now, among the most vocal advocates of Christianity, we have a military-evangelical complex.

And we all know what has supercharged this process over the past decade and a half: 9/11.

In a single day, people in uniforms were promoted into a new Hero caste. Minds stewing in fear skipped right past contrary facts and the lessons they had learned in the 1970s. (The Pentagon Papers, the Church Committee reports, the Gulf of Tonkin, etc.)

All of this gave Christian leaders an immediate opportunity to fill their pews and keep them full. So they jumped at it. Presently, they are clinging to it. Military leaders jumped at it too and have spent millions of dollars promoting it, notably at sporting events.

We Were Warned

There is a great deal more to say about this, and I am tempted to ramble on about the military-evangelical complex inverting the most fundamental elements of the Judeo-Christian tradition, how it turns government into an agent of sanctification, and how the Scriptures condemn it. But I shall not. I’ve made my point and I will leave it where it stands, adding only this:

As he was stepping down from the US presidency in 1961, Dwight Eisenhower warned about this. He talked about the threats of “an immense military establishment,” that it was “new in the American experience,” and that Americans “must not fail to comprehend [the] grave implications” of this “total influence – economic, political, even spiritual.”

And yes, this was the speech where he warned Americans to “guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence… by the military-industrial complex.”

But, like all the great warnings of history, Eisenhower’s were flatly ignored.

It was the easiest thing to do.

* * * * *

If you’ve enjoyed Free-Man’s Perspective or A Lodging of Wayfaring Men, you’re going to love Paul Rosenberg’s new novel, The Breaking Dawn.

It begins with an attack that crashes the investment markets, brings down economic systems, and divides the world. One part is dominated by mass surveillance and massive data systems: clean cities and empty minds… where everything is assured and everything is ordered. The other part is abandoned, without services, with limited communications, and shoved 50 years behind the times… but where human minds are left to find their own bearings.

You may never look at life the same way again.

Get it now at Amazon ($18.95) or on Kindle: ($5.99)

* * * * *

TheBreakingDawn

Paul Rosenberg

[Editor’s Note: Paul Rosenberg is the outside-the-Matrix author of FreemansPerspective.com, a site dedicated to economic freedom, personal independence and privacy. He is also the author of The Great Calendar, a report that breaks down our complex world into an easy-to-understand model. Click here to get your free copy.]

9 Replies to “The Military-Evangelical Complex”

  1. “The Road to Serfdom” by F.A. Hayek is also a good book.
    As to the strategy of the social-engineering that is now taking place, I would say that Huxley was more right than Orwell.

    DBP

  2. I see ‘1984’ as a guide used by our illustrious moron leaders to create a police state. Some of the crap that comes out of the obama administration constantly reminds me of the book.

  3. Back several years ago, when I read Josephus, I was not entirely surprised to find that Christians in the first century were considered to be totally ruined and useless philosophically for military service. Josephus was among other things a Jewish military man, and Jewish soldiers had enjoyed a long, proud tradition as intense fighting men who could hold their own against the best that the rest of the world had to offer.

    In the present, I have witnessed the practices described in the above post actually happening in church services. And, it seems that these practices have their roots in the very founding of the USA, with the pacifist Quakers being some of the lone dissenters in the late 1700s. Such practices may have waned during the Viet Nam era, but enjoyed a resurgence during the Reagan presidency, and especially following 911.

    I have mixed feelings about this topic. Having grown up in the WCG, it was very difficult to constantly hear such cliched statements made as “America has won its last war!” And “God has broken the pride of our power”. I did not want these statements to be true, and following the failure of 1975, they were proven to be false.

    I’m against the yellow pencilish “humans as automatons” concept. It would be very nice if all humans could be pacifists and at peace. Unfortunately, that is not the reality of our existence. The strong, the victors, get to make the rules. I’m convinced that pax Americana is not a bad thing. Though it is not Biblical, I much prefer the Evangelical Military Complex to the defeatist apocalyptic attitudes under which I grew up in the cult. But I also recognize the validity of the conscience-based lines of thought of others, which differ from my own.

    BB

    1. Bob, you wrote I’m convinced that pax Americana is not a bad thing. Though it is not Biblical, I much prefer the Evangelical Military Complex to the defeatist apocalyptic attitudes under which I grew up in the cult. But I also recognize the validity of the conscience-based lines of thought of others, which differ from my own.
      ____________________________
      Bob, the Evangelical Military Complex is no different than apocalyptic armstrong complex. It is all a lie. How about they preach what Christ did? Love your neighbor, make peace with those that hate you. That would be a beginning as to living and walking the walk that Christians always yap about.

      ____________________________

      “It was a time of great and exalting excitement. The country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing and spluttering; on every hand and far down the receding and fading spread of roofs and balconies a fluttering wilderness of flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers and sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy emotion as they swung by; nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to patriot oratory which stirred the deepest deeps of their hearts, and which they interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of applause, the tears running down their cheeks the while; in the churches the pastors preached devotion to flag and country, and invoked the God of Battles beseeching His aid in our good cause in outpourings of fervid eloquence which moved every listener. It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen rash spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast a doubt upon its righteousness straightway got such a stern and angry warning that for their personal safety’s sake they quickly shrank out of sight and offended no more in that way.

      Sunday morning came — next day the battalions would leave for the front; the church was filled; the volunteers were there, their young faces alight with martial dreams — visions of the stern advance, the gathering momentum, the rushing charge, the flashing sabers, the flight of the foe, the tumult, the enveloping smoke, the fierce pursuit, the surrender! Then home from the war, bronzed heroes, welcomed, adored, submerged in golden seas of glory! With the volunteers sat their dear ones, proud, happy, and envied by the neighbors and friends who had no sons and brothers to send forth to the field of honor, there to win for the flag, or, failing, die the noblest of noble deaths. The service proceeded; a war chapter from the Old Testament was read; the first prayer was said; it was followed by an organ burst that shook the building, and with one impulse the house rose, with glowing eyes and beating hearts, and poured out that tremendous invocation

      God the all-terrible! Thou who ordainest! Thunder thy clarion and lightning thy sword!

      Then came the “long” prayer. None could remember the like of it for passionate pleading and moving and beautiful language. The burden of its supplication was, that an ever-merciful and benignant Father of us all would watch over our noble young soldiers, and aid, comfort, and encourage them in their patriotic work; bless them, shield them in the day of battle and the hour of peril, bear them in His mighty hand, make them strong and confident, invincible in the bloody onset; help them to crush the foe, grant to them and to their flag and country imperishable honor and glory —

      An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless step up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister, his long body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head bare, his white hair descending in a frothy cataract to his shoulders, his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale even to ghastliness. With all eyes following him and wondering, he made his silent way; without pausing, he ascended to the preacher’s side and stood there waiting. With shut lids the preacher, unconscious of his presence, continued with his moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words, uttered in fervent appeal, “Bless our arms, grant us the victory, O Lord our God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!”

      The stranger touched his arm, motioned him to step aside — which the startled minister did — and took his place. During some moments he surveyed the spellbound audience with solemn eyes, in which burned an uncanny light; then in a deep voice he said:

      “I come from the Throne — bearing a message from Almighty God!” The words smote the house with a shock; if the stranger perceived it he gave no attention. “He has heard the prayer of His servant your shepherd, and will grant it if such shall be your desire after I, His messenger, shall have explained to you its import — that is to say, its full import. For it is like unto many of the prayers of men, in that it asks for more than he who utters it is aware of — except he pause and think.

      “God’s servant and yours has prayed his prayer. Has he paused and taken thought? Is it one prayer? No, it is two — one uttered, the other not. Both have reached the ear of Him Who heareth all supplications, the spoken and the unspoken. Ponder this — keep it in mind. If you would beseech a blessing upon yourself, beware! lest without intent you invoke a curse upon a neighbor at the same time. If you pray for the blessing of rain upon your crop which needs it, by that act you are possibly praying for a curse upon some neighbor’s crop which may not need rain and can be injured by it.

      “You have heard your servant’s prayer — the uttered part of it. I am commissioned of God to put into words the other part of it — that part which the pastor — and also you in your hearts — fervently prayed silently. And ignorantly and unthinkingly? God grant that it was so! You heard these words: ‘Grant us the victory, O Lord our God!’ That is sufficient. the whole of the uttered prayer is compact into those pregnant words. Elaborations were not necessary. When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory — must follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening spirit of God fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!

      “O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle — be Thou near them! With them — in spirit — we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it — for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.

      (After a pause.) “Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits!”

      It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said.”
      -Mark Twain

  4. What’s the difference between yogurt and America?
    yogurt has culture

    What chafes me so much, is that if we have moved into this “Information Age”, why the hell do we as citizens of the good ‘ole USA have only lousy choices to pick a leader to uphold and protect our constitution? We have been voting for the lesser of two evils for far too long and I’m sick of it. With the internet at our finger tips, common sense would tell you that we all should be more able to make an informed decision, right? Yet, all we apparently have is a few asshats to choose from.

    I love this rant. God Bless America.

    DBP

    1. Agreed DBM. The American culture is sick. The people are stupid, and dress like shit because they have no self esteem. Corporations have taken over the government, and screw you at every turn.

      Societal pressures increase everyday as hope and change turns towards hopeless totalitarianism.

  5. Believe it ar not, I’ve never seen Network. There has been so many references to it recently, I’ll have to watch it this weekend.
    As to our current election, Donald Trump could be the lesser of two evils, but I just wished we could of had some other more down-to-earth billionare trying to buy the presidency, kind of like Richard Pryor in Brewster’s Millions. Damn, that would be so refreshing!
    None Of The Above.

    DBP

    1. You should have expected the Donald.

      Nietzsche said something that we should consider. It went something like this: That when you have a radical power (Obama), when that power is replaced it will be by an opposite radical power.

      Looked thru Google and for the life of me I cannot find the quote. Anyway, Trump don’t need to be bought off by the establishment. He can buy it.

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