No! Christian Fascism
And The Nazi Legacy
By Juan Santos
06 November, 2006
2 of Apocalypse No! An Indigenist Perspective
“Apocalypse implies that the destruction and desecration of
the land and world is divinely and spiritually mandated. This is a fallacy,
a pernicious lie. This idea is dangerous to all living things.
“Rather, the activities
that encourage the end of the world, particularly through sowing fear,
enacting violence, waging war, degrading the environment, rampantly
hunting and killing animals, relentlessly chopping down trees, using
up all the resources and despoiling the environment itself, are acts
against the divine.
“I cannot find
other words for what is insisting itself to be said: The holy intent
is for us to cease and desist our destructive activities, and find all
the beautiful and sacred ways to sustain the natural world and to restore
“I hereby stand
with those who refuse the language and intentions of apocalypse.”
- Deena Metzger,
From Grief into Vision
“These are the
demons Christ cast out, spitting blood in the president’s ear.
He slips the black hood over his face, lifts his palms, his arms, opens
himself in the shape of the cross, and spins in one place until there
are no walls left standing, nothing between himself and the black night,
himself and the stars. He will send missiles and praises in the morning.
Jesus is coming soon. He will have no tongue, only a sword in his mouth.
He will not come to heal the Earth, but to destroy it.”
– Juan Santos,
from Poem for Lebanon
is nothing between us and the stars; almost nothing between us and the
fate of the Earth as they have foretold it, nothing between us and destruction;
The Clock stands at seven
minutes to midnight, seven minutes until nuclear holocaust.
Our chances are vanishing
in thin air. Global Warming, a force that breathes with all the power
of the Bomb itself, has the potential to destroy Life on Earth.
The great warming may have
already passed its tipping point; the button of irreversible mass extinction
may already have been pushed.
The air is invisible but
the signs are everywhere.
Some say we live in the Age
of Apocalypse, of the unveiling, the time of the disclosing of secrets,
of the plan for the destiny, the Final Solution, of the world.
Some see the potentials for
destruction as signs of the “last things” or end of things,
and celebrate them as a sign that the messiah draws near. For them,
their faith is confirmed, and an Earth ruled by the agency of Evil is
soon to meet its doom in a struggle for power of cosmic dimension.
Figures like mega-church
evangelist John Hagee, who some have dubbed Pastor Strangelove, believe
a nuclear attack by the US against Iran would set off a battle of Armageddon
in the Middle East; he and his allies are literally pushing the Bush
administration to attack for that reason.
They are, in a word, mad – but the biblical method that guides
them is the baseline logic of western civilization, a logic that they’ve
embraced, like a David Koresh or an Adolph Hitler, with the grip of
It’s been said that
by their fruits you shall know them, that our intentions are shown in
our actions and in the ultimate impact of our actions on others and
on the world. The Bush regime is the unripe fruit of Christian Fascism,
of planetary death.
Others read the signs differently;
with a different intent.
Corbin Harney, a spiritual
elder of the Shoshone nation, says:
“As I see it all around
me, the trees are dying out, our water is contaminated, and our air
is not good to breathe. Those are the reasons why today I'm trying my
best to come back to our ways of thousands of years ago.
“We have to come back
to the Native way of life. The Native way is to pray for everything,
to take care of everything. Our Mother Earth is very important. We can't
just misuse her and think she's going to continue. We can see what's
taking place: the animal life, the tree life, even the water is telling
us, but we're not paying attention to it.”
Millions in the US, and billions
world wide, are awakening to the potentials for destruction, and hope
to avert them.
But the utter inaction of
the Bush regime on issues like global warming is no more of an accident
than their nuclear bullying of Iran or the invasion and colonial occupation
of Iraq. Bush, too, is following the logic of the Christian apocalypse,
just as he follows the logic of empire.
means revealing what is hidden, to bring what is obscured into the light.
It is the purpose of this essay to reveal the depth of what Terence
Des Pres has called the systemic “dedication of life's energies
to the production of death,” that characterized Nazism and that,
as this essay asserts, also characterizes apocalyptic Christian Fascism
in the early 21st century.
Walter A. Davis suggests
that to deal with extreme developments, it is necessary to break the
mold of the everyday, to stand outside the paradigms of the “normal.”
remain within the orbit of neurosis and normalcy are unable to deal
with the present historical situation, which is defined by what happens
when traumatic events create catastrophic anxiety in a collectivity
threatened with psychological fragmentation and dissolution under the
sway of a nameless terror...”
The drama of Christian Fascism
is motivated by a fundamental terror, by the need to deny that terror
and to control and mitigate it through a resort to scapegoating and
the exercise of power. Davis lays bare the underlying dynamic:
“One dimension of any
traumatic event is the shock it brings to traditional ways of thinking.
That’s why the dominant response to any historical trauma is the
attempt to restore [fundamental social and cultural] guarantees…
to contain and interpret it… to limit the impact of the event
by picturing it as an aberration, a temporary departure from values
and beliefs that can always be recovered…”
The drama of the rise of
Christian Fascism is the drama of a cultural nervous breakdown in the
face of potential global destruction, of a psychosis that aims to cover
or “re-cover” a cultural identity – a social “normalcy”
– in the face of traumatic global developments that make “normalcy”
We have a choice to make,
and to make it we need to understand the myth of mass death that drives
the central religion of western civilization, and to understand the
systematic nature of the cultural war that is being waged as part of
the drama of a coming destruction.
We need to understand it
in depth, to venture into the heart of the apocalyptic darkness before
us, pierce its veil and reclaim our lost intelligence, so that we might
take clear, unequivocal action to reverse our course.
Chief Arvol Looking Horse
of the Lakota nation has told us:
“We have come to a
time and place of great urgency.
The fate of future generations rests in our hands…
It's our own choice -- each of ours and all of ours.
You yourself are the one who must decide.
You alone-- and only you -- can make this crucial choice.
Whatever you decide is what you'll be, to walk in honor or to dishonor
You can't escape the consequences of your own decision.
This essay is dedicated to
our survival, to the survival of Life on Earth, and to the indigenous
survivors of the American Apocalypse.
Part 1: “It
is dominion we are after.”
“We thank god that
it has come to us instead of to our enemies, and we pray that He may
guide us to use it in His way and for His purposes.” – President
Harry Truman on his decision to drop nuclear bombs on Japan.
When the world shattered
they closed themselves, folded in upon themselves, sought security in
the known; it was the beginning of the era of the great fear, the era
of atomic war. Joe McCarthy was their shaman, the one who would fix
the crack, bring everything back into order, under control.
They blamed everyone but
themselves, anything and everything but the white imperial “we”
– the “we” that people mean when they say “we”
invaded Iraq, or “we” are the “richest nation in the
world.” That same “we” had dropped the Bomb.
For them it wasn’t
real. For them it meant power, god’s will. It wasn’t a death
sentence for the world, for life on Earth; it was only a sentence on
the Others, the dangerous ones. And the sentence had been executed.
The world had not shattered,
it had not split, the Sun was still in the sky - not on this Earth:
the Sun was not boiling here, on this block, this street; the sun had
only spilled its force there, among the Others, the dark skinned Japanese.
“We” – they - still had bicycles and bobby socks,
Shetland ponies, fringed cowboy suits, white hats, the movies and Dad’s
Chevy. Everything was still “normal.”
But shadows were burnt into
The message was plain and
it could not be hidden. Millions read its writing. The world turned
upside down, millions spoke the unspoken, the forbidden: power comes
from the barrel of a gun: turn on, tune in, drop out: earth first: get
your laws off my body: and worse, Black Power, Red Power, Brown Power
and the rebirth of an Earth based spirituality rooted in non-Western
With the advent of the bomb,
the foundations of the culture had cracked; “civilization”
now threatened the foundation of life itself. Reality itself had imposed
the need to re-evaluate all values, to question the foundations of morality,
culture, purpose and the relationship of human beings to the Earth and
the millions of other living beings that are her creation.
People sought and demanded
new myths to live by, a new sense of who we are, where we come from,
and where we are going.
The questions were fundamentally
religious and ontological. The very foundations of the political world
and the world of production came also came under attack as people raised
the most basic questions about social organization; whose needs are
to be met; by whom; and on what terms. Everything came open to question.
For white middle class fundamentalist
Christians it meant that everything, therefore, had come under assault.
The Empire itself was threatened
with disintegration as hundreds of millions rose up in anti-colonial
struggles across the globe.
To listen to Christian radio
in the 60s and 70s was to hear an ongoing litany of a culture in disintegration;
the stunned litany of a religious white middle class that had become,
in its own mind, a victim – a victim of the savages, Blacks revolutionaries,
radical women, crazed gun-toting Indians, Brown Berets, LSD, birth control,
lesbians, gays, and New Age “occultists.”
The Christian Anti-Communism
Crusade urged its members to heed the advice of the Book of Ephesians:
"And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but
instead expose them."
For the emergent Christian
Right, it was not the Earth and Life itself that were threatened, it
was their place in the world as they knew it, their small power, the
rules they lived by that secured their position; their sense of belonging
in a world that no longer was.
They weren’t about
to take it lying down. Power and privilege were theirs by “right,”
by assumption, by training, by virtue of their race, class and culture.
“God” had “given” them “this great country”
to conquer. It was their manifest destiny, their prophecy, a populist
white version of the divine right of kings.
The world would get back
in its place. Or they would kill it, as surely as they had wiped out
or enslaved all the rest of the savages.
This faith was the very foundation
of their heritage. That’s what they mean when they say this is
a “Christian Nation.” That’s why, in the 1950s, they
added “one nation, under god” to the pledge of allegiance.
But by the time the 60s passed,
conservatism was in shambles, and white colonialist US culture was on
the defensive in every sphere.
Finally, Paul Weyrich, founder
of the Heritage Foundation and co-founder of the Moral Majority, called
for a retreat from politics and for a conservative re-grouping, for
the formation of a more conscious reactionary agenda.
What emerged was a drive
for a new drama, a new counter-counterculture, or an alternative counterculture,
as they called it, a drive to create a cult of normalcy whose aim was
to reverse the verdicts of the 60s and “reframe this struggle
as a moral struggle, as a transcendent struggle, as a struggle between
good and evil” along traditional Christian lines.
The means were to be the
building of “alternative” right wing counter-institutions
like Fox News, the Washington Times, a massive network of radical right
wing talk shows, counter-cultural efforts like home schooling, and massive
outreach to radical Christian fundamentalists of every persuasion, to
the Pentecostals, Evangelicals, and to the Catholic Charismatics.
They sought to spark and
capture a counter-imagination, to spawn a “culture war,”
a Christian Cultural Counter-Revolution to appeal to the fantasies of
those in the deepest denial. They wanted to crush, once and for all,
the religious, cultural and political questions of the 60s counterculture,
and to wipe away any memory of the verdicts it had rendered about the
nature of oppression, racism and genocide, ecological destruction, the
“one true god,” and the very nature of Western civilization.
It was to be a new movement
– with a vengeance.
The world was to be what
god said it was. “Civilization” and “civilized”
values would reign: no matter that it was only a moment until midnight
on the atomic clock; no matter global warming and the limits to growth
– no matter reality itself.
Today, the extreme Right
criticizes its opposition as “reality based,” holding that
reality is something created by action and power – ultimately
fascist action and fascist power backed by “god”–
nothing more and nothing less.
of the struggle “as a moral struggle, as a transcendent struggle,
as a struggle between good and evil,” would require not only the
delegitimization of bourgeois democratic institutions and the creation
of “alternatives,” but the waging of the fiercest kind of
counterattacks against post-Hiroshima culture in the US and anti-colonial
cultures around the world. Christian Fascist strategist Eric Heubeck
"We will maintain a
constant barrage of criticism against the Left. We will attack the very
legitimacy of the Left. We will not give them a moment's rest. We will
endeavor to prove that the Left does not deserve to hold sway over the
heart and mind of a single American. We will offer constant reminders
that there is an alternative, there is a better way. When people have
had enough of the sickness and decay of today's American culture, they
will be embraced by and welcomed into the New Traditionalist movement.
The rejection of the existing society by the people will thus be accomplished
by pushing them and pulling them simultaneously.”
This repressive “spiritual
warfare” is one of the hallmarks of Christian fascist practice
as they prepare the ground for the apocalypse. Disgraced former House
Speaker Tom DeLay – who believed the US invasion of Iraq would
open the gate to Armageddon, called the 2000 election a "battle
Katherine Yurica summed up
the Right’s new rules of engagement this way:
1) Falsehoods are not only
acceptable, they are a necessity. The corollary is: The masses will
accept any lie if it is spoken with vigor, energy and dedication.
2) It is necessary to be
cast under the cloak of "goodness" whereas all opponents and
their ideas must be cast as "evil."
Think: “War on Terror.”
3) Complete destruction of
every opponent must be accomplished through unrelenting personal attacks.
Think, among others, of Bill
Clinton, who the fascists see, amazingly enough, as a dangerous embodiment
of the 60s counterculture.
4) The creation of the appearance
of overwhelming power and brutality is necessary in order to destroy
the will of opponents to launch opposition of any kind.
Think: the legalization of
torture - virtually unknown since the Christian Inquisitions.
Think of the fundamentalist-backed
death squad regime of Rios Montt in Guatemala, as he carried out the
genocide of 250,000 Mayan Indians with the praises of fundamentalists
like Pat Robertson and Jerry Fallwell.
The historical legacy of Eurocentric Christianity is a record of racist
and sexist genocide – 100 million dead Native Americans and 100
million dead Africans – conquered, colonized, converted and enslaved
by the sword and the cross; millions of women burned at the stake under
a regime of mass torture called The Inquisition; millions of Gypsies
and Jews burned in ovens, the shadows of Japanese burned into the walls
of Hiroshima and Nagasaki…
Break the taboo. Think.
The Christian fascism we see arising before us is not the historical
exception – it’s the rule, a rule proven time and again
over the last half – millennia. Christian Rome got its start slaughtering
pagans and Gnostics in a drive for imperial cultural conformity and
conquest. It’s little different now.
This is a deadly serious
business. The top priority and main target of the Christian Right in
its first period in power under Ronald Reagan was peoples of color in
the US. They carried out, not a “War on Terror,” but a “War
on Drugs” which was successfully aimed at creating police state
conditions in the nation’s ghettos, barrios and reservations.
Fascism always targets the
Other, and comes first for the Other.
Black, Red and Brown have
lived under virtual fascism - mass terror, police occupation and mass
incarceration - for a generation now, suffering the highest rates of
incarceration in the world, since the War on Drugs and mass incarceration
took the place of segregation and Jim Crow laws.
Not thousands, but millions
have been snatched off the streets in a rigged war that targets not
terror or drugs, but the oppressed nationalities in the US.
Colonized Black, Red and
Brown peoples are Christian Fascism’s new “Jews,”
the new “Other,” whose mass imprisonment has been met with
silence by the white nation – and by the world - for 25 years.
They’ve only recently been joined by Arab and Muslim as mass targets.
Remember Katherine Yurica’s
point: the Christian Fascists hold that
The creation of the appearance
of overwhelming power and brutality is necessary in order to destroy
the will of opponents to launch opposition of any kind.
People in the US have become
deeply adjusted to these conditions over a generation, now.
It’s no wonder, then,
that the only mass resistance to emerging fascism has come from the
millions of migrants and Chican@s who took the streets last Spring,
a resistance that stopped Christian Fascist’s plans for mass roundups
cold, and split the Republican Party wide open. These protests –
with their implicit threats of mass resistance and rebellion - began
the process of the Republican Party’s recent infighting, disintegration
Otherwise, since 1992, there
has been little but silence.
Think of your own silence
in the face of what is coming. It’s time now to come out of the
fog. It’s time to see things for what they are.
It’s no secret. The
Christian Dominionists, a fascistic cult that appears to include US
President George W. Bush among its followers, seeks to end the separation
of church and state and to replace current governmental structures with
a theocracy ruled by Old Testament law. Only then, they believe, will
Christ “return” to rule – and end - the world. Dominionist
George Grant writes:
Christians have an obligation,
a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for
Jesus Christ - to have dominion in the civil structures, just as in
every other aspect of life and godliness.
But it is dominion that we
are after. Not just a voice.
It is dominion we are after.
Not just influence.
It is dominion we are after.
Not just equal time.
It is dominion we are after.
course means “domination.”
"World conquest. That's
what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish. We must win the world
with the power of the Gospel. And we must never settle for anything
“Thus, Christian politics
has as its primary intent the conquest of the land - of men, families,
institutions, bureaucracies, courts, and governments for the Kingdom
of Christ. It is to reinstitute the authority of God's Word as supreme
over all judgments, over all legislation, over all declarations, constitutions,
and confederations. True Christian political action seeks to rein the
passions of men and curb the pattern of digression under God's rule.”
Gary North, one of the founders
of Dominionism, complained that the counterculture of the 60s had undermined
three basic tenets of Christian civilization: a faith in its cultural
supremacy and destiny – or “predestination”; rigid
reactionary moralism, or “biblical law”; and an assured
sense of ultimate global “victory” for the West –
what he called an end times “eschatological optimism.” <!--[if
Using slightly different
language, North also made it clear that the Christian fascist movement
would have to emulate the sense of certainty that motivates revolutionary
Marxism and Islamic Jihadism:
Three basic ideas are crucial
for the success of any religious, social, intellectual, and political
movement. First, the doctrine of predestination. Second, the doctrine
of law. Third, the doctrine of inevitable victory. The fusion of these
three ideas has led to the victories of Marxism since 1848. Islam has
a similar faith.
To restore these elements
of faith in Eurocentric civilization would be to “have laid down
the foundations of a paradigm shift,"
It is of urgent importance
that we look closely at the notion of “evil,” remembering
that a key goal of the Christian Right is to “reframe this struggle
as a moral struggle, as a transcendent struggle, as a struggle between
good and evil.”
“Evil” in this
context means little more than opposition to the strictures, mores and
authorities of an oppressive civilization.
M. Scott Peck, the popular
Christian psychiatrist, spoke of evil in different terms altogether,
placing primary focus on the use of power to scapegoat others in order
to avoid one’s own spiritual and moral growth.
Peck draws a profile of the
evil: they have no regard for the truth; they lie and live in a world
of lies. They are masters of disguise and cloak themselves with masks
of respectability, goodness and often piety. (Peck tells us that religiosity
is a common and effective disguise.) But it is the appearance of propriety
and respectability that is the important factor. Peck defines evil as:
“The exercise of political power—that is, the imposition
of one’s will upon others by overt or covert coercion…”
Or in other words: it is the use “of political power to destroy
others,” for the purpose of defending or preserving the integrity
of one’s sick self (or group).
The Christian fascist movement seeks political power; it is driven by
a profound urge to scapegoat and punish the Other, especially those
who will not accept the norms and mores it seeks to impose.
Most fundamentally, the movement
is comprised of a group that seeks to avoid the growth inherent in facing
the reality that the foundations of oppressive civilization have shattered:
who refuse to believe that civilization, as we call it, has led us to
the brink of collapse and an incomprehensible mass death of life on
This is a group comprised
of people who refuse to take moral responsibility for the impact of
this civilization on the living Earth, and on all her living beings.
They refuse to acknowledge that we are responsible, that we are both
the inheritors and authors of our cultures.
These are people who refuse
to acknowledge that we, as Walter A. Davis suggests, “must listen
to the details” of our illness if there is to be any hope for
the world to heal.
These are people who believe
the answer to the crisis we face is to strengthen and reinforce the
most reactionary aspects of an oppressive system that is destroying
us all, and they are doing so for the purpose of defending and preserving
the integrity of a sick, dying - and killing - civilization.
If our intentions are shown
in our actions and in the ultimate impact of our actions on others and
on the world, then these are worshippers of death, of a dead body hanging
on a tree – not of a rising, living spirit.
They are traitors to Life.
We dare not leave the fate of the Earth in their hands.
Part 2: The Blessed
and the Cursed
“But first you must learn how to smile as you kill, if you want
to be like the folks on the hill.”
John Lennon, Working Class
There is a profound appeal
in Christianity, even for those who have been most oppressed by it:
the promise of peace and of being blessed and cared for by god. To be
“saved” is to be someone special, anointed by god, chosen
for his purposes, secure in one’s struggle against a world that
has lost its way. Some make the choice hoping for a sense of spiritual
community in an alienated world, in a hope for hope, in a hope for healing.
But a glance beyond the surface
shows the reality of a different social dynamic at work, a dynamic of
exclusion, punishment, shunning, internalized oppression, and of a series
of impossible hopes – impossible because the foundation on which
they rest leads in exactly the opposite direction than the promise they
seem to hold.
To be “saved”
is also to be among god’s “elect.” The theory –
the theology - is that god has pre-ordained who is to be “saved”
and who is not – who’s in and who’s out, who’s
blessed and who’s cursed. The problem of course, is that one can
never know. But the “saved” act like they know. One of the
signs of being among the “elect” is the accumulation of
wealth. In the Protestant US, that’s the main way you “know.”
To be “blessed”
is to be wealthy – or like the wealthy – in spirit. The
“well being” of the blessed imitates the “special”
well being of the wealthy, the wholesome, the privileged and the “beautiful.”
It also imitates their smug sense of superiority.
Those who aren’t blessed,
of course, are cursed. The elect, the blessed, and the chosen require
the outsider, the cursed and the inferior, simply in order to exist
as a category of special people in the eyes of “god.”
Just like the soldier needs
an enemy, like the wife beater needs a wife, like the employer (user)
needs the employee (the one used), like white needs black, like rich
needs poor, and just as the oppressor needs the oppressed, the blessed
need the cursed.
The truth is that everyone
knows which category they fall in.
The anxiety over whether
one is “chosen” masks an underlying fear that being “better”
than others may actually constitute an arrogant sickness, or a fear
that no matter what one does or becomes, one will never be good enough.
Under such conditions, there
can be no real moral or spiritual community, no real acceptance of self
or other, no moral equality, and no truly common purpose other than
to punish the outsider, the Other, and a joint defense of the illusion
of the special stature of one’s own group.
The imprint of the Inquisitions
lies very heavily on white European Christian culture. Its legacy is
a profound fear of being different, of being found out as different,
of being punished – tortured and burned alive - for being different,
of profound punishment for those who stray, who bring the family or
the group under the suspicion of the authorities for being different.
It is a legacy of the “blessed”
destroying those who are different, and of doing so on an unimaginably
mass scale. For the Spanish conquerors in the Americas, human beings
were referred to as Christians. The non-Christians, the Indians, were
not a part of their blessed ranks. Not being Christians, they were,
by definition, sub-human.
Part 3: A Manifest
Destiny: “God has selected them to battle the forces of evil…”
needs sacred legitimation. It needs the authority of transcendence:
of a story larger than itself, a story that connects past with present
and future. An Empire needs an even broader story: one that connects
with cosmic and/or historical redemption and new creation.” –
The Reverend Rich Lang in George Bush and the Rise of Christian Fascism
Many Americans disapprove
of the Bush Administration's belligerent policies, but few are aware
of its extremism, its totalism. – Robert Jay Lifton
The occult foundation of
Christian fascism lies in the embrace of an impending apocalypse and
the conviction that only “true” Christians will be saved
from the coming period of the Great Tribulation and Armageddon. Everyone
else – human and non-human alike, will die; the Earth herself
will be destroyed.
Hal Lindsey, author of the
best selling book The Late Great Planet Earth calls us the “terminal
generation," in a scenario in which god is the Terminator.
According to a Time / CNN
poll 59% of the people in the US believe the prophecies in the Book
of Revelation will come true, while 36% believe that the Bible is the
word of God and is to be taken literally. 35% say that, since 9-1-1,
they are paying closer attention to news events and how they might relate
to the coming end of the world.
Time says, “Talk to
the people who were already inclined to read omens in the headlines,
and you hear their excitement, even eagerness to see what happens next.”
Millions of people see –
or, more often, only sense, the catastrophic potentials of the global
war on terror, the nuclear threat posed by the US to the people of Iran,
the unfathomable devastation promised by global warming and peak oil,
and have no other language in which to describe an impending collapse
other than the language offered by the Book of Revelations.
But for true fundamentalist
“believers” every emergent horror we face - from the impending
probability of nuclear war against Iran to the incomprehensibly vast
mass extinctions that will come with global warming - is a cause for
celebration. They are celebrating global genocide and ecocide –
in a word, omnicide; the Death of Everything.
These are the sickened, hardened,
psychologically split adherents of the “one true way” of
life enforced by this civilization, those who greedily seek out each
sign of approaching doom in what Walter A. Davis has called a “self-hypnotic
iteration of all the signs or behaviors one maintains in order to reassure
oneself of one's salvation.”
The signs affirm them and
“prove” to them the validity of a sado-masochistic, Orwellian
logic in which apocalyptic Destruction = Salvation, and Death = Life.
Each harbinger of doom is
a sign that Jesus is “coming back” to save them, and only
them, from the global destruction they have wrought.
The Reverend Rich Lang noted:
“It used to be that
the Church could control people through the fear of eternal damnation.
Today it is through fear of the future. The theology is basically this:
The Bible is a code book that when rightly interpreted reveals that
we are living at the end of history. History is scripted and is about
to come to a catastrophic conclusion. The only hope is to accept Jesus
as your personal Lord and Savior so that you can be "saved"
from the future apocalypse. God will "snatch you up" (Rapture)
right before a seven year series of horrible events that will see the
rise of Antichrist and the rebuilding of the Jewish temple. There will
be world war with most of humanity dying. At that point Jesus will return
to restore law and order. This theology of despair "fits"
our current culture of powerlessness and fear. From… weapons of
mass destruction to the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict, to ecological
collapse, the whole world seems to be on a "no exit" slide
into an end times abyss. The theology of despair is very seductive.
It is shaping the spirituality of Christians which provides a strong
core from which Bush draws political strength.”
There’s nothing innocent
or passive about any of this. Apocalyptic fears are being promoted and
played on by the Christian Right to prepare their followers to play
an active role in a coming holocaust. Their influence is profound.
One in eight people in the
US has bought a book in the Christian apocalyptic Left Behind series:
over 60 million copies have been sold.
Michelle Goldberg says Left
“…creates a Christian
theory of everything, one that slates current events into a master narrative
in which the world is destroyed and then remade to evangelical specifications.
It's an alternate universe in which conservative Middle Americans are
vindicated against everyone who doesn't share their beliefs...”
In the Washington Post, Melani
McAlister described the outlook of the Left Behind series as “Christian
Jihadist,” deriding the
“chorus of fundamentalist
commentators who, despite their protestations to the contrary, have
expressed a perverse enthusiasm for the spilled blood and millions of
dead that will signal the Second Coming…
“What they say is sobering:
that war is not proof of the failure of politics, but the necessary
sign of God's action in history and the path to world redemption.”
There are other, largely
unnoticed and extremely violent signs of the times emerging, as the
culture and propaganda of the Christian Right take on a sharper tone
of militarism. This new, violent propaganda especially targets young
people, and some of it, at a minimum, has the backing of prominent figures
on the Christian Right like George W. Bush, Barbara Bush, Jerry Falwell,
Tim La Haye, and Pat Robertson.
On November 7th, 2006, on
election day and just in time for the Christmas shopping season, a new
video game based on these novels will be released; it’s called
Left Behind: Eternal Forces. It’s aimed at young teens, whose
mission is "to conduct physical and spiritual warfare," to
train for a coming holy war against the anti-christ and the “forces
Left Behind: Eternal Forces
will sell in the millions: some predict it will go mainstream. It’s
being marketed through the same network of mega-churches that made the
Dominionist guidebook The Purpose Driven Life a best seller. The game’s
producers claim market surveys show that 92% of Left Behind readers
will buy the game, as well.
One can “play”
on the side of the (Christian) Tribulation Forces or the Global Community
Peacekeepers (the “bad guys”) in the final showdown between
“good and evil.”
The game might better be
called “Convert or Die,” “Christian Militia,”
or even “Christian Death Squad.” Highly armed and newly
converted Christians roam the streets of New York in a scene set during
the Great Tribulation: their job is to “witness” to non-believers,
Muslims, Jews, Catholics, Buddhists, Gays, moderate mainstream Christians
and others, and if they fail or refuse to be “born again”
on the spot, the task is to kill them.
And, of course, in the classic
genocidal gesture, to let god sort them out.
One commentator complained
that the game teaches Christian youth “that to kill nonbelievers
is fun and consequence-free.”
The game prefigures a religious
war in the US and Israel – it’s a computer version of the
kind of madness seen in the documentary film Jesus Camp, “where
kids are taught to become dedicated Christian soldiers in God's Army
and are schooled in how to take back America for Christ.”
The "Kids on Fire Summer
Camp," which is featured in the film, is a Christian camp consciously
modeled on the Islamic Madrassa schools where individuals are indoctrinated
in the outlook of the Jihad.
Others are intent on “saving”
young people from the profound questioning inherent in post–Hiroshima
culture, claiming that “today's teens are being attacked by popular
culture like no other generation.”
At a series of heavy handed,
thudding Christian “rock” concerts called Battle Cry, Ron
Luce, concert organizer and head of Teen Mania Ministries, declares
to the crowd, “This is war. And Jesus invites us to get into the
action.” He calls of tens of thousands of young people to join
the “battle for the souls of men” (sic). No battle can be
won, he proclaims, and “no souls can be saved without the shedding
of blood. Blood must be shed!”
Military imagery is a constant
at these events, and Battle Cry attempts to enlist teens in what it
calls “God’s Army: The Battle Cry Coalition.”
Sunsara Taylor, noting the
“spectacular light shows, Hummers, Navy SEALs and military imagery
on stage,” wrote:
“This merging of God’s
army and the U.S. military echoed the event that opened the day: the
reading of a letter of greeting and blessing from George W. Bush. After
the reading, a minister led thousands to bow their heads and thank the
Lord for giving them George Bush, the commander in chief of America’s
Battle Cry attendees have
also been addressed by Barbara Bush and by former President Gerald Ford.
The group is backed by Christian extremists like Pat Robertson and Jerry
Falwell – infamous for their support of the Guatemalan death squads
that carried out the genocide of 250,000 Mayan Indians in the 1980s.
Like the youth exposed to
such “games,” “camps” and “concerts”
however, not everyone who is drawn to the fundamentalist version of
the apocalypse is a conscious or indoctrinated Christian Fascist.
But everyone in the US is
immersed in a set of cultural assumptions that have laid the foundation
for the particular form Christian Fascism is taking here, assumptions
that are central to US history and the Euro-American sense of identity.
David Neiwert correctly maintains
that the Christian Right holds “a religious view akin to Manifest
Destiny, a belief in American exceptionalism viewed through a prism
of apocalyptic fundamentalist Christianity.”
Manifest Destiny is an outgrowth
of the apocalyptic world view of the early European invaders of the
Western Hemisphere. Cristóbal Colón (Columbus) believed
his “discovery” of the “new” world was an intimate
part of god’s plan which would soon result in the “last
judgment” and the apocalypse.
Converting the “Indians,”
had to be accomplished before the world could end. Instead, as Patricia
Eddy noted, “the world ended only for the Indians.” The
real apocalypse - genocide – ended the world for some 100 million
The Puritans, who established
a European colonial and totalitarian theocracy in the western hemisphere
and who initiated a quarter – millinenum of English genocide in
what is now the US, were also motivated by an apocalyptic world view.
Eddy writes, “In the
seventeenth century… the Puritans, set several dates for the end.
The most famous was 1666. They believed that God would punish wicked
England with his heavenly fireworks, and they fled to these shores for
safety. Some arrived as early as 1630 thinking the world will end in
only 36 years.”
The Puritans saw themselves
as “the elect,” a chosen people with an elevated role in
the battle between christ and the anti-christ, a theme that has morphed
over the centuries to include the special role Christian fundamentalists
in the US imagine for themselves today.
There was nothing unusual
in the Puritan interpretation. Avihu Zakai, in Exile and Kingdom: History
and Apocalypse in the Puritan Migration to America, notes that:
based itself on a historical interpretation of divine prophecies and
regarded the Apocalypse the guide to the entire course of the history
of salvation and redemption. Consequently, the Reformation gave rise
to a new form of historical consciousness… based upon apocalyptic
interpretation of history.”
Martin Luther thought the
world would end no later than 1600.
Manifest destiny, a direct
outgrowth of Puritan theology and an apocalyptic sense of history, is
a fascistic, messianic myth of divine nationhood and expansionism.
It was first used to justify
the conquest of Native lands and peoples in what is for now the US,
then to justify US colonialism and empire elsewhere, US interventionism,
and, by the time of Woodrow Wilson, to justify the exportation and imposition
of “democracy” on other peoples.
The myth is inherently racist,
and rests on a belief in “progress” and European superiority.
The “civilized race” still uses this myth to justify white
subjugation of an entire world of Black, Brown and Yellow peoples. Theodore
Roosevelt made it plain:
“Of course our whole
national history has been one of expansion… That the barbarians
recede or are conquered, with the attendant fact that peace follows
retrogression or conquest, is due solely to the power of the mighty
civilized races which have not lost the fighting instinct, and which
by their expansion are gradually bringing peace into the red wastes
of the world where the barbarian peoples of the world hold sway.”
In The Star of Empire Albert
Jeremiah Beveridge said it even more succinctly:
“It is destiny that
the world be rescued from its natural wilderness and savage men.”
These ideas are nothing antiquated.
The logic of Manifest Destiny is precisely the same “logic”
that underlies the current bid for a Pax Americana, and the crusade
for US global domination - the crusade to “tame” the “savage”
Muslims of the world.
For the founders of Christian
Dominionism and its practitioners in power – men like R.J. Rushdoony
and Gary North - racism and the urge to dominate the Other don’t
start, or stop, with Muslims and Arabs.
These are some of the central
political and cultural positions of Dominionists. The wedding of key
elements of Manifest Destiny and Christian extremism should become obvious:
North on Native Americans:
Liberals, he writes, “never,
ever say "American natives," since this is only one step away
from "American savages," which is precisely what most of those
demon-worshipping, Negro slave-holding, frequently land-polluting people
were.... This was one of the great sins in American life, they say:
"the stealing of Indian lands".... That a million savages
had a legitimate legal claim on the whole of North America north of
Mexico is the unstated assumption of such critics.”
Rushdoony on Black slavery
and white guilt:
“The political cultivation
of guilt is a central means to power, for guilty men are slaves; their
conscience is in bondage, and hence they are easily made objects of
control. Guilt is thus systematically taught for purposes of control…
the white man is being systematically indoctrinated into believing that
he is guilty of enslaving and abusing the Negro. Granted that some Negroes
were mistreated as slaves, the fact still remains that nowhere in all
history or in the world today has the Negro been better off.”
North on Citizenship:
“Those who refuse to
submit publicly to the eternal sanctions of God by submitting to His
Church's public marks of the covenant--baptism and holy communion--must
be denied citizenship, just as they were in ancient Israel.”
Rushdoony on Democracy:
“The church today has
fallen prey to the heresy of democracy.”
North on European Superiority
“It occurs to me: Was
Moses arrogant and unbiblical when he instructed the Israelites to kill
every Canaanite in the land (Deut. 7:2; 20:16-17)? Was he an "elitist"
or (horror of horrors) a racist? No; he was a God-fearing man who sought
to obey God, who commanded them to kill them all. It sounds like a "superior
attitude" to me. Of course, Christians have been given no comparable
military command in New Testament, but I am trying to deal with the
attitude of superiority--a superiority based on our possession of the
law of God. That attitude is something Christians must have when dealing
with all pagans. God has given us the tools of dominion.”
Rushdoony on Conquest
“All enemies of Christ
in this fallen world must be conquered.”
North has said that “back
alleys are where abortions belong,” and that women who have abortions
should be executed - publicly, "along with those who advised them
to abort their children.” Sunsara Taylor, attacking the Christian
Right, has a different point to make:
“Today, their cruel
attacks on the fundamental rights of women —to remove reality-based
sex education, to criminalize and even kill doctors who provide abortions,
to dry up access to and social acceptance of birth control, and to reassert
the shackles of traditional marriage including through legally and culturally
attacking divorce… hearken back to the traditions of this country
which regard women as the legal property of their husbands.”
Dominionist theologian Rev.
William Einwechter, wrote an essay entitled "Modern Issues in Biblical
Perspective: Stoning Disobedient Children," in which he advocated
a return to the practice.
“Contempt of parental
authority, if left unchecked, is the death of the family, law, and order…
Therefore, the execution of the rebel [the child] in view is just, merciful,
and preventive. Just, in that the transgressor deserves to die; merciful,
in that his quick death prevents the destruction of the family, society,
and others; preventive, in that it strikes fear in the heart of other
would-be rebels and restrains them from taking a similar ruinous course."
That’s what they mean
by “family values.” Hate. And more than hate. Murder.
The list of those to be degraded
and persecuted is ultimately endless because the hatred and resentment
that give rise to it have no point of resolution in the outside world
of “enemies.” Empire, and the “need” for it,
are both endless and bottomless.
This is exactly the sensibility
in which President Bush was immersed as part of his conversion experience.
It’s what he was born into when he was “born again.”
George W. Bush’s religious
training came at the hands of Dominionist preacher Dr. Tony Evans of
the Christian male supremacist organization Promise Keepers, which holds
a vision of an "apocalyptic masculinity,” and which targets
lesbians, feminists and gays "as a threat to the pure community."
Chris Hedges, a reporter
for The New York Times, writes:
“It was through Evans,
who was a spiritual mentor to George Bush that Dominionism came to dominate
the politically active wing of the Christian Right. The religious utterances
from political leaders such as George Bush, Tom Delay, Pat Robertson
and Zell Miller are only understandable in light of Rushdooney and Dominionism.
These leaders believe that God has selected them to battle the forces
No one knows – or no
one who knows is saying - whether Bush fully embraces Dominionism or
whether he’s that other brand of fundamentalist – a premillinealist.
Perhaps both influences are at work. Modern Christian fundamentalism
is split on the question in what North calls a “theological schizophrenia.”
There’s little difference,
however, in terms of its impact on his actions as a ruler. In one case
he’s seeking to consolidate a Christian empire that dominates
the globe so Christ and the apocalypse can come; in the other case he’s
laying the groundwork for an Armageddon type scenario in the very short
Both involve an apocalyptic embrace of genocide and ecocide.
Part 4: An Apocalyptic Destiny: Christian Fascism and the Nazi
“In ideological analysis
we so often fail to attain anything truly hopeful because the need for
hope clicks in too early, preventing us from perceiving the depth of
- Walter A. Davis
“The classical pattern
of apocalypse, comprising in its active form, an initial phase of savage
destruction followed by a phase of messianic rebirth, can be recognized
in individual psychosis and in the Nazi type of destruction, persecution
and virtual suicide.”
-- Mortimer Ostow, "The
Psychodynamics of Apocalyptic: Discussion of Papers on Identification
and the Nazi Phenomenon," International Journal of Psycho-Analysis,
For white Christian Fascists
in the US, a racist belief in Manifest Destiny, the sense of “divine
nationhood”, and the prophecy of the Apocalypse have merged into
a mythos of a chosen volk destined to rule in an era of utter disintegration,
destruction and rebirth, an Apocalyptic Destiny that profoundly echoes
the mythos and pathology of the last century’s most important
right wing religious, political and cultural revival – Nazism.
Similarly, Nazism was a racist
apocalyptic movement, one that gained and consolidated state power as
part of a classic millinerian contagion, and that aimed at laying the
foundation for a hierarchical millennium – a Thousand Year Reich.
Raymond Sickinger, writes
in Apocalypse now: Magic and the Millennium, from the Journal of Popular
fail to realize that the most significant, and most frightening, millenarian
movement of the twentieth century was not a small, fringe cult, but
was rather a large movement with mass appeal: the Nazi Movement. In
his work, The Hitler Movement: A Modern Millenarian Revolution, James
M. Rhodes contends that ‘National Socialist radicalism was a mutant,
secular variety of the apocalyptic thought that was first manifested
in the Revelation of John and then in the religious movements typified
by groups as the crusaders, the Free Spirits, the flagellants, the Taborites,
and the Anabaptists during the Middle Ages.”
However secular its official
ideology, Nazism functions psychologically and culturally as an apocalyptic
Let’s make it plain:
Hitler was a German messiah
– a savior and redeemer of the German nation, just as christ is
the savior and redeemer of the Christian nation, and just as the Mahdi
is the savior and redeemer of the Islamic nation.
In the Judeo – Christian
– Islamic tradition the original Messiah, the Hebrew Messiah,
was a national savior who would defeat the gentile nations and restore
the kingdom of Israel, just as Hitler, in turn, meant to destroy the
Jews and “restore” Germany.
Like the Christian fascists
today he sought to wipe away the old order in preparation for a new
millennium, the “Thousand Year Reich.”
The Office of Strategic Services,
forerunner of the CIA, made the connection explicit in a WW2 report
entitled A Psychological Analysis of Adolph Hitler: His Life and Legend.
As time went on, it became
clearer that he was thinking of himself as the Messiah and that it was
he who was destined to lead Germany to glory. His references to the
Bible became more frequent and the movement began to take on a religious
atmosphere. Comparisons between Christ and himself became more numerous
and found their way into his conversation and speeches…
White tells us that now when
he is addressed with the salutation, "Heil Hitler, our Savior",
he bows slightly at the compliment in the phrase - and believes it.
As time goes on, it becomes more and more certain that Hitler believes
that he is really the "Chosen One" and that in his thinking
he conceives of himself as a second Christ who has been sent to institute
in the world a new system of values based on brutality and violence.
He has fallen in love with the image of himself in this role…
… It was not long before
the German people were prepared to take the short step of seeing Hitler,
not as a man, but as a Messiah of Germany.
Historian Fritz Stern, University
Professor emeritus at Columbia University, who fled Nazi Germany as
a young man in 1938, said
…Carl Friedrich von
Weizsaecker, Nobel-laureate in physics and a philosopher, wrote to me
in the mid-1980s saying that he had never believed in Nazi ideology
but that he had been tempted by the movement, which seemed to him then
like “the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.” On reflection,
he thought that National Socialism had been part of a process that the
National Socialists themselves hadn’t understood. He may well
have been right: the Nazis didn’t realize that they were part
of an historic process in which resentment against a disenchanted secular
world found deliverance in the ecstatic escape of unreason. German elites
proved susceptible to this mystical brew…
The Nizkor Project on the
Nazi holocaust shows how deeply the messianic furor penetrated the German
The parallel between Hitler
and the Messiah was made explicit in German schools. On 16 March 1934
children wrote out the following dictation approved by Hitler's Ministry
of Enlightenment and Propaganda:
‘Jesus and Hitler.
As Jesus freed men from sin and Hell, so Hitler freed the German people
from destruction. Jesus and Hitler were persecuted, but while Jesus
was crucified Hitler was raised to the Chancellorship ... Jesus strove
for Heaven, Hitler for the German earth.’
The League of German Girls
developed a new version of the Lord's Prayer which was a supplication
not only for the Fuhrer but to him as a deity:
‘Adolf Hitler, you
are our great Leader. Thy name makes the enemy tremble. Thy Third Reich
comes, thy will alone is law upon earth. Let us hear daily thy voice
and order us by thy leadership for we will obey to the end even with
our lives. We praise thee! Heil Hitler!’
And smaller children were
taught to use this grace before meals:
‘Fuhrer, my Fuhrer,
sent to me from God, protect and maintain me throughout my life. Thou
who hast saved Germany from deepest need, I thank thee today for my
daily bread. Remain at my side and never leave me, Fuhrer, my Fuhrer,
my faith, my light. Heil my Fuhrer!’
The Southern Poverty Law
Center in the US cites the example of American Nazi Party leader George
Lincoln Rockwell, who “gushed about having had a mystical experience
when he first read Hitler's Mein Kampf. ‘I realized that National
Socialism [was] actually a new religion,’ said Rockwell.”
In a word, as bizarre as
these extremes may appear to us in 2006, such extreme psychologies and
belief systems are in no way confined to the German psyche or culture.
These are simply “born again” Nazis. All of them have undergone
the same fundamental psychic split that characterizes the “born
again” experience as such.
In his compelling Psychology
of Christian Fundamentalism, Walter A. Davis describes the conversion
experience – the “born again” experience - as “the
use of the primitive psychological defense known as splitting to establish
an absolute separation of the saved psyche from the damned.”
The splitting experience
of being instantly “born again” is the opposite of psychological
healing, the opposite of integration, of remembering, understanding
and discharging one’s most fundamental hurts and hopes. It is
the opposite of the tears and trials of transformation and the slow
and determined growth that leads to spiritual, psychological. moral
and political maturity and tenderness.
It is rather an instantaneous
“salvation” that reduces to an escape from pain, an evasion
of the lessons that pain teaches and the moral responsibility such lessons
Because it is an escape,
it is also a moral and psychological numbing against inner despair and
terror, one that leads, in turn, to a refusal to acknowledge the validity
of information about the world that might disrupt the fragile internal
equilibrium that holds pain, fear and despair at bay.
One could say that conversion
transforms the self, but it would be more appropriate to say that it
annihilates it. That is in fact its function. For salvation to occur
the self is precisely that which must be rendered powerless then transcended
through a transformation that can only come from without. That transformation
accordingly produces a split that is absolute and must be maintained
at all costs. For it is what the psyche depends on to deliver it from
everything disruptive and unstable in itself. Even if at times one finds
oneself again a sinner, that sinfulness is all the work of the Big Other,
Satan. Salvation is deliverance and such is the fundamentalist despair
over the self that deliverance must be total.
This baseline evasion –
this splitting away from the pain in what one “was,” and
the embrace of a “new life” in christ – or Hitler
and National Socialism for that matter – undermines, even forbids,
the capacity for self-reflection and for authentic spiritual, emotional
and moral responsibility and growth.
The terror that motivates
Christian Fascism is a terror of the self. The “terrorist”
is one’s own repressed feelings, and, of course, those feelings
are always seeking to become conscious. The terrorist, satan –
the split off and buried emotions - are always out to “get”
the true believer.
For the most deeply split
converts, the “true believers,” there is now nowhere to
turn inside oneself. The self – the “sinner” –
has been banished or repressed, leaving nowhere to turn except to an
outside authority, to “signs,” and to an ecstatic merging
with the crowd of “believers.”
What the believers believe
must be true. One has sold one’s soul for it, committed a kind
of spiritual and psychological suicide for it – soul murder, as
Davis notes. One has split away from one’s pain and shame, and
then projected them onto the “devil,” or more aptly, onto
the Other, the scapegoat, the Jew, the Black, the homosexual, the Woman,
the Native and other “heathens and “sinners.”
and the “threat” of sin is now perceived as something outside
of oneself, and because “sin” must be controlled and “evil”
destroyed, there is now no way out but the destruction of the Other,
a worldly re-enactment of the destruction and hatred of the self. There
is no way out except Apocalypse, the fascistic control and destruction
of the Other and the world itself.
the final evacuation needed to prevent a return of the projections…
that complete unbinding that can only come by putting an end to everything.
The hatred in which the psyche is grounded requires no less: it is total
in its control over the inner world and thus demands a matching totalization.
In the images of destruction… one sees externalized the process
that has ravaged the inner world…
to literal commands is merely the tip of that iceberg. It is within
that the true process of soul-murder takes place. In a psyche that is
willing to sacrifice everything in itself in order to placate an authority
that is vindictively cruel in the wrath it directs on the slightest
opposition to its will. In an attempt to achieve identification with
that force the psyche wages war first on itself and then upon the world.
In the Christian apocalyptic
computer game, Left Behind: Eternal Forces, one kills those who will
not “convert” or be “born again.”
They have become the imagined
agents of one’s internal demons, one’s pain; by refusing
to convert they deny and thus threaten the fragile authority that now
rules the split-off personhood of the “believer.” The non
– believer is a threat and an affront to the fragile psychic balance
of the convert, just as the Gypsy, the Slav, the Black, homosexuals
and the Jew were threats and affronts to the born again “Aryan.”
The “new” identity
depends on the rejection of the old one, and on the rejection of the
The post-apocalyptic “new
world,” depends not only on their rejection, but on their destruction.
The millineal world in which the split-off believer thinks s/he will
finally find a thousand years of “peace” depends on genocide
– just as it did under Hitler and just as it did in the conquest
of the Americas. Only when satan has been banished and destroyed can
This cultural logic, the
logic of apocalypse and genocide, had laid the foundation for the emergence
of a Hitler over a period of fifteen hundred years, since the Roman
Empire had begun to force Christianity on its conquered territories
in what is now Europe. It had found its most profound expression in
the apocalypse which ended the original, native world of the Americas.
Nazism rests on the cultural
and psychological foundation of apocalyptic Christianity, on its historical
legacy of Europe’s Inquisitions, its persecutorial millinealist
movements, and its legacy of genocide. Nazism is a Germanic expression
of this legacy in modern cultural and political practice, with the twist
that this time the genocide was carried out against other Europeans,
and was thus considered compelling and noteworthy in the West.
…Between the years
1000 and 1700, there were a number of millenarian movements which looked
to these biblical sources for inspiration and whose members shared six
He draws the parallels between
700 years of Christian apocalyptic movements in Europe and Nazism. The
brief comparison below will utilize the basic framework of his analysis
and extend it to include today’s Christian Fascist movement.
writes of the Christian millinealist cults, “they viewed themselves
as victims of terrible disasters.” In comparison “Hitler
convinced the German people that they were being victimized by the allies,
the vindictive Treaty of Versailles, and, of course, the Jews.”
Today, for the Christian Right, the “victimizer” is “terrorism”
Christian millinealist cults “believed that they had special insight
into their hardships and that there was hope of salvation.” Sickinger
notes that Hitler believed that he, too had a “special insight”
into the trauma of the German nation and claimed that there was “hope
of salvation.” Many Germans obviously believed that Hitler was
the hope of their salvation. Today’s Christian fascists are bent
on “saving” the US for “god.” It’s convert
leader, George W. Bush, believes he has been called by god, and that
he has special insight deriving from special divine communications to
do things like invade Iraq and launch the “war on terror”
notes that the Christian millineal cults “believed that their
problems were caused by the forces of evil and that the societies in
which they lived were being destroyed by these forces.” He notes
that “Hitler believed, and convinced others, that Germany's problems
were caused by forces of evil and that Germany was being destroyed by
these forces.” Today, the “evil ones” are not Jews,
but so-called Islamo-fascists – the Islamic world - while the
blitzkrieg has been renamed “Shock and Awe.”
Christian millineal cults “believed that they were specially selected
to fight and defeat the forces of evil. They were the ‘Elect.’”
Hitler and the German people clearly came to believe that the Nazi leadership
was divinely inspired, that Hitler himself was a German messiah figure,
and that the Aryan nation was a kind of “chosen” people.
Christian fascists, like the Puritans before them, see themselves as
an “elect” or chosen people, called to defeat the depraved
forces of “sin” and to do god’s will by establishing
his “dominion” over the Earth and all its creatures.
notes, the Christian millineal cults “were convinced that the
forces of evil were poised to destroy goodness at any moment, requiring
quick and decisive action on the part of the chosen. Battles of Armageddon
were necessary.” As for Hitler:
“Hitler was clear that
the forces of evil represented by the Jewish anti-race were poised to
destroy Aryan goodness and that Germany had to respond quickly and decisively
to the Jewish threat to the German, Aryan.
“The Final Solution
to the Jewish question which was developed during World War II and which
resulted in the terror of the Holocaust was, in the warped minds of
Hitler and his closest advisors, that very battle of goodness purging
evil in order to usher in a golden era. James M. Rhodes concurs: ‘The
Nazis could not live without the magic ritual of slaughtering the 'bacilli.'”
Today in the US, the “terrorist
threat” and the New Crusade against what George W. Bush calls
“evildoers” and the “Axis of Evil,” the “War
on Terror,” the CIA’s "Worldwide Attack Matrix"
and the “Islamo-fascist threat” serve exactly the same ends,
with the added “bonus” that the dramatic center of the action
lies in the “Holy Land.” Palestine is, of course, the very
scene of the prophesied battle of Armageddon.
Christian millineal cults “had faith that their efforts would
be successful and would result in a new and beautiful era of peace and
prosperity.” The Thousand Year Reich held the same promise, and
the Christian Fascists have gone back to the root belief: the return
of christ and his thousand year reign following the apocalypse they
are seeking so diligently to arrange.
It should go without saying
that Nazi anti-Semitism was – and is - rooted in ancient European
Christian traditions and in a long and vile history of Christian pogroms,
murders, forced conversions and expulsions of Jews. And there is a straight
line between The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the extreme right
wing views of powerful figures like televangelist Pat Robertson, whose
notion of a Jewish Illuminati is central to his conspiratorial sense
of history, and to the his sense of the role of Christianity in history.
David Stannard, in his seminal
American Holocaust, writes:
“… an observation
of [Elie] Wiesel’s regarding the perpetrators of the Jewish Holocaust
is an equally apt beginning for those who would seek to understand the
motivations that ignited and fanned the flames of the mass destruction
of America’s native peoples:
‘All the killers were
Christian… the Nazi system was a consequence of a movement of
ideas and followed a strict logic; it did not arise in a void but had
its roots deep in a tradition that prophesied it, prepared for it, and
brought it to maturity. That tradition was inseparable from the past
of Christian, civilized Europe.’”
In the eschatology of the
Christian fascists, Israel plays a key role: the nation must exist,
according to Biblical prophecy, for christ to return, for apocalypse
to unfold, and for the “Kingdom of God” to be established.
For this reason we have seen
the rise of a new “Christian Zionism” among fundamentalists
in the US, who are bent on “defending” the white colonial
settler regime and its genocidal relations with Palestinians at any
But the Christian Zionist
support for Israel is hardly “pure”: it’s a set up.
There is a reason Israel
“has to exist”: It has to exist so that, at the proper time
it can be wiped out - so that at the proper time the “anti-christ”
can destroy it, so that all Jews can die, or be condemned by “god”
to “hell.” As a former Southern Baptist Convention leader
put it, “God doesn’t hear the prayer of a Jew.”
The message is simple, and
it serves as a template for Christian fascist intentions toward Jews.
It’s a template for genocide. It’s the same message offered
in the video game Left Behind: Eternal Forces. The message is the same
as the offer the Spanish gave to untold millions of Native Americas
before they slaughtered them: “convert or die.” Indeed,
as the Conquest of the Americas was underway, the Spanish Inquisition
offered this very choice to many Jews in Spain, as well.
According to Christian fascist
eschatology, only 144,000 Jews will be “saved” – those
who have converted to Christianity will be bodily wisked away to heaven
in a moment called the “Rapture.” Those who adhere to their
own culture and religion will be “left behind” to face Armageddon,
utter destruction; a cultural and physical genocide more thorough than
that of the Nazis.
That’s the prophecy,
the master narrative, part of an overarching European narrative of genocide
– and like all cultural scripts, it’s meant to be acted
out. It’s a very old tradition. One might say that Nazism was
only a variation on the Christian theme, or one might say that the Christian
Fascist template is a variation on the Nazi theme.
Part 5: Stopping
Christian Fascism will only be the beginning
Fascism is the reactionary
re-constitution of the capitalist state based on an appeal to cross-class
coherence and to a revitalization of the nation’s dominant ethnicity
through the medium of religious contagion and organized violence.
In multicultural nations,
which means in virtually every nation, Fascism always re-constitutes
culture and power around the traditional reactionary values of the dominant
ethnicity as they pertain to upholding the key elements of “civilization”
– the family, private property and the state.
Thus the focus on “family
values,” the increasing concentration of wealth and power in the
hands of corporations, and the embrace of new, overtly authoritarian
powers for the state such as torture and open spying.
The furtherance and renewal
of the cultural myths that justify the traits of the dominant culture
in relation to family, property, authority and the use of violence is
a key element of reinforcing “civilized” “normalcy”
in times of crisis, and themes that reinforce these norms are thus among
the key themes of fascist movements.
Since the cultural mythos
and justifications that surround the powers of the family, property
and the state are different in different cultures, and since each dominant
cultural group subordinates and suppresses distinctly different cultural
groups, fascism takes on a different appearance and tone in each culture
where it arises.
Only a potent counterculture
can successfully combat fascism, since fascism is fundamentally a psycho-cultural
movement that rationalizes new forms of reactionary governance by a
reframing of core cultural values – a reframing that becomes normative
for the majority of the population in the dominant ethnicity.
Fascism arises under conditions
in which there are extremes of cultural, political and economic fragmentation
that appear to justify a call to a new level of cultural unity and coherence
among members of the privileged, dominant ethnicity.
The ability of the dominant
culture to meet the needs of its members begins to fragment, laying
the basis for alienation, malaise, or widespread fear, insecurity and
The old rules, the old gods,
the old economic and ethnic relation break down, impacting people’s
sense of identity, function, sense of belonging and status within the
dominant culture, and their economic, social, cultural and emotional
security, especially those securities based on economic, ethnic and
These securities are what
fascism promises to restore. It re-crystallizes social, cultural and
economic relations through establishing and reinforcing norms of cultural
coherence through religious contagion and force – thus its militant
Members of the dominant group
adhere to fascism at the level of personal and cultural identity and
with a sense of religious purpose as they “re-fuse” with
the newly enforced norms, resolving the crisis of social identity and
Any effective and true counterculture
– any authentic alternative to fascism - must offer a new basis
for cultural identity, power and effectiveness, and ethnic, gender and
economic identity. It must re-solve the questions of cultural norms
with respect to the family, private property and the state in a workable,
practicable and experiential new way that, at a bare minimum, directly
challenges each of these three building blocks of “Civilization.”
Fundamentally, fascism is
an armed defense of repressive, oppressive civilization and a reinforcement
of its norms in a given dominant culture group, and is most likely to
arise in colonial settler states and neo-colonies that are ethnically
divided along sharp lines – like the Ladino / Mayan split in Guatemala,
and in imperialist states undergoing crisis.
Because the fragmentation
of cultural coherence that leads to fascism is experienced by the dominant
group as extreme, and since it is culture, not politics, that mediates
the totality of life in “civilization,” fascism, is of necessity,
both extreme and total in its impact on society.
All signs of cultural, political
or gender “difference” are read as signs of fragmentation
and destruction that in the aggregate are experienced by members of
the dominant group – the “Good Germans,” as we say,
as having very personal impacts on their emotional lives, their status
and sense of identity. For this “reason,” “difference”
must be repressed or destroyed.
Especially targeted are those
groups, who by virtue of culture and / or differences in skin coloration
are perceived as irreconcilably different (inferior), countercultural
groups or religious minorities, and those who are seen as “decadent,”
as a threat to the moral and cultural coherence of the dominant group.
The submission of such groups
to newly imposed authorities and norms serves only to justify the drive
to suppress them by signaling an acceptance of a status of inferiority,
and serves to reinforce the sense of superiority and “rightness”
of the culture that seeks to suppress or destroy them.
This is why adapting to fascistic
norms spells death, and why rebelling against and openly resisting them
is the only answer to the persecutorial dynamics of fascism, especially
in periods of time before fascism has consolidated state power, and
before the contagion of religious or quasi-religious conversion and
its absolutist certainty in fascism’s cause and in its leadership
has taken over the majority of the members of the dominant group.
It is not enough to expose
the reality of persecution – only rebellion, resistance, or a
credible threat of rebellion and resistance – on a mass scale,
and particularly among the targeted group(s), can undermine the power
of the spreading contagion, and re-create the level of self-doubt in
the dominant group that characterized its crisis as the dynamic began
That’s why, despite
all the flag waving, the millions of Others who marched in the pro-migrant
movement were able to have such a significant impact. No one laid down
to “take it,” and the Republican Party, having failed to
reach a critical mass in support of its fascistic agenda, cracked open.
The fascist movement in the
US today has several areas of vulnerability.
Its leadership under Bush
inspires no confidence and widespread disgust (although if a John McCain
were to convert fully to the cause that might all change):
The faith of Christian Fascists
in the “moral leadership” of the Republican Party has been
gravely undermined by scandal:
Militarily, and this is of
signal importance, the US is being defeated in Iraq, bringing home the
ghost of the imperialist’s “Viet Nam Syndrome”:
Migrants and Chican@s have
risen up in their millions, undermining key plans for ethnic scapegoating
and ethnic cleansing in what is still reputed to be a “democracy”:
And the Republican Party
is divided – deeply divided, on a number of key fronts.
But there are underlying
pressures that highly favor the development of fascism, as well among
them pressures on the Democratic Party, which understands as Larry Everest
“…that the extreme
right, including a Christian fascist core, remains extremely well organized,
funded and powerful, and that any effort to overturn the Bush agenda
would be met with howls of treason and betrayal (and perhaps even a
The Christian Fascist’s
greatest strength is the extent to which their agenda has already been
normalized. This normalization has occurred with the help of the Democratic
Party - and by virtue of the mass silence that has accompanied the mass
incarceration of peoples of color in the US, a silence that has helped
engender a profound sense of isolation and demoralization in the ghettos
and barrios and on the reservations.
of the Democrats to stand up signals something much deeper than a lack
of “spine” or even fear of the Christian Fascist movement.
It signals fundamental agreement with many of the aims of the fascist
movement with respect to who must be attacked both overseas and in the
“homeland” if the Empire is to stay afloat in a coming period
of immense danger and instability at every level.
There is a dangerous and
compelling necessity – from the imperialist standpoint - of coming
resource wars, as oil and agricultural production begin to decline on
a global basis, and as water resources become vastly depleted on a world
scale. In a word, the collapse of a global economy based on oil is on
the horizon, and the empire is compelled to consolidate its global control
of energy resources.
Both Democrats and Republicans
are targeting Iran, for example. The Democratic leadership supports
the aims of the occupation of Iraq, as well, no matter what the base
of the party may say.
It makes no difference, from
this standpoint, whether Republicans or Democrats are in power. Economic
collapse and Global Warming are on the horizon; the civilization itself
will enter a period of irreversible decline – if not collapse
- as the energy source that drives it dries up, and as the exploited
and depleted ecosystems – life systems – that sustain it
reach the edge of collapse and extinction.
As a consequence there is
a compelling urgency on the part of the ruling elites in the US to establish
an unprecedented military dominance abroad and deepening levels of social
control in the “homeland.” For a more thorough analysis
see part one of this series, Apocalypse No! under the subtitle Resource
Wars and Fascism: Babylon’s Way Out.
The single greatest danger
is that many now alert to the need for resistance may be lulled to sleep
again by a Democratic Party victory.
But a simple election can
neither reverse the underlying compulsions toward Christian Fascism
in the US, nor defeat a psycho-cultural movement toward Christian Fascism
that has its roots in the deepest aspects of the very oldest and most
enduring traditions of an oppressive civilization on the verge of collapse
and global destruction.
If Life on Earth is to survive,
if we and millions of other species are to survive, human society will
have to undergo the deepest of transformations on a global scale.
Stopping Christian Fascism
will only be the beginning.
is a Los Angeles based writer and editor. His essays from 2006 can be
He can be reached at: JuanSantos@Mexica.net.
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