Sunday, July 08, 2007

What Do Bin Laden, Star Wars, and Harry Potter Have in Common?

I must forcefully disagree with those American conservatives who have presented the "war on terror" as a war of the good forces of democracy and freedom vs. the evil forces of Bin Laden and his legions. I see the war as a battle between two evil forces, both diametrically opposed to Christianity, and both heretical perversions of Christianity.

Let's deal with the American heresy first: in the apocryphal gospels, written about the same time as the genuine ones (the alleged gospel of St. Thomas is an example), Christ is depicted as a great magician who goes around zapping things and people. Tricks and gimmicks figure prominently in the bogus gospels. In contrast, the Christ depicted in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John is reluctant to perform miracles. Satan tries to get Him to do miracles just for miracles' sake, and Christ rebukes him. When Christ does perform miracles, it is out of an overwhelming sense of compassion for some individual human being, the daughter of Jairus, Lazarus, the blind man, the paralytic, and so on. His miracles are consistent with the truth that He came to reveal through the miracle, namely that God has a human heart with a love that passeth all understanding. The loving image of Christ was held to be the true one by the majority of Europeans throughout the Christian centuries. But there was always that other view on the fringes of Christendom: the view of Christ as magician and conjurer. The adherents to the magical version of Christianity seek to emulate Christ the magician, not to worship Christ the God-Man.

And it is the modern technocrats who are the heirs of the early magicians. The reason capitalists love Harry Potter and Star Wars is because both celebrate the triumph of magic and technology over Christianity. Who needs a God when one has magical powers and the technology such powers give?

The magician-technocrat is always a utopian. From Robespierre's reign of terror to eliminate terror, to the Yankee's war on "inequality," to the modern American unending war on terrorism, the goal is always a utopian one. Robespierre wanted to purge France of all evil doers, and the North wanted to purge the world of backward, bigoted, reactionary agrarians. The modern American terrorists want to bomb every country that doesn't agree to be a free market democracy. And please, in regard to my last assertion, don't try to tell me the reason we are adding nation after nation to our bombing list is because we are concerned about terrorist attacks in our country. If the technocrats were really concerned about terrorist attacks, they would move to restrict immigration. But that they will not do, since to do so would violate the technocratic creed of "markets without end, amen."

Of course, the technocratic, utopian magicians are no longer on the fringes of Western civilization, they are Western civilization. They dominate even the Christian church. No organized group of Christians opposes them. Some isolated resistance does exist in the ranks of some fundamentalists and in the hearts of some poets, but such resistance is very marginal. Christianity has returned to a minor cult status in the world.

The temptation, if one is opposed to the new dominant, technocratic religion, is to support any movement in opposition to it. Enter the Moslem heresy. But Islam does not hate the West because of its technology; it hates the West because it still believes the West to be Christian. Moslems envy the West's technological power, but they do not oppose the West as liberals claim because of our materialism. Islam followed Christianity, and, like all heresies, took just one aspect of Christianity and made that its 'all' while condemning every other aspect of the Faith. The all-powerful, transcendent God became the Moslems' Allah, while the incarnate God of love became a blasphemy. Watching the Islamic world and the technocratic world clash is like watching a dragon fight a Cyclops. Whichever one wins, it will go bad for the Christian bystander.

The situation of the Christian today is not directly analogous to the Christian of the Roman catacombs. The modern Christian, like the catacomb Christian, is a member of a disdained and persecuted minority religion, but he is unlike the catacomb Christian in a very profound way. The modern Christian is a member of a religion that once was a dominant religion.

Most of the signs and symbols of the old Christian Faith still exist in bastardized forms, making it much harder for a Christian now to know who his enemies and his friends are. It is also much harder to evangelize, because Christianity is not a new religion as it was in the time of the catacombs but a religion that has been tried and rejected.

Although in the minority, antique Christians could make a very sizeable breach in the enemies' wall if they would stop being fooled by post-Christians who still use the old Christian words and forms to cloak very anti-Christian deeds. Leaving it up to God to judge the disposition of souls, Christians should judge the actions of post-Christian deceivers. When George Bush proclaims he is a Christian and then pursues a "one World" democratic, capitalist faith, he is not a Christian. When the Catholic popes pursue a policy of ecumenism that leads to joint worship with Muslims, they are not believing Christians by any yardstick of any Christian living prior to the 20th century. And when Catholic and Protestant clergy tell us that black voodoo and Christianity are compatible, they reveal to us that they are not Christian and are in league with the enemy.

The first step in any war is to know whom one is fighting. It is possible to defeat Muslims and post-Christian technocrats if one puts them both in the ranks of the enemy, where they belong.

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