â€œI went down on my knees and prayed Almighty God for light and guidance more than one night. And one night late it came to meâ€¦:(1) That we could not give them [the Philippines] back to Spain â€“ that would be cowardly and dishonorable; (2) that we could not turn them over to France and Germany â€“ our commercial rivals in the Orient â€“ that would be bad business and discreditable; (3) that we could not leave them to themselves â€“ they were unfit for self-government â€“ and they would soon have anarchy and misrule over there worse than Spainâ€™s was; and (4) that there was nothing left for us to do but to take them all, and to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilize and Christianize them, and by Godâ€™s grace do the very best we could by them, as our fellow-men for whom Christ also died. And then I went to bed, and went to sleep, and slept soundly, and the next morning I sent for the …War Department map-maker, and I told him to put the Philippines on the map of the United States (pointing to a large wall map), and there they are, and there they will stay while I am President!â€ *
President William McKinleyâ€™s words should echo with President Bush and his Evangelical zealots. Like the Republican who initiated
After McKinley was assassinated in 1900, subsequent Presidents sent troops back to
Long before troops destroyed the Vietnamese village â€œto save it,â€ and a century plus before GIs decimated Falluja and killed thousands of its residents to bring democracy to
One critical citizen satirized McKinleyâ€™s war: â€œG is for guns/ That McKinley has sent/ To teach Filipinos/ What Jesus Christ meant.â€
The bible thumpers of the time praised McKinleyâ€™s will in overcoming Satan (Filipinos, not Arabs) with military force. Now, 106 years later, as scientists map the human genetic structure and discover secrets of the galaxy that date back thousands of centuries, the descendents of the religious zealots that counseled McKinley win court battles to validate creationism and push Armageddon and Rapture as themes of U.S. Middle East policy.
While the â€œend of the world is nearâ€ gang drank unfermented apple juice to celebrate the election results, I recalled the celebration in 1979 when the Ayatollah Khomeini and his pious minions consolidated their control of the Iranian Revolution.
How could so many people here and there, I asked myself, act against their own freedoms? How can educated people â€“ using high technology and science â€“ believe that God revealed His Middle East plan to Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell?
In October, Robertson, the aging Baptist Maharishi, told some 4,000-plus pilgrims in Jerusalemâ€™s convention center that devious Muslims intended to foil â€œGodâ€™s planâ€ to let Israel hold on to its lands. (Haâ€™aratz Oct 4)
Robertson interpreted Islamâ€™s intention â€œto destroy
Robertsonâ€™s fellow Baptist preacher Jerry Falwell has long proclaimed strong support for
â€œA few of you don’t like the Jews and I know why,â€ Falwell sanctimoniously told his congregation. â€œThey can make more money accidentally than you can on purpose.â€ (The Washington Star,
Too bad such accidents donâ€™t happen to me, I thought. The Biblicists have placed me inside a contradictory construction. As a Jew I remain an object of their scorn, since I descended from the tribe that betrayed Jesus. But I could move to
Imagine Falwell and his pious congregation dropping acid amidst velveteen paintings of Jesus, as the clean-cut Liberty Baptist Church of Lynchburg Virginia sings â€œJesus Is All the World to Me.â€
Israeli extremists donâ€™t seem to mind that the most fervent supporters of â€œa greater
The preacher denied he was anti-Semitic. â€œAn anti-Semite,â€ he explained, â€œhates Jews more than heâ€™s supposed to.â€ Would Jesus have endorsed such flummery? â€œWould Jesus wear a Rolex on his television show?â€ asked country satirist Ray Stevens.
Life outstrips satire, however, when it comes to Robertsonâ€™s intimate relationship with God, especially as He dictates political moves. Using Godâ€™s name, Robertson sent â€œnoticeâ€ to Osama bin Laden, Arafat and Palestinian militant groups that â€œyou will not frustrate Godâ€™s planâ€ to have Jews rule the Holy Land until the Second Coming of Jesus.â€
â€œGod alone,â€ Robertson declared, should decide if
Robertson and Falwell claim that the Bible predicts the Messiahâ€™s return to the
I understand that Israelis need the pilgrimsâ€™ tourist dollars, but many Jews laugh at â€œMessiah babble.â€ A Jew tells his wife that after months of unemployment that the elders hired him to stand outside the village gate and greet the Messiah when he comes â€“ but for only 2 kopeks a month.
â€œYouâ€™ll work for such low pay?â€ his wife asked incredulously.
â€œDonâ€™t worry,â€ he reassured her, â€œitâ€™s a lifetime job.â€
A visiting New Yorker told how shortly after the birth of
â€œAre you crazy,â€ his wife replied. â€œAfter spending all that money fixing up the house, Iâ€™m not moving.â€
The Israeli government, however, has submerged humor and forged close alliances with fundamentalist Christians. In return, evangelicals contribute big bucks to
So, Israeli officials turn blind eyes to Reverend Falwellâ€™s verbal transgressions As recently as
â€œIs he alive and here today?â€ asked Falwell. â€œProbably. Because when he appears during the Tribulation period he will be a full-grown counterfeit of Christ. Of course heâ€™ll be Jewish and male.â€ I looked in the mirror when I read that statement. Could it be me? â€œOf course he’ll pretend to be Christ.â€ I breathed easier since I had no such pretensions. But what about other Jewish men? Well, most of them didnâ€™t vote for Bush, or believe that God spoke to him â€“ or McKinley for that matter. Reasonable people donâ€™t think that God ordered Bush to bring freedom (free markets) to the
Landau directs digital media arts at Cal Poly Pomona and is a fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies. His new book is The Business of