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"Today, our version of Christmas bears almost no relationship to the nativity story in the synoptic Gospels. Probably by the design of our technopoly's high priests of social engineering..." 

 

 

War Is Peace: The Pax Americana Imperium Wishes You An Orwellian Christmas!
Posted December 25, 2004 thepeoplesvoice.org

By: Evan Augustine Peterson lll, J.D.

Americans have run the entire cycle of Christmas-deconstruction by spiritualizing, sentimentalizing, universalizing, and -- ultimately -- commercializing the holiday. Today, our version of Christmas bears almost no relationship to the nativity story in the synoptic Gospels. Probably by the design of our technopoly's high priests of social engineering, Christmas is so devoid of content that it is compatible with virtually anything, including its antitheses: (A) virulent materialist greed, because the Wall Street investor-class worships The Market; and (B) rampant warmongering, because the military-industrial complex's revolving-door fatcats worship blood-soaked Mars. [1]

Of course, the original Christmas event did have profound spiritual meaning, but it wasn't merely symbolic, like ours is now. For instance, when read in its original Koine Greek, John 1 defines Christ as the "Logos" -- "the transcendent divine mind" -- made manifest. The celebration of the birth of Jesus marked the moment when "the Logos became flesh and dwelt among us." This authentic Christmas spirituality has profound practical implications for the lives of disciples everywhere, all of whom are called upon to drastically re-order our individual and collective behavior in this world in accordance to the in-coming revelation of the transcendent. [2] 

Furthermore, the story of Jesus' birth is incomprehensible to most Americans because we do not understand its political implications in their historical context. [3] If Americans were illuminated by the political implications of Christmas, one predictable consequence is that we would understand the world around us quite differently. For instance, we'd know that the Romans thought they were "liberating" the "less-civilized Jews" by forcibly subsuming their faraway land of Judea into the Pax Romana Imperium ("Imperial Roman Peace"). This Roman rationalization for conquest should sound familiar!

If Americans celebrated Christmas authentically -- with all of its implications intact -- we'd see, by way of historical analogy, what the nativity story of Jesus reveals. 
1. That the birth of The Prince of Peace calls into question the USA's might-makes-right "New World Order" ("Novus Ordo Seculorum"), because: 
(A) the postmodern equivalent of the ancient Romans' forcible imposition of their "Pax Romana Imperium" is the Americans' forcible imposition of their "Pax Americana Imperium" ("Imperial American Peace"); 
(B) the postmodern equivalent of Roman-occupied Judea is American-occupied Iraq; 
(C) the postmodern equivalents of Judea's Zealots are Iraq's nationalist insurgents; and 
(D) the postmodern equivalent of Pontius Pilate's Imperial Roman Army is the US military. 
2. That the birth of The Prince of Peace calls into question the USA's non-defensive war of aggression against a faraway land that neither attacked us, nor imminently threatened to attack us, nor even had the military capability to attack us. 
3. That the birth of The Prince of Peace calls into question our ongoing imperialist occupation of a faraway land in the misbegotten attempt to forcibly convert it into:
(A) a client state that is obedient to the West's marionette version of democracy;
(B) a petro-state economy that subordinates itself to the multinational-corporate version of global capitalism; and 
(C) a secularist society that is cloned from the USA's bipolar-schizophrenic version of symbolic Christianity combined with functional neopaganism. [4] 

The Bottom Line: Instead of ambivalently celebrating commercialized symbols of Christmas honoring the birth of an eviscerated False Christ who is bereft of real-world implications, why not rediscover The Real Event and The Real Person? Our efforts to do so could be the "stitch in time that saves" millions of lives from being destroyed by the Bushite neocons' concocted "World War IV" against a nonexistent "Islamofascism"! [5]

ENDNOTES

[1] The Atlantic Monthly Online requires a subscription, but you can read a concise summary of Harvey Cox's outstanding essay, "The Market As God: Living In The New Dispensation," at: http://www.jctr.org.zm/bulletins
/market%20as%20god.htm

Also see Mark Fiore's humorous 12-21-04 animation, "Bushy Claus," at: http://www.markfiore.com
/animation/claus.html


[2] Whereas Martin Luther erroneously taught that the Pauline doctrine of government in Romans 13 was an absolutist "two kingdoms ethic" that bifurcated Christ's spiritual "kingdom of the word" from the state's temporal "kingdom of the sword." The result was hypercompliant moral blindness: although "good spiritual people" may apply the peaceable Christian ethic on Sunday, they must apply the state's bellicose ethic on Monday through Saturday -- however violative of every conceivable human right it might be! Luther's all-too-convenient ethical teaching neatly sums up why the West has suffered from a centuries-long bout with bipolar-schizophrenia concerning the "moral theology of war," and why so many German Protestants watched in silent horror as the Nazis created their neopagan "Reichskirche" and filled their concentration camps.

Most Westerners have experienced their culture's normative bipolar-schizophrenia -- especially at Christmastime -- because they repeatedly encounter it as cognitive dissonance. Here are two examples involving the "prayer vs. preyer" dilemma. 
A. Prayer: Inside homes and churches, Americans are supposed to be celebrating the birth of Christ, the Prince of Peace. Preyer: Meanwhile our heedless nation is indiscriminately raining down bombs on Iraq's cities in hell-bent pursuit of its unjust and illegal war of aggression, which has killed 100,000+ innocent civilian noncombatants; 
(B) Prayer: Inside field chapels and mess halls, US military chaplains are supposed to be leading America's pious troops in Christmas prayers celebrating the birth of the Prince Of Peace. Preyer: When these obedient soldiers have finished, they must resume their combat duties to advance their nation's unjust and illegal war of aggression in Iraq.

[3] Read James Carroll's 12-21-04 CD/BG essay, "The Politics Of The Christmas Story," at: http://www.commondreams.org
/views04/1221-23.htm


[4] Read Karen Horst Cobb's 10-25-04 CD essay, "No Longer A Christian," at: http://www.commondreams.org
/views04/1025-25.htm

By the mid-nineteenth century, Danish theologian Sren Kierkegaard was lamenting that Christianity had been thoroughly corrupted by, and subsumed into, the modern nation-state. Hence, it no longer was possible to openly practice anything other than the state's purely-symbolic religiosity, which Kierkegaard dubbed "Churchianity," and defined as "the ambitious citizen's showpiece display of sanctimoniously-hypocritical piety." He concluded that authentic Christian discipleship was far too threatening to the existing political order, so nation-states imposed this unfortunate devolution into "Churchianity." Therefore, one could pursue discipleship only by becoming an "anonymous Christian." Postmoderns need add only this to SK's astute observations: "Plus a change, plus c'est la mme chose!" ("The more things change, the more they remain the same!").

[5] Read Jim Lobe's 12-20-04 TP essay, "Neocon Christmas List," at: http://www.tompaine.com/articles
/neocon_christmas_list.php
Now that the realists -- George Tenet, Colin Powell, and Richard Armitage -- have tendered their resignations, the Bush neoconservatives are back in the saddle again. Now that the neocons control Mr. Bush foreign-policy team (e.g., the NSA, the CIA, the DoD, and the DoS), we have a new problem. The neocon's foreign-policy agenda, as summarized in the following two points, is based on a demonstrably-false worldview: 
(a) the democratic West has won "World War III" (i.e., the Cold War) against the communist bloc (e.g., fought through proxies in Korea, Vietnam, and Afghanistan); 
(b) therefore, the USA must fight a concocted "World War IV" against their latest imaginary demon, a phantom they've dubbed "Islamofascism."

At best, the neocons have exposed their ignorance of history and politics by inventing the term "Islamofascism." At worst, it reveals their appalling ethnocentricity, because it's really nothing more than a vile Islamophobic slur. In actual point of fact, "Islamofascism" is a grossly-inaccurate misnomer. And here's why.

Islam hasn't created a single fascist state in it's 1,400-year history! That's because Islam creates Koranically-based medieval theocracies that are governed by regionally-diverse interpretations of Shari'a law. However, totalitarian fascism is a modern concept. And several elements that are essential to the definition of fascism are always absent from Islam's medieval theocracies.

Perhaps the closest Islam has ever gotten to reifying fascist totalitarianism was in the Ottoman Empire. During World War I, the Ottoman Empire was an unstable medieval theocracy that allied itself with German militarism. However, at that time, Germany was still in the process of devolving into fascism, so it would NOT be true to state that the Ottomans were allied with the fascists. Moreover, Turkey is all that remains of the Ottoman Empire today. And postmodern Turkey is a relatively stable democracy that is actively seeking membership in the European Union.

Some Islamic nations have devolved from democracies into autocracies, like the USA's backsliding client-state, Pakistan. And Saudi Arabia remains deeply mired in the House of Saud's feudal theocratic monarchy. Nonetheless, the vast majority of Islamic nations have been slowly evolving away from medieval theocracies, including the two at the top of the neocons' hit-list -- Iran and Syria.

Hence, the Bush neocons lack the necessary historical, political, and legal grounds on which to justify their imaginary "World War IV" against their nonexistent foe -- "Islamofascism." Meanwhile, they're ignoring the USA's real foe, who is more precisely analogous to a worldwide criminal organization like the Mafia -- the amorphous transnational franchise known as "al-Qaeda."

Therefore, the question we ought to be asking ourselves here is: "Why are the Bush neocons hell-bent on using the US military to forcibly conquer and remake the Near and Middle East?"

Again, the answer can be found in the neocons' religio-political affiliations, which create their worldview. The neocons could be fairly characterized as "Holy-War Fundamentalists," because they're either Christian Evangelicals or Jewish Zionists. These literalistic groupthinkers have created a new "faith-based" foreign policy that, in their blinkered estimation, justifies a "perpetual war for perpetual peace" agenda.

The neocons share at least six quasi-theological beliefs that shape their foreign policy: (1) American exceptionalism; (2) muscular triumphalism; (3) the miraculous transformative power of American might, or militaristic messianism; (4) "end-timers" and Zionists somehow can conflate the USA with God, and/or Israel with God; (5) the USA should ignore its own national interests in order to advance "Biblically-based" interests in the Mideast, which are currently embodied by Ariel Sharon's Likudniks; and (6) therefore, the USA must pursue an "Israel first" foreign-policy agenda.

Like it or not, that's why we invaded Iraq last year, and that's why the neocons are lobbying to invade Iran and Syria next year. Like it or not, that's why "war is peace" inside the Pax American Imperium, and that's why we're having an Orwellian Christmas.

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2004EAPIII Author: Evan Augustine Peterson III, J.D., is the Executive Director of the American Center for International Law ("ACIL"). EvPeters8@aol.com

 

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