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Christianists and Zionism (6.May.2005 update)

US-based fundamentalist Christians (aka Christianists) and pro-Zionist forces are dually linked as the greatest threat to global peace and stability existing today on earth. Quite literally, their prime goal and intention is to bring the human population closer to the brink of the biblical-revelation-described 'Rapture'.

Articles and their selected excerpts below - with many references and sub-links - explain, in detail, the pervasive and unfettered power that these groups and ideologies have (especially with the advent of GWB administration post-9/11) over the current US military, mass media  http://www.corporations.org/media/ and corporate regime.
[previous 22.Jan.2005 20:16 post here  http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2005/01/308997.shtml]

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A Strange Kind of Freedom, by Robert Fisk
 http://www.independent.co.uk/story.jsp?story=313235
 http://www.commondreams.org/views02/0710-07.htm
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/10/300832.shtml

An Ideological Tower of Babel, by Lila Rajiva
 http://www.counterpunch.org/rajiva01152005.html
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2005/01/308216.shtml

Christianist Ayatollahs Bring America To Shame; Are Worse Threat Than 'Communism'
 http://www.opednews.com/kall051704_christianist_ayatollahs.htm
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/05/288638.shtml

The Jesus Landing Pad, by Rick Perlstein
Bush White House checked with rapture Christians before latest Israel move
 http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0420/perlstein.php
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/05/288694.shtml

Air Jesus
With The Evangelical Air Force
 http://www.mediatransparency.org/stories/nrbconvention.html

Stations of the Cross: How Evangelical Christians Are Creating an Alternative Universe of Faith-Based News
By Mariah Blake
The Columbia Journalism Review
 http://www.cjr.org/issues/2005/3/blake-evangelist.asp
 http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/050505G.shtml

Bush, Christian Right and Zionism
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/12/305253.shtml

Israel's Men from JINSA and CSP
 http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20020902&s=vest
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2002/12/39650.shtml

Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell is on the JINSA advisory board
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/12/305345.shtml

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Christianists and Zionism
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2005/01/308997.shtml

US-based fundamentalist Christians (aka Christianists) and pro-Zionist forces are dually linked as the greatest threat to global peace and stability existing today on earth. Quite literally, their prime goal and intention is to bring the human population closer to the brink of the biblical-revelation-described 'Rapture'.

Articles below - with many references and sub-links - explain, in detail, the pervasive and unfettered power that these groups and ideologies have (especially with the advent of GWB administration post-9/11) over the current US military, mass media, and corporate regime.

----------

A Strange Kind of Freedom, by Robert Fisk
 http://www.independent.co.uk/story.jsp?story=313235
 http://www.commondreams.org/views02/0710-07.htm
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/10/300832.shtml

The most astonishing -- and least covered -- story is in fact the alliance of Israeli lobbyists and Christian Zionist fundamentalists, a coalition that began in 1978 with the publication of a Likud plan to encourage fundamentalist churches to give their support to Israel. By 1980, there was an "International Christian Embassy" in Jerusalem; and in 1985, a Christian Zionist lobby emerged at a "National Prayer Breakfast for Israel" whose principal speaker was Benjamin Netanyahu, who was to become Israeli prime minister. "A sense of history, poetry and morality imbued the Christian Zionists who, more than a century ago, began to write, plan and organise for Israel's restoration," Netanyahu told his audience. The so-called National Unity Coalition for Israel became a lobbying arm of Christian Zionism with contacts in Congress and neo-conservative think-tanks in Washington.

. . . In May [2002], the Israeli embassy in Washington, no less, arranged a prayer breakfast for Christian Zionists. Present were Alonzo Short, a member of the board of "Promise Keepers", and Michael Little who is president of the "Christian Broadcasting Network". Event hosts were listed as including those dour old Christian conservatives Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, who once financed a rogue television station in southern Lebanon which threatened Muslim villagers and broadcast tirades by Major Saad Haddad, Israel's stooge militia leader in Lebanon. In Tennessee, Jewish officials invited hundreds of Christians to join Jewish crowds at a pro-Israel solidarity rally in Memphis.

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An Ideological Tower of Babel, by Lila Rajiva
 http://www.counterpunch.org/rajiva01152005.html
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2005/01/308216.shtml

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Christianist Ayatollahs Bring America To Shame; Are Worse Threat Than 'Communism'
 http://www.opednews.com/kall051704_christianist_ayatollahs.htm
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/05/288638.shtml

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The Jesus Landing Pad, by Rick Perlstein
Bush White House checked with rapture Christians before latest Israel move
 http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0420/perlstein.php
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/05/288694.shtml

It was an e-mail we weren't meant to see. Not for our eyes were the notes that showed White House staffers taking two-hour meetings with Christian fundamentalists, where they passed off bogus social science on gay marriage as if it were holy writ and issued fiery warnings that "the Presidents [sic] Administration and current Government is engaged in cultural, economical, and social struggle on every level"—this to a group whose representative in Israel believed herself to have been attacked by witchcraft unleashed by proximity to a volume of Harry Potter. Most of all, apparently, we're not supposed to know the National Security Council's top Middle East aide consults with apocalyptic Christians eager to ensure American policy on Israel conforms with their sectarian doomsday scenarios.

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Bush, Christian Right and Zionism
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/12/305253.shtml

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Israel's Men from JINSA and CSP
 http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20020902&s=vest
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2002/12/39650.shtml

Almost thirty years ago, a prominent group of neoconservative hawks found an effective vehicle for advocating their views via the Committee on the Present Danger, a group that fervently believed the United States was a hair away from being militarily surpassed by the Soviet Union, and whose raison d'ętre was strident advocacy of bigger military budgets, near-fanatical opposition to any form of arms control and zealous championing of a Likudnik Israel. Considered a marginal group in its nascent days during the Carter Administration, with the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 CPD went from the margins to the center of power.

Just as the right-wing defense intellectuals made CPD a cornerstone of a shadow defense establishment during the Carter Administration, so, too, did the right during the Clinton years, in part through two organizations: the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) and the Center for Security Policy (CSP). And just as was the case two decades ago, dozens of their members have ascended to powerful government posts, where their advocacy in support of the same agenda continues, abetted by the out-of-government adjuncts from which they came. Industrious and persistent, they've managed to weave a number of issues--support for national missile defense, opposition to arms control treaties, championing of wasteful weapons systems, arms aid to Turkey and American unilateralism in general--into a hard line, with support for the Israeli right at its core.

On no issue is the JINSA/CSP hard line more evident than in its relentless campaign for war--not just with Iraq, but "total war," as Michael Ledeen, one of the most influential JINSAns in Washington, put it last year . . . Indeed, there are some in military and intelligence circles who have taken to using "axis of evil" in reference to JINSA and CSP . . .

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Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell is on the JINSA advisory board
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/12/305345.shtml

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Stations of the Cross: How Evangelical Christians Are Creating an Alternative Universe of Faith-Based News
By Mariah Blake
The Columbia Journalism Review
 http://www.cjr.org/issues/2005/3/blake-evangelist.asp
 http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/050505G.shtml

. . .

Christians have been flocking to broadcasting ever since the first radio programs began crackling across the airwaves in the early 1900s. By the 1930s, evangelicals were lobbying for policies that would ensure their dominance in the religious broadcasting realm. Their activism was catalyzed by the fact that early on, the big-three networks donated rather than sold airtime to religious organizations. The Federal Council of Churches, which represented the more liberal mainline denominations, favored this system, which it believed would help keep the religious message from getting corrupted. But evangelicals worried that networks would lavish mainline churches with free airtime while giving their own ministries short shrift. In 1944, they formed the National Religious Broadcasters( NRB), and that organization lobbied federal regulators. The strategy worked; the government eventually decided to let religious organizations purchase as much airtime as they could afford. Evangelical preachers were soon flooding the airwaves, while mainline broadcast ministries all but vanished from the radio dial.

In the sixty-one years since its founding, the NRB has grown to represent 1,600 broadcasters with billions of dollars in media holdings and staggering political clout. Its aggressive political maneuverings have helped shape federal policy, further easing the evangelical networks' rapid growth. In 2000, for instance, the Federal Communications Commission issued guidelines that would have barred religious broadcasters from taking over frequencies designated for educational programming. The NRB lobbied Congress to intervene, at one point delivering a petition signed by nearly half a million people. Legislators, in turn, bore down on the FCC, and the agency relented.

. . .

As the NRB has grown larger and more powerful, so have the broadcasters it represents. Over the last decade, Christian TV networks have added tens of millions of homes to their distribution lists by leaping onto satellite and cable systems. The number of religious radio stations - the vast majority of which are evangelical - has grown by about 85 percent since 1998 alone. They now outnumber rock, classical, hip-hop, R&B, soul, and jazz stations combined.

. . .

Christian news networks devote an enormous amount of airtime to Israel, and their interest has theological underpinnings. In addition to being the place where many biblical events unfolded, Israel plays a pivotal role in biblical prophecy. Most evangelicals emphasize that God granted Israel to the Jews through a covenant with Abraham. They believe that the Jews' return to Israel was biblically foreordained, and that Jewish control over Israel will trigger a cascade of apocalyptic events that will culminate in Christ's second coming. Israel's strength is vital to their own redemption.

Such beliefs explain the unwavering support for Israel expressed by some evangelical talk show hosts. Among them is Kay Arthur, whose radio and TV program, Precepts For Life, offers audiences biblical solutions to everyday dilemmas such as divorce and addictions. She took to the stage at the Israeli Ministry of Tourism Breakfast, held in conjunction with the 2005 NRB conference, and told the hundreds of broadcasters in the audience, "If it came to a choice between Israel and America, I would stand with Israel." Janet Parshall, host of a popular political program that also runs both on radio and TV, implored the Israelis in attendance, "Please, please, do not give up any more land." Lest anyone think her alone in her zeal, she urged all those who believed "in the sovereignty of Israel" to stand. Virtually everyone in the room got up.

Some influential evangelical hosts - among them Arthur, Parshall, and Pat Robertson - sometimes broadcast live from Israel and urge listeners and viewers to visit the country. Their pleas have helped persuade thousands of American Christians to brave the bloody Intifada for a chance to savor the sights and smells of Christ's homeland, while supporting Israel's battered economy.

The Israeli government has responded with gratitude. Senior officials meet regularly with evangelical broadcasters. Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent Pat Robertson a taped message for his seventy-fifth birthday, thanking him for his stalwart support. In addition to staging lavish events in the broadcasters' honor, the country's tourism ministry rents one of the largest booths at each year's NRB conference. This year's event also featured a number of other Israel-focused exhibits, including the burned-out hull of a Jerusalem city bus that was struck by a suicide bomber in January 2004. Part of the roof had been ripped off and all that was left of the rear seats was a jumble of twisted steel and charred upholstery. Near the bumper hung a poster with images of bomb-laden Palestinian boys. It read: "When Palestinians love their children more than they hate Israel, then there will be peace in Palestine."

The turmoil gripping the Middle East has proven to be a particularly appealing topic for shows like the International Intelligence Briefing and Prophecy in the News, which interpret world events - be it the rise of the European Union or the Asian tsunami - in light of biblical prophecy. This approach tends to cast events that flow from controversial human choices as the natural and inevitable march of destiny. Prophecy-focused shows suggest that the war in Iraq was foretold in the Bible, for instance.

Some political talk shows go even further out on the apocalyptic edge. Among them is the 700 Club, which airs on numerous mainstream stations and reaches about a million U.S. viewers each day. Its February 25 edition featured an interview with a man named Glenn Miller, touted on the 700 Club Web site as a "proven prophet." A scholarly looking man, Miller sat nestled in an armchair, a faux-urban skyline glittering in the background, and explained why God had sent America to war with Iraq. "It has nothing to do with terrorism," he told Pat Robertson's son, Gordon. "It has nothing to do with oil. It has everything to do with that there's 1.2 million Muslims that have been deceived by the false God Allah, and that the God of heaven, Jehovah, is now in the process of doing war if you will against that spirit to . . . break the power of deception so those people can be exposed to the gospel." As Miller spoke, Robertson nodded in sympathy. At one point, Robertson chimed in with the tale of a CBN reporter who was embedded with one of the first infantry divisions to march into Baghdad: "He said there was a sense among the troops - and he had this personal sense as well - that this was a spiritual victory, that this was a movement in the heavenlies."

Some evangelical talk show hosts see more conflict on the horizon in the Middle East. For instance, J.R. Church of Prophecy in the News recently predicted that the United States would attack Syria, probably with a nuclear bomb. As proof the host pointed to a passage from Isaiah, which warned that Damascus would be reduced to a "ruinous heap."

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Air Jesus
With The Evangelical Air Force
 http://www.mediatransparency.org/stories/nrbconvention.html

As Christian broadcasting's leading lights gathered at the National Religious Broadcasters' convention in Anaheim, California, only power-mongering and profiteering could keep their contradictions from bubbling to the surface

by Max Blumenthal
for Mediatransparency.org

POSTED FEBRUARY 27, 2005 --

"How many of you out there think ministering the Word is unpopular?" the Rev. James McDonald asked a rapt crowd of hundreds at the opening ceremony of the National Religious Broadcasters' (NRB -  http://www.nrb.org/) convention. A beefy, bald-headed evangelist Air Jesus: With the Evangelical Air Forcewith a folksy style and an uncanny resemblance to Jesse Ventura, McDonald spent his 30 minute sermon harping on a theme that would dominate the convention: Christian persecution.

. . .

Nowhere during the NRB conference were the contradictions more severe -- or better suppressed -- than at the Israeli Tourism Ministry breakfast. Since the Intifada began four years ago, damaging Israel's international prestige and scaring off Jewish tourists, Israel ramped up its campaign for evangelical support by marketing itself as the place "where Jesus walked" and enlisting Christian broadcasters as surrogate propagandists. With the Intifada now at a dead end and Israel expecting upwards of 700,000 Christian tourists this year, tourism officials deployed to the convention exuded a blithe, celebratory mood, feting their Christian guests with abundant helpings of scrambled eggs, creamed spinach and sweet rolls, all courtesy of grateful Israeli taxpayers.

In recent years, one of the most outspoken evangelical supporters of Israel has been popular radio host Janet Parshall. As the breakfast's keynote speaker, she described her decision to tour Israel by recounting a conversation with God.

"God, the Holy Land has terrorists, I said. But, God said, 'Janet, you're from Washington DC,'" Parshall recalled to uproarious laughter. But whom was Parshall's God referring to? To DC's political class? Or to DC's sizable population of young Black males who are so often demonized in the conservative media as a criminal plague? The crowd seemed to know.

Parshall was preceded by Michael Medved, a former left-wing Jewish radical who gained prominence as a convert to conservatism. He began his speech by reminding the crowd why he was one of the Christian Right's favorite House Hebrews: "A more Christian America is good for the Jews because a more Christian America is good for America." The audience clapped politely, but did not truly warm up to Medved until his first salvo against other Jews. "When you see Jews who are part of the attack on Christmas," Medved said, "you know they have rejected their own faith." The crowd erupted in spontaneous applause.

Perhaps the most startling moment of the morning was an appearance by popular Christian Zionist author, Kay Arthur of Precepts Ministries. "I love America," Arthur said, her voice quivering with emotion. "But if it came to a choice between Israel and America, I would stand with Israel." While the crowd applauded tepidly, I looked around and saw more than a few faces cringing with embarrassment. Arthur went on to read excerpts from the Book of Revelations, painting a surreal image of Jesus seated in a throne floating above Jerusalem, rapturing all the world's true believers up to Heaven. She left the fate of unreconstructed Jews to the imagination.

When Arthur finished, Israel's soft-spoken tourism minister, Avraham Hirschsohn, approached the podium to declare somewhat unctuously, "You stood with us for the last four years when nobody else would. Thank you."

The following day, I paid a visit to the Israeli Tourism Ministry's booth in the convention's cavernous exposition hall. There I met a tall, svelte blonde named Marina, who lived on a cooperative mango farm near the Sea of Gallilee. I asked her if she agreed with the political views of the NRB conventioneers.

"No, no, and no," she stated firmly.

Then what was she doing there?

"I walked around here earlier today looking at everything," Marina said, "and I wondered to myself, 'What am I doing here?'" Her eyes welled up with tears. "I mean, come on, these people are anti-Semitic." Though I didn't see any overt anti-semitism in evidence at the conference, evangelical leaders like Pat Robertson  http://www.cursor.org/stories/selfdealing.htm and Don Wildmon of the American Family Association ( http://www.afa.net/about.asp) have long histories of anti-semitic statements.

Just then a small, aging man ambled towards us and identified himself as Itzhak, the founder of Kibbutz Ginosar ( http://www.ginosar.co.il/indexe.html), also located on the Gallilee. "But these people supported us for four years," he reminded Marina in a scolding tone, referring to conservative evangelicals. I asked him if he agreed with their politics.

Itzhak paused, staring at the ground for a moment, then asked me, "Did you see the bus?"

I replied that I had not.

"The Americans brought that bus," he said. His voice dripped with disdain.

I followed Itzhak's directions to the back of the convention hall and there it was: Bus #19  http://www.tjci.org/bus19/html/about-where.htm , a Jerusalem city bus attacked by a Palestinian suicide bomber in January 2004. A scorched, hollow hulk of twisted steel beams, the bus was hoisted up on a display platform like a concept car at some macabre auto convention. A giant piece of posterboard leaning against the platform featured headshots of hundreds of Israeli suicide bombing casualties. Beside was a banner that read, "Terror Cannot Be Tolerated." (So must tolerance be terrorized?)

Bus #19 is owned by a Christian Zionist group called "The Jerusalem Connection" ( http://www.tjci.org/), which, according to its president, retired US Brigadier General James Hutchens, "looks at the conflict in Israel within a biblical context." The bus had toured the world, from The Hague, where it served as a prop for protesters against the World Court's condemnation of the Israeli separation wall, to the US for various evangelical "Remember Israel" rallies. At each stop, it was being offered up by The Jerusalem Connection like a moonbounce for a kid's birthday party.

At a table near the bus, a Jerusalem Connection employee was handing out pamphlets titled, "Bring Bus #19 To Your Community!" One reason the pamphlet offered for sponsoring it: "For Christians, you will increase in stature, appreciation and acceptance by Jews."

Rev. Plummer was holding court with some friends beside the bus, just where he promised to be during his fiery speech a day prior at the Israeli Tourism Ministry breakfast. A slight, mustachioed Black man, Plummer is a leading light in the GOP's push for a greater share of the Black vote. And though he took his token potshots at Black liberals at the breakfast, asserting that Blacks "have more allegiance to a party than to the God that made us," his most vitriolic statements were directed against Islam.

"I come from Detroit, where the biggest mosque in America is," Plummer said:

"It didn't take 9/11 to show me there is a battle for the souls of men...When Islam comes into a place, their intention is to take over everything. The businesses, the neighborhoods, everything."

In theory, Plummer wasn't opposed to having religious extremists subvert a greater society. His critique of Islam, couched in the language of spiritual warfare, was only meant to cast it as Christianity's most dangerous competitor. The Christian Right's dominionist intentions, a theme of the convention, were particularly in evidence at a seminar called, "Taking Over Cities For Christ: The Thousand Day Plan."

The seminar was led by Raul Justiniano, the Bolivian president of the Confederation of Ibero-American Communicators (COICOM), NRB's Latin American counterpart. Like a counter-revolutionary version of Che Guevara, the goateed Justiniano laid out his three-year plan to "invade" Latin American cities one by one by establishing cells in local churches and spreading outwards to "take possession of all parts of the city."

In the past decade, Justiniano has plastered Latin American cities with apparently non-religious billboard advertisements soliciting people to evangelization centers, saturated local media with Christian-themed commercials and films, and hosted stadium-sized revivals across the sub-continent. All in all, he claims to have won millions of souls through 61 "invasions" in six countries.

"Christian media is the air force and the church gives us people on the ground to mobilize our troops," Justiniano explained. "People will take notice and those are your targets. Everyone will be networked in eventually."

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Another new one: 07.May.2005 15:44

enraptured

End Times Imperialism
Biblical Prophecy and Christian Zionism

By GARY LEUPP