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God vs. God
November 9, 2001
by W. David Jenkins III

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Jesus loves the little children
A all the children of the world
Red and Yellow, Black and White,
They are precious in His sight
Jesus loves the little children of the world.

"God Bless America." It's everywhere from billboards to the 7th inning "song break." Everybody seems to have adopted this little phrase as a replacement for "see ya later" or "that's all for now" or whatever they used to use to end a message or conversation.

American presidents both elected and court-appointed have used the phrase to end their speeches. Companies have suddenly started using it as a sort of patriotic attention-getter right after they pitch their product to us. The so-called war we wage is right because God is on our side. He likes us better, or hadn't you heard yet? We are the victims now but not for long. Just listen to the choir of leaders from all fields of influence.

In the days after the attacks of 9/11, Mr. Bush informed us that this was "not a religious war but a defense of our freedoms and all we stand for." He told us we don't have a "beef" with the Muslims of the world. Then we heard about "rounding them up and smoking them out" as if Mr. Bush had somehow confused varmint control on his ranch with the world of terrorism. But people don't worry because God is on our side. We have a war on terrorism to fight, remember?

One of my favorite comics was The Far Side. I'll never forget the one of God in his kitchen with a box of "Earth-Mix." As he takes the baked good out of His oven he looks and thinks to Himself, "Something tells me this thing is only half-baked."

Something tells me cartoonist Gary Larson was right. What in the world was God thinking? Did the Creator purposely set out to confuse his kids? I've always thought that there was one God (or Goddess, if you will) with many aliases. Yahweh, Buddha, Allah, God, Goddess, whoever a person chose to pick as their creator. And all the religious manuals from the Bible to the Koran to the Book of Shadows all want us to do the same thing. To put it simply:

"Know that I'm here and in charge and, above all, be nice to everybody."

That's religion in a nutshell. All of them. Oh, sure there are all these little incidentals that manage to keep them separate from one another and the believers of one thinking they have something over the believers of another. And there lies the problem. George W. and his followers and Osama bin Laden and his followers think the same entity is on their side. Just like the Baptists, the Catholics, the Jews - everybody. If we are all God's children, if Jesus loves all the children of the world, then God must be the most unhappy parent in the universe. God's world has become the Romper Room from Hell. Everybody thinks that they're right.

And they are. And they're not. And that is religion. Whatever works for you and your family, whatever makes you a better person is the right choice. For you. Not your neighbor, not your brother or sister, not your congressman or woman - just you. And whatever you do, don't go trying to push your beliefs on me or anybody else because that just makes you a very watered down version of Osama bin Laden. Unless you're one of those "Right-to Life" snipers or bombers, that is. Then you're the same thing as bin Laden. You're a fundamentalist, so is he. And fundamentalism is what we're really at war with. Trouble is, too many people can't get their red, white and blue blindfolds off long enough to see that. That's why the "war on terrorism" is a lost cause.

The fundamentalists are the "Evil Doers." Fundamentalism is defined as "A usually religious movement or point of view characterized by a return to fundamental principles, by rigid adherence to those principles, and often by intolerance of other views and opposition to secularism."

The people who attacked America in September are people who are willing to suffer any consequence for their version of God. Even death. They've proved that and yet we are willing, as long as the strongest supporters don't have to go, to send our children into a virtual cesspool to defeat people who simply will not give up. Their version of God will carry them through, just like our children' s God. So the circle goes round and round and round - and the only people who truly benefit are the ones who's children are far too "fortunate" (ie. wealthy) to lie in the mud and snow as their dying place while their fathers fatten their own already bulging fortunes.

No, this isn't Viet Nam. It's worse. Our court-appointed "leaders" and their benefactors are currently spitting on the graves of the innocent who were stolen from us in September for their own personal gain.

God Bless America.

The same people who sang those words on the Capitol steps over a month ago are also trying to attach the restoration of the tax deduction for the "three martini lunch" to defense spending bills. And let's not forget the elimination of the Corporate Alternative Minimum Tax. How about the GE bail out? Or Enron? How about $33 billion for insurance companies to protect them from "future terrorist victims claims?" And the list goes on, right under most Americans noses because they're too busy waving their flags and foaming at the mouth to pay attention to the GOP's version of fundamentalism. The people who think that God is a Republican are waging a covert operation against their own countrymen.

That's the mentality we are facing on both fronts. Fundamentalism comes in many ugly forms.

That's what America is at war with. Not Afghanistan or the Muslim's but the fundamentalist mentality that infests not only the populations of other countries but right here at home.

The United States has experienced terrorist attacks for years. Granted they weren't of the magnitude of September 11th, but they were terrorist attacks all the same. The list of violent attacks against women's clinics, doctors, gays and minorities is staggering. Then there was the Unabomber and Timothy McVeigh. I find it so sad and at the same time appalling that it took the loss of over 5000 lives to finally wake people up to the threat of terrorism.

Terrorism has been a part of our culture for many years. Terrorism has been happening right here under our noses. But like good Americans, in order to do anything about it, we had to wait for a foreign scape-goat so as not to turn the accusing finger at ourselves. And for that, we should be ashamed.

But most Americans are not. They're too busy ordering their cheesy "Old Glories" with the cheap white plastic flagpole to clip to their cars and mailboxes. You see them all over the streets and highways, no longer attached to their original foundations. Just another testament to how easily some Americans can be suckered in the name of "patriotism."

Then there are the folks who are busy writing letters to the editor trying to explain that if we had never taken prayer out of schools none of this would have happened. They feel the whole world should adopt their version of God. So do the fundamentalist Muslims. So do all the fundamentalists. Like bin Laden. Like Right to Life snipers, bombers and protesters. Like Ann Coulter. Like Jerry Falwell.

And let's not forget "political fundamentalism." The intolerance for questioning the self proclaimed wisdom of our court appointed leaders has become the norm amongst the corporate media and the mental lemmings who make up far too many of this country's population. In this so-called war our enemy is not terrorism. The enemy is fundamentalism, both religious and political.

The violent and intolerant perversion of any religion and the ignorance of any God's true word is the enemy. And it strikes me as odd that a certain president whose favorite political philosopher was supposedly Jesus still doesn't get it.

Gary Larson was right. The Earth is half-baked. And so is Bush's war on terrorism.

 
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