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 How Would Jesus Kill Hugo Chavez?
by Edgar J. Steele

September 10, 2006

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"God told me to strike at al Qaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East."
  --- George W. Bush, 43rd US President and self-professed Christian, to Palestinian PM Abu Mazen, during a meeting in Aqaba, Jordan (early 2003)

"We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity."
  --- Ann Coulter, pundit and self-professed Christian, This Is War (NRO, 9/13/01)

Occasionally, I speak of my brother, the Southern Baptist.  He's a good sport and never has complained.  We are a study in contrasts, he and I; each trying to sway the other to his own point of view.  I'm going to win.  You see, I have God on my side.

Regularly, I receive inquiries from others as to my personal religious beliefs.  Always, I have kept my beliefs to myself.  Until now.  Even so, regular followers of my musings, particularly those who have read my book, Defensive Racism, will find no real surprises here today.

For those who routinely delete anything they receive that smacks of religion, be reassured that, while today's piece is about religion, at least in part, it is not religious.  In fact, you might find it of especial interest because I expect to anger a great many so-called Christians.

I was raised around Seventh-Day Adventists.  I attended church, Sabbath (not "Sunday") School and summer camps.  My cousins all were pretty devout.  In my immediate family, only my mother ever was devout in the classical sense, though, later in life, my oldest brother fell under the spell of Southern Baptists. 

It could be worse.   After all, my brother could have become a snake handler like Bush's last Attorney General, John Ashcroft.  Worse, he could have become whatever it is that enables our current Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, offspring of illegal immigrants, somehow to find support in the U.S. Constitution for torture, not to mention anything else that George Bush wants done, most notably the illegal wiretapping of American citizens.

A Spiritual Awakening ... of sorts

The Adventists running the church to which I was taken as a youngster so loved to dwell upon scaring their children witless with the specter of Hell that they managed to scare religion right out of me at a very early age.  Even at that age, I could reason well enough to know that there was something fishy about a universe so obviously perverted.  After all, I hadn't yet had a chance to do anything wrong.  Why, I hadn't even begun to think of becoming a lawyer.  Call my realization an epiphany - in every sense of the word, both secular and religious. 

Though I didn't know it at the time, I was like the little boy who replied, when asked just what he was so hard at work drawing: "God."  Told that nobody knew what God looked like, the little guy redoubled his effort and muttered, "They will in a minute."  Seriously.  I could have taught the adults in that church a thing or two, even then.  Instead, church thereafter became a strictly social thing for me.  Until it wasn't - about when my hormones kicked in - which is when I stopped going. 

It took another thirteen years or so for me to become spiritually curious again, when I undertook a Masters Degree program in "Mysticism and Comparative Religion."  Ultimately, I quit that course of study when I realized that, rather than becoming enlightened, I merely was learning about enlightenment and, in the process, adopting the limitations that religious figures down throughout history had imposed upon themselves.  Letting them stand on my shoulders, so to speak.  The real meaning of life began to dawn on me.

Revealed: The Meaning of Life

Ever since, I have been on an individual spiritual quest that I expect to endure for the rest of my life.  I have settled into a benign tolerance of all different religious points of view that do not attempt to harm me or mine.  Because politics and philosophy merely are reflections of that of which religion speaks, my tolerance has extended well afield in those areas, as well.  Am I "religious?"  Dunno.  You be the judge:

I believe in God, just not the sort normally depicted.  Of course, God is right in there with me on this because, even in the Bible, He says that we "cannot look upon" Him, a euphemism for our being fundamentally incapable of comprehending much of anything about God. 

I believe in an afterlife, just not the sort normally depicted.  Eternity quite simply is not the same as "non-time," which is the best way in which I have thought to express it. 

I have a clear concept of Hell, just not the sort normally depicted:  An eternity (see above) of regret (in contemplation of the harm that I have caused, in other words).

Suffice to say that I am spiritual, more than most, but really clear that the point of life is to ... live, quite simply.  All is grist for the mill.  Do no harm to others is my foremost precept.  Look upon your life as a portrait that you paint, with each day a fresh brush stroke, is another.  I could go on at book length and may actually do that someday, but I have other things to write - first and foremost, today's column.

My brother, the Southern Baptist, recently sent me the following email:

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here is part of an email I received recently:
 
Goodbye CITGO~  and KANGAROO

Cindy & Chavez

Venezuela Dictator Vows To Bring Down U.S. Government

Venezuela government is sole owner of Citgo gasoline company


Venezuela Dictator Hugo Chavez has vowed to bring down the U.S. government. Chavez, president of Venezuela, told a TV audience  : "Enough of imperialist aggression; we must tell the world: down with the U.S. empire. We have to bury imperialism this century." The guest on his television program, beamed across Venezuela, was Cindy Sheehan, the antiwar activist. Chavez recently had as his guest Harry Belafonte, who called President Bush "the greatest terrorist in the world." Chavez is pushing a socialist revolution and has a close alliance with Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. Regardless of your feelings about the war in Iraq, the issue here is that we have a socialist dictator vowing to bring down the government of the U.S. And he is using our money to achieve his goal!
The Venezuela government, run by dictator Chavez, is the sole owner of Citgo  gas company. Sales of products at Citgo stations send money back to Chavez to help him in his vow to bring down our government.

Take Action


Please decide that you will not be shopping at Citgo AND Kangaroo stations. Why should U.S. citizens who love freedom be financing a dictator who has vowed to take down our government?


Very important. Please forward this to your friends and family. Most of them don't know that Citgo is owned by the Venezuela government.
 


YOU CAN VERIFY THIS ON THE CITGO WEB PAGE.
http://www.citgo.com/AboutCITGO.jsp

---------------------------------------------------------------

Selective Disinformation and Selective Boycotts

Now, I happen to know that, for years, Jews have mounted worldwide Internet campaigns of disinformation and blatant falsification in order to foster support for their causes, particularly Israel, and to vilify those whom they perceive to be their enemies, including myself.  After sending my brother the reply that I reproduce in full below, I checked around on this Citgo story and learned that even Snopes, the "Urban Legend" debunking web site, equivocates about it and stops just short of calling it true.  That is because the story's thrust quite simply isn't true.  Chavez, though quoted out of context correctly, merely is reacting to what America has done to him and his country.  And who wouldn't?   Nor does Citgo's web site confirm anything except that it is Venezuelan owned, contrary to the impression given by the email I received from my brother.

Yet, now we are supposed to boycott Citgo, thereby disadvantaging far more Americans in its employ than in Chavez' employ.

Here's the real irony of the Citgo boycott campaign:  America outlaws boycotting the products of only one country in the world - Israel.  And that law is enforced, as Cook Composites and Polymers Company recently found out.  Cook was fined $6,000 merely for responding "to a request from a customer in Bahrain...stating that the goods being shipped were not of Israeli origin and did not contain Israeli materials."  (North Kansas City company settles charge related to boycott of Israel, Kansas City Star, June 25, 2003) 

Our Initial Exchange

Here is the initial reply I made to my brother's forwarded email, which encouraged me to boycott Citgo:  "You're not going to like this, but I wish there were Citgo stations around here for us to patronize..."

My brother answered with:  "Well, Ed, I'm not surprised at your reaction.  Like it or not, this nation is still your nation.  Its military forces are protecting your property and your family.  I certainly don't like a lot of what our government is doing, but I will support it, because the alternative is not a pleasant one for me."  See?  I told you he was a good sport, with all that the term implies:  fundamentally, quite a good person and the first to admit that he is flawed.

What began as a two-paragraph rebuttal turned into today's column.  I have elected to reproduce my full response to my brother the Southern Baptist because it almost immediately became apparent to me that I actually was writing for your benefit, gentle reader... and needed to add only this preface.

------------------------------------------------------------

My Considered Response

Consider me your loyal opponent. 

While I disapprove of our (not just your) international policy being dictated by apocalyptic, end-times thinking, I still respect religions...all religions...with the possible exception of Judaism, which arguably is a form of atheism (human secularism) and certainly of racial supremacy (Jewish, of course).  Anti-Jew?  No.  Anti-Judaism?  Yes, when its objectives and precepts are imposed upon the rest of us.  Anti-Semitic?  Whatever that means...frankly, I don't care, which is why I like to respond to such charges with, "That's MR. Anti-Semite to you!"

I object to the current grip that fundamentalist/dispensationalists have upon American foreign policy through Bush and Cheney.  Bush, who actually thinks that God talks directly to him, clearly is mad.  If God were to talk to anybody
  it sure wouldn't be a guy responsible for so much bloodshed!  Repeatedly, over the years, I have argued against Bush's election and reelection and for his impeachment.  

I protest fundamentalist support of foreign war on the one hand and outright condemn its hypocrisy for ignoring the teachings of Christ regarding how one's fellow man is to be treated.  I know that I thereby attack the very core of your religious beliefs, but where your religious beliefs impact my safety, my financial situation and my children's future, then I have a stake in just how your beliefs get applied. 

The Fundamental Hypocrisy of Fundamentalist Dispensationalism

Quite aside from my belief that, regardless of one's religious disposition, a life led approximately according to the teachings of Jesus Christ is a life lived best, my denunciation of fundamentalist/dispensationalist, war-mongering hypocrisy is a form of prosyletizing right back at fundamentalists, in an attempt to sway their objectives.  I merely point out how they violate everything that Christ preached and all that for which He both stood and died. 

I fail to understand how those who reject Christ's peacemaking precepts expect somehow to slip into Heaven as a result of the mystical "salvation" granted by His symbolic death.  Doesn't Christianity teach that salvation is granted only to those who accept Jesus Christ as his or her personal savior and follow His teachings?  How does killing Arabs in any way fit into that fundamental requirement?  How is merely standing by and allowing Arabs to be killed with your tax dollars any better?  How is cheering on Middle-Eastern internecine warfare, as encouraged and funded by America between Iraq and Iran a few years ago, any better?

I absolutely object to non-defensive violence being done in my name and with my tax money.  I have a fundamental right to do that, a right for the exercise of which Bush now labels me as being supportive of terrorism, in an attempt to shut down those who speak out as do I.  How does supporting Bush in quelling dissent such as mine square with Jesus Christ's teachings about the pursuit of righteousness, even unto one's own death?

By the way, Hugo Chavez is anything but a "dictator," having twice been democratically elected by his people to the Presidency of Venezuela, the last time overwhelmingly so and currently enjoying an approval rating from his people well above 80%.  We - the United States, via our CIA - forcibly removed him from office in 2002 after his last election and installed our own puppet.  The Venezuelan people rose up en masse and revolted, forcing Chavez' resumption of his Presidency and thwarting more than one attempt by us - again via the CIA - to assassinate Chavez. 

Fundamentalist/dispensationalist Pat Robertson last year publicly demanded that the US assassinate Chavez !  I have trouble imagining Jesus Christ making such a demand.  The man who overturned the moneychanger tables in the temple would do something like that Himself, in any event, rather than calling for others to do it for Him. 

How Would Jesus Kill Hugo Chavez?

Let's see now ... I wonder - just how would Jesus kill Hugo Chavez?  Shotgun?  Bazooka?  F16?  Cruise missile?  Atom bomb?  Or do you suppose that he might opt for something more personal, something like the traditional dagger, perhaps?  Or would he call down natural disasters, plagues and famines for Venezuela, as did Moses upon Egypt's Pharoah - something quite like the droughts and weather disasters now befalling America, perhaps?  Or do you suppose that Robertson, et al., just might not be speaking for God? 

Do you suppose, perhaps, that God really did mean it when He said:  "Thou shalt not kill?" 

Do you suppose that Jesus Christ really meant what He preached during the Sermon on the Mount?

Bush - not Chavez - the Real Dictator

Contrast Chavez' election with the fact that it now has been proven, irrevocably and well beyond a reasonable doubt, that Bush literally stole both the 2000 election and the 2004 election with fraud and payoffs.  By way of explanation, Major General William Boykin flatly stated:  "George Bush was not elected by a majority of the voters in the United States.  He was appointed by God."

Also, consider that Bush, with an  approval rating of 33%  ( last year's was 34%), still insists upon doing whatever he wishes (actually, what he is told to do by the CFR) and otherwise acts every bit the part of "dictator," classically defined as one who wields absolute power.  Bush considers himself above the law on all things, by his own admission, therefore he is a dictator, though he might sophomorically refer to himself as "the decider." 

Now, honestly, as between Chavez and Bush, who is the democratically-elected leader and who is the dictator?

Our Real Danger: the Threat from Within

Since you bring it up, my family and property would not now be in peril from without, but for the imperialism of America, not to mention the hubristic and hegemonic demands of Judaism.  American fundamentalists are only too eager to carry Israel's water because their leadership (Hagee, Falwell, Robertson, et al.) has been bought and paid for by Israel to  support Israel's bloodthirst.  Why?  Because that support neatly dovetails into the Biblically-described Apocalypse and thereby supposedly hastens the Second Coming.   Did you know that Israel gave Falwell a Lear Jet?   You blindly follow them and thereby work against the plainly-stated will of God regarding peace and not killing.  The Word as delivered by Jesus Christ is even less forgiving.

Do you suppose that Hagee, Falwell and Robertson never read Christ's Sermon on the Mount?  Clearly, Christ stated that their sort will be cast aside on Judgment Day:  "Not every one that saith unto me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.  Many will say to me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name?  And in thy name have cast out devils?  And in thy name done many wonderful works?'  And then will I profess unto them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity."   (Matthew 7:21-23)

In fact, aside from the American Jews who have threatened my wife and each of my children and who threaten me almost daily, the only real danger currently presented to my family and my property seems to be from my own government.  The fact that 9/11 was an inside job now has gone mainstream, as pointed out by a British newspaper a few days ago:  "Around 75 top professors and leading scientists believe the attacks were puppeteered by war mongers in the White House to justify the invasion and the occupation of oil-rich Arab countries."  ( "Fury as academics claim 9/11 was 'inside job,'"  London Daily Mail, 9/6/06)  And recall what the Feds did to members of Randy Weaver's family, who lived just up the road from me, on Ruby Ridge, not to mention the travesty that took place in Waco, Texas.

Here's the Real 9/11 Conspiracy!

Shortly after 9/11 took place, Bush himself stated: "Let us never tolerate outrageous conspiracy theories concerning the attacks of September the 11th, malicious lies that attempt to shift the blame away from the terrorists themselves, away from the guilty."  I agree, although you have to ask just why Bush felt compelled to make such an odd statement at a time when virtually all of America was pulling together against those he claimed were responsible

While today I think Bush is guilty as sin for the World Trade Center tragedy, it long has been well proven that Cheney was involved.  Let us not allow Bush, Cheney and company now to delude us into thinking, via their "outrageous conspiracy theories" and "malicious lies," that it was Arabs with boxcutters and almost no flight training (many of whom still are alive, incidentally) who hijacked those jetliners.  Never should we allow the finger of blame to point away from Bush, Cheney and their fellow criminals. 

Never forget that the ongoing inquiry into 9/11 is a murder investigation - a cold-blooded and heartless murder of 3,000 of our fellow countrymen, committed by those in the highest levels of our own government!   Their blood calls out to us from the pavement of New York City, where we helplessly watched so many throw themselves to their deaths from on high.  We cannot - we must not - disgrace their memory by failing to bring their real murderers to justice.

When Claiming to Know Means You Really Don't Know

Why do fundamentalist/dispensationalists applaud the current Middle-Eastern genocide, quite aside from the issue of God's prohibition against murder?  Do they really believe that they thereby can hasten the "end time?"  If true, then they should be fearful, not joyful, concerning its imminence.  I do recall the Bible saying that "No man shall know" the time of Christ's second coming (John 7:1), so it seems to me to be singularly presumptuous of them not only to think that they know when, but also to believe that they actually can make it happen sooner. 

I also seem to recall the Bible saying that the masses will be deceived by a false Messiah and that a great many self-professed Christians will fall under his spell, "led astray" by "their shepherds."  Look around yourself.  I'm in the minority on this Middle-Eastern issue, not you.  No, the Messiah is not yet come (if ever He will come, that is), but a great many fundamentalists certainly are being prepositioned to follow the AntiChrist, if I read the Bible correctly. 

And fundamentalists certainly seem to me to be supporting some singularly un-Christ-like behavior.  For another example, Christ preached, during His Sermon on the Mount:  "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God."  (Matthew 5:9)   Certainly, our current government and its ardent supporters are a great many things, but "peacemaker" is not among them.  Supporting Israeli genocide and advocating the assassination of foreign leaders runs directly counter to the concept of peacemaker.  That is more than apparent, isn't it? 

A Special Place in Hell

Recall what Christ ultimately has in mind for those who work against the will of God, yet point to their own righteousness and good works, just as I quoted above.  Personally, I believe that, if there really is a Hell, then there is an especially horrible part of it reserved for the likes of Hagee, Robertson and Falwell.  Particularly so, if Hell is anything like I believe it to be (that "eternity of regret" I mentioned earlier).

Now, I don't want to go all weak-kneed on you with this, but I and others like myself, including members of my own family, suffer mightily for our beliefs and for speaking out in support of that which we know in our hearts to be right.  I like to think that we were spoken of by Christ during His Sermon on the Mount when He said, "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."  (Matthew 5:10)

Am I My Brother's Keeper?

There is room in my world for you and your beliefs.  The problem is that there seems no room in your world for me and mine because your faith demands that war be made in my name and that others' blood be splashed upon my hands.  Quite literally, your world is about to demand that my son go and kill others in our name.  That I cannot allow. 

Therefore, I must do all that I can to stop what now is taking place. 

I must speak out like this. 

I must throw fundamentalist preachments back at you. 

Oddly enough, I must attempt to convert you to the very Christianity that you profess, yet which to my eye you reject.

I am, after all, my brother's keeper.

My name is Edgar J. Steele.  Thanks for listening.  Please visit my web site, www.ConspiracyPenPal.com, for other messages just like this one.  

-ed

Copyright 2006, Edgar J. Steele


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