Shrouds Have No Pockets

From Judith Moriarty
I have waited patiently these past three years, since President Bush declared on Sept 16-01; "A crusade to rid the world of evil-doers" and his belief that God has appointed him for this hour in history; for ministers and priests of the Christian faith, to come forth and test these statements and beliefs of his; according to the procedures in Scripture. I've not seen this done-at least publicly.
General Boykin, one of Bush's top generals believes that these wars are being fought against Satan himself. Preaching in his military uniform before a religious congregation in Oregon, the General proclaimed, "The enemy that has come against our nation is a spiritual enemy. His name is Satan. And if you do not believe that Satan is real, you are ignoring the same Bible that tells you about God". To that same congregation General Boykin said of George W. Bush that, "He was appointed by God" to be leader of the United States.
All we do know of George W. Bush is that he led a pretty carefree- devil may care life until his 40s (per interview with his wife), had a drinking problem, made some "mistakes", put a lot of people to death in Texas (as Governor), had some reservist problems with lost records; and due to a big fiasco in Florida (where his brother is Governor), a lot of people were excluded from voting-mistakenly identified as felons (mostly Black citizens) with lots of confusion at polls-counting chads and hanging chads. Finally this circus of the bizarre ended in the Supreme Court deciding for the people and selecting Mr.Bush as the winner!
I'm not too sure that this is the way (at least according to Scripture) that God goes about anointing someone for ministry or a leadership position? I would think that there would be no question of fixing the votes, fraud, or corruption. I think God (at least in Scripture its clear) leaves little doubt when He chooses someone. Nevertheless, Mr. Bush, according to many in his administration etc., thought he was God's man. On Sept 11-01 while Mr.Bush was reading a story about a goat to first graders-the World Trade Towers impossibly were struck by planes, which had them (the buildings) in a short while, imploding into pulverized ash! Building No. 7, not struck, and mysteriously imploded some hours later? This launched Mr.Bush's work or crusade for God.
President Bush said at the time that he would "rid the world of evil doers" and Mr. Cheney called for bin Laden's head "on a platter". Whole societies were marked for destruction as President Bush declared: "They have roused a mighty giant, and make no mistake about it, we're determined to wipe them out. We will get them running, find them and hunt them down. Afghanistan will be bombed back into the Stone Age if they do not turn over bin Laden".
Maybe the President had read Governor William Bradford of Massachusetts, History of Plymouth Plantation? "It was a fearful sight to see them frying in the fyer, and the streams of blood quenching the same, and horrible was the stink and sent thereof. But the victory seemed a sweet sacrifice and they gave the prayers thereof to God, who had wrought so wonderful for them, and gave them so speedy a victory over so proud and insulting an enemy". These too were a brown skin people. Bradford was recalling the massacre of the Pequents at the hands of the English and the Narragansett at the birth of the English colonies in America.
Besides the President's administration; televangelists Falwell and Robertson supported the President in the name of Christianity (which I take issue with). The Reverend Jerry Falwell, a few days after this disaster commented on Pat Robertson's 700 Club: "The ACLU has got to take a lot of BLAME for thisI really believe (yikes jm) that the PAGANS, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the GAYS and the LESBIANS who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way---all of hem who have tried to secularize America---I point the finger in their face and say, 'You helped this happen'". Host Robertson said that he totally concurred with Falwell's assessment.
Four years have passed and thousands upon thousands are dead and dying. Twenty-one women have died (the President's daughter's ages), and over a thousand young men. Since it has been stated that we do not count "collateral damage" (the Iraqi-men, women and children), we are left with an estimate of some 10,000- 15,000 in this announced, quick "liberation of Iraq". Mr.Bush told the world at the 2004 Republican Convention that, "America is called to lead the cause of freedom in the new century-Freedom is not America's gift to the world. It is the Almighty God's gift".
Since this is being publicly proclaimed as a mission of God-of good against evil and evil-doers it is imperative that men of spiritual maturity, and of sane and rational minds, discern and test the validity of a man convinced that God is leading him, and ordering his ways to war forever, against evil! Mr. Bush tells us that after decades of drinking, failures and mistakes; that he's found God and furthermore is convinced that he alone is the man of the hour to lead a nation into massive slaughter and annihilation of multitudes-for God.
We are to blindly take his word that one day he had an epiphany saw the light and mended his sinful ways. Whatever the physical ravages on his neurological processes after some decades of debauchery we're furthermore asked to believe that God has appointed him in all the world to lead a "crusade" to rid the world of evil (unbelievers-heathen). Mr.Bush is a member of the Skull and Bones Society. This may seem a non-issue for those not of the Christian faith but a study of this organization and its practices and oaths should cause great caution.
What got my attention at the convention and from various interviews of Mr.Bush's followers; was their rapturous enthrallment with the man-their emotionalism-and passionate fervor; that truly here is a man of God-and that any and all things he says should not be questioned. This negates Scripture's warnings to "test all things". "Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing but are inwardly ravening wolves." Matthew 7:15 This simply mean one who teaches falsities as truth and by means of them lead others away from genuine morality. Matthew 24:4 states "Take heed no one deceives you". Obviously if a person were aware that they were being deceived they wouldn't be. Deception isn't about blatant black lies-raging or frothing of one's beliefs-it's a lack of truth.
Claiming a transformed life is all well and good but it isn't proof of "good fruit". Success-position-crowds of people are not fruit. Empty words will expose the lack of fruit. "For a tree is known by its fruit. How can you, being evil, speak good things?" Matthew 12:33-34. People have been deceived from the beginning of time. "'Will you walk into my parlor?' said the spider to the fly; 'Tis the prettiest little parlor that you ever did spy'".
Deception can only deceive if it looks somewhat like the real thing. Apologist Craig Hawkins explains: "We must realize that the way to deceive people with counterfeits is to imitate the genuine article as closely as possible. For example, if counterfeiters want to pass off fake one-hundred dollar bills, they do not print Donald Duck's picture on purple paper. Instead they attempt to duplicate a true bill. Similarly, despicable persons who try to deceive others attempt to appear genuine and sincere. They do not walk up to you and inform you that they are there to deceive and defraud you. The far more effective method is faking friendship and fidelity."
Goethe taught that we are never deceived but that we deceive ourselves. It is true that religious hucksters are believed because people want to believe them. People want the claims to be true. One of Martin Luther's favorite sayings was "mundus vult decipi" The world wants to be deceived. Many are too stubborn to admit that they've been flimflammed. In the first chapter of the book of Zephaniah, the Lord charges and convicts both the people and the corrupt leaders they followed. Lamentations 2:14 indicates the same" "Your prophets (leaders teachers ministers) have seen for you false and deceptive visions; They have not uncovered your iniquity, to bring back your captives, but have envisioned for you false prophecies and delusions".
People are gullible and predisposed to credulity. They are likely to believe anything on very slight evidence or sometimes with no evidence at all. The words deceit, deceitful, deceitfully, deceitfulness, deceive, and deceivability are used over and over in the Bible. There are warnings everywhere about being deceived. Deceit is defined as: "The act of representing as true what is known to be false; a deceiving or lying, a dishonest action or trick, fraud or a lie.
British scholar W.E. Vine defines the Greek words apate and dolos that underlie the various English words for deceit: "APATE-to cheat, deceive, beguile, that which gives false impression, whether by appearance, statement or influence. In Colossians 2:8 'vain deceit' suggest that deceit is void of anything profitableDOLOSprimarily a bait, snare, hence, craft, deceit, guile."
In the mystery novel, Crimes of the City, a Messianic rabbi is using his religious influence to cover drug running. The detective observes: "The only real difference seems to be that he (the rabbi) figured out that if he calls it religion, he can get away with things. He's playing the saint, selling blessed holy water from a faucet".
Paul warned us: "But evil men and imposters will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived." 2 Timothy 3:13. People are being "programmed" and conditioned by our culture and television we, have lost the ability to blush or be outraged. Everything and anything is paraded before us in the media nothing is off-limits: A semen stained dress, lies by a President of oral sex in the Oval Office, blood splattered walkways, beheadings, nude pyramids of prisoners, hooded detainees, murder, rape and children incinerated in an inferno (Waco). Proverbs 27:17 reminds us "As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend".
People have been indoctrinated into sound bytes, slogans, and clichés. These become Gospel truth. People do not want to be confronted with what the psychologists call cognitive dissonance (I have made up my mind don't confuse me with the facts). This blind acceptance does not depend on the evidence but rather it meets the social and psychic needs of today's chaos. Delegates interviewed outside both conventions didn't want to hear of mass arrests, cages for dissenters or violations of civil rights. At the Republican Convention people were most adamant that nothing in Michael Moore's film was of any interest to them. Their minds were firmly made up. This is pretty sad. Though I am not an adherent of Michael Moore for various reasons; some information in his film was most telling.
Hosea 4:6 says: "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge". The Salem witchcraft burnings of the 1690s was the acceptance of "spectral evidence" which did not have a shred of biblical evidence. We are to accept NO claims of man at face value no matter how slickly packaged. Jeremiah 12:6 states: "For even your brothers, the house of your father, even they have dealt treacherously with you. Yes they have called abundantly after you. Do not believe them, even though they speak smooth words to you" One is admonished to be discerning and cautious in all things. Proverbs 15:14 says: "The simple believes every word, but the prudent considers well his steps"
In the June 26 edition of Ha'aretz (Israel's most reputable newspaper) it was reported that Mr.Bush, stated in a meeting among top-level Palestinian leaders, including Prime Minister Mahmound Abas that: "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. If you help me I will act, and if not, the elections will come and I will have to focus on them." Be you atheist, agnostic, Pentecostal, Fundamentalist, Hindu, Moslem, or any main line religion, these words should disturb you. Why have a Congress if God and Mr. Bush are determining war and which country will be pre-emptively wiped out?
What kind of faith delights in poisoning the environment forever (depleted uranium in weapons) shredding, slaughtering, and melting multitudes in an inferno of Shock and Awe? What does killing accomplish? After 9-11 all you could hear was vengeance before any legitimate investigation was done! "Kill'em all-turn the place to glass, drop a nuclear bomb on the lot of them".
In the Old Testament there were many wars, these wars all took place in the Old Covenant. But after Christ came, there was a New Covenant, which is the Covenant we (Bush) is now under. Nowhere in the New Testament does it condone war, or approve of it. This generation uses those few verses that we are to obey our government to support killing. We are not to do what those in authority tell us to do if it is contrary to the Word of God.
If our government tells us to kill and torture others, it is contrary to sound doctrine, and contrary to everthing Jesus taught; not to mention contrary to everything the Disciples taught as well. Jesus taught us to love our enemies, if we kill them, that is not exactly love. Where are we advised to kill for peace? Matthew 22:37 says: "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
Revelation 13:10 "He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity; he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints."
Matthew 26:52 "Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place; for all they that take up the sword shall perish with the sword."
Matthew 5:9 "Blessed are the PEACEMAKERS; for they shall be called children of God."
Romans 14:19 "Let us therefore follow after the things which make for PEACE, and things wherewith one my edify another."
Galatians 5:22 (You will know them by their fruit) "For the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, PEACE, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith (NOT WAR).
Hebrews 12:14 "Let us follow PEACE with ALL men, and holiness, without which NO man shall see the Lord."
"If you repay good with evil, you will never get evil out of your house" Proverbs 17:13
"There is no FEAR (today's media message) in love; perfect love drives out all FEAR. So then, love has not been made perfect in anyone who is AFRAID, because FEAR has to do with punishment. We love because God first loved us. If we say we love God but hate others, we are LIARS. For we cannot love God, whom we have not seen, if we do not love others, whom we have seen. The command that Christ has given us is this; whoever loves god must love others also." I John 4:18-21
It matters not whether you believe any of the above Scripture (that is an individual choice) but it does matter to all heathen-agnostic-and believers; if leadership by its decisions, is convinced that they are hearing directly from God on issues that involve the sacrificing of our children to war, and the killing of others; including the destruction of the whole earth though bombings-depleted uranium-sonar testing-and nuclear annihilation. It matters-- because there is a person in leadership-- who cares not for your thoughts or beliefs pertaining to war and annihilation-he and God are deciding. Other men down through the ages of history; tyrannically and with genocide, decided what was best to expand their empires. None came to a good end with millions upon millions (some frantically believing leadership knew best) dying for nothing.
There are fanatics and extremists in all religions, organizations, societies, and political parties. Buzzwords of "Freedom's on the march-America will be more secure-we will fight evil etc." are not words to die for! They are slick packaged public relations mantras; to incite, instill fear, and propagandize youth to die for another generation of rich, powdered, fleshly, perverse, malignant men intent on their diabolical need to control and rule. No matter that they destroy all of the earth in their questwithout conscience such men destroy and corrupt all they touch.
And meanwhile; our Congress handed Bush and the crazed military-industrial complex the keys to the nation's treasury and the well-being of its citizens. I'm trying hard to imagine Jesus spending $200 billion (thus far and counting) to arm his Apostles and disciples; kicking the paralytic, the widow, the blind, and the hungry into the gutter-all to become King. No money for decaying schools-books-teachers-firemen-policemen-medicine-health care-bankrupted small farmers (thanks to agri-business)-shuttered mills-unemployment benefits-overtime; but plenty for over 6000 bombs-3,000 missiles-several million pounds of ammo-dozens of helicopters and jets and billions upon untold billions for private contractors!
The Pentagon employs more than 700,000 private contractors. Iraq has approximately (who really knows?) 15,000 civilian security guards stationed there, at least 6,000 of them armed. One advantage of using private forces (remember mercenaries did Rome in) is to keep down the casualty count. These are not counted (like Iraqi citizens) by the Pentagon. Some of these "contractors" have been implicated in the humiliation and rape leveled at the U.S. military in Iraq. To whom are they answerable to? During Gulf War I , the Pentagon then headed by Defense Secretary Dick Cheney (he's been around the block) awarded a Halliburton subsidiary nearly $9 million to study how Private Military Contractors could support soldiers in combat zones. The company has since won at least $2.5 billion to construct and run military bases (while ours are being closed in the U.S.).
Any background on how these contractors (paid with taxpayer monies) operate is private, proprietary information. Private contractors are a way, to get around congressional scrutiny, and worse yet; sees the outsourcing of U.S. defense and national security. This is not a party issue-but as long as people can be kept screaming "Four More Years" and attending gala parties, dancing like fools with donkey ears or sequined cowboy attire; the big boys are safe; slurping down their tankards of ale and scotch and playing their war games in deep bunkers; deciding what multitudes next will be on the chopping block. Meantime combat pay is cut, military families are on food stamps, and my God, how many have senselessly died- when it was cavalierly decided; in some gilded office far from battle- that soldier's stays would be extended. What! Extended until they all die?
And what did the media (corporately owned) miss from the multitudes who gathered (at conventions), in the streets to demand sanity-peace-and a stop to meaningless forever slaughter? They missed the hundreds of posters that were taped to lamp posts (NYC) with pictures and names of those who've died and the wishes of what they'd planned to do with their lives. It never happened; these young people's dreams and hopes! Insatiable greed killed them. One does wonder how many billions it takes to satiate malignant hucksters. But then this is more about a lust for supreme control and power over the multitudes of the earth and damn the consequences.
And what if Mr. Bush is not being directed by God; but by his own vain imaginings or confused thought processes? What if he's wrong? Are we asking thousands upon thousands to die and the whole of the earth to be destroyed or poisoned with depleted uranium, ruptured oil lines, and whole cultures wiped out for a man's voices?
I personally respect the right of each and every person to chose his/her belief system and simply cannot imagine Jesus of the New Testament, insisting that it's His way or the highway. I don't believe that politics and religion can or should be mixed and forced upon a population or the world for that matter. The Scripture that Mr. Bush says he reads; leaves that to the individual.
There is much money to make in this business of war. It profits many though the building of weapons, private contracts, stocks, and the acquisition of a people's resources. Hundreds of thousands of people work in government each with their contributing piece to the machinery of war. Judas of the Scriptures is an archetype of that man or woman who will sell their soul for the sake of a few greasy coins. "Judas said unto them 'what will ye give me, and I will deliver Him unto you'. And they convened with him for thirty pieces of silver". Matthew 26:15 . Too late he realized his grave error and attempted to give back the ill-gotten gains to no avail.
The people too had their part-they too had a distinct choice. There is always the choice. Matthew 15:6 shows Jesus brought before Pilate. "Now at the feast he (Pilate) was accustomed to releasing one prisoner to them, whomever they requested. And there was one named Barabbas ( a murderer) who was chained with his fellow rebels. The multitude crying aloud, began to ask him (Pilate) to do just as he had always done for them-the chief priests stirred up the crowd so that Pilate should release Barabbas to them-as for Jesus when Pilate asked, 'What then you want me to do with Him whom you call King of the Jews?' They cried out 'Crucify Him'".
And so they decided-they elected Barabbas by a voice vote. Crowds, be they in the emotion of a religious gathering, political frenzy, or the heat of rioting; are not reasonable. They are led by emotions and not thoughtful reasoning, discernment or the facts. It's no different today. Fear, venom, vindictiveness, religious fervor, and party affiliation and peer pressure, rule people's decisions without any discourse or debate. In the end one has to realize that the thirty pieces of silver cannot be thrown back. "What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?"
Matthew 16:26. Someone should remind these profiteers that shrouds have no pockets!



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