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In this weird world we live in we have religions where worshippers beat themselves bloody with chains and other sharp instruments, true believers stick knives, swords, and other sharp objects through mouths, cheeks, tongues, and snake idolizers who wrap themselves with poisonous snakes, hum hymns, and do a hokey dance. Sometimes they die because the rattlers and moccasins didn’t like their shaving lotion. Some are Christians who use the Bible to come up with bizarre ideas. We have millions of Christians today who believe in witches, goblins, and truthful snakes developed by extremist religionists over many centuries. As an example, historians have recorded the presence of male and female witches since the early 900’s.
Prior to the Reformation most Catholic authorities did not want to arrest people for witchcraft, but the 1517 Reformation changed that. Known as the “Great Hunt” from 1560 and 1630, over 80,000 people, mostly women, were accused of witchcraft, and 40,000 were executed by sometimes horrible means for being buddies of Satan. We experienced the Salem witch trials in America in the 1690’s.
The Reformation split the Catholic Church into two factions. Two groups had to compete for members. How did they compete? They advertised their ability to persecute witches in order to convince people their respective churches could protect them from the wiles of Satan. Prominent Protestant countries such as Germany, Switzerland, France, England, and the Netherlands accounted for about 75% of the witch trials. About 25% of the trials took place in heavily Catholic countries such as Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Ireland. So now in the 21st Century we are living with people who are using “principles” developed over 5,000 years of myth, fantasy, fairy tales, and tales by hallucinating prophets in the translations of the Bible. As an example, in Hindu India over 2,000 women have been killed for alleged witchcraft between 2005 and 2015. Perhaps it’s a habit picked up from Christians.
How We Ended Up With Donald Trump
White Catholics and white Protestant evangelicals elected Trump in 2016. How did we get there? It may be because of the ancient theory of physiognomy, a method of determining human character by the study of facial features and color. Intellectuals and college professors in the 17th and 18th Centuries used the theory to prove the inferiority of some races. We still have “Christian” pastors who believe it is treasonous to marry someone from another race. Pastor Pete Peters of La Porte, Colorado, teaches his church members and family to never marry a person of another race: “I teach them also that if they ever did such a thing—never to come around my house with their mate or their half-breed children because they’ve been traitors to their own sires.”
Richard Butler preached to the white supremacist Aryan Nations that blacks were aliens and cohorts with Satan. These tenets were of a religion identified much later as The Christian Identity. Oklahoma City bomber and Army veteran Timothy McVeigh was a member. Randy Weaver of Ruby Ridge in Idaho, the seller of illegal sawed-off shotguns to undercover feds who later killed him, was a member of Christian Identity.
Based on physiognomy and 17th Century thinking, the Christian Identity movement is now the agent that unites many white supremacist groups in the United States. This list includes a lot of Trump voters. Christian Identity adherents believe the white race is superior to all others. Ku Klux Klan and Nazis members chanting “blood and soil!” and “Jews will not replace us!” at Charlottesville promoted the Christian Identity movement. We have about 900 hate groups in the U.S.: 200 Ku Klux Klan, a 100 racist skinheads, 100 white nationalist, 100 Neo-Nazi, a 100 neo-Confederate,, and about 200 anti-LGBTQ. This is a list of vipers, bigots, and racists who want to make the United States a white Christian nation.
The “Serpent Seed” and the Hatred of Jews
Burning KKK crosses and the twisted Nazi swastika are symbols of the Christian Identity movement—among other fascinating beliefs held under the Identity umbrella. There’s the “Serpent Seed” gospel interpretation that Satan and Eve had sexual intercourse which produced Cain. The results were half-devil people called Jews. Christian Identity Pastor of Gravette, Arkansas teaches that calling the Jews the chosen people of God is the gravest sin of Christians. These are Jews “that killed Christ!” Identity leaders have written the following about Jews: “We know that as a race, they have the sly characteristics of the serpent. We know they have intimidated and imposed their will on our own government and every government in the nations of Christendom, through their dominance of finance, government, church, education, and the media.”
But racial bigotry is the crown jewel on the Christian Identity chalice. Adam fathered only the white race. They don’t say with whom. All the other races were created when all the other animals and beasts were—before Adam. Identity preachers say the other races escaped the Great Flood because they had rooms in with the animals, creepy crawlies, dinosaurs, and other beasts on Noah’s “hugely” Ark. All interracial marriage is a treasonable sin. That’s why God punished and put Noah in the middle of the Great Flood. Identity preacher Frederick Haberman writes: “It must be noticed that there is a great difference between the three principal races of mankind…and there exists little relationship between the three. The white race were unquestionably the last comers, being in every way superior to the other two and constituting their leaders and teachers.” The conclusion of Identity groups: “We certainly see the white race ruling over the other races and that there should be no fellowship between them.”
From these racial and religious tenets of the Christian Identity Church came the Ku Klux Klan in 1867. It’s interesting to note that young white men of the period started to wear the costumes of knights of old while visiting their white sweethearts. They discovered that blacks were terrified of the hoods and sheets. Then they tried to control the blacks by lynching, assassination, whipping, tarring and feathering, and burning. The KKK increased its membership to about six million in 1923 by adding Jews and Catholics to their enemies list.
Today’s Republicans, particularly white Christian evangelicals who voted for Trump, have absorbed some of the teachings of the Christian Identity Church. Many are great-great-great sons and daughters of church members. Former Republican National Committee Michael Steele expressed his anger at Christian leaders like Franklin Graham and Tony Perkins who support King Donald: “I have a very simple admonition at this point. Just shut the hell up. And don’t ever preach to me about anything again. After telling me how to live my life, who to love, what to believe, what to do and what not to do and now you sit back and the prostitutes don’t matter? The grabbing of-the-you-know-what doesn’t matter? The outright behavior and lies don’t matter? Just shut up.”
The Question Is: When Was America Great So It Can Be Great Again?
It’s a great campaign slogan, but real history, not fake, tells us we may have been the most powerful country in the world for a time but we have never been the greatest. In the 1950’s about one-third of my Marine machinegun platoon was black, my top sergeant was black, and my three squad leaders were black sergeants, all decorated veterans of the Korean War. When we were on base at Camp Lejeune we went to the same toilet and bathroom to do our ablutions. But when we were off-base I went to the “White” toilet and they had to go to the “Colored” toilet. I could walk on the sidewalks in town but my black troops had to walk in the streets or be attacked. We couldn’t go to the same bars or restaurants in Jacksonville, but on base we could utilize the same PX. Corky and I could live in base housing next to a black officer but we couldn’t live in Surf City on New Topsail Beach next to him because it was segregated. America was not great then. Gays and lesbians in the Marines, if discovered, were almost immediately given “undesirable” discharges. America will only be great when the LGBTQ community is treated like everybody else.
Trump supporters want to go back before Roe v. Wade when abortion was illegal and women used lye, coat hangers, and other sharp instruments to abort. Wasn’t that a great period?
Many Midwest rivers were so polluted with oil they often would burst into flames if a fisherman tossed his cigarette. The Ohio River once burned for hours. The Mississippi was so polluted it created a huge oxygen-free dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. We still have 1,317 toxic Superfund sites from the 60’s and 70’s that need to be treated. We have 558,451 steel storage tanks for chemicals and fuels. Over 70,000 of them leak. It’s funny how “great” periods require rather strict regulations to prevent future disasters.
At Los Alamos, New Mexico we still have 350,000 cubic meters of radioactive wastes to get rid of somehow—and we need to do something with 3,882 metal barrels and 191 fiberglass-reinforced plywood boxes of radioactive materials. Isn’t that great?
Perhaps Tom Brokaw’s “The Greatest Generation” won World War II and then with the GI Bill helped make the United States an economic powerhouse, but it fell way short of making the country great for all races. Jim Crow and his sons and grandsons have been around for a long time. Racism, bigotry, and ignorance have kept us, as Martin Luther King said, “from bending the arc of history toward justice.” And I might add, keeping us from greatness. When that arc will be closed will depend on intelligence, education, and empathy, commodities that have been in very short supply for centuries.
I wonder if those who think we can be GREAT AGAIN want to go back to the military draft we had until after the Vietnam War. Our present commander-in-chief got five deferments because of bone spurs on his feet. He must endure terrible pain playing all that golf. I think it’s somewhat amusing Trump ties that great war leader Dick Cheney in the number of deferments. Cheney said he had better things to do than to go to Vietnam. I have two nephews who still suffer from PTSD from that war. They had better things to do, too—and so did 58,000 others who have their names on that wall. Now the poor fight all of our wars.
Note: An Air Force psychiatrist, whose job it was to evaluate the mental stability of airmen who handle nuclear weapons, used the standards contained in a Nuclear Personnel Reliability Program. That program states: “Only those personnel who have demonstrated the highest degree of individual reliability for allegiance, trustworthiness, conduct, behavior, and responsibility shall perform duties associated with nuclear weapons, and they shall be continuously evaluated for adherence to P.R.P standards.” Is the genius with the largest nuclear button on his desk who has lied 2,140 times in his first 365 days qualified to handle nukes? My God! What have we wrought?