During a recent address to the
Good Shepherd Baptists in Terre Haute Indiana, Col. J. Tyler Ryberg had this to
say about our "war on terror", and its current focal point, Iraq: " . . . it's an act of love to kill
evil people who seek to kill Americans, it's an act of love for our
nation". And with regards to those "Islamic
jihadists" in Iraq seeking to kill us: "Peace is not an option."
In light of the half million innocent (i.e. � not "Islamic jihadists") Iraqi
men, women, and children who may have been killed (thus far) as a result of our
invasion, many have questioned where Col. Ryberg gets his reasoning (not to
mention his definition of "love").
But I'm not one of them. I know where he gets his reasoning.
He gets it from what he deems the "supreme
law of the land" - the Bible, and specifically the Old Testament.
Consider the biblical account of God's 'chosen ones' (the
first ones, not us) and their foray into the land of Canaan. Recall that God
instructed Moses and Joshua to invade the "promised land" and kill
everything and everyone they could get their hands on. They were to " . . . save alive nothing that
breatheth". (Deut 20:16-17, 7:1-2, Josh 10:40)
So how many Canaanite "insurgents" (i.e., those
who the land actually belonged to) were targeted by this "act of
love" for the nation of Israel?
Based on biblical data of the size of Israel at the time,
and with seven nations larger than them occupying Canaan, the number God
ordered killed was likely 10-15 million! Every last one of them, apparently,
one must presume, evil. Men, women, children, infants, fetuses, zygotes, all
And if they weren't inherently evil, God had a back-up plan
to insure 'peace was not an option': "
. . . for it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, that they should come
against Israel in battle, that he might destroy them utterly, as the LORD
commanded Moses" (Josh 11:20).
Now, the task of destroying all these folks was not as easy
as one might think. Those 10-15 million all had to be killed by hand, with
swords and clubs and axes and things. And that took an awful lot of time and
effort. So much so that it appears Joshua & Co. were not able to fully complete
the task (although they gave it their very best).
Had they possessed more proficient weaponry, like the ones
we have today, they could have easily finished the assignment. Heck, if they
had just a few nuclear weapons, they could have killed every last Canaanite
"insurgent" in a few minutes! Now that would have been a 'loving' act
for the nation of Israel!
Talk about the ultimate "love bomb"!
If the point I'm trying to make here is a bit too subtle,
I�ll spell it out.
It appears many in this mostly Christian land have been
conditioned to view others unlike themselves as not fully human, or at least
not quite as human as they are. Some of this conditioning can be traced to our
evolutionary past, but I think most of it derives from biblical stories like
the one I just related. These accounts of mass murder, of genocide, of hacking
to death millions of women and children, are celebrated in this country as
something wonderful or holy. They�re even portrayed as such in children�s
coloring books! That�s what I mean by conditioning.
When you combine this myopic �we�re special� conditioning
with the reasoning espoused by Ryberg and others within the Dominionist
movement (Google or Mash it), you create an extremely volatile and dangerous
situation. And it's all the more dangerous because these folks have infiltrated
and/or control much of the Republican Party.
All it would take is for just one of these 'servants of the
Lord' to bamboozle enough Christian followers into giving them the keys to
power, and we could be facing a cataclysm of unprecedented proportions. One
which has the potential to destroy all life on earth, save the bugs and
I'm well aware that Ryberg's sentiments are not those of the
majority of Christians, or of the majority of mainstream conservatives and
Republicans, but they are sentiments that must be taken very seriously. These
are not just a bunch of bible-thumping traveling evangelists here. This is an
extremely powerful and organized movement, with tremendous resources. It�s a movement
that has, as its objective, a desire to replace our constitutional form of
government with an authoritarian theocracy, and to (militarily) spread that
theocratic construct around the world. (Ironically, the exact same objective
fundamentalist Muslims have! It's a veritable match made in
They want an authoritarian theocracy similar in design and
kind to that in the days of Moses and Joshua.
A theocracy that believes it has a god-given right to
exercise dominion over the entire earth, including other people and their
A theocracy that views billions of others not quite like
themselves as evil.
A theocracy with enough nuclear firepower to destroy the
The point I'm trying to make?
not give them those keys. Don't even let them get close.