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Oct 09, 2007 17:53 # 45060
I'm certain that at least one person reading this has heard the expression that America is an incarnation of the Roman Empire. America has seem to become the embodiement of all that was rotton in a supposed civil, developed society.
Don't get me wrong, I love the promise that this country could rise to. I love lots about where I live, and I couldn't imagine living anywhere else--if for no reason than there's alot of truly f*cked-up places on this globe.
But, by the same token, I dislike alot of what my country does in the world...that will truly be the demise of this great country...all for the conquest of oil.
But I didn't want to make this a political statement about petroleum, but perhaps I can't help linking this story, the original reason I wrote this, to the issue of petroleum. More to the point, the problem of acquisition and the means of delivering petroleum.
After all, we have the lawless conquistadores, the Blackwater contingent executing allegedly free citizens, albeit of another country, as they see fit, we now see. It is no wonder than, why these "civilian contractors" are being burned in their humvees, and hung from trees.
I refer to the "flashpoint" of 2004, when the BBC posted this headline: "Bodies mutilated in Iraq attack-- Four contractors working for the US army have been killed and their bodies mutilated in the Iraqi city of Falluja".
What the article fails to mention is that the "civilian contractors" were employees of Blackwater, the private security force, who are most definitely armed and extremely dangerous.
Its all about sublimating and subjugating the enemy, whoever, wherever that maybe, to get what we want. We're the "good" guys; god's on our side.
So it really comes as no surprise that a number of modern churches are teaching kids how to properly kill:
Halo for Churches. The article talks about a number of churches using Halo as a model of the biblical fight of good vs. evil. Having seen only parts of it, it occurs more to me like the Battle of Armageddon.
Are these churches really working with a much different agenda, than simply showing there's a difference between good and evil? On the battlefield, there's little difference between the right and wrong, or good and bad: people kill, and people die.
Perhaps Blackwater's founders Erik Prince and Al Clark don't have religious leanings. Would it matter if they did? Would it matter is they receive million of dollars for a "Christian-led" congress? Each security contractor costs the taxpayers $445,000 per year, to keep implanted in Iraq. So would it matter if they had religious leaning or not?
Certainly it would, as Ye Olde Constitution forbids a marriage of church with state.
Let's say, for the sake of arguement, they're not religiously affiliated. Doesn't mean that Blackwater isn't using this as a proving grounds for their private army of mercanaries. Why not, this is the same pool the U.S. Army trolls. Middle-class, lower middle, predominently Christian, minorities are targeted by the military. What's a better, more tailor-made trailing ground than the immersive world of Halo?
Regardless of whether or not an actual link exists between these Halo-preaching sessions and Blackwater, it is still no less telling a sign of our times.
In its conquest for world domination, the true Roman Emporer, the Pope, told his Bishops and Cardinals to subjugate the local population however it sould, including and in fact recommended method of subverting and perverting the local gods to reflect an image "in tune with" their Bible. The long-standing "cults" of Dianna, Artemis, Astarte, Ceres, they were modernized, branded with the name of their goddess, The Virgin Mary(c). Other deities became branded with the names of Venerable Saints(tm), complete with statues and paintings.
It we don't stand for something, we'll fall for anything...or settle for anything? We're told that the Church is against murder, and it's why it villainizes abortion and contraception at the same time.
Historically, however, we remember that the Church, in the personage of Pope Pius XII was not against the murderous Nazi Reich, as that fabulous photograph of him shaking hands with Hitler. That was, at least not until The Nuremberg war crimes Trials. The legacy of the Christian Church, worldwise, is that it brings death, destruction and division with it. We remember Cortez, and all those others seeking gold for their god.
Therefore, it comes as no surprize, to find modern churches "girding their loins as if to battle." We teach our youth that empire is about expansion, and that human life is only worth the cost of your amusement. Like the Roman Empire that sacrificed both gladiator and civilian alike for the bloodthirsty amusment of the populace, the wanton waste of life, resources and morality is now our modus operandi. We, who are supposed to be christian, upholding TEN sacred commandments, find that it is relative to who many people you can convert to your philosophy. Success becomes measured in how many you can save...or kill; either way, it's the same.
Once Fred Neitszche declared God is Dead, f*ck became the most important word in the English languag
This post was edited by zen on Oct 09, 2007.
Oct 10, 2007 00:12 # 45064
I think it is a bit extreme to link Blackwater, Halo, and the Church together on the subject of the United States military actions in other parts of th world. However, I can't deny that at least the church and the military seem to go hand in hand when it comes to recruitment. I used to attend church regularly, well before our new found involvement in Iraq (I quit going a year before the terrorist attack on the twin towers). It wasn't hard to notice the praise that came when someone decided to join the military, nor the encouragement from the adults involved in our youth group for the rest of us to do the same.
However, I don't think the Church's use of Halo to attract youth is a part of this over all connection. I think the use of the game is due to its immense popularity, hell I'd be playing it right now if I had sixty bucks to drop on a new video game. In fact, I think if some other game, say Beautiful Katamari was currently the hottest game on the market with more than three hundred million dollars in sales the church would be using it as a way of attracting youth as well. But truth be told, rolling a giant ball around isn't ever going to be as entertaining as shooting the shit out of one another and then going online and participating in team matches against others.
Furthermore, the military doesn't need to depend on parents willingness to spend money on Microsoft products, with a mature rating, to use the video game industry as a means of recruitment and making real war look cool. The United States Army has its very own game. America's Army is an official game of the United States Army available for free to anyone that wants to download and play it. So really the fact that violent first person shooter games are very popular just happens to be icing on the cake.
Just my two cents and an interesting topic Zen.
--Jami Yeah, that's gonna sting in the morning.
Oct 12, 2007 17:32 # 45085
Certainly an ironic connection, since one of the main villains of the Halo series is a religious fanatic called the Prophet of Truth, who in trying to initiate the "Great Journey" comes close to wiping out all life in the galaxy.
It's an interesting picture you're painting; it reminds me of Plato's view that Democracy is only one step away from becoming Tyranny. He thought that when people are allowed to be free, they degenerate into anarchy, debasement, and whim; having never been ruled, they have no compulsion to rule over their own impulses. They are led by random desires, and practice arbitrary enforcement of law.
All it takes, says Plato, is for someone to get a taste for blood, and a skill for manipulation, and they can become a tyrant. When people are allowed to be anything, they can become the worst possible thing.
"History is more or less bunk." - Henry Ford