Secular Holy Wars

America’s opposition party needs natural disasters and personal scandals to combat the incumbent regime. That crippled cabal seems bent on self-destruction, with internal problems compounded by external woes that would bring its downfall, if we were truly democratic. But America and the world suffer while officially sanctioned adversaries might as well beseech the gods for help, since their present policies haven’t got a prayer.

Calling on cosmic powers is common political practice, even in a supposedly enlightened age that brings humanity closer to utopia. In less mythological terms, we seem closer to oblivion. What passes for leadership is reduced to making personal charges about responsibility for our problems, with all fingers pointing elsewhere. Sometimes, they point to what science calls absolute elsewhere.

With communism no longer marketable for cold war weapons sales, our court appointed regime and its congressional lackeys started a hot war on terror. Political gossip tells us the president follows god’s directions in this profit making bloodbath, but a serial killer claiming guidance from the deity in performing mass murder is nothing new. His opposition shows disrespect for only one form of ir-rationalism, hypocritically indulging its own to support a war based on biblical superstition, as much as geographical petroleum.

In shrinking the world to one vast mall, global capital has used fundamentalist Judeo-Christians to help expand its imperial market of murderous inequality. Meanwhile, like the pot labelling the stove, it calls Islam the world’s menace.

The paid staff of America’s ruling class, its corporate parties, uses religious groups as major political organisations. The foot soldiers of imperial policy come from biblical boot camps in churches and synagogues. These domains of faith are recruiting stations that assure the domain of capital. Christians mobilised to support prayer, oppose abortion and treat gay marriage as anti-godism, are united with Jews mobilised to support Israel, oppose Palestine and negate any opposition by calling it anti-Semitism.

Fundamentalist Christians are alerted to heathens at the gate who threaten god’s plan for their eternal rapture, while fundamentalist Jews are warned that any weakening of Israel threatens god’s chosen people. Though these factions are opposed on many secular matters, they are ideologically based on the same mythology, with slight differences in scriptural interpretation. This, despite pretensions of secularism by some who profess atheism, while zealously supporting a nation promised to them, by god.

The seamless garment of US-Israeli policy is a fabric fashioned in this sweatshop of superstition, though the empire’s energy needs can make it seem more geopolitically explainable. But the fanatic zeal of those who would invade a woman’s body to prevent her self control, and thus realise their warped biblical beliefs, is matched by the fanatic zeal of those who would steal the body of another nation, and thus realise their own warped biblical prophecies.

These religious shock troops are acting for the secular power of global capital. Their extremism supports the desire of their leadership, which is moved by the same mythology as it applies to economics. The controlling forces of empire practice an even more dangerous fundamentalism of the market, which menaces humanity’s future.

Secularists can express politically correct bigotry toward religion, but their own doctrine is as superstition based as the subjects of their scorn. The structure of capital depends on a material foundation formed, in part, by faith in immaterial mythology. Islamic fundamentalists are the less dangerous camp in this biblical attack on reason, since they are under material assault by the west, and not just in their minds. Contrary to much western propaganda, left alone, Islamic true believers would leave us alone.

Our corporadoes use fundamentalism as ruling power has always used religion: to maintain the status quo, one that is presently driving us to ruin. And that’s true whether we believe in the Big Bang, Intelligent Design, or highly evolved Easter Bunnies. But capitalists don’t care what form our faith takes, so long as it doesn’t interfere with incurring more debt to consume the wretched excess of their economic folly. That folly is the major threat to the collective future of the human race, and it is supported by fanatics who define themselves as the only members of that race who matter, through their special relationship to an invisible entity.

Fundamentalists omit biblical lessons that contradict their violent, judgmental worldview, while a relatively silent majority of religious moderates believe in a more benign and peaceful mythology. Most Christians and Jews accept teachings of brotherhood and love among human equals, but the more powerful fundamentalists rely on an angry, punishing god who is selective and exclusive about special, anointed followers. The poetically prophetic Old Testament gets short shrift in pursuit of the rationalisations of genocide, incest and slavery within that same text, while New Testament sermons about a peaceful kingdom of heaven on earth are disregarded to pursue the vengeful visions of righteous Christian warriors.

Biblical texts are no different from constitutions, in that they are written by men and are subject to the interpretation and enforcement of ruling powers. Whether based on law or legend, any alleged truth inherent in these documents ultimately comes out of the barrel of a gun.

The holy war for oil and Israel that has destroyed much of Iraq threatens to expand to more of the Middle East, and possibly even become nuclear. The planet is threatened by the unholy force of economic fundamentalism that uses religious fundamentalism as its junior partner. In creating real peace and social justice, humanity will have to face its material problems, but also confront the immaterial belief systems that are at their core, and continue moving us on a perilous road toward destruction.