Revisiting the Past Sins of the Military-Industrial Complex, and What the Bible Has to Say About It

On the 75th Anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, It Is Fitting That We Revisit This Horrendous Anniversary

by Minister Paul J. Bern

On this poignant anniversary of the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan at the end of World War 2, it’s very important that all Americans have a day of mourning for being the nation that launched the atomic age. The worldwide proliferation of nuclear weaponry started with the US. So, in keeping with this anniversary, I think it’s time to revisit this 5-year-old Web posting from my own archives. I also wish to do something I forgot to do when this was first posted back in 2015 – I want to apologize to all my Japanese readers, all of whom lost relatives in the war.

The Nuclear Genie Is Out of the Bottle, and It’s America’s Fault

by Rev. Paul J. Bern

stopping_war On July 16th, 1945, the ‘Trinity’ nuclear test here in the United States plunged humanity into the Atomic Age. The first-ever nuclear bomb was detonated in New Mexico, at the Alamogordo Test Range. Within just days, the first nuclear bomb ever used in wartime was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, and a second one was dropped on Nagasaki less than two weeks after that. In the first blast at Hiroshima, well over 100,000 people were instantly vaporized in the initial explosion, and the death toll at Nagasaki was tens of thousands higher. Over the next month or so, over a million more individuals died from the aftereffects of radiation poisoning.

But, what is generally not known – especially here in America with its propaganda machine otherwise known as our “free press” – is that the US use of nuclear weapons against Japan at the end of World War 2 was unnecessary. Let’s not forget that the winners of wars are the ones who write the history books, and the US is no exception. The fact of the matter is that by the summer of 1945, Japan had already been bombed back to the stone age. In point of fact, Japan was already attempting to start negotiating for peace. But the Japanese wanted to do it secretly, so as to not alarm the Japanese people (sound familiar?), and US military leaders wanted the announcement to be public. And so the die was cast, and the rest is history.

In the late 1940’s Josef Stalin, Russia’s leader and dictator at the time, acquired an atomic weapon through quite a lot of espionage, much to the discredit of America’s “intelligence” community. As a response, the US supplied England and France with the technology and experience needed to build a few bombs of their own. By this time it was the 1950’s, and within just a few years Communist China developed their first atomic weapons. By the 1960’s, other countries such as Israel, India and Pakistan had nukes as well. The genie was out of the bottle, and there was no putting it back. It was too late. And it all started with one nuclear test in the New Mexico desert in 1945. I have been studying up on this as of late, knowing that we are living in the End Times, and that the world as we have known it is drawing rapidly to a close.

Speaking as a minister who openly stands against war and killing, the one verse I have found that corresponds to these times and the accompanying nuclear proliferation can be found in the book of Daniel in the Old Testament, chapter 7 and verse 7, which reads as follows: “After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast – terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns.

To put this into context, Daniel had a vision in chapter seven where he saw four “beasts” come up out of the sea. The sea in Bible prophecy usually always symbolizes all the nations of the world. The first was like a lion, but it had eagle’s wings. What country uses a lion as its symbol? Great Britain. The eagle’s wings, then, represent America, whose symbol is an eagle, and who is an offshoot of the former British Empire. OK, so what’s the second one, you ask? The second beast Daniel saw in his vision looked like a bear. What country uses a bear as its national symbol? Russia. And Daniel’s third beast looked like a leopard, which symbolizes Germany.

The fourth beast which is unlike all the rest could only be the United States, since it has the most powerful military force in human history. But what do the ten horns represent? Could they be nuclear powers? According to a new report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), nine nations — the United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea — possess approximately 16,300 nuclear weapons in total. This is an obscenity because it’s enough atomic power to blow up every city on the planet several dozen times over. But it’s even more than an obscenity, it is utter madness and insanity. The whole world has been hijacked by madmen!

But still, that’s only nine countries that have nukes, so who’s the tenth one, the one that completes the symbolism of Daniel’s ten horns that he saw on the fourth beast? It has got to be Iran, there is no other explanation that I can think of, at least for now. No other country is as close to developing a bomb as Iran, everybody knows that. But this is a prophecy that has yet to come to pass. But you can all be sure that this will be happening in the near future, no doubt about it. And once it does, Daniel’s prophecy about the beast with the ten horns will be fulfilled.

Since the British Empire and two world wars that were initiated in part by Germany have come and gone, this is the only part of this prophecy that has yet to be fulfilled. Once that happens, once Iran gets its hands on its first nuclear weapons – which is only a matter of time – the prophecy will be fulfilled and the stage will be set for world war three, which will be a brief but exceptionally deadly nuclear exchange (more on that in a separate message later). If it involves Iran and Israel as I suspect, then surely America and Russian will become involved sooner or later. And that’s when world war three will really start in earnest. It’s all getting very close now. Prepare yourselves accordingly if you have not yet done so. We are just about out of time.

The USA is a conquered country, and all without a single shot being fired. How did we get to this point?

This is part 2 of a 7 part series about the United States’ presence in Biblical prophecy, particularly with respect to present-day America, and the ramifications that will ensue.

 

America Is Being Conquered One Person At a Time

by Minister Paul J. Bern (Revelation 18, verses 8-10)

wake_up Based on a good bit of observation conducted for a long period of time, it has come to my attention that the US is in large part an utterly clueless nation. The Bible says, “The people perish for a lack of knowledge”, and it’s interesting that many seem to be doing just that during what is purported to be the information age. An alarming number of people appear to be dying of terminal ignorance, and the root cause can be traced to the American shadow government that operates from behind Congress, the White House, and the Supreme Court. When a country’s “leaders” spend 50+ years “dumbing down” America’s schools, this is the result we get. Everybody has their eyes glued to video screens both small and large, or they’re walking around with earphones in their ears listening to music that tunes out everything and everybody else.

 

As a result, a fairly large majority of people are consciously disconnected from the world around them. It’s as if everyone is saying – but not verbally – “I don’t want to know how bad it’s getting. Just let me go to work and collect my check every week while leaving all else alone, and I’ll be fine.” Or, to put it another way, “I’ve got mine. How are you doing? Oh, gee, that’s too bad.” Jesus said, “A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand”. Although those words were uttered 2,000 years ago, they are very descriptive of the US today.

 

America has two separate but directly related problems that are ongoing. They both have to do with an unofficial invasion, one from without and one from within. On one hand, there is a relatively small but rapidly growing minority of Americans, mainly young people, who are being recruited over the Internet to join Islamic fighters in the Middle East. After being radicalized and trained, they are brainwashed into becoming suicide bombers, some for the army of ISIS, others for militant groups like Hamas or Hezbollah, and some who come back to the US while awaiting their marching orders.

The same thing has been happening in Europe and Great Britain, but for a longer period of time. After European recruits return home following their training, they become sleeper cells waiting for their moment to strike. At least two such attacks have already been carried out as I write this. So goes Europe, so goes America. The American teens sneaking out of the country now will be returning, many within weeks or months, to serve as Islamic sleeper cells right here in the USA. Terrorist attacks that could make 9-11 look like child’s play will soon follow, and undoubtedly at a time when we least expect it.

 

The second and most significant problem America has with organized infiltration has to do with China. As you probably know, if a foreign national such as a Mexican woman travels to the US and gives birth, the baby born in the US is automatically an American citizen by law. A ‘baby tourist’ industry has sprung up because of this law, but up until about 10 years ago most babies born here to foreign mothers were from Mexico or Central America. But for the last 5-10 years or more, the first-place crown for countries with the most foreign-born babies isn’t Mexico any more, it’s China. Why would Chinese women want to have a baby in a country so far away from their homeland? It’s not so much because of the women as it is their government, and its root cause is money – or more accurately, debt. The US has a national debt of over $23 trillion dollars, which is 23 with 23 zero’s after it, and that’s plus interest that continues to add up even as I write this. The one country who holds the majority of this debt is China. Needless to say, the US government, or more accurately the Federal Reserve, can not physically print the money fast enough to pay the debt off no matter how hard they run their printing presses. So, America is insolvent, the government in Washington knows it, and China knows it too.

 

 

But, trying to foreclose on part or all of America’s debt could be tricky, with serious military as well as economic implications. So, China appears to be taking a pragmatic kind of approach – they’re going to invade America one person at a time. All they have to do is keep right on doing what they have done for the last ten years or more – sponsor the births of whole armies of American-born Chinese children and bring them back home to raise them. Once they’re of age, they can simply emigrate to America legally and flood the country with Chinese expatriates. Why invade America when China can simply emigrate its invasion force and have them legally buy up everything in sight for pennies on the dollar? And yet the majority of Americans either refuse to see this because they can’t or won’t deal with it, or they are so wrapped up in their digital cocoons that they don’t care. By the time they realize what’s been happening, it will already be too late for them.

To me, the worst thing of all is that the churches aren’t addressing the issue from the pulpit. Why aren’t more US churches warning their congregations? I think it’s because the church leaders are resting on their laurels instead of sounding the alarm! All pastors who did not practice their due diligence while leading their flocks will be left behind at the rapture of the church. That’s not my opinion, that’s a prophecy!

 

 

America, the giant of the 20th century, will go out with barely a whimper in the 21st century unless drastic change happens fast. It’s all foretold in Revelation chapter 18, where it is written, “Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her: death, mourning, famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her. When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with her and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn for her. Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry ‘Woe! Woe! Woe, oh great city, O Babylon, city of power! In one hour your doom has come!’” (Rev. 18, verses 8-10) The “great city” is most likely New York, or possibly Washington, DC, there’s no way to tell with certainty.

But the reason the US political and monetary systems are broken is because of all the dirty corporate money in politics, and you can be sure that God is incensed with all the corruption in our nation’s capital. Do our nation’s leaders think they can hide their activities from God? So, change cannot come from within because the same groups of people are being re-elected. This proves the election system itself is broken, and in some cases they are rigged, or both. To borrow a phrase, change will have to come from the bottom up instead of from the top down. Change from the top down can’t work when the system is rigged in favor of the top 1% of America’s economic pecking order. So it will have to take place as a large-scale grassroots movement of the American people from all over this land. The only question remaining is whether the coming revolt will be peaceful or otherwise.

 

Could This Year’s Holiday Season Be the Last Hurrah for Materialism

With the Holidays Nearly Upon Us, Could the Age of Materialism Finally Be Coming to an End?

By Minister Paul J. Bern

look ahead not behind

We Americans live in the wealthiest nation on earth. In fact, the US is the richest country – or more properly the richest empire – that the world has ever known. As a result, the US has accumulated more wealth than any other nation in world history. Worse still, this vast reservoir of wealth – well in excess of 90% of it – is in the hands of the top 1% of the richest Americans while the rest of us are barely getting by from week to week and from paycheck to paycheck. Contrast this fact with the remainder of working Americans who have lost their jobs to downsizing or out-sourcing, which is inevitably followed by the loss of one’s residence due to foreclosure and/or eviction and the loss of transportation due to vehicle repossession and so on. This is a social injustice that I continue to stand against, and it is a just cause for protesting in the streets. Given the dire circumstances in which the American middle and working classes finds ourselves, I am surprised at the absence of civil disobedience and rioting that ought to be occurring. The French Yellow Vests and the current violence in Hong Kong are two examples of what I’m writing about this week.

 

It is an established fact that the average American has well over $3,000.00 in credit card debt. This is due to excessive spending and unnecessary purchasing of things that we really don’t need. For example, I saw an interview on the Lame Stream news the other night in which a lady who was at or near retirement age said, “My 2005 Toyota Corolla only has 45,000 miles on it, but I want a new one anyway”. And a Toyota Corolla is relatively inexpensive as far as new cars go. Housing is another example. Even after the real estate crash that continues to unfold all around us, with home prices falling as much as 40% in the worst cases, the median price of a new house is well north of $200,000.00, and sales of existing homes have average prices of over $150,000.00.

 

Maybe we should begin to ask ourselves a few basic questions about consumerism and materialism. For instance, why do I want a new car? Or why do I need 300, 400 or even 500 horsepower? What’s wrong with the one I have? If your response is simply, “I’m tired of it and so I want a new one”, that just won’t cut it in an age where everyone is living paycheck to paycheck. If you have that much disposable income, you should consider using at least some of that money to help out a family in distress instead of giving it to a car dealership. Or even if your vehicle is in need of repair, wouldn’t it be cheaper to repair it than to replace it? In most cases the answer is usually ‘yes’.

 

Then there is the question of housing. Why do you need a bigger or newer house? What’s wrong with the one you have now? The only justification I can see for getting a new residence, regardless of what type of dwelling it is, would be to move closer to a job in order to have a shorter commute. After all, doing so would save on fuel as well as wear and tear on your vehicle. With gas prices sure to increase in the coming years, that’s the only reason I can think of. And what about clothes? Why do you think you need the latest clothes (excluding worn out shoes)? What’s wrong with the clothes you already have? You say they are out of style. So what? Who cares about whether they are the latest fashion or not? Personally, I haven’t bought any new clothes in well over a year. The last time I bought a bunch of new clothes, I got them from a thrift store. They were all in excellent condition, and I got them at a bargain price. Who cares whether they are the latest style or not? I sure don’t and neither should you. As far as I am concerned, being fashionable is meaningless. At the end of the day, wearing the latest fashions is pure vanity.

 

Another way that those of us who are more fortunate can be beneficial to poor people (who work but for extremely low wages) is by becoming landlords. I’m not suggesting we should all go and buy rental properties. But, those of us who live in larger houses who have room to spare, could take in a single family o0n a year to year lease. This could even be mutually beneficial – both financially and by giving the property owner and tenant the added benefits of becoming a closer family. Plus, by moving to a smaller part of a somewhat larger house, both families would compelled to be around each other more often, which they may (hopefully) discover they actually enjoy more. They would be trading their ‘stuff’ for togetherness and a constant state of connectivity. Who wouldn’t want a deal like that?

 

In closing, then, within this example lies a deeper critique of the American obsession with consumption and the “bigger is better” mantra. We Americans shun the word “sacrifice,” but studies find that trading stuff for time with people quite often makes us happier, healthier, and more sustainable. When we act altruistically (volunteer, donate to charity, etc.), we get the same neurological high in our brains that food and sex impart. Being good really does feel good. What America, together with the rest of the 1st-world developed countries needs to do is to adopt a mantra of conscious consumption. It’s not just about what we buy (even if it is fair-trade, organic, local), it’s also about being intentional with what we already own and cutting out the excess. On a related note, because of poor or decreasing wages, Americans are buying less but doing more with what they’ve got. The Department of Labor, keeping tabs on how people spend their time, found that Americans were cooking or participating in “organizational, civic and religious activities” more in 2018 than in 2008. Cooking more? Engaging with communities more? That’s a hopeful and meaningful sign of progress toward sustainable, climate-friendly society.

 

 

 

 

Why Our Holiday Shopping Frenzies Can Never Measure Up to this Social Gospel Blog

Celebrate Thanksgiving Again This Year By Buying Nothing One More Time

by Minister Paul J. Bern

thank you
I’ve written about this topic before, and this year I’m doing it again after refraining for the last several years. The topic is greed and the holidays for 2019. Is there a tradition any more primitive or disgusting practiced across America today than that of Black Friday? Unless you’re a fairly materialistic individual, in which case holiday shopping would be considered “normal” behavior. Hordes of “consumers” mob stores for great deals on useless “goods” like flat screen TVs that one must have a cable TV subscription to watch, smart phones and tablet computers that break every time they’re dropped, video gaming “stations” that are addictive, or the latest clothes manufactured by Southern Asian or Latino children in some God-forsaken sweatshop somewhere. Every single year I am further struck by the apparent lack of focus by Christmas shoppers on the original reason for the season. Thanksgiving is the holiday when we give thanks for what we have and count our blessings. It is a time to put things into perspective and realize that we are not so poor after all, economic hardship notwithstanding. The apostle Paul wrote, “I know what it means to have little and I know what it means to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content no matter what my circumstances.” We would all do well to learn to do the same.

 

The Christmas shopping season is the time when we are supposed to be celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior. Instead, all I see each year are large crowds of people caught up in an orgy of consumerism and materialism. Hordes of people buying this and that, spending like there is no tomorrow in a feeding frenzy of capitalist greed. Think about how much good it would do if the birth of our Lord was celebrated with that much enthusiasm. What if we were to organize a National Buy Nothing Day to protest economic inequality? Or how about a $15.00 per hour minimum wage? Or maybe to protest the cost of higher education, we should boycott our student loans! What if everybody stopped sending in their payments until the loans were forgiven? Two thirds of the US economy is consumer spending. Think of what a shock wave it would send if any such national protest or boycott were to be implemented!

 

We’re in a pretty messed up place politically and environmentally. Multinational corporations and financial firms pretty much own the government. Global warming is not only a real and present danger, but rapidly accelerating. There is a plastic “raft” in the Pacific Ocean that’s twice the size of Texas. And as people we’re constantly being taken advantage of to make this situation last longer so that corporate profits and bonuses can climb even higher than they are now. The strong link between these two things – our society’s consumerism and the terrible political, social, environmental, and economic situations we’re in – demands immediate and urgent action. By buying things from these corporations and feeding into this model of a predatory economy, we only encourage and empower it all the more. So I’m asking you:all to please join me in buying nothing again this coming week, as I have a time or two in the past.

 

So this coming Black Friday, I’m calling for a Wildcat General 3-day Strike. I’m asking tens of millions of people right here in the US to bring the American capitalist consumption machine to a grinding – if only momentary – halt. I want you all to not only stop buying for 72 hours, but to shut off all but your most essential lights, all your televisions and other nonessential appliances. I’m asking you to park your car, turn off your phones and log off of your computer for the day. I’m calling for a three-day interlude of fasting and prayer. From sunrise to sunset we’ll abstain en masse, not only from holiday shopping, but from all the temptations of our greed-based and debt-funded lifestyles. Ideally, everyone will power down their electricity for the day and just enjoy some time with their family and friends. If you can’t do that, at least refrain from the Black Friday madness. Don’t go to a store for some kind of deal. Avoid the stress by not going out in the traffic, but if you must then go out for a long ride in the countryside. Don’t shop at the big box stores – in fact, don’t shop anywhere. Just take a break for Friday, Saturday and Sunday and do nothing at all.

 

You know the old truism: a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Things are falling apart – the world’s temperature is rising, the oceans are dying, the global economy is heaving – so why not do something about it? Take just one small step toward a more just and sustainable future. Make a pact with yourself: go on a consumer fast. Lock up your credit cards, put away your cash and opt out of the capitalist spectacle. It may be harder than you think – that is, the impulse to buy is more ingrained in many of us than you may have ever realized. But you will persist and you will transcend – perhaps reaching the kind of epiphany that can change the world. A 3-day epiphany that is lacking in unnecessary wants and needs.

 

Some might criticize me for publicizing these ideas during such tough economic times. “We need people to consume in order to drive the economy!” It’s as if the consumption of chattel goods is our national call to be more patriotic, and that sll this is the byproduct of “American exceptionalism”. To that I say this: it’s not good if we need people to buy useless crap in order to maintain our economy. That needs to shift fundamentally. And the only way to shift it is to stop buying useless crap. So will you join me? Will you take the plunge and break the chord from your normal consumerist ways? Let’s all stay at home this coming Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (excluding church), and have a time of prayer and fasting, and some quality time with each other. In this case, fasting doesn’t mean we must totally abstain from food. But you can go on a liquid diet (soup only, etc.) for 3 days without doing yourself any harm. I have done this before successfully, so if I can then so can you! If we’re going to give thanks, then let’s begin by giving thanks to God.

 

President Trump’s Possible Impeachment and the 94th Psalm

Our Ridiculous Governmental Infighting,

Particularly the ‘Impeach Trump’ Circus,

and What Psalm 94 Has to Say About It

by Minister Paul J. Bern

It is a feeling of deja-vu throughout the US as we continue to look on in disbelief at all the jockeying for position and politicking that is now occurring in Washington, DC. The Democrats want to impeach Trump, which is all they’ve tried to accomplish since 2016 when they were elected or reelected to public office. Prior to this, for the entire 8 years that Barack Obama was president, the Republicans were trying to have him impeached. So Congress has spent the last ten+ years trying to get the opposing party’s president thrown out of office while the country’s business has been left unattended.

Let me point our before I go any further that this posting is apolitical. I didn’t vote for Donald Trump in 2016, and I didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton either. So this posting isn’t about the Trump presidency or American politics, it’s about applying a sense of morality, decency and humility to the political scene, not just in the US, but globally. But this sense of morality, decency and humility needs to start with the US since we are (allegedly) the leading country in the world. How can we as Americans make such a claim when we are the world’s #1 source for wars, weapons, and pornography, in no particular order? Based on that alone, I would say America has fallen from grace as far as God is concerned.

The prophets of old, whose word is still just as good as it was thousands of years ago, had quite a bit to say about this. Governments that oppress the people at home while waging military campaigns abroad that have killed millions since the end of World War 2, are in danger of final judgment, and this does not bode well for America. Let me share what the prophet David said and wrote about these issues about 3,000 years ago from the 94th Psalm. “1) The Lord is a God who avenges. O God who avenges, shine forth. 2) Rise up, Judge of the earth; pay back to the proud what they deserve. 3) How long, Lord, will the wicked, how long will the wicked be jubilant? 4) They pour out arrogant words; all the evildoers are full of boasting. 5) They crush your people, Lord; they oppress your inheritance. 6) They slay the widow and the foreigner; they murder the fatherless. 7) They say, ‘The Lord does not see; the God of Jacob takes no notice.’ 8) Take notice, you senseless ones among the people; you fools, when will you become wise?” (Psalm 94, verses1-9)

OK, let’s break this down one verse at a time. Verse 1 says, “The Lord is a God who avenges.” This means he is a God who upholds the weak and vulnerable, the widow and the orphan, the alien and the homeless, and the sick and disabled. It is the rich who are taking all of the above groups of people to court, or causing some of them to become homeless, knowing full well the poor people (and there’s a lot of us these days) don’t have the means to put up a meaningful and robust defense. So we can deduce that prison and jail overcrowding are due to rich people locking up the poor. “3) How long, Lord, will the wicked, how long will the wicked be jubilant? 4) They pour out arrogant words; all the evildoers are full of boasting. 5) They crush your people, Lord; they oppress your inheritance.” These mega-rich ‘elites’ are proud at how well they have ‘everything under control’ as they micro-manage our lives down to the tiniest detail while they tax us into poverty. Wages are at record lows, with take-home pay running at 1980-like levels, and the tension between those who govern or enforce the rules and the overwhelming majority of the population hasn’t been this bad since the 1960’s. The entire planet is rife for revolt against the rich. It’s called ‘economic inequality’.

6) They slay the widow and the foreigner; they murder the fatherless….” They slaughter the most vulnerable people because they are the easiest to kill. Our police officers shoot down black teens in the streets who are already growing up without fathers to properly guide them. That’s because their fathers fell victim to poverty and homelessness, and they eventually died before their time or were imprisoned during their prime of life. So where are their mothers? Working three jobs so she and her kids don’t have to be homeless. And what about foreigners? We take their kids away at the borders, and in so doing we traumatize both parent and child alike. Such trauma can often last a lifetime. These minions of the government are arrogant and abusive beyond description, as it is written: “7) They say, ‘The Lord does not see; the God of Jacob takes no notice.’ 8) Take notice, you senseless ones among the people; you fools, when will you become wise?” God is so fed up with these Hitler-like wannabe’s, who are plundering the earth and its people like we are here only for target practice for themselves.

But if we embrace the Lord Almighty instead of being preoccupied with the world and all its troubles, he will rise to our defense, as it says further down, starting at verse 14: “14) For the Lord will not reject his people; he will never forsake his inheritance. 15) Judgment will again be founded on righteousness, and all the upright in heart will follow it. 16) Who will rise up for me against the wicked? Who will take a stand for me against evildoers? 17) Unless the Lord had given me help, I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death.” (Psalms 94, verses 14-17) In verse 14, we are God’s inheritance since he has made heaven and earth already. He made us last, according to Genesis chapter 1 in the Old Testament 15) Judgment will again be founded on righteousness, and all the upright in heart will follow it.” This verse means that the systemic corruption in the governmental and business sectors will be wiped out, and the perpetrators of this scheme will be brought to justice. This means us. This means right now.

16) Who will rise up for me against the wicked? Who will take a stand for me against evildoers?” The Lord Jesus wants all his true believers and followers to go out there in the world and make a strong statement and a cunning strategic attack against the wicked rich money worshipers, who value their assets more than the human beings who manage them for a pittance of a salary. And now let’s conclude this week’s message from Psalm 94. “20) Can a corrupt throne be allied with you – a throne that brings on misery by its decrees? 21) The wicked band together against the righteous and condemn the innocent to death. 22) But the Lord has become my fortress, and my God the rock in whom I take refuge. 23) He will repay them for their sins and destroy them for their wickedness; the Lord our God will destroy them.” (Psalms 94, verses 20-23)

What was King David writing about in verse 20? A “corrupt throne” is exactly how it sounds – governments, businesses and institutions of higher learning as well as religious organizations, whose sole reason for existing is to milk their customers or members for every penny they can collect. You know, just like organized crime, just as it says in verse 21? “The wicked band together against the righteous and condemn the innocent to death.” You know, like our courts systems and our military? “22) But the Lord has become my fortress…. (23) He will repay them for their sins and destroy them for their wickedness….” I would encourage you all to make yourselves like David did. Make God your own private fortress. If the mega-rich can build deep underground shelters, then you can build a shelter that will withstand any attack from any enemy, seen or unseen. Whether you enemies are physical in nature with flesh and blood like yourselves, or whether they are spiritual and invisible, your faith in God can and will save you.

But God doesn’t stop there: God will destroy your enemies for their utterly wicked nature, such as those who impose student loans that can never be repaid so their “clients” (victims) remain buried under a mountain of debt for their entire lives. He punishes the dealerships who sell cars and trucks that wear out before the loans can be repaid. Some of them go out of business, and deservedly so. Criminals, particularly the violent ones, as well as the suit-and-tie crooks at the so-called “Federal Reserve” and on Wall St., usually get their punishment later (such as the current impeachment hearings in Washington) rather than sooner (like drug offenders and car thieves, who face justice relatively quickly). I’m not taking any sides here, I’m just making some observations. God, however, is always on the right side of things. As creator of the universe, it’s God’s prerogative to make sure that justice, mercy and righteousness always prevail. Then he sent us his only Son, Jesus Christ, to seal the deal. And seal it he did, settling these matters for all eternity, and saving our souls eternally in the process.

Those Who Abuse Their Authority Sow Fear When They’re Supposed to be Building Trust

When Those in Authority Abuse Their Power Everybody Loses

by Minister Paul J. Bern

By now I’m sure you heard about this latest violent incident involving the police and mentally ill people. The 911 operators got a call about a naked man running around an apartment complex in suburban Atlanta. His name was Anthony Hill, a disabled Iraq war veteran. Along came a police officer, one Robert Olsen, who stated that since the man charged at him, he “made the officer feel in fear for his life”. The whole incident was captured on phone video. First you see a naked man, who suffered from PTSD and bipolar disorder, laying on the pavement. He was naked, apparently unarmed, and he was charging at no one that I could see. Having gone off his medication several days before, Anthony Hill needed to be taken to a hospital. So instead of taking him to a hospital, or otherwise using a taser to immobilize the naked man, he was simply shot twice and pronounced dead at the scene. That officer, Mr. Olsen, has been charged with murder, and the jury is deliberating as I write this.

Here in America we have shootings happening almost daily. Sometimes there are mass shootings resulting in the deaths of police and perpetrator alike, but most of the time this is not the case. In these cases, what we have is an epidemic of mental illness, but that’s all I care to say about it for right now. Then there are shootings that are gang related, and innocent bystanders are the ones who are getting cut down by bullets just because they got in somebody’s way. People seem to have forgotten what the Bible says about murderers: “You shall not commit murder” (Exodus 20: 13); and again it is written, “If anyone strikes someone a fatal blow with an iron object, that person is a murderer; the murderer is to be put to death” (Numbers 35: 16). These days, we don’t need “iron objects” since we have firearms instead, and only because they’re much lighter. Because of all this, cops all over the country have taken a ‘shoot first and ask questions later’ stance when it comes to how they do their jobs. But what law enforcement fails to realize is that if they weren’t shooting unarmed people, the American people wouldn’t be so upset in the first place. That’s just what’s on the surface.

What’s underneath is that between 80-90% of police shootings in America in the last 10 years have been white officers shooting black suspects, the overwhelming majority of whom were unarmed. So the shootings, or most of them, are evidently racially motivated. What does the Bible say about that? “Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.” (1 John 3: 15) Is it any wonder that people everywhere are furious with the police, especially people of color? Is it any wonder that no one trusts them anymore (including this author, who prefers to take matters into his own hands)? What should we do about this legally? After all, if we don’t stay legal we’re just giving the cops a reason to shoot at us. Unless, of course, we decide to shoot back. But then we’re talking civil war. Do we really want that? As far as I am concerned, armed revolt should only be considered as a matter of last resort. Before things come down to that, I have some ideas that I would like to see everyone put into practice first. If these don’t work, maybe then we should talk further.

The first thing Christian Americans need to realize is that we’re not living in a democracy, and we haven’t been ever since Nov, 22,1963, when president John Kennedy was assassinated. America isn’t a democracy at all. It’s a tyrannical oligarchy of the worst kind – one that’s disguised as a democracy and hidden behind the smoke and mirrors of political propaganda. Just because governmental decrees are no longer issued by royal fiat but are instead issued by lobbying and propaganda, doesn’t make it any less tyrannical. It is nothing more than inverted totalitarianism. And it is our responsibility, if we would be proactive citizens, to subvert this totalitarianism. We the 99% must turn the tables on the 1% elites, or we will all spend our lives as slaves It’s as simple as that. Here are four ways we can turn the tables on tyrannical oligarchy without firing a shot:

1.) Shame the Rich By Mocking Plutocracy

While the world keeps on getting more and more impoverished, the moneyed elite are getting richer and richer – to the extent that it is costing people their lives. We must be able to muster the courage to put our foot down and draw a line in the sand. A declaration of emergency is needed. The current demonstrations against police brutality, and there are many taking place in America’s streets (and let’s not forget about our brothers and sisters in Hong Kong as well as Paris, France’s “Yellow Vests”) are the new ‘Occupy’ movements. One way to put our foot down is to mock the plutocratic entities that have a monopoly on power and to ridicule the cult of personality. Shame is a very powerful psychological motivator. The sooner we make them realize that they have to be morally responsible with their power, the sooner we will be able to bring balance to the world. And the way we make them realize it is through the stultifying effect of shame. Like Confucius said, “In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.” And have no illusions, countries the world over are badly governed. Through a healthy mockery of their power, we inadvertently get power over power and turn the tables on the power dynamic.

2.) Defy the Police State

A primary purpose of the police is to enforce the delusions of those with lots of pieces of green paper. Those without the green papers generally buy into these delusions almost as quickly and completely as those with. These delusions carry with them extreme consequences in the real world. No longer do police act in the capacity of peace officers. Now they are simply hired thugs of a government that no longer has the best interest of the people at heart. Like George Orwell said, “The capitalist society is a police society where the number one goal is the protection of upper class property.” While the governments of the world have been taken over by corporate interests, bankers and special interest groups, our countries have been turned into police states. Black-booted police state beware, your fascist violence is no match for our creative freedom. The so called “herd” is methodically being populated with wolves in sheep clothing, and we will bite if we’re cornered. We can turn the tables on the police state by mocking it like ‘Pussy Riot’ mocked Putin, and like ‘Anonymous’ mocks power.

3.) Ridicule the NDAA

As it stands, The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is the most diabolically authoritarian law to ever come down the governmental chute. It’s anti-freedom in the name of security, the most deceptive kind of law. The NDAA is a greater threat to our national liberty than the terrorism from which it claims to protect us from. It impinges on America’s citizens, who are guaranteed First Amendment rights, and lacks sufficient protections to meet the requirements of due process. Simply put, it is an instrument for the government to restrain the people. The Constitution used to be an instrument for the people to constrain the government, but with legislation like the NDAA and the Patriot Act, the instrument of the constitution is useless and no longer holds a tune. It’s past time that we get out there and petitioned against the NDAA. We must ridicule it. We must scorn it to the nth degree. Blaspheme it in the face of the president if need be. Inform people about how corrupt it really is. People will remain ignorant as long as we allow them to be. Let’s not allow them to be; not only for the sake of their freedom but for our own, as well as for the freedom of our children and our children’s children. People are born to be free. Ridiculing acts like the NDAA, and attempting to abolish them, are ways of safeguarding such freedoms.

4.) Challenge the Mass Surveillance State

Beginning with the adoption of the Patriot Act in 2001 (the government’s backbone-less, scared-stupid response to 9-11) the floodgates opened for covert government surveillance not only for the NSA, FBI, CIA and Homeland Security, but for hundreds of municipal and state governments – a green light to infiltrate and spy on millions of American citizens. Now FISA is a dead horse that’s been beaten beyond recognition, because it has been morphed into a vehicle of covert means shielded from effective oversight through countless amendments by the Bush and Obama administrations. And now congress itself is hung-up on the fear-mongering tactics of the War on Terror. It is now up to us, “We the People”, to challenge this surveillance state, unless we inadvertently become what George Orwell warned us against in his novel “1984”. Leaking information has become the civil disobedience of our age. The late historian and activist Howard Zinn described the act of civil disobedience as “the deliberate, discriminate violation of law for a vital social purpose… Such acts become not only justifiable but necessary when a fundamental human right is at stake and when legal channels are inadequate for securing that right.” Even Thomas Jefferson realized it, writing, “If a law is unjust, a man is not only correct to disobey it, he is obligated to do so.”

Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange, Jeremy Hammond, and the late Aaron Swartz have all continued the tradition of civil disobedience by revealing the details of global mass surveillance programs. It’s time for us to change the tune. It’s time to interrupt their corrupt dance. It’s time to challenge the powers that be. Nothing short of the survival of the human species is at stake. If we are going to proclaim ourselves Christians, then we have a responsibility to oppose that which is corrupt, unjust, unfair and which poses a threat. Evil must at all times be resisted with good. Not through some imaginary fist-fight between good and evil, all that is just Hollywood imagery. I’m talking about resisting evil in the Spiritual realm through prayer, faith, love and good works whenever possible. Passive resistance works as well in the Spiritual world as it does in the physical, so use it whenever possible. Let the peace of Christ, which is beyond all human understanding, be with you all. Stop the shooting, everybody – police and civilians alike, you’re only making matters worse! We can either live in peace together or die fighting each other. I’d say the first choice is a lot more palatable to me,

This week’s posting will be from my archives, from guest columnist Richard Grzywacz

A Prophetic Post From 2014 by an Old Friend About the Times We Are Currently Living In

I greet you all in the name of Christ Jesus, who is the Son of God. Thank you all for your patience with me as I put the finishing touches on my new website. Watch for some announcements on social media when it makes its debut in just days from now! There will be video’s and music as well.

Richard Grzywacz posted in Occupy Corrupt Government

https://www.facebook.com/chosenone69?ref=hl

10:16pm Oct 3, 2014

WOULD YOU PLAY A GAME OF MONOPOLY THAT WAS UNFAIR, AND PEOPLE WERE ALLOWED TO CHEAT? Capitalism is the equivalent of asking people to join a game of monopoly that has been going on for decades, and 1 of the 4 players has accumulated 90% of the games wealth.

And someday soon it will end, when everyone else goes bankrupt or when the person that is winning decides not to feed the other players some scraps to keep the game going anymore.

While the game is going, what if the 1 wealthy person showed favoritism to his friends while affording them credit and a larger share of the scraps, in-turn buying their friendship in order to maintain the power and controlling interest of the game?

Oh, and one last thing – you have to start the game $50,000 in debt for tuition fees. But, you’re still not done yet in this hypothetical Monopoly game…..

You know? Because, you see, there are also the real land owners, who think that they can own the land of this world, while inflating the price and conniving others to buy into this insanity! God gave its garden to all of us equally, for free, as it is written, “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground‘” …Genesis 1, verse 28)

YOU CAN’T OWN WHAT IS NOT YOURS. You could be the custodian of it, which is the responsibility of all of us. Or, in some cases you may be the Lord’s tenant, but after that it goes back to the people (see Deuteronomy 15, verses 1-11).

Someday all those who enslaved others by forcing this losing game upon God’s people, will pay a high price for their actions. Just as you’re judged on what you do, while you were here. Not what you did or gave away upon dying. AFFIRMED

People have also forgotten the original purpose of money. When the world comes to see money as a way to measure ones work or service to another, and not just as a means of exchange and worth, the cries of the hungry shall be vanquished from our planet.

There should never be a lack of available currency as there never seems to be a shortage of yardsticks, rulers and tape measures, when it comes to measuring distance. And, one day we may find that all the measuring devices are in the possession of the corporations, and there wasn’t anything left for the people anymore.

The Statue of Liberty and the US-Mexican border

“Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Huddled Masses Yearning to Be Free….”

by Minister Paul J. Bern

[Ex. 22:21; Deut. 24:17; Titus 3:1 ; Eph. 6: 1-4]

The ongoing refugee debacle at America’s southern border continues to slowly get worse by the day. As if this weren’t severe enough circumstances on which to act, in an article (copyright (c) People Inc. and Diane Herbst) that was published this past Friday in People Magazine, a California lawmaker was one of the first of our lawmakers “to be allowed” (her words, not mine) to see the inside of one of these holding facilities (Since when do our congressional representatives need to seek permission to inspect inhumane conditions within their own constituencies? Unconstitutional!!). The article goes on to depict what can only be described as ‘concentration camps’, with little children living in their own squalor. To me, this is simply reprehensible, and I’m not the only one who feels this way.

Allow me to quote briefly: “Lawmaker Describes Ursula, Texas Migrant Center at Border. The memory was brief but vivid: The 1st sounds we heard before we could see the children held at Ursula were haunting cries of babies & toddlers,” Rep. Jackie Speier of California wrote on Twitter on Sunday. She and more than a dozen other Democratic lawmakers had inspected the migrant processing center known as Ursula in McAllen, Texas, earlier that day. What they witnessed, she tells PEOPLE, was a scene of sickness and filth at one of several border sites that have come under scrutiny amid an ongoing furor about the conditions in which migrants are being held..…” Regarding immigration issues, the Bible tells us, “Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt.” Exodus 22: 21) The Israeli nation from the Old Testament were slaves for 400 years prior to be set free by the Egyptian Pharaoh of that time, circa 1312 BCE.

Further down in this same article, Ms. Herbst states, “Speier’s account is one of many about the conditions inside the border facilities, which are typically kept from public view but have been opened up to Congress and the media amid the national controversy.” CBS News recently also toured the Ursula station — the first time TV news cameras had been let in. Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan “.…made the decision to take the risk in bringing cameras in to be transparent about what we’re facing,” he told CBS. Several migrant children have died in government custody in the last year..…” This begs the question: Are we turning these migrant men, women and children into future terrorists? Since this has already happened in Europe and the Middle East, it’s only a question of time before America suffers the same fate.

My readers and viewers surely want to know what I mean by saying/writing anything like that. I would remind them that we only have to go far enough back in time to the US-led Afghanistan and Iraq invasions that began in 2001, which are still ongoing. These countries are now ‘de facto‘ territories of the USA, I want you to take note, if you haven’t already noticed, of the allegedly “terroristic” attacks, primarily confined to the 2 countries I just mentioned. Those Afghani and Iraqi citizens were just children when the American bombs fell, starting in 2001, and their families were wiped out. But they are all grown up now, and there are no economic opportunities for those who were left behind. Is it any wonder so many of them are filled with rage?

Those leftover war children carry a lifetime of war wounds, PTSD cases, and battle scars with them everywhere they go. Because of these things, they all want to get back at the US, and especially the military. There are terrorist attacks all over the world to this day, and they are carried out by the sons, daughters, nieces and nephews who are the direct descendants of those who were killed in all those years of US shelling from 1991 through 2008, when the Iraqi occupation by US troops was formally ended. I know of 4 little verses with big impact written in the New Testament by the apostle Paul that have a similar theme to the topic at hand.

1) Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2) Honor your father and mother – which is the first commandment with a promise – 3) so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth. 4) Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6, verses 1-4) Exasperation in these verses of scripture denotes that which is produced by arbitrary and unsympathetic rule. Verse 4 also means that we are to train up our children in such a manner as the Lord approves; that is, they are to educate them for virtue and as Christ-followers.

Does this mean that the refugees at America’s southern border can be compared to the huge influx of Middle Eastern refugees that now inhabit Europe? In the same way that domineering and overbearing parents can ruin the fragile psyches of impressionable young minds, so goes children losing their entire families to war and forced relocation. Being uprooted and forcibly resettled under inhumane conditions impacts their lives in ways most of us have not previously imagined. We know all too well about the suicide bombers in the Middle East and, to a somewhat lesser degree, Europe. The overwhelming majority are of Persian or Palestinian descent. In the same way, the suicide bombers of the future here in the US will be of overwhelmingly Latin descent. The pattern to set this up, making sure everyone is livid with rage, has already begun in places like MacAllen, Texas. The forcible separation of children from their parents must stop immediately. God is watching, Mr. President!

17) Do not deprive the foreigner or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of the widow as a pledge” (Deuteronomy 24, verse 17), is another verse that fits well when used as a Scriptural argument here. By that I mean, our immigration officials and their uniformed enforcers deprive refugee families the basic human right to apply for asylum, then they “exasperate their children” (see Ephesians 6:4 above). It also says we may not ever take collateral for loans made to widows. The thing is, if we continue breaking up families, some of those orphaned children could be at our back porches in another 10 or15 years. It will be our own fault if any such thing occurs, and we will have done it to ourselves.

Video of what has been happening in these ‘holding facilities’ can only be found on alternative media websites, such as You Tube, Patreon, Facebook and other similar news outlets. You’ll never see much of this, if any, on network TV. Still, in spite of all this, we are duty-bound to the laws of the land, as it is written, “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good” (Titus 3, verse 1). It is a good thing to be a law-abiding citizen. That is, unless a combination of government, military and business entities make living here in America nearly intolerable. To correct this, we can start with a $15.00 hourly minimum wage, which has already cleared the House floor in Washington, but it is being held up in the senate by right-wingers for political reasons. It was for times such as this that the late President John F. Kennedy once said, “A revolution is coming; which will be peaceful if we are wise enough, compassionate if we care enough, successful if we are fortunate enough – but a revolution which is coming whether we will it or not. We can effect its character, but we cannot alter its inevitability.”

This is all about justice – from the homeless refugees begging for permission to come into our country, to the right-wing extremists who killed president John F. Kennedy back in 1963 but were never prosecuted. American citizens, and the refugees on our southern border are all clamoring for very significant change. The Bible says workers are worthy of their wages, and that there is much value derived from our labor. (see 1st Timothy 5: 18) If president Kennedy were to somehow move forward in time so as to view the horrific conditions under which defenseless children are kept today, he would order them released forthwith – meaning, right there on the spot. If I had the authority, I would do the same.

An open letter to Jeffrey Epstein, and all other predators and abusers

To Jeffrey Epstein and All Other Sex Predators

and Abusers, From a Former Victim and Survivor

[Matt. chapter 7, verses 16-23; Luke 6, verses 24-26]

by Web Minister Paul J. Bern

Dear (or not) Mr. Epstein: Allow me to introduce myself. I am Minister Paul J. Bern, an independent, nondenominational Web preacher, published author, and occasional public speaker based in Atlanta, GA. I am also a survivor of abuse due to being on the receiving end of much emotional, psychological and occasionally sexual abuse as I was growing up. I was abused to such an extent that found myself hospitalized and diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) back in 1995. It is a set of circumstances that I am, and have been, stuck with throughout much my life.

As I write this, you have at least two women who have become your accusers, and I expect there will be plenty more by the time this gets posted tomorrow. Sex in 21st century America means it occurs between two consenting adults. The meaning here is fairly explicit. So, Mr. Epstein, just because your sex partners(s) are willing and able, the law says that this is not permissible if one of the partners is not yet of legal age. The same goes for a boxing ring, or a wrestling match. The match is official, refereed, and always gets the match on pay TV at a preset time and place. So that type of competition, and by extension contact sports, are fine as long they are legally operated. But when the ‘play-by-play’ involves persons who are young enough to be their grand-children, that’s where the line needs to be drawn in the sand.

When 60-year-old men and women turn having sex with teen-aged girls and boys into a hobby, they devastate the young minds they abuse for their own pleasure. The psychological effects of being a victim of abuse, and especially of having nowhere else to turn, are incalculable and can often last for an entire lifetime. To get an extent of how serious legal authorities and mental health professionals take this, please go to this page. Another aspect to this is your wealth, Mr. Epstein. If you are guilty of any of these charges, you should receive appropriate punishment, and I don’t think your massive wealth will save you either. Not this time, sir.

What does the Bible say (that’s right – the Word of God) about those who abuse their power and authority? Here’s one example from Luke’s gospel: “24) But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort. 25) Woe to you who are well fed now, for you will go hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep. 26) Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.” Hear that, Mr. Epstein? That means people like yourself, who spent their whole lives accumulating as much wealth as they could, and usually at the expense of scores, or thousands, of workers. People like yourself, Mr. Epstein, should be pursued and punished to the greatest extent the law allows.

Would you like more proof of what the Word says? “16) By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? 17) Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18) A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19) Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20) Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. 21) Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22) Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23) Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” (Matthew 6, verses 16-23)

Rich philanthropists like Jeffrey Epstein – they know who they are – cannot buy their way into heaven, nor can they do enough good deeds on their own to get them into Paradise. And, if any one of these individuals professes to be ‘Christian’, no matter how much they “tithe” at church, those tithes won’t do the job either. Showing up and dropping your designated 10% won’t cut it. All one has to do is stand back and watch one of these mega-rich billionaires on the street when a homeless man asks them for a dollar, or even some spare change. They turn and run, or call 911, and it’s usually both. When I ask them why, they always say they felt “threatened” by some hapless street dweller. By reacting that way, those mega-rich individuals place themselves in the same category as the police officers who are gunning down unarmed people of color. So it’s no wonder when I see guys like Jeffrey Epstein, I experience what I would call a big knot in my stomach, like some old wounds that have been reopened. My doctor says that it’s part of the healing that has already begun. I can only hope and pray that she’s right.

What Would Jesus Do? No wait — Who Would Jesus Drone?

Hey Mister President – Who Would Jesus Drone?

By Web Minister Paul J. Bern

(James chapter 2, verses 14-22)

Today I feel compelled to speak out against the drone incident in the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf this past week. The torrent of lies being told to concerned Americans by the CIA and the US military, with the eager cooperation of our “free press”, causes me to wonder whether the letters CIA stand for Complete Idiots Agency (among other things I won’t print here). But all joking aside, I want to write truthfully today about God and what he might do under similar circumstances. After all, I am a Social Christian (not socialist, since there is a big difference) and an antiwar crusader because my conscience compels me to be such. It’s in my nature to be conscientious.

Indeed, being an authentic Christian inevitably means many positive things. Among others, it means being baptized, partaking of the Lord’s supper, and belonging to a community marked by the confession that Jesus Christ is the risen Lord and our blessed Savior. Likewise, being a Social Christian means blowing the whistle on the violence carried out through all the clandestine wars carried out by those powers and principalities that overwhelmingly seek their own lordship over God’s good creation – powers and principalities like America and her mighty war machine. Being an authentic Christian means to stand for social and economic justice and against inequality as Jesus did. It means faith and our works are interwoven.

The apostle James wrote eloquently on this very topic when he said, “14) What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15) Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16) If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17) In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18) But someone will say, ‘You have faith; I have deeds.’ Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19) You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder. 20) You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21) Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22) You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.” (James chapter 2, verses 14-22) This passage of Scripture embodies the Social Gospel, and all at the expense of rampant inequality and the waging of global wars.

Speaking of “works”, I was recently dismayed to find out that Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., has been training “Christian” recruits to pilot armed U.S. drones since 2011 in its School of Aeronautics (SOA). My dismay is over the idea that Liberty graduates can somehow “serve the Lord” by targeting and killing their global neighbors. In the following paragraphs, I would like to outline some of my concerns in detail, with the hope that Liberty University and other persons of faith might reconsider, or at least restate theologically, its evidently enthusiastic position regarding U.S. drone warfare:

[1] Drone reconnaissance and strikes are imprecise, counterproductive and of questionable legality.

According to a 2017 study carried out by researchers at NYU School of Law and Stanford University Law School, some experts suggested drone strikes hit just 2 percent of “high priority” targets, usually killing civilians instead. Indeed, America is responsible for killing more than 7,500 people with drone technology in 2018 alone – over half of which were children. America also uses egregious strike techniques in order to kill individuals suspected of terrorism. All of this has led to significant opposition from citizens, especially in Pakistan, in what some have called a kind of “recruitment program” for terrorism. And though legality is unclear, terrorism and human rights officials at the United Nations have said that U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan, which have been ongoing since at least 2013, violate international law. Has Liberty University considered how these factors might undermine America’s interests? Even more importantly, have you considered how these factors might compromise the integrity of the greater Church?

[2] Drone strikes necessitate complicity with untruthful media systems.

Reports from the alternative media suggest that the Obama and Trump Administrations have stretched the definition of “militant” to reduce reported civilian death tolls. Just follow the articles. As soon as you get beyond the realm of mainstream American media, “militants” suddenly become “suspects” or even “civilians.” How can the Church – any church presenting itself as a truth-telling institution – accept at face value and propagate misleading half-truths or outright lies from the mainstream media, especially when innocent lives are at stake? If we cannot or will not stop these things from happening, we are no better than the German civilians who backed Hitler in Nazi Germany.

[3] Liberty University, and a silent majority of so-called “Christians”, assumes drone warfare as an ethical norm for those who worship the Risen Lord and Savior.

Don’t get me wrong – I dislike war mongering just as much as the next person, unless you’re the killing type; I’m not. But don’t you think that drone warfare demands some sort of philosophical and theological backing? Short of ambiguous and unhelpful appeals to ‘justice’, how has Liberty University managed to reconcile drone strikes with the ethical teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ? How can the Church support drone warfare while loving our neighbors – and our enemies – all at the same time? Before Syria there is Yemen, before that there is Afghanistan, and before that there was Iraq, where at least 100,000 Iraqi civilians died, and more than half of those were children.

Still another aspect of drone warfare is the insane misdirection and misappropriation of funds for war instead of for peaceful purposes. As I wrote in my 2018 book, “The Middle and Working Class Manifesto 4th Edition”, if America took all the money it spends in just one day for the ongoing occupation of Afghanistan, plus all the other clandestine wars, and put it into an interest-bearing account, there would be enough money in that account to send every American school age child through 4 years of college so they could earn their professional degrees and diplomas without cost. No more student loans!

This is the way this is already being done in most of the other developed countries in the world. America has the dubious distinction of being the only exception. It is also a fact that America spends more money incarcerating people than it does educating them. For me, this is proof positive that our country has its priorities completely out of whack. This in turn is a reflection on America’s leadership, or more accurately the lack thereof, and this problem goes back decades. As things are right now, America’s voters will have to wait until the 2020 elections to be able to do anything about all this stuff. But, if after the 2020 elections are over with, and numerous new senators and congressional representatives (new president, maybe?) are elected to replace the old – which is likely – and the state of our country remains unchanged, and especially if it gets worse, there will be serious trouble and much civil unrest throughout the land, and things could get very ugly in a hurry.

Ultimately, I oppose drones because Christ – through his obedience unto death – has already defeated the principalities and powers of this world, including death itself, and that includes the military (sorry, all you veterans, I mean no disrespect). In so doing, Christ brought a portion of his Kingdom to earth as a security deposit. With expectant hope, the Church is called to an ever-patient and Christ-like peace in accordance to Christ’s faithfulness, that is made possible through the power of the Holy Spirit. As such, the church cannot participate in the violence of empire without undermining its own calling. We are charged with the duty to put faithfulness to Jesus before our attachment to the world. No doubt, many at Liberty University will reject my argument. Nevertheless, I can see no theological reasons for doing so. After all, as the largest evangelical school in the world, I would presume that they know how to talk about – and to – God. So the next time you pray, why not ask God, “Heavenly Father, who would Jesus drone?”