[link to www.rense.com]
By Mary Sparrowdancer
c. 2006 Mary Sparrowdancer
"Open your doors, O Lebanon,
that the fire may devour your cedars--I will
raise up a shepherd in the land that will not visit
those cut off, nor seek the young,
nor heal the broken, nor give food"
--The words of Jehovah, war god of Judaism and Christianity,
Zechariah, Old Testament.
On the nineteenth day of Israel's horrifying so-called "war" on Lebanon--Lebanon being a republic largely without any military defenses whatsoever--we learned that Israel unleashed its deadliest of all attacks to date. With Israel's insatiable desire for blood and the utter destruction of Lebanon still unquenched after 19 days of inhumane aggression against unarmed civilians, we find that this day's attack by Israel killed at least 54 people, including 37 innocent children. They were killed while they were sleeping.
Lebanon - whose Air Force has no fixed-wing planes - is now largely in ruins while the world's most powerful leader has backed the aggression of Israel. As Lebanon pleaded to the world for help, in full and painful view was the lack of appropriate, compassionate response from the US government. Instead, this government has turned again an arrogant, deaf ear to the cries of the innocent, and incredibly, this government has backed the criminal annihilation being carried out by Israel. With support from the American government, the acting Prime Minister of Israel now states that what Israel has already done to Lebanese civilians is not enough. Israel needs another "ten days to two weeks" to really see their mission through properly. Perhaps a biblical forty days and forty nights might get the job done right.
While the world has watched in shock and awe, the Bush administration shrugged yet again at the full cost and anguish that others are paying for war, and a list of troubling questions has begun forming in the minds of many: What, exactly, is Israel's mission in Lebanon, and why is the US supporting their outrageous war crimes against humanity? And, what has happened to America, which seems now to be only a cartoon version of what it once was? America, America--its freedom and grace now vaporized into nothingness like dew in the blistering and growing deserts forming on the earth.
America is now nothing more than a strange and distorted parody of the nation it once was. We now have a Hollywood version of America in which celebrities are given VIP status and fitted into the day's agenda at the White House, while those just out of sight bury their dead children and continue to beseech the world's most powerful ruler to do something worthwhile on behalf of humanity.
Alas, Babylon. Alas, Lebanon.
Alas, indeed. Alas, America's values, truths and moral acts of compassion have been replaced by the mindless greed of corporate profit-seeking and the brainless, vulgar antics of someone who is out of control and unaccountable, while paradoxically also "in control" of this formerly great nation.
It is a situation that rivals one of Hollywood's worst productions, and all the while, as attention is being paid to everything except reality and eyes are averted from scenes that might be upsetting, it is real blood that is being spilled while a massive war machine moves on, unstopped and applauded by those who cannot feel its pain.
Why has America become something equally as terrifying as any regime that is run by unqualified, unelected, freedom-hating fundamentalists with tunnel-vision?
The answer, of course, is right in front of us. For the first time in the history of the United States, the government of the US is now being piloted largely (and poorly) by conservative Christian fundamentalists. Their god is now our co-pilot.
It is good to know which rules of conduct and which code of ethics one's ruler is following and is expecting the hoi polloi to follow. The necessity of disclosure of one's rules was even known in the days of Hammurabi.
In the past, we were able to assume that the heads of the US government were telling the truth when they swore to uphold the United States Constitution, and in the past, therefore, the Constitution was the bedrock and foundation of law in the United States.
The prevailing administration, however, suspended the Constitution rather quickly after taking over.
With the Constitution out of the way and with the fundamentalist Christian forces continuing to exert increased power over politics in this country, perhaps it should come as no surprise that we now appear to be operating under the draconian ethics as presented in the Old Testament.
"But, who could fault this?" one might ask, especially if one is a fundamentalist Christian. "Certainly, no one would oppose embracing 'God,' and invoking his name before wars and football games and pop quizzes--and who could truly oppose establishing 'God's' rules and commandments as the sovereign rule of the United States of America?"
"There is but one god, is there not?"
In actuality, monotheism is a myth. One has only to read the Old Testament to see that there were other gods, many having attributes quite different from the war god most Christians think is the "god of the universe." Belief in an unknowable god of the universe or the god of nature would more correctly be termed "deism." "Monotheism" suggests that a selection among various gods has taken place, and that one god from among them has been chosen.
In addition to the myth of monotheism, there is another myth in which a growing number of people are placing their beliefs. It is a currently preached myth suggesting that the United States was founded as a Christian nation. In fact, the US was founded as a nation without prejudice toward religion, and specifically protecting religious freedom.
Whether one places any belief in the bible or completely dismisses everything within it, when its literal, fundamental interpretation and its out-dated standards of conduct suddenly begin metastasizing into the governing instrument for one of the world's most powerful nations, all would do well to become familiar with the Old Testament. This should be done while keeping in mind that the English translations vary considerably from what was actually written in Hebrew. Regardless, reading the Old Testament might, in fact, serve as a scriptural "heads-up" for a world that is now largely in awe of what is happening. It might explain the current tailspin that America seems to be experiencing.
There are 71 references to Lebanon in the King James Version (KJV) of the Old Testament, most of them very beautiful--just as Lebanon was very beautiful a few short weeks ago. But in the last references to Lebanon, the mood changes abruptly and "God" develops what appears to be a split personality.
It is in the latter chapters of the book of Zechariah that Jehovah, the old Judeo Christian war god, begins having another of his jealous and coveting mood swings. These are mood swings for which Jehovah is well-known throughout the Old Testament, because when Jehovah has mood swings, death and destruction soon follow. One will notice that the destruction is not necessarily carried out by Jehovah, of course. The murder and destruction are carried out by those listening to Jehovah, taking literally his biblical instructions to destroy and kill again, and again, and again--and thus doing his bidding, again, and again, and again.
In reality, however, the split personality found in Zechariah occurred because more than one author penned the book of Zechariah. According to the New American Bible, scholars date the first eight chapters of Zechariah's prophecy to 520 B.C. No one, those scholars say, knows who wrote the last six chapters, or even the dates when they were written. They were simply penned by an unknown author or authors. Because those chapters are contained in "the bible," however, they are viewed by fundamentalists as the "inspired word of God."
In Chapter Eight of Zechariah, Jehovah declares he will return to Zion, and call all of his people to come and dwell in Jerusalem. He predicts that other people--many people from other nations--will come and seek his favor.
In Chapter Nine, as someone else puts pen to parchment, baser instincts take over and the mood change occurs. Jehovah decides he needs more land. That an entity who claims to be the "creator of the universe" finds itself coveting neighboring lands should raise some questions. Listed among the areas that Jehovah intends to "smite" in order to seize are Tyre and Gaza.
This smiting of Tyre and Gaza is currently being carried out by humans.
In Chapter Ten, another angry wrath of god begins growing, this one against shepherds. All of Judah will be turned into warriors, and "They shall wage war because Jehovah is with them."
Jehovah will then bring his people into Lebanon, but this "will not suffice them." Two more lands are then coveted and named. But attention is focused on poor Lebanon and Chapter Eleven begins with the first portion of the horrific verses quoted at the top of this page.
In Chapter Twelve, Jehovah will "seek the destruction of all nations that come against Jerusalem."
It is in Chapter Thirteen that something of particular importance is written--something that has perhaps been unnoticed for about 2000 years. The prophecy in Chapter Thirteen is about a time when Jehovah has driven all prophets from the land and outlawed prophecy. Prophets, therefore, are quiet and cautious because Jehovah has ordered that they be killed.
According to what is written in Zechariah, a conversation takes place with a certain prophet who denies that he is a prophet and, according to the Catholic translation, states instead that Adam taught him to be a tiller of the soil since day one. According to the KJV, however, he states that Adam taught him to be a keeper of cattle--as different as Cain and Abel, day and night.
This is a prophet bearing wounds, and the ancient understanding of a wounded prophet is that it indicates the prophet had been sent from another god, a god other than Jehovah. When asked from where his defeat had come, the wounded prophet answers that he was defeated by those he loved. Immediately, then, begins the Song of the Sword in which Jehovah raises his sword against the shepherd in order to strike him down. Jehovah recognizes this shepherd as a "fellow" or "associate," and therefore an equal.
"Strike the shepherd that the sheep may be dispersed," sings Jehovah. This certainly does not sound like a father speaking about his beloved, "only begotten son." It sounds like a jealous god who is going to strike down the works of a shepherd whose teachings oppose the teachings of Jehovah.
"I will turn my hand against the little ones," Jehovah further sings, and one third of the people will be "refined" and Jehovah will then say (according to Zechariah), "They are my people," and the people will say, "Jehovah is my god."
At this time, one-third of the people on earth are Christians. They have been "refined" in part due to the works of the Early Church Fathers who decided to teach that the god of Jesus was Jehovah, the war god of Israel, thus defeating the purpose of Jesus--and his attempt to replace the draconian/Jehovah laws with laws that respected human rights and civil liberties.
One-third of the people on earth, including the majority of people living in the United States, have been "refined" into followers and soldiers of Jehovah. This explains the contradiction in terms of "Christian soldiers." It is the "Christian soldier" who has been conveniently doing the bidding of Jehovah for the better part of 2000 years. With such help, the bloodiest wars on earth have been made possible. With the Christian beliefs that we must bear as many children as capable of bearing, we will be assured of an endless supply of Christian soldiers who, as little ones, are taught in the innocence of childhood that there is none other than Jehovah, and there is no escaping him.
The recent emergence of the Gospel of Judas affirms what many will find to be the strangest of all concepts--that the one commonly referred to as Jesus was not the son of Jehovah, but he was instead the opponent of Jehovah.
He had come (again) to reestablish rights and liberties, replacing the harsh unbending and unforgiving laws of those whose ways were in need of change. The existence of this Gospel of Judas was known to the Early Church Fathers, but it was kept hidden from the public.
Understanding that Jesus was, indeed, the opponent of Jehovah also helps one understand the otherwise incomprehensible dialogue that appears in John 8 of the New Testament. There, Jesus refers to Jehovah as a liar, a murderer and the devil. These are not words coming from a loving son. They are the words coming from Jehovah's staunch and unrelenting political opponent. A quiet, wounded prophet from an opposing god, he is an opponent who has quietly refused to give up on a battle that has been waged over humanity's freedom since Genesis 2.
At this time, as people ask others on the internet "Who would Jesus bomb?" it really makes much more sense to ask instead the old standard question: WWJD, or "What would Jesus do?"
According to what has been written since ancient times, he would most likely do exactly as he has always done. He would oppose Jehovah. #
Mary Sparrowdancer is the author of "The Love Song of the Universe," and of numerous papers and articles, including "The Gospel of Judas, Barbelo and Long-Kept Secrets," which can be seen here: [link to www.rense.com] Mary is a health, science, political and spiritual writer with extensive studies in laboratory sciences, ancient history and biblical studies in four languages. www.sparrowdancer.com. firstname.lastname@example.org