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Fear and Loathing at Philadelphia’s BattleCry

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Posted on May 13, 2006
BattleCry collage
Images: YouTube & rogouski.com / Illustration: Blair Golson

The above scenes are taken from video clips of BattleCry concerts across the country this year—with the exception of the images of gun-toting Navy SEALs up on stage. Those are personal photos of a BattleCry attendee. Although we’re not exactly sure what the Navy SEALs—perhaps the most lethal combat personnel on the planet—have to do with spreading the “word of God.”

By Sunsara Taylor

Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of columns about the Christian fundamentalist movement BattleCry, which has produced several massive Christian rock shows across the country this year. For more info on BattleCry and its activities, check out the first column in the series of three here, and the third column here.

  • Update: Read what BattleCry attendees are saying about this column.
  •  

  • Update #2: User-submitted photos available: page 1 and page 2 (Including images of Navy SEALs addressing the crowd—as seen in the collage above. Nothing says “God’s love” like an elite killing machine.)

  • It began with fireworks so loud and startling I screamed. Lights and smoke followed, and a few kids were pulled up on stage from the crowd. One was asked to read a letter.

    This was the letter that opened the event. Its author was George W. Bush.  Yes, the president of the United States sent a letter of support, greeting, prayer and encouragement to the BattleCry event held at Wachovia Spectrum Stadium in Philadelphia on May 12. Immediately afterward, a preacher took the microphone and led the crowd in prayer. Among other things, he asked the attendees to ?Thank God for giving us George Bush.?

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    On his cue, about 17,000 youths from upward of 2,000 churches across America and Canada directed their thanks heavenward in unison.

    Throughout the three and a half hours of BattleCry?s first session, I thought of   only one analogy that fit the experience: This must have been what it felt like to watch the Hitler Youth, filled with self-righteous pride, proclaim the supremacy of their beliefs and their willingness to shed blood for them.

    And lest you think this is idle paranoia, BattleCry founder Ron Luce told the crowds the next morning (May 13) that he plans to launch a ?blitzkrieg? in the communities, schools, malls, etc. against those who don?t share his theocratic vision of society.

    Blitzkrieg.

    Nothing like a little Nazi imagery to whip up the masses. *(see editor’s note at bottom)

    But back to the first rally, on May 12. Shortly after we sat down, Tom, a man of imposing size who appeared to be a BattleCry security staffer, sat down next to me and my friends and asked us if we were planning any disturbances. I don?t know how BattleCry & Co. knew I was here; they apparently had recognized me from my appearance on “The O?Reilly Factor” (video link) in March. I told Tom that we weren?t planning any disturbances and that, no, I wouldn?t like to meet with BattleCry founder Ron Luce after the rally, nor did I want to give him my phone number. Seemingly satisfied, he ambled off. But later on, as I rose to go to the bathroom, I caught sight of another BattleCry security-type following me. It was very unsettling, to say the least.

    (While in the bathroom, I saw something equally unsettling—a preteen girl wearing a shirt being sported by many attendees that night: Jesus on the cross, robes waving, and emblazoned across the front the words ?Dressed to Kill.?) 

    After my bathroom break, Tom, my helpful minder, was replaced by an eerily cheerful young woman who was also obviously one of the BattleCry personnel. She claimed to be simply making sure that my friends and I were happy. She would stop by several times over the course of the concert. I wonder if all attendees got that kind of VIP treatment. 

    But on to the show.

    The first rock band that performed, Delirious, got the crowd festive and up on their feet with lyrics that were projected on large screens so that everyone could join in: ?We?re an army of God and we?re ready to die…. Let?s paint this big ol? town red…. We see nothing but the blood of Jesus….? 

    Between musical acts, Luce, the BattleCry founder, hammered away at the dominant theme of the night: his contention that ?pew-sitters ... passive Christians ... the Christians who just want love, joy, peace ... ? were the problem, and that the world needed more radical and extreme God-worshippers?those who would be obedient and fully submit to Christ. 

    Luce would have us believe that everything went off track when the Bible-toting people of my grandparents? generation were replaced by the ?pew-sitters? of the Baby Boom generation. These are the people who, according to Luce, just wanted to passively benefit from the ?love, joy and peace? message of Christianity without actively surrendering their wills and their selves completely upon Christ?s altar and working in His name.

    Yeah, if only people would stop practicing ?love, joy and peace.? Wouldn?t that make the world a better place….

    Luce used this critique of pew-sitting Christians to assuage the doubts of the youths at the rally who may have been feeling uncertain about their commitment to the Church. “Don?t worry,” he was telling them, “you?ve been amongst pew-sitters—watered-down Christians. Welcome to the reign of total submission to the Lord.”

    It was a mantra Luce repeated all through the night: the need to submit one?s self fully to Jesus, to belong completely to Him. 

    ?He doesn?t just want to be in your heart, He wants to own your heart…. There?s only one good reason to come to Christ: because He?s the rightful owner of your life…. You don?t have to know much about Jesus, just enough to surrender your whole life.? 

    Throughout this section, a loud crowd from the back of the stadium would periodically erupt, ?We are warriors!?

    After tugging at countless emotional strings, Luce insisted—with the humility of Taliban members who submit to Allah?s command to stone adulterers—?You are the one talking to God, I am just going to help you with the words.? 

    There was a session when, after a great crescendo, the stadium was brought to silence.  Luce instructed individuals to stand up when they felt the spirit and cry out, ?I want the cross!? The voices of hundreds rose up over the course of 10 minutes. These young people, declaring death unto themselves and rebirth in Christ, were called down to the floor of the stadium and directed to get on their knees and put their heads down and pray some more. 

    Luce put great emphasis on following every word in the Bible, treating it as an ?instruction book,? even when a person doesn?t understand or agree. This is, of course, the logic that leads to the stoning of gays, non-virgin brides, disobedient children and much more—because the Bible says so. 

    Chillingly, when I confronted Ron explicitly about these passages, he refused to disavow them. During the afternoon preceding the May 12 rally, Luce and about 300 BattleCry acolytes (almost entirely youths) rallied in front of Philadelphia?s Constitution Hall?the location having been chosen because Luce wants to ?restore? the Founding Fathers? vision of a religious society (never mind that the Founders enshrined in the Constitution an explicitly secular framework of government).

    I and about 20 people representing various anti-Bush, atheistic and anti-Iraq-war factions made our way into the rally and began interacting with the youths assembled. Some said openly that it was OK that George Bush?s lies have cost the lives of thousands of Americans and Iraqis. Why was it OK? Because ?God put him [Bush] there.?

    We then decided to ask them a little about this God, and his ?instruction book,? as Luce calls it. Specifically, we asked them if they supported the parts of Deuteronomy and Leviticus that spell out, for example, death sentences for women who dared to enter the city while menstruating. The most memorable response came from Luce himself. (We were standing face to face in the plaza?he had recognized me from my O?Reilly appearance.)

    ?This is your Bible,? I told him. ?You have to defend this.?

    He smiled, smugly, and almost looked taken aback that I would challenge him like this.

    ?You can?t defend this,? I continued.

    A biblical literalist, Luce couldn?t disavow something in his ?instruction book,? but neither did he want to appear (I imagine) to condone Iron Age barbarity. So he stayed quiet, until, after I prodded him further, he changed the subject.

    ?Why are you so angry?? he asked.

    My point made, I walked away.


    (Editor’s note: There is a debate among readers of this piece over the connotation of the word “blitzkrieg.” Commenter Vira (#9278) argues that “Blitzkrieg” is a German word—not Nazi, per se. And indeed, Wikipedia.org notes that the term “is used in many other non-military contexts. Commenter Paul Danaher (#9351), however, says the terms is indelibly linked in many peoples’ minds to Nazi tactics.

    We had originally struck out the “blitzkrieg” section of this column, but have now decided to let it stand and allow readers to make up their own minds.)


    New and Improved Comments

    If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

    By lucy, May 15, 2006 at 10:22 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    I actually live in Saudi Arabia, and I’m not laughing at it.  This is a freer place for me than the Great Plains of America, from where I fled years ago. 

    I’ve never been proselytized by a Moslem of any nation, or insulted, either, or told I would go to hell for being Catholic.  Do not assume that the theocratic government can tell all the people what to think.  They read their own book, written originally in their own language and interpret it their own ways.  This creates instability in certain departments of society, which is a sign of freedom of thought.  Most of them are young.  They haven’t hit bottom yet.

    As a Catholic (and professional clairvoyant),  I have a lot more in common with a Moslem of any stripe than with a fundamentalist American Christian.  I’ve seen and heard from plenty of those, and they give me the creeps.

    I notice very few like them around here, although they do exist to harass women about their hair and clothes.  They seem to me to be angry people, not puffed up with nationalistic pride.  Few seem interested in invading other countries for warlike purposes, or even attacking the foreigners in their midst, only the ones from AlQaeda have that sort of mindset, as do some other populations in this region.

    This is a capitalist dictatorship with fairly simple laws, mostly about morality, but there are no laws against camping, picking flowers, talking to children, going to the races or (apparently) driving on the wrong part of the road. 

    Cinemas and nightclubs are not here, no loss to my mind, and women don’t drive in the cities and towns, not that many of us would want to risk the carnage on the ten-lane freeways.  Ladies I know don’t have to worry about many of the things I used to worry about.  Not yet.

    Society here is failing because of overpopulation, competition, unfair distribution of great wealth and concentrations of power and the temptations thereof, everyone has satellite TV and the latest worthless American movies on dvd, too much money is in the hands of the idle,  schools are as bad as the American ones on which they were recently modeled, business is brisk, millions of people are here from outside for employment only, bringing with them their ways and resentments, native families are beleaguered, but mostly still close and holding on which is more than I can say for anywhere I have lived in the US. 

    Depleted uranium dust falls from the sky every time the wind blows down from Baghdad, maybe pretty soon from the East as well if the Neos and BattleCriers are allowed to have their way, but I feel safe from interference in my internal life and safe in person as well, in spite of conditions.

    Someday this place will run out of everything including decency and return to the sands, but meanwhile, it beats the hell out of New York or LA and many points in between. 

    By all means, come to Saudi Arabia !  If you can find work.

    Report this

    By Hilding Lindquist, May 15, 2006 at 9:57 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Jean-Paul Sartre wrote: ““Existentialism isn’t so atheistic that it wears itself out showing that God doesn’t exist. Rather, it declares that even if God did exist, that would change nothing. There you’ve got our point of view. Not that we believe that God exists, but we think that the problem of His existence is not the issue.” (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sartre )

    Having been raised a Fundamentalist Christian, I bring a deeply embedded biblical viewpoint to my existentialism, and discuss it in “Am I a Christian Esistentialist?” (See http://ncswede.blogspot.com/2005/05/am-i-christian-existentialist.html )

    The struggle to liberate myself from the internalized oppressive mentality of fundamentalism has been lifelong, but richly rewarding in its outcome.

    Hold onto love ... the wanting what is best for another. It shows the way.

    Report this

    By Doug, May 15, 2006 at 9:53 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    “The Vision of Christ that thou dost see
    Is my Vision’s Greatest Enemy
    Thine loves the same world that mine hates
    Thy Heaven doors are my Hell gates
    Both read the Bible day and night
    But thou readst black where I read white.”

    - William Blake

    Report this

    By ma77hew, May 15, 2006 at 9:26 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    I pity all of you blindly swept up in this Christian-Fascist movement.

    You are so blind to the powers that are using you.

    I grew up in a fundie church, I heard the intolerance that was preached by supposed “Men of God”. I saw these same men hustle their daughters “away for the summer” for an abortion. They are a slick bunch salesmen. Nice suits, white teeth, big cars, fancy watches. Then they proceed to tell you that you are worthless with out their “God”. How you are going to hell with if you don’t come to their church and put money in their pockets. What’s that money for?
    Outreach? You say? What that means is that it is used to tell more people they are worthless without Christ in their life and they will go to hell if they don’t believe in him and don’t come to your church.

    I was told at a young age that I had sin in me and that I needed god to cleanse me, I was told that fairytales were tales from Satan, that universities were of the devil and evil. I was told that we didn’t have to worry about our planet for there was another one being prepared for us. I was told that Jews and Catholics were going to hell, that anyone not baptized was going to hell, that homosexuals were of Satan and were possessed. We were told not to dance because it was of the devil and that most music was of the devil unless the church blessed it’s message.

    God has been used for all of history to create hate and intolerance and this movement is yet another chapter in that long book.

    Love is the only way to change the world.
    Not hate.

    Please remove the scales from your eyes and realize that you are being used by very sick men that desire power not peace, they create hate not love.

    Study history and you will see how through the ages men and the movements like this have created death and destruction. They have divided the people and taken away brotherly love and replaced it with hate and intolerance for their own gain of power and control.

    “Onward Christian Soldier Marching as to War with the blood of Jesus flowing on before?”

    How sad. How sad. This country has all the wealth in the world and we seem to create some much hate and intolerance from the group of people who follow a man who main message was love.

    How sad.

    Report this

    By One of the "warriors", May 15, 2006 at 9:11 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Sunsara, did you miss the part in the new testament when Jesus said, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone,”? I put a comment on your entry at the info exchange. I hope you read it. Ron didn’t argue with you because your anger won’t let you see the truth. Doesn’t it take a lot of energy to be so angry? The Christians are just trying to spread God’s love. Ron didn’t mean that love, joy and peace should be abolished, but that they should be fulfilled. Without submission to God, those things mean nothing. Why? He created the universe. We are not submitting blidly to Ron Luce. Jesus knows everything, so we submitt to him. He has a plan to prosper us, not to harm us. Jer 29:11.

    Report this

    By PamAlonia McCrary, May 15, 2006 at 8:31 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    I applaud Truthdig for being one of the rare sites that dares to challenge this God-owned government.  But to the rest of the blogworld, I issue a challenge for the very reason of this Battlecry agenda.

    Why do believers accuse you of having an “agenda” when you tell them the Bible is not a book that gives honor and glory to their notion of God?

    Don’t they have an “agenda” when they read it? Sure they do. They go into it accepting that the Bible is about a good God, the Almighty. They’re not allowing that the Bible could be anything other than what they’ve been told. Isn’t that an agenda?

    A typical agenda is one in which all facts are denied if these facts conflict with the believer’s assumption, which is that the Bible is a book about the goodness of God. It isn’t, by the way…... this is what you call reading into the Bible to fit your agenda. It’s what believers do to reconcile the rather blatant discrepancies between what the god character says and what he does. I, for one, find the believer’s agenda of denying the truth when it doesn’t suit annoying as hell.

    Were it not for this believer-blindness, we wouldn’t be, and this is important, where we are now–pariahs of the modern moral world that exists outside our narcissistic national reference.

    If anybody out there in the political sphere (Truthdig excepted) is paying attention, it matters–this Bible, and its culture and its impact on our way of looking at the world. You pundits of the blogsphere talk, talk, talk about this greed, that lie, the big deception, the assault on freedom, and so on–what goes on in Washington as if it sprouted of itself and can be treated like a localized infection. All corruption, you liberal bloggers–if you’re listening, boils down to how America has bought that the bad god is good.

    Now when are you all going to start talking about the disease rather than the symptoms?

    http://www.godisajoke.com

    Report this

    By Aysu, May 15, 2006 at 6:56 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    God is something to stay between one man or woman and God.

    God has no place in public. God has no place in school. God has no place in government. God has no place in a rock concert. God has no place in politics. God has no place in war. God has no place at work. God has no place except one:

    God’s only place, is in your heart and soul.

    It makes no difference who your God or Messiah is. Whether it be Jehovah, Allah, Muhammed, Jesus, Dollai Llama, Buddah, Ra, Athena, and so on and so forth.

    Most religions have the same principle rules:
    Be good to yourself.
    Be good to your neighbor.
    Love thyself.
    Love thy neighbor.
    Do not harm others.
    Give only love.

    How you worship is up to you. It is not anyone else’s decision. It is also a heavy responsibility: Keeping your faith to yourself, as well as keeping others out of your faith. A faith which is not your own, but a spawn of someone else’s, is not faith at all. It is a filthy Lie.

    Freedom means freedom from everything. That freedom includes the tyranny of others opinions upon you and the choice that are rightfully yours to make. You are only as good as the people you listen to, and if they are scum, then so are you.

    -Altair Aysu Zayntahirziya Lethaesaias

    Report this

    By crusader bunnypants, May 15, 2006 at 6:56 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    God bless Tyrant Bush! Long live the 4th Reich! Long live the US Homeland! USA! USA! USA!

    you know this movie is going to end very very very badly, very bloody, very badly indeed!

    Report this

    By smeee, May 15, 2006 at 6:52 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    why do so many americans think america is the centre of the universe - people need to travel outside their own countries ( and not on some sanitised package tour ) and experience some cultures other than their own and expand their ability to think critically. Blindly following orders will end with you wasting your life.

    Report this

    By Vanna LaRoche, May 15, 2006 at 6:02 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    “Watch as we proclaim what we believe.”—nifty Freudian slip.

    I am sure you meant “behave as we believe” or “act on what we believe,” because surely you intend to do more than run your mouths?  (I wouldn’t care to watch that.)

    V

    Report this

    By R. Quinn, May 15, 2006 at 5:33 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Read “Hostile Takeover” by David Sirota. What is going on has nothing to do with a “spiritual war”. You are being mislead and being used.

    Report this

    By Frederick, May 15, 2006 at 5:31 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Theocracy or Democracy?

    You people are traitors to the ideals that formed the world you are privileged to live in.

    It took the lives of real men and women to create the Democracies of the world and free everyone from the kings, lords and ‘gods’ that were imposed upon them.

    If you prefer the old ways, or you are just so easily manipulated, consider moving to Saudi Arabia.

    They have the same ideals as you.

    You won’t have to live with the evil secularists anymore.

    You can let ‘god’ direct your life, which is the same as allowing corrupt priests and clerics to dictate societies rules.

    Report this

    By Irusan, May 15, 2006 at 4:40 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Another book for potential fundamentalists to read -
    UNDER THE BANNER OF HEAVEN by Jon Krakauer.
    It tells how a man can be so twisted by fanatic religion that he can slit his baby niece’s throat,
    convinced that it is God’s will. Among other
    atrocities.  Find your own path to God.  These preachers are only using you for their own gratification.  Yes, it is fascism.  And I’m
    convinced Bush is a murderer - 9/11 was an inside
    job.  Research it.

    Report this

    By Patrick Conway, May 15, 2006 at 2:51 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    “God instructed many Kings to go to war. War is not murder.” 

    That comment by Ed Raby, #9408, tells it all!  “Who did President Bush murder please give me the evidence. I really don’t see none.”

    Your loving God was pretty good at ordering death and mayhem.  Talk about a terrorist! 

    Wars are justified under certain circumstances; Your country is invaded, your country is attacked, your country has been turned into a Police State by a Theocratic/fascist dictator.  Killing people under these circumstances is justifiable homicide and self defense.

    War under the guise of pre-emption, against a people who were no threat to you, were considerably weaker than you, who never raised a hand against you is murder, Ed.

    Neither these people nor their silly little dictator had anything to do with 911 and that has been proven!  Your prophet, King George, lied about every reason he gave for pre-emptively attacking Iraq.  That has been proven.

    Since sanctions were placed on Iraq in Gulf I, we are guilty of the murder of more than 300,000 innocent men, women and, mostly, children.  Gruesome, painful deaths which should never have been and would not had it not been for religion, lust for power and wealth.  We are guilty of the murder of at least 2500 of our own children as we send them to murder for us in the name of God.

    War is the greatest murderer of all.

    You say Battlecry is a metaphorical war.  Not a killing war but a spiritual war.  Ron Luce(ifer) is whipping these young ‘soldiers for Christ’ into a frenzy so they can go forth into the communities and bring the sinners to God.  Is that it Ed?  Save some souls whether we want it or not?

    Why do Christians think that Atheists and Agnostics or even just non practicing Christians get mad about the evangelical fervor?  You force this shit on us at every turn.  We don’t bother you but you feel that you must preach your fairy tales to us to save us from Hell.

    Ron Luce(ifer) is not trying to bring anyone to God.  He’s a NeoCon entertainer who is sheering you ignorant sheep of every penny he can get.  He has promised Prophet Bush to deliver believers into his camp and you must know that quid-pro-quo follows.

    You asked for the proof Ed.  There it is.

    By the way, to the rest of you who believe that Muslims murdered 3000 innocents at the WTC on 911 so 100,000+ of them is not too great a price to pay, you need to be aware that 19 people with box cutters did not anonymously board four US aircraft on the morning of 9/11/2001 and carry out a battle plan so perfect as to bring the most powerful country on Earth to it’s knees for decades to come.

    The Prophet and his disciples carried that one out to bring the Armageddon prophecy to fruition.  It was orchestrated by them and God’s chosen people.

    Don’t you feel special?

    Report this

    By Pepper, May 15, 2006 at 2:34 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    I have been following news about the Christian youth movements ever since I was in high school and attended a youth group by invitation of a friend of mine.  I didn’t go looking for salvation or guidance.  I went because I wanted a glimpse into this part of her world so that I could understand her views a little better.  She attended one of the “mega-churches” that had just begun sprouting in my area (now there are two right across from each other and have police, on my tax dollars, directing traffic every Sunday) and the group was immense.  At first, it seemed benign enough, but I soon felt very uncomfortable because I could see the need the others felt to try to convert me once they sensed that I wasn’t a Christian.  I expressed this and one girl mentioned that maybe I was feeling uncomfortable because I was denying the call and I had conflicted feelings, but really I was frightened of the expessions on their faces and saddened by the fact that they truly believed I would go to hell and that that prospect held such sway over their lives.  I don’t need the fear of hell to be a good person.  I was raised without religion - not as an atheist, but without doctrine of any kind except that I should be kind and honest - and at a very early age I had strong feelings against injustice and cruelty and for doing the right thing without any gods’ laws or because some book told me so and it made me sad that these kids could not see that.

    Now onto the article:  I have read much better, but the author gets people to think and gives them, hopefully, the impetus to do some research of their own.  As I stated earlier, I am aware of these groups and many of the other groups geared towards adults and the mission of some fundamentalists to impose their views on the rest of the country/world.  In order for any movement to be successful, the youth have to be involved.  The passion and fervency expressed by young people (myself included…I am only 27) is awe-inspiring and very powerful, especially when backed by very organized adults.  What worries me is that this movement is very cleverly packaged to appeal to young people (tell me Warriors…would you attend these events in such large numbers if your favorite band wasn’t playing?) and that the producers of such events are deceiving kids into believing that they are acting only with love and compassion, but really they are pawns in a scheme to make America a theocracy.  I respect everyone’s right to worship as they will and to envelop themselves completely in their world, but I will fight for my right to do the same.  I do not want to live in a world where Christian dogma is law.  I am not a Christian and I should not have to live by their rules.  That is my right as an American and as a human being.  If I wanted to live by the Bible, I would become a Christian.  I should not be forced to become one.  My Christian friends should not have to stone me or condemn me in any way because I am a lesbian.  They are the true Christians.  They love me and accept that my path is not theirs to dictate or try to change because they know that I am a good person and that when Jesus said “No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6) that it could also mean that anyone who lives a good “Christ-like” life will go to heaven because they lived in the imitation of Jesus even without acknowledging Him as a personal savior.  They have interpreted the Bible in their own way and accept that I will join them in heaven (even though I don’t believe in it) because I live a loving, giving, honest and peaceful life.  It is a book after all and open to interpretation (your own and not the handy footnotes to tell you what certain passages mean on every page of every “Youth Bible” I’ve ever seen)...btw isn’t that part of what the Reformation was all about?  Being able to interpret the Bible for oneself without the input of clergy and being saved through good works?

    Anyway, I digress…to the members of BattleCry and other organizations like it, I would like to say that I am not belittling you or trying to deny your faith.  Your message of love and your desire for a better world is wonderful.  I am fighting for the same thing.  I would like the generations to come to grow up in a world of peace and to know the beauty of the natural world and to help their brothers and sisters in every part of this world, to recognize that every creature on this Earth is vital and that every person deserves to live in peace and dignity, to live without violence and fear, etc.  I do hope you realize that that is possible without a wholly Christian world.  I don’t want my daughters (should I choose to have children) to live in submission to men, to live in fear of reprisal should they stray from strict rules regarding their personal sex lives, to be restricted to being baby machines instead of pursuing a career and actually using their intelligence.  I don’t want my sons to think they are superior and that women should be submissive to them, to feel the need to restrict womens’ opportunities, to fear the same reprisal should they stray from the sexual rules.  I want them to live in a world of freedom and choice, knowing that their bodies and their feeling/thoughts are not “unclean” and that every man, woman and child are equal and deserving of respect and love.

    You may want to retort that you don’t want to live in a secular world or have “depraved” messages in the media, but you have a choice not to listen to certain types of music or read certain books or anything else of the sort and so do I. The difference is in your world I won’t have a choice.

    Report this

    By Heide, May 15, 2006 at 1:42 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    After reading this article, I dug up a German-English dictionary published in 1933.  The word “blitzkrieg” does not appear.  That leads me to think it was coined during the Nazi reign.

    The definition of “blitz” is “flash” used in an example of a flashlight.

    “Krieg” is defined as receiving or inflicting war.

    The usages where “krieg” is used are quite violent in description.  Definately not “turn the other cheek.”  “Krieg” appears before many other words depicting forcible confrontations.

    Report this

    By Tim, May 15, 2006 at 12:11 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Man, ya gotta moderate this thing.
    These wing nut cristyuns (not christians) are barely literate, which explains the ease with which they are manipulated by evil types like Luce.
    They are scarier than the Hitler youth ever were. Isn’t this child abuse?

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    By Charlie Smith, May 14, 2006 at 11:58 pm Link to this comment
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    Oh wow! That psygirl’s comments are too Die for!
    “If your not happy with the president, just wait it out.” I wonder when the country will realize it is bankrupt? (morally)

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    By shaewhiggens, May 14, 2006 at 11:50 pm Link to this comment
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    All I can say to this is I will pray for you Battle Cry children who are being led by a political cult.  Please take just one piece of advice.  READ THE NEW TESTAMENT.  That’s all.  Read it alone and quietly by yourself or with a friend and discuss it.  Please don’t read it with one of the battle cry people that can influence your thinking.  Do you own thinking. 

    It was either God or Jesus said to be quiet and listen to Him.  I personally don’t believe Jesus would want anyone to be involved in politics or to be used by politicians.  George Bush said something useful around 9/11.  He said they had to follow the money trail to find who did this.  I would like to suggest something else right now to you.  Follow the money trail of the battle cry people.  You just might be surprised. 

    To me there is NO PLACE AT ALL FOR A GUN to be at a Christian meeting.  Jesus was not at all in favor of violence of any kind whatsoever.  Please kids, do read the New Testament.  Thank you and pray for the best for America and for the world.  We are all God’s people after all.  When we get to heaven we won’t be looked at as a man, or woman, or black or white or brown or yellow.  We will be looked at as a soul and He will see what was in our soul.  We can’t fool Him because He will know already.  If we had hatefullness in our heart He will surely know.  Like it or not my friends He said to love your enemies and treat them as you would want to be treated.  He also said there would be many who you try to lead you astray and there would be false Gods before Him.  I grew up in a fundamentalist Baptist church and once in awhile I take my dear little mother to church.  It’s a very active church.  They have a different view than yours but we are all God’s children.  The greatest commandment of all is Love your neighbor.  Don’t forget that no matter where life leads you children.  Love your neighbor.  Do you really think your average neighbor wishes harm to you?  I’ve watched videos of Iraqis and I can tell you they are God loving people that only want what we want.  To live in peace and harmony.  It is the govt. people that should be taking care of their own problems.  I would bet if we all insist that each president of the countries battle it out with a duel we would all save a lot of wars and peoples lives.

    Pray!!!

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    By Don Criquito, May 14, 2006 at 11:13 pm Link to this comment
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    I don’t know about the rest of you, but I felt truly chilled to the depths of my soul by this article.  Everytime I’ve been confronted by a supposed “Jesus” (seems like everybody wants a piece of the poor chap) movement, I look at the results of that movement to see if it was truly a force for good or not.  Remember, just because the word “Jesus” or “Heaven” is in the title, doesn’t mean it comes from positive sources.  Firstly, the blood imagery, the militaristic themes, and most especially the Navy SEAL onstage (with an assault rifle, no less!) seemed primarily to be a means of making these kids grow accustomed to the association of God and violence, holiness and war.  Second, there is an association that people gathering in harmonious worship is them being lazy, because true Christians apparently rise up and take action.  What action?  Probably whatever’s convenient, right?  I thought the “Why are you so angry?” question was rather hilarious, as any true theologian worth his salt would have answered the question, regardless of whether an unbeliever would have accepted it.  Such is the nature of religion, that it answers questions regardless of whether you like the answer or not.  Instead, he answers the question with another question, something I’m sure everyone on a truth site is probably used to.  Can we say evasiveness?  It was an honest question, too, and one that concerns me just as much as the questioner.  Seems to me the answer lies in all those kids who think Bush has done right because God told him to invade.  Just how reverential do you think a member of the Skull and Bones society really is? (bear in mind, they are required to swear fealty to a mock Satan while sitting in a coffin, among other questionable practices that I won’t name here for decency’s sake, something I would think any devout Christian would run from like the plague).
    Many years ago, Sir Francis Schaeffer charted the course for our dear nation, and warned the entire world that Satan was to appear to us as an angel of light, and that he would be working not just as an agent of good, but from WITHIN THE CHURCH.  At the time, he was primarily concerned about the watering-down that was present within the liberal churches, but he warned that any part of the church could very well find itself perniciously corrupted.  Now, it seems, the same force that mobilized the “liberal” church that is pretty much single-handedly (other than atheism and general apathy) causing the 4% faith level of our youth has invaded fundamentalism as well.  Whether you think it’s God or Satan telling you to aggressively kill and attack your friends and neighbors, does your religious conviction expunge from your deeds such an atrocity?  Because if so, I’ve got just the religion for you, so you can stay the hell away from mine.

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    By Rob, May 14, 2006 at 8:44 pm Link to this comment
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    Jesus nuts…

    Why can’t we all just worship Terry ‘Hulk’ Hogan?  I mean, he’s got great catchphrases and as far as I can tell, is basically immortal. 

    He’s up for giving evil a suflex or two, but nobody get’s killed and we all eat our vegetables and learn a lesson in the end.  Sounds like a great religion…

    I sure hope someone prays for me and my evil hell inducing ways just like they’re praying for Ms. Taylor!

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    By ed, May 14, 2006 at 7:37 pm Link to this comment
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    Compassion is the only true religion.

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    By R. A. Earl, May 14, 2006 at 7:34 pm Link to this comment
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    In #9411, Morgan Cook wrote: “I’m not going to say some long drawn out speech, but i will say this…I love God with all of my heart, he’s the best thing that has ever happened to me.  I believe he is my Lord and Savior and he sent his son to die on the cross for my sins and everyone elses.  So I’m just letting you know, God loves you and so do I, and I will be praying for you because living eternally in hell- that’s just a super scary thought. 
    -God Bless you and your in my prayers!
    morgan

    Simple. Honest. Straightforward. I applaud and support Morgan’s right to call the shots as he/she sees them through his/her lens. Morgan has every right to follow whatever philosophy “does it” for him/her.

    All I - we - NON-believers in God, and therefore in Christianity, ask is the SAME COURTESY in return. I want to hear Christians speaking out in support of MY RIGHT to follow the philosophy that makes sense to me. Further, I want to hear Christians like Morgan speaking out AGAINST radicals and fundamentalists who not only don’t agree with me/us, but would do us harm.

    To restate my point here… if Christians are expecting support for the right to freely express their views then they must be seen and heard to be actively supporting the right of all others to do the same.

    So Morgan, thanks for your prayers, etc. I don’t believe they will do ME any good (or harm) but if praying makes YOU feel good, then go for it! It’s YOUR time and YOUR life… use it as you see fit. I will do the same. And we will live in peace on this planet going our very separate ways.

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    By Jack, May 14, 2006 at 6:45 pm Link to this comment
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    Battlecry Kids:

    The problem with your theology is that it is amoral (not to be confused with immoral).  You practice an out-dated morality but ultimately you believe that you are not obliged to any moral dictum, because Christ has died for your sins. 

    As Morgan Cooke says, “I believe he is my Lord and Savior and he sent his son to die on the cross for my sins and everyone elses.”  That is very convenient for our current adminstration which has championed torture rape and murder.  Did Christ die for this?  Pre-emptive war?  Extraordinary Rendition?  Torture?

    Stop being groupies.  When you grow up you’re really going to be embar-assed by the WWJD tattoo.

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    By jonathan, May 14, 2006 at 6:36 pm Link to this comment
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    The idea that Battle Cry and Teen Mania are a cult is completely crazy. Take a look at statistics. In the current generation: 33% have been drunk in the last month, 8000 contract STD’s Every day, 25% use illegal Drugs, 1 in 10 have been raped. Doesn’t that sound alarming? Those are old stats too. Battle cry is based on the idea that we (teenagers) are going to stand up for our values, because in no time before has there been a generation that has had these rates. Battle Cry is a movement to bring morals back into this generation, it is not out to create a theocracy. The Honor Academy is a program, that through its guidelines, creates discipline in its students. Battle Cry is just what this nation needs, imagine what this country would be like if the current trends continue.

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    By Harold, May 14, 2006 at 6:11 pm Link to this comment
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    Total surrender? Isn’t that the literal meaning of Islam? And didn’t Islam develop out of Chritianity? Just asking.

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    By Jack Johnson, May 14, 2006 at 6:05 pm Link to this comment
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    When I walked in to Battle Cry in Philly I thought it was political but as I sat through the speakers I started to feel that they do care about what they were saying they did not force people to do anything. By the end of the event I was sure that these people cared about what they were talking about and not just political influence.  Just to let you know Sunsara Taylor is a beautiful child of God whether she believes or not.

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    By Shawn, May 14, 2006 at 6:05 pm Link to this comment
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    the accusations being thrown are childish, and are exactly what mainstream media want to see, people attacking the few who can see what it is the media is truely doing. they only want profits at any price, no matter who it tramples on, even children. by bombbarding them with sexual images and violance, there is not one shred of value in what they do, simply put they dont care. All that people like sunsara do is fight for them using the 1st ammendment as an excuse to destroy what is right. here is what she wote about us that i found a little…off to say the least; 
    “Throughout the three and a half hours of BattleCry’s first session, I thought of only one analogy that fit the experience: This must have been what it felt like to watch the Hitler Youth, filled with self-righteous pride, proclaim the supremacy of their beliefs and their willingness to shed blood for them.”

    heres a little bit of a history lesson for you… many of the hitler youth where forced to join or die, now you could ask but im not sure that many chistians are threatened with death to join. another thing hitar youth where tought to pick on and beat those who where “not pure like them”. when was the last time you saw a chistian doing that to someone who wasnt.

    something else, in her artical she fails to say what happened when her group of anti-battlecry protesters threw accusations at christian teens, nothing, nothing happened, because they where meet with compashion and forgivness and love and understanding. they whernt attacked in much the same way that they where attacking.
    i leave you a question why, insted of taking things out of context and not showing respoces. how about you show what is fully said, from a neutral point of view. untill you do this is nothing but prapaganda

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    By Hilding Lindquist, May 14, 2006 at 5:54 pm Link to this comment
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    In the name of God ...

    Seeing’s as how we are tribal mammals ...

    There are at least a couple of ways for us old farts to control the young’uns. We can be gatekeepers to the spoils of the hunt and we can be gatekeepers to sex.

    So if we figure out a system where experience is worth more than energy, agility, and strength so we can be the boss and can hire, fire and promote ... and be protected while we do so ...

    And if we start a religion where the people who have lost their sex-drive through old-age can get young people to feel ashamed of theirs ...

    If success in a career becomes more important than fulfilling one’s humanness ...

    And all this gets internalized over a few thousand years so we don’t have a clue as what our humanness really is ... (Like does anyone—what I should have asked is does any Northern European Caucasian male like me—really know what sexual fulfilment is for the human being? When I was growing up, men were still debating whether a woman could have an orgasm.)

    C’mon folks, does anyone know what Calvin did in Geneva in the name of God? Look it up, for chrissake.

    In the following “Luther” is Martin Luther, and “Calvin” is John Calvin, both historical heroes of Fundamentalist Christianity:

      “And Luther and Calvin’s intolerance was—by their own admission—the fruit of their Bible study. They agreed for instance that the Bible portrayed Jesus as concerned with how individuals could ‘inherit eternal life.’ Neither did Jesus deny that the laws of Moses remained in force, nor did he admit to his opponents that he had truly violated any of them. Neither did Jesus’ command, ‘Give to all who ask, asking nothing in return,’ constitute practical advice concerning the laws and activity of a nation. So Jesus directed his teachings at individuals, not toward the setting up of laws and the governance of a state. Meanwhile, Paul taught that all rulers (whether Christian or not) were instituted by God and ‘did not bear the sword in vain.’ That left only the ‘laws of Moses’ as a list of God’s most holy laws for governing a nation.” (Emphasis added here.)

      ...

      “The overthrow [in 1555] of the ‘Libertines’ [which was the name Calvin had given his major political opponents, though they called themselves “The Children of Geneva”—E.T.B.] had given power to the Consistory, and offenders could now be punished with more success than formerly. Adultery, which, before Calvin’s return [to Geneva], was [p. 359] punished only by an imprisonment of some days, or by a trifling fine, was now punished with death. An adulteress was drowned in the Rhone. Thus two citizens of the best families (Heinrich Philip and Jacques le Nevue) were beheaded. [p. 360]…

      “There is great beauty in the earnestness with which the authority of parents is defended. In the year 1563, a young girl who had insulted her mother was kept confined, fed on bread and water, and obliged to express her repentance publicly in the church. A peasant boy who had called his mother a devil, and flung a stone at her, was publicly whipped, and suspended by his arms to a gallows as a sign that he deserved death, and was only spared on account of his youth. Another child in 1568, for having struck his parents was beheaded. A lad of sixteen, for having only threatened to strike his mother, was condemned to death; on account of his youth the sentence was softened, and he was only banished, after being publicly whipped, with a halter about his neck. [p. 361]…

      “The military ordinance before alluded to declares that… the double crime of adultery should be punished with loss of life: simple adultery was to be punished with the iron-collar; witchcraft with only nineteen days’ imprisonment; but the states-register names a great number of individuals who were drowned for this species of crime…”
      ...

      “Calvin felt that he was especially elected to uphold the purity of doctrine… Many facts indeed tend to show that, at the first, any one who opposed the faith, or offended believers, or even ventured to take accused persons under his protection, exposed himself to great annoyances, complaints and processes. [p. 447]…

      “Heretical speeches against religions might even place the offender’s life in danger. Thus a woman, Copa of Ferrara, was sentenced in 1559 to ask mercy of God and of justice, and to be banished, with the order that she should depart within 24-hours, under pain of losing her head. This sentence was pronounced upon her because she had uttered certain heretical expressions against Calvin, and the directions of the Consistory… Some men who laughed while Calvin was preaching were put in prison for three days, and condemned to ask pardon before the Consistory. Numberless processes of this kind took place. In the two years 1558 and 1559 alone there were 414 such trials. [p. 448]”
      - above selections quoted from http://www.edwardtbabinski.us/history/death_penalty.html


    And that is one small sampling out Christianity’s history. And the Battle Cry folks are saying we have nothing to fear?

    http://ncswede.blogspot.com/

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    By Katie Williams, May 14, 2006 at 5:48 pm Link to this comment
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    I respect both sides of the fight…i respect them, but do not agree with both. do you feel the passion you have about not living for christ? well, take that feeling and multiply it by a father’s love for his children, a love so deep and true that he would sacrifice his son to save them…i have been to multiple acquire the fire’s-and each time i leave knowing and having a stronger faith and understanding in my purpose in life.if you don’t believe in christ, what is your purpose?why are you alive? what purpose do you serve? to hurt others? to waste your life fighting something that you KNOW deep down inside of your heart that what we believe is true? many non-christians ask how christians can be so sure,how they can believe such an outrageous “story”...yet as much as i love my Lord and i trust and believe in him with my whole life,i admit i have questioned, i have wondered if it all is just a fake…but i will tell you something…i know the consequences of not being a believer when you die a christian/non christian…and i would rather believe in Christ and be wrong, than not believe in Him and be right. I pray in the name of Jesus Christ that Satan releases you from his grip and you realize and experience the love of the creator. I am so proud to be called a child of God. i am so proud of those who stand beside me. at battlecry philadelphia, i learned more in the hour i spent talking to the protestors than i have in my 19 years of living…not the “facts” of science, but the understanding of what is out there, trying to hinder and kill my generation’s beliefs. all of these experts who are saying that my generation will eventually lower their belief rate to 4% better be prepared to be wrong-I am willing to fight you satan, i have the strongest army on MY side.

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    By Matthew, May 14, 2006 at 5:34 pm Link to this comment
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    What are we to make of the presence of Navy SEALS at an allegedly “Christian” event?  Perhaps it’s true that when a country has the power (as we in the U.S.A. do) to fly miles over cities and drop bombs that can destroy thousands of lives…or lob missiles from thousands of miles away…that that country might begin to mistake itself for a God in its own right. 

    But why, at a “Christian” event, the presence of soldiers…the very antithesis of what Christ was about it seems.

    Nonetheless, on Mother’s Day (the ultimate pacifist commemoration), it is unsettling to see so many people using such military terms.  Ah, to be young and naive again!!  But, as they say, the race is not to the swift.  Hopefully maturity and experience will temper the zeal of these young people.

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    By Paul Danaher, May 14, 2006 at 5:20 pm Link to this comment
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    ^Tedlin wrote:
    “Vira , I followed your Wikipedia link .
    I read that lightning war was a military strategy used by the Nazis to conquer most of Europe .
    The war, the Gestapo, the extermination camps - they were a nazi thing - and there were nazis in every country .You don’t know what you’re talking about .
    My father brought back a souvenir from the war they started - a nice black leather army belt , and on the buckle are the words GOTT MIT UNS . “

    I basically agree, but in any historical comparison we need as much information as possible to get the best picture possible of reality.
    First, there weren’t “nazis in every country” - Europe was a very complicated story, with plenty of blame to go around, and a few shining examples (the Danes, for one).
    Second, the belt buckle “Gott mit uns” was also used in the First World War, as was the translation into any of the WW I languages.
    And before that, there’s Shakespeare’s “God for England, Harry and Saint George!” ...

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    By Morgan Cooke, May 14, 2006 at 5:12 pm Link to this comment
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    I’m not going to say some long drawn out speech, but i will say this…I love God with all of my heart, he’s the best thing that has ever happened to me.  I believe he is my Lord and Savior and he sent his son to die on the cross for my sins and everyone elses.  So I’m just letting you know, God loves you and so do I, and I will be praying for you because living eternally in hell- that’s just a super scary thought. 
    -God Bless you and your in my prayers!
    morgan

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    By Jack, May 14, 2006 at 5:05 pm Link to this comment
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    Battlcry Kids:

    They are selling you God the same way they sold cell-phones.  You’re young and you’re partying, we’ve all done that.  The reason they’re putting on such a great show for you with all the pyrotechnics, Christian rock and guns (besides the $$$ they’re happy to get from your parents) is that they know, like any good 16 year old groupie, you’ll parrot the talking points. 

    You may be too young to vote but understand this is completely political.  In the last election we heard a lot about “value-voters.”  As we watch our country being destroyed by the current administration and learn a new vocabulary, with new terms (like “exraordinary rendition”) we start to turn and look at you. 

    Hopefully, once you grow up you’ll stop being groupies and take an honest look at what your kind has done to this nation.

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    By Ed Raby, May 14, 2006 at 4:54 pm Link to this comment
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    Look I just have to tell people this that they are taking this war thing way to seriously. This is not a physical war this is a spiritual war. It does not matter what you believe you will have to stand before God eventually. There are plenty of times in the Bible where Jesus says destroy this country because they have not followed the Lord. Who did President Bush murder please give me the evidence. I really don’t see none. If Bush is a murderer for sending our troops into war then you are saying that Washington, Lincoln, Wilson, FDR, Kennedy, Johnson, Rosevelt, Adams, Reagan, Clinton, Nixion, and many more are all murderers. Get Real Please!! War had been around since the beginning of the Bible, and if it hasn’t occurred to you yet I might have to tell you PEACE is a dream that is not possible. God instructed many Kings to go to war. War is not murder.

    As for Christians I must also tell you. Alot of people say they are Christians, but are not. These people have caused the Christian label to be labeled as hypocrites. However, a true Christian backs it up with faith and action. There are too many people who believe in once saved always saved and that is not true. So I am sorry for what many so called Christians do today that twist you view of us. Let me just say us Christians love everyone on this earth. We are out to save your life from eternal life in hell. Really you might say well I don’t believe in hell. Well it really doesn’t matter what you believe in it is there and if you don’t believe you will when you go there. I am not tolerant of other religions nor gays nor anything else immoral, and I don’t have to be I am right and it doesn’t matter what you believe. Put it this way If I am right and your wrong you lose everything and go to hell while I celebrate in Heaven the Lord Almighty. If your right and I am wrong then I live a much more peaceful lifestyle and when we both die we both are six feet under and don’t care any more. Who has the greater consequence?

    Another thing of note. This article is completly wrong. I went to Detriot Battle Cry. Ron does not force anyone to do anything. He simply presents the facts and gives you a decision. It is your choice to choose Hell of Heaven!!!

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    By Tedin Toronto, May 14, 2006 at 4:49 pm Link to this comment
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    Vira , I followed your Wikipedia link .
    I read that lightning war was a military strategy used by the Nazis to conquer most of Europe .
    The war, the Gestapo, the extermination camps - they were a nazi thing - and there were nazis in every country .You don’t know what you’re talking about .
    My father brought back a souvenir from the war they started - a nice black leather army belt , and on the buckle are the words GOTT MIT UNS .

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    By Patrick Conway, May 14, 2006 at 4:25 pm Link to this comment
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    Ron Luce(ifer) is a neocon agent.

    His primary function is to bring emotionally and psychologically challenged people(most Christians) to BUSH. Not to GOD, understand, to BUSH.

    When I first posted ‘Is Atheism a Choice’ many Christians tried to tell me that the new Christians don’t really follow the Old Testamant but only the new. When questioned why the Old Testament then is still the ‘Siamese’ twin of the New Testament and, only together, do they comprise the ‘Holy Bible’ they would only say that God’s word was superceded when his Son, Jesus, brought forth the new laws and changed things so that ALL MEN could be saved. They stated that only the Old Testament stated that only God would choose the saved.

    “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.” (Ephesians 1:4-5 AV)

    Ruh Roh! New Testament.

    “But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall…

    Too long for here.  Go to http://atheistsapproaching.blogspot.com/

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    By World Peace, May 14, 2006 at 4:20 pm Link to this comment
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    QUOTE: “Let’s be clear that the Christian right-wing fundamentalists do not represent the whole of Christendom. There are moderate and liberal Christians who do not subscribe to the idea of forcing our entire society to live and think a certain way with regard to abortion rights and gay rights. The extremists are dangerous because they believe they have a monopoly on the truth, which gives them the right to impose their philosophy on others.”

    Well said. IMO, there is no difference between Christian fundamentalists and Islamic fundamentalists or any other religious fundamentalist group. Each group believes they are the Chosen ones and that they are right.

    I applaud Ms. Taylor’s bravery in writing the articles and appearing on O’Reily’s show. I’d like to know more about this Christian group’s love of war. “Battle” Cry, armed men on stage? Puh-lease.

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    By Victoria Hess, May 14, 2006 at 4:18 pm Link to this comment
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    Dear Ms. Taylor;

    First, you have every right to feel the way you do. That’s your opinion. But I must ask…why are you set on tearing us down?? We are standing up for what we believe in. Why is that so wrong?? You do that here in your own ways….why can’t we?? If America has freedom of speech….why can’t we have the freedom to step out and do what we believe whats right??

    I’m 17 and I can honestly say….it really doesn’t seem far that you are shooting us down when we really haven’t done anything to you. Sure we are standing up and fighting you but don’t we have that right in America?? If you think not than I think you are helping our cause even more.

    God Bless and I’m praying for you

    Victoria Hess

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    By Matthew, May 14, 2006 at 3:29 pm Link to this comment
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    Christianity as practiced today is certainly not at all the same religion as practiced some two-thousand years ago by a small group of outsiders with little political power, and I find it hard to believe that any Christian is being persecuted for their beliefs in the United States today.  When political leaders (George W. being one of many examples) claim to be acting on behalf of the almighty, it seems almost certain that some form of carnage will be part of their legacy.

    The separation of church and state is important for the integrity of religious orgainizations as it is for the integrity of secular government.  Or, to paraphrase Ben Franklin, if a religion needs the support of the state in order to survive, perhaps it’s not a very good one.

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    By Sold Out for Christ, May 14, 2006 at 3:23 pm Link to this comment
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    GOD LOVES PEOPLE, HE MADE THEM!! He doesn’t like sin, however. Sin seperates us from God. You know what, this article didnt bother on mentioning how only 4% of this teenage generation is expected to become Bible-believing Christians, or how 58% of teens have been involved with objectionable content on the web. And did it inform you of that 40% of teens that have been involved in self-injury. 48% of high-school teens are sexually active. WHATS UP WITH THIS GENERATION. we DO NOT want violence. This battle were talking about is not a physical battle. Its a spiritual battle and even by me writing this now im participating in it. I’m trying to show you the Truth… the ONE TRUTH. God help you.

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    By massive, May 14, 2006 at 3:16 pm Link to this comment
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    <quote>You yell at Bush for killing Iragis yet you don’t seem to have a problem with OBL and Saddam killing thousands of Americans in the world tarde center.</quote>
    we have now killed over 100,000 Iraqis. are they worth less than the 3,000 that died?

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    By kaitlyn, May 14, 2006 at 3:02 pm Link to this comment
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    Us christians aren’t starting a battle, we believe that there’s a spiritual battle going on for peoples souls between Jesus and Satan. Mike Luce was enforcing anything on us he was telling us that we need to go out and share the gospel of Jesus Christ not go up to people and enforce Jesus on them, but simply talk to our friends about them and if they dont want to talk then oh well we tried.

    R. A. Earl the only reason I’m typing is because people took away my rights in school but my voice will be heard in someway. Honestly you dont have to listen. I didnt put you down in anyway so don’t start saying stuff about me and how I have a little brain I tried everything and if this is where I found my hope then it shouldnt matter to you.

    I dont follow Mike Luce or all the other pastor and preachers I follow Jesus.

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    By Ralph, May 14, 2006 at 2:40 pm Link to this comment
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    These certian Fundamentalist Christians just need to be enlightened to the fact that BushCo is pushing a New World Order agenda and that BushCo Orchestrated 9/11.  Not all Christians are bad look at Alex Jones at http://www.prisonplanet.com, he’s who these Christians should be looking up to.

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    By Gary Hansen, May 14, 2006 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    I must agree with Michael, that the only solution to religious fanatacism is education, and reading, lots of reading.  Many Americans are lazy, and content to believe the Sunday TV preacher, when in my experience, most professed christians haven’t even read the bible. I read a piece the other day that the bible has more printings out than any other book, and is the least read of any book. 
    In my opinion, anyone who listens to any of the televangelists be it Graham, Hinn, Robertson, Falwell or this guy Luce, is nothing but a mindless sheep unable to think for themselves.  These guys are laughing all the way to the bank while the average citizen doesn’t do further investigation, and accepts what these people have to say at face value. 
    After reading this article I am just waiting to read about the first christian suicide bomber.
    The funny thing is that I read another piece that Spain printed more books in the last year that muslim countries had produced in a hundred.  It seems they print only the qu-ran.  I guess we should follow some sky god, look at all the good he has done in the middle east.
    Jesus:  Love him or die!

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    By Casey, May 14, 2006 at 2:22 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    I was at this weekend’s Battlecry, and all I have to say is that this article is misleading.

    Ron Luce made many more points, and he forced no one to listen to him. He forced no one to do as he said. He merely just gave us the opportunity to let God into our hearts.

    This article also missed many important facts about the world. And I am very saddened that the author of this article didn’t not write more in depth about what happened this past weekend.

    As a journalist myself, I can honestly say that this article was poorly written.

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    By Vic, May 14, 2006 at 1:29 pm Link to this comment
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    These modern “Christians” are really a paradox. They are against a 14 year old rape victim getting an abortion because they “believe in the sanctity of life” , but support a president who has murdered somewhere between 35,000 (Pentagon est) and 135,000 innocent civilians in a country that is 60% under the age of 15. What damned hypocrites! If Jesus does come bnack , he is going to be madder than Hell !

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    By Doug, May 14, 2006 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment
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    Dear BattleCry,

    I’ve been searching my Bible for where Jesus said:

    “Burn and destroy!
    And repent and redeem and revenge and deploy
    And rumble thee forth
    To the land of the unbelieving scum on the other side
    For they don’t go for what’s in The Book
    And that makes them bad
    So verily we must choppeth them up
    And stompeth them down!”

    I’m sure Jesus said something like that because you follow his teachings and wouldn’t do the kinds of evil things that the heathen do. You only kill and maim because Jesus said to do so, right?

    Please help me find the chapter and verse number of the above quote. I KNOW its in The Book, but I can’t find it…

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    By PD, May 14, 2006 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    I just had to email them and ask:

    “What are the guns for?

    Are you really that afraid of others who are different from you?

    If it’s a Sunday School class, do the ‘troops’ bring in smaller weapons (e.g. 9 mm handguns) so as to not scare the kids (too much)?

    Was Jesus a member of the NRA? What type of weapon did he prefer?

    Does the Almighty (who is ‘all mighty,’ right?) really need guns to get people to join up?

    Do you refer to non-believers as ‘enemy insurgents’?

    When are your troops going to show up at my doorstep?

    What will the ‘Christian’ version of Gitmo be like?

    Do you really think Satan can’t see you if you’re wearing DCUs?

    It looks like you’ve been taking PR tips from that ‘violent’ religion, Islam.”

    On a lighter note, best caption for the “soldiers”? “You’ll put your eye out, kid!”

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    By Arthur, May 14, 2006 at 1:06 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    “Good grief Charlie Brown”

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    By R. A. Earl, May 14, 2006 at 1:05 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Kaitlyn, in #9364, wrote in part: “I have many friends that don’t believe in God, but I don’t get involved what they do. I have a few gay friends and I don’t believe in what they do but I know I have to love them for who they are not what they do. Christians are taught to love the person not the sin. Also know that us christians sin too. God doesn’t hate anyone he only hates what we do. I’m not saying he hates that we play sports or stuff like that I’m saying he hates some of our disgusting actions and thoughts.”

    Kaitlyn, if you are 10 years of age or younger, you are forgiven for your immature views and lack of critical thinking skills.

    If you are an adult, you must be using scrambled eggs for brains. It’s been a long time since I’ve read such confused, addle-minded drivel in just one posting.

    “Hate the sin, but love the sinner” is about the biggest clump of codswallop on this planet… but like many other catchy, crap-filled one-liners we hear repeated endlessly, this one keeps being parroted by unthinking sheep. Would someone please tell me EXACTLY how to separate the murder from the murderer, the rape from the rapist, the nonsense from the Christian fundamentalist?

    There should be some form of test posters need to pass… to determine, IN ADVANCE, if the organism behind the keyboard has ANYTHING of value worth the electrons to post! Just because you CAN type doesn’t mean you MUST.

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    By Follower of Christ, May 14, 2006 at 1:00 pm Link to this comment
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    We’re not fascist, we are hypocrytes…but ehn everyones a hypcryte..some are just more so than others.

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    By William Borgstrom, May 14, 2006 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    This bad attitude between those who attend and believe and we who watch and disbelieve because we have “been there and done that” is passing beyond sanity. The young people in Hitler’s Youth Brigades must have felt the same way Luce’s followers are acting out now.
      I think I see where the blood of Armageddon will come from now. A simple continuation of the masses slaughtered in the name of Christianity. Samo- samo.

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    By Hannah Alderfer, May 14, 2006 at 12:33 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    “All for love, the Father gave.
    For only love could make a way.
    And all for love the heaven’s cried.
    For love was crucified.

    Oh how many times, have I broken Your heart?
    But still you forive, if only I ask.
    And how many times have you heard me pray?
    ‘Draw near to Me.’

    Everything I need, is You!
    My beginning, my forever!
    Everything I need, is You!

    I will sing, all for love.
    And I will join the angels song.
    Ever holy is the Lord.
    King of glory, King of all.

    Oh how many times, have I broken Your heart?
    But still you forive, if only I ask.
    And how many times have you heard me pray?
    ‘Draw near to Me.’

    Everything I need, is You!
    My beginning, my forever!
    Everything I need, is You!

    All for love, a Saviour prayed.
    ‘Abba Father have Your way.
    Though they know not what they do,
    Let the cross draw men to You.’

    Everything I need, is You!
    My beginning, my forever!
    Everything I need, is You!”

    ~Hillsong United youth group

    Jesus is real. His love is real. His life on earth was real. And His death was even more real. He wants so much for us to speak up and tell the world about all He’s done for us. America was founded on these principles, and life was good! But as soon as we strayed away from the ways of God, we become a hated, violent, sexual, and depressed nation. We need to get back to Jesus! He is the only way!

    We love you all. I mean all of you who say that BattleCry is just a bunch of hooligans and what not we, Christ-ians, love you! And we want a better life for you, us, and the rest of our generation!

    This is our BattleCry!

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    By Ed Raby, May 14, 2006 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    I believe someone said that Bush is the worst president we have ever had. Give me the proof. Now don’t get me wrong Bush is not excactly a great president, but to say he is the worst ever. Look the fact is the media is ran by liberals so they will find any way to make Bush look bad. The sad thing is that many people listen to the news, which is full of complete lies most of the time. So get over yourselves and look at both sides of the story you hypocrites!! I mean how can you deny the fact that our economy is improving, that unemployment is falling, that Bush actually had some good morals unlike the former President Bill Clinton who didn’t mind to sleep with other women besides his wife nor did he mind to bring terrorists into the white house and give them money. I mean get real.

    Now on to something else. I believe being gay is completly wrong I also think that abortion is absoulutly absurd. Let me just ask you what would you think about if you were killed before you had a chance to live. Nothing you wouldn’t have been born. Let me also ask you liberals a question. What if one of those babies that were killed years ago would have possibly beaten GWB in the election and had been a better president then him. I mean they have the right to live just as much as you do. You say homosexuality is only mentioned in the old testement. My friends read on in Romans Paul specifically warns people what will happen to nations who support sexuality. I just laugh at all of this I mean honestly. You think war is murder. Without a war you wouldn’t be able to express what you think about government officials today. Without a war the USA would be two countries. With out a war the world would be called Germany. Without a war thousands more Americans would have died due to terrorism. Get over you single minded attitude. I am so sick of the United States. We think that Porn is okay for teens, we don’t seem to mind having sex with 40 different people before marriage and possibly with the same sex, we don’t seem to mind that violent movies, games, and media cause thosands of murders each year, we don’t seem to think it is wrong to cut or kill ourselves, we don’t seem to care about anyone besides ourselves in America. You say you want peace, love, and joy, but all anyone in America wants is alot of money and a easy life. I am just so sick of this culture and it needs to change and the only one who can change peoples way of doing things is GOD.

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    By Ben, May 14, 2006 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    The Battle Cry Forum was taken offline because unscrupulous people started posting pornography all over the board, starting the evening of May 13th.  I wonder where they got the link from…

    Coincidence?

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    By Goshawk, May 14, 2006 at 11:19 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    “a Navy SEAL addresses the crowd”

    That’s no current US Navy special warfare operative. Check out the facial hair.

    United States Navy Uniform Regulations
    NAVPERS 15665I
    CHAPTER TWO - U.S. NAVY UNIFORM REGULATIONS (GROOMING STANDARDS)

    “The length of an individual mustache hair fully extended shall not exceed approximately ½ inch. refers. Handlebar mustaches, goatees, beards or eccentricities are not permitted. If a shaving waiver is authorized, no facial/neck hair shall be shaved, manicured, styled or outlined nor exceed 1/4 inch in length.”

    It has to do with hygiene in less than sanitary conditions as well as a good seal with gas masks.

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    By Doug, May 14, 2006 at 11:01 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Stop comparing Bush to Hitler. There is no comparison.

    Hitler was a brave man who volunteered for front line duty in World War I, served for the duration, and was wounded in action. Bush is a coward who used his daddy’s influence to get a cushy job away from combat, then deserted that cushy job when they started doing drug testing.

    Hitler was a workhorse who worked long hours every single day from Sept 1, 1939 to the point where he committed suicide to avoid being taken prisoner. Bush has set a record for most days of vacation by any sitting president, taking up to 1/4 of each year as vacation time.

    Hitler was a teetotaler who avoided the mind-clouding effects of alcohol. Bush is an alcoholic who has only given up drinking in public and is either still actively drinking in private or has pickled his brain so much he is now a dry-drunk.

    The only points of comparison are in their willingness to accept ruthless actions to get what they want and their fondness for surrounding themselves with men and women who are even more evil and hateful than they are.

    One area we don’t know yet is that, while Hitler had the decency to kill himself and spare us the need to try and hang him, Bush so far has not.

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    By sick and tired of it all, May 14, 2006 at 10:49 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    If these kids are such George Bush lovers, let all 17,000 of them go over to Iraq and show how much they love him!!!!! Let them get their arms, legs, etc. blown to bits because of their love for that madman!!!!!  They are all falling for the propoganda machine-yes, it is just like Nazi Germany!!!!!!!  If he asks them to drink Kool-Aid would they!!?????  Get a brain people!!!! Yes, George Bush does have a place in their Bible-he’s called the anti-Christ!!!!!!!

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    By Doug, May 14, 2006 at 10:45 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits… A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” Matthew 7:15,16,18-20

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    By Kaitlyn, May 14, 2006 at 10:33 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Well, I’m not going to hate on anyone’s beliefs it’s all your choice to believe what you want. I went to Battlecry this past weekend in Philadelphia. You can’t judge us on what we believe and the way we live.

    I grew up in church my dad was a pastor but I always felt there was more to my life. My dad died when I was 9 yrs. old and it tore me apart. I was never really with God but I could tell anyone anything about the bible. A few months ago I had knee surgery it was my second one. I got a hold of some percs and wanted to end my life. I’m only 16 and already I was thinking suicidal thoughts. Thank God that he surrounded me with good friends because I knew I couldn’t put my murderous actions on them. Still I was dumb and I thought if I got rid of the pills I wouldnt have to worry about my suicidal ideas. I starting selling pills to my friends and was hurting myself more and more.

    I went to my youth group in April because I was forced by my parents, but I met God that day and he changed me in an instance I stopped selling drugs, I didn’t feel alone or depressed, I was able to get a full night of sleep, my attitude changed towards my parents, my attitude changed at school (I go to public not a christian school), it was a whole new me!

    You have to understand that there are christians that aren’t christians. All they do is say but they dont live like one, and everyone knows that actions speak louder than words. I can’t say I’m perfect because I admit I mess up everyday. But please don’t judge us because we don’t believe what you believe and don’t tell me I don’t understand. I’m 16 and I went through many hardships already that some people don’t go through in a lifetime. I know that everyday God can get me through no matter how hard the situation is. I put my trust and faith in Him.

    I have many friends that don’t believe in God, but I don’t get involved what they do. I have a few gay friends and I don’t believe in what they do but I know I have to love them for who they are not what they do. Christians are taught to love the person not the sin. Also know that us christians sin too. God doesn’t hate anyone he only hates what we do. I’m not saying he hates that we play sports or stuff like that I’m saying he hates some of our disgusting actions and thoughts.

    I’m not trying to argue saying “we’re all condemned to hell without Jesus” though true I’m not a preacher and though I’ll speak my mind this isn’t a congregation and I’m not trying to preach to you all.

    Please do not judge Battlecry the teens that went chose to do it. So it’s not right telling the people that are head of Battlecry that what they’re doing is wrong because they don’t force anyone to go.

    God Bless

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    By Blair Golson, May 14, 2006 at 9:29 am Link to this comment

    Editor’s note: There is a debate among readers of this piece over the connotation of the word “blitzkrieg.” Commenter Vira (#9278) argues that “Blitzkrieg” is a German word—not Nazi, per se. And indeed, Wikipedia.org notes that the term “is used in many other non-military contexts. Commenter Paul Danaher (#9351), however, says the terms is indelibly linked in many peoples’ minds to Nazi tactics.

    We had originally struck out the “blitzkrieg” section of this column, but have now decided to let it stand and allow readers to make up their own minds.

    -Blair Golson
    Managing Editor
    Truthdig.com

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    By ETSpoon, May 14, 2006 at 9:03 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    This is not Christianity. This is marketing.

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    By anonymous, May 14, 2006 at 8:50 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    The only Hell I worry about is the Hell Luce & his followers would like to impose on the rest of us.

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    By Paul Danaher, May 14, 2006 at 8:23 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Vira’s claim point about “Blitzkrieg” is entirely misplaced. This was the name given to a strategy developed by the German military staff for breaking through the fortified fronts which were the strategic heritage of the First World War - in the case of France, the Maginot Line. For those of us who grew up in the shadow of WW II, “Blitzkrieg” is inescapably associated with German campaigns against Belgium, France, the central European states and - ultimately - the Soviet Union. It is associated with weapons like the “Stuka” (from “Sturzkampfflieger”, or diver bomber), which was used to bomb roads choked with refugees fleeing advancing forces, and fitted with sirens to amplify the terror felt by the refugees - the rising scream of the siren would be shortly followed by exploding bombs. This was part of the doctrine of “total war” (anybody see any parallels with “shock and awe”?). The German armed forces were operating under the command and for the aims of the Nazis.

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    By Just a mom, May 14, 2006 at 7:59 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Can you say CULT?
    Goodness, at least in my opinion, Jesus was a liberal. And I tend to be of the belief that he probably didn’t exist, because if he did, GWB would have already been struck by lightning and doing time in hell.

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    By Michael, May 14, 2006 at 7:24 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    hello All,

    My two cents:

    Warning: if you are a true Christian believer you might be shaken at my message. Be careful.  This reading is not for the faint of heart. Remember I warned you. STOP NOW.

    This is a message addressed to the people in all Christian fundamentalist groups.  It is to show you how to survive once the Christian group you belong to becomes a ball and chain around your neck and imprisons you in a castle dungeon.

    It is also a message to others to show how you can help people to get out of these types of groups.

    And its to those who have left these religious groups and are trying to put their lives back together.  And are searching for a way out of the Christian religion.

    I say this to the poor young people who will crash and burn because of this BattleCry group they are in. There will be many in this group who will leave it eventually. It has nothing to do with the basics that people need to live: love, freedom, peace with your fellow man and planning for your practical future on this planet today and now.

    True believers will react strongly to my message now.  But come again to read this 10 years from now. Don’t take it lightly, someday you might need this resource.

    My story:

    I was a true believer at one time. I know the power of the Christian fundamentalist mindset. I have been there. I have done that.  I believed like the most believing of the believers.  I was also young when I got caught. I got caught in my second year of college. Wow, if only someone would of shared the following with me when I was growing up as a youth in Los Angeles.

    Many of the young people in this group I am sure are very sincere people. They believe they are right. They follow the bible to the letter. They have memorized the doctrines. They know all the verses. They read and study for hours.  They feel the comradery with their fellow believers. I believe that many of these people have a lot of fuel to go on for a very long time. It takes a long time to change the course of a fast moving train.

    BUT at some point, maybe 5 years from now, they will come to a realization that they are not happy, something is wrong. Not all of the true believers will say this but there will be many.  At that point come back and remember what I tell you now.

    I will make this very short. I could go on for 100 000 words but I just want to make a quick point.

    I got into being a Christian believer by READING the bible and believing the bible only.  It became my only source.  The Bible demands that it be the only source thru Weapons of Mass Fear ie. various Bible verses. Be aware that this is a major point.

    I put in at least 12,000 hours of bible reading, sermon listening, gospel preaching and “fellowshipping” over an 8 year period. It was my life. I gave all the money that I made thru the very good job that I had.  But then after these 8 years I felt something was terribly wrong with my life. I searched to make a change.  But how can this change come about. I have just indoctrinated myself with some of the most powerful teachings in the universe. Hell, fire and brimstone, eternal damnation, eternal reward, give your life to Jesus.  They haunted me like dogs out of Hades.  I thought there was no way out. But read further.

    THE WAY OUT OF THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION:

    There is a way out. And the way out is to READ other sources voraciously.  You got into the Christian religion thru reading now to get out of it you need to read. Read the other side of the argument. Read those that think that Christianity is a human invention.

    READING IS POWERFUL.
    IT CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE OR YOUR FRIENDS LIFE.
    READING IS THE WEAPON OF MASS SURVIVAL.

    I know, it saved mine.  Read books that question the Christian faith. Get both sides. Why not. If the Christian faith is so right then it will stand the test of any and all other doctrines and books. 

    Well, I will try to conclude in short order.

    Here are some books to read. There are many but I will only name a few. You have to go to AMAZON.COM and find out the rest.  Look up all the references in the backs of these books and do further reading if you need to.

    The World’s 16 Crucified Saviors BEFORE CHRIST (this book shows that this savior doctrine is not new. There were 16 saviors before Christ. THe writers of the Christian bible stole this idea from the other religions of the day.) Do you really want to give your precious youth away to a religion that just copied other religions but then claims there is only one true savior, theirs.

    Combatting Cult Mind Control (Steve Hassan). This shows his similar experience only in the Moonies. He talks about Lifton’s 7 or 8 steps of people getting indoctrinated into communism, this goes for Christian fundamentalist groups also. It shows you how you got caught and how to recover. This is not a light book. This is an excellent book.

    A History of the Devil (yes the devil was INVENTED by Zoraster…. He is not an eternal villain.) So, then isn’t everything else invented also. The devil is like a corner stone of the bible.

    Bible of Bibles by Kersey Graves (there were 27 other bibles beside the Christian “Holy Bible”).
    There is nothing new under the sun including the Christian bible.

    The whole point is that the Christian religion is nothing but an amalgamation of all the myths that came before it.  Other religions have the Samson myth, the flood myth, the creation myth etc. etc. Chrisna came before Christ and there are so many similarities in their history that really you are worshipping Chrisna as a Christian. The Book of John is very similar to the history of Chrisna. Like I said there is nothing new.

    Who wrote the Bible (Friedman) Shows you a lot about the Bible including the fact that it was written by priests for political ends. A very informative book.

    Who wrote the New Testament, the making of the Chrstian Myth (Mack) Really this is a very scholarly book. Its the hardest reading of the books I will give you.

    Who wrote the gospels. (Helms) This book shows one that the Gospels were not written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. This is just one of the many gold nuggets in this book.

    Mythology’s Last Gods (Harwood)

    When God becomes a drug. (Leo) Not a book that completely frees you but it shows the absurdity of religious addiction.

    Read these, that should get you started on the road to sanity.

    I only share this so you won’t have to crash an burn the rest of your life when you try to escape from the trap you are in.

    I am not saying you have to believe there is no GOD. I still believe in God but one that is not connected to the Christian religion or any other man made world religion. My God has no bible, no hell, no preachers, no priest, no religious hierarchy, no forced tithing, no indoctrination, etc…..

    I would say that 99.9% of the Christians only know their extremely biased views of the bible. They have no knowledge about the true history of this mythological book. For one to be free one needs to take risks to read other viewpoints.

    The movie, the Village, with Joaquin Phoenix, is a perfect example of the mythologies that arise when people do not take risks. Get the video. This is a great movie.

    Please give my message to those that need it.

    Thank You.


    Fully at peace.


    Michael

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    By yours truly, May 14, 2006 at 6:55 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    You guys need to understand metaphores and similies when you see them. It cracks me up when atheists looking for something to throw back at Christians choose metaphores. Um, hello! Not the literal meaning! Obviously these people have no clue whats in the bible let alone the new testament. Look up what a parable means and also look up what a metaphore and similie are. Then come back here and defend what sunsara and you “literalists” said.

    R. A. Earl: Oh that was clever. My 5 year old brother could have come up with that one. I’m telling you, people should really engage their brain before engaging their mouth when they’re trying to get dirt on christianity.

    Something else I noticed: When someone makes fun of another religion everyone comes down at that person so hard, and they are repremanded and dealt with. But when someone makes fun of Christianity it’s like “Oh yea! Come on! Jump on the train! Lets go!”

    Look at yourselves… you are the devils pawn. Just a pawn in an effortless waltz. Effortless for you because you are so blind and so weak minded.

    All in all this was a pretty lame article written by an even lamer author. Sunsara’s articles are s**t starters and nothing else. She writes them to see what kind of reaction she’ll get, not because it’s the truth. It’s far from the truth. It’s twisted one-sided garbage and she knows it. What even worse is that a website like this allows crackpots like her to write for them. Truthdig my foot!

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    By Hilding Lindquist, May 14, 2006 at 5:07 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Ed Raby writes in #9310:
    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20060513_battlecry_philadelphia/#9310

    “Why is the Old Testament part of the Bible and why do we still study it? We study the Old Testament because it reveals so much about God and his nature. We can know God better in a personal relationship if we know more about Him?”

    Ok, let us be enlightened about the nature of this God with whom we are supposed to have a personal relationship. One of the great heroes of the Bible to Fundamentalist Christians—as in how many times did I sing the words, “Joshua fought the Battle of Jericho, Jericho ... “, as a child—proclaiming Joshua to be a hero of God.

    The God of Fundamentalist Christians is a blood-thirsty, evil god! Read on, folks ... this what children are taught about this “loving” god in Fundamentalist Christian churches:

    Quoting the King James Version of the Bible from the Book of Joshua in the Old Testament (from http://www.blueletterbible.org ):

    Get real regarding the Battle of Jericho:

    Jos 6:16 And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the LORD hath given you the city.
    Jos 6:17 And the city shall be accursed, [even] it, and all that [are] therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that [are] with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.
    Jos 6:18 And ye, in any wise keep [yourselves] from the accursed thing, lest ye make [yourselves] accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it.
    Jos 6:19 But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, [are] consecrated unto the LORD: they shall come into the treasury of the LORD.
    Jos 6:20 So the people shouted when [the priests] blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.
    Jos 6:21 And they utterly destroyed all that [was] in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.

    Regarding the Battle of Ai:

    Jos 8:24 And it came to pass, when Israel had made an end of slaying all the inhabitants of Ai in the field, in the wilderness wherein they chased them, and when they were all fallen on the edge of the sword, until they were consumed, that all the Israelites returned unto Ai, and smote it with the edge of the sword.
    Jos 8:25 And [so] it was, [that] all that fell that day, both of men and women, [were] twelve thousand, [even] all the men of Ai.
    Jos 8:26 For Joshua drew not his hand back, wherewith he stretched out the spear, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.
    Jos 8:27 Only the cattle and the spoil of that city Israel took for a prey unto themselves, according unto the word of the LORD which he commanded Joshua.
    Jos 8:28 And Joshua burnt Ai, and made it an heap for ever, [even] a desolation unto this day.
    Jos 8:29 And the king of Ai he hanged on a tree until eventide: and as soon as the sun was down, Joshua commanded that they should take his carcase down from the tree, and cast it at the entering of the gate of the city, and raise thereon a great heap of stones, [that remaineth] unto this day.
    Jos 8:30 Then Joshua built an altar unto the LORD God of Israel in mount Ebal,

    Please notice how they keep the wealth and kill the people. Sound familiar?

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    By The Oracle, May 14, 2006 at 5:06 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Now we know what has happened to our nation’s radio airwaves.

    I noticed over a year and a half ago when local Clear Channel and Sinclair-owned radio stations changed their play-list format from Classic Rock to what they called “contemporary and old school.” It was done across the board. No radio stations devoted to Classic Rock remained.

    Then, I noticed two things. The “contemporary” songs contained a bunch of religious lyrics, as if someone were hell-bent on proselytizing everyone listening. And I also noticed that the “old school” songs always seemed to be ones that contained lyrics about heaven, hell, angels, devils, Jesus, or other religious terminology.

    In other words, what the religious fanatics couldn’t accomplish 50 years ago by holding Rock ‘N Roll record burning parties, they are now attempting to do by subverting Rock ‘N Roll with their Christian rock crap.

    And to get air-time for their Christian rock crap, they have bought up a huge share of radio stations around the country. Otherwise, the Christian rock crap would just be a fringe movement with a relatively small audience, because who wants to be proselytized by a bunch of religious fanatics. I know I don’t.

    Recently, Clear Channel took their Christian rock crap agenda one step further. An old-time local Rock ‘N Roll station was completely converted shortly after Christmas to a full-time Christian rock format. Of course, I now no longer listen to that station at all.

    But what about advertisers on these corrupted radio stations? Clear Channel, at least in my hometown, doesn’t run advertisements for locally owned businesses anymore. Either the ads are for national/multi-national chains, or they run a whole bunch of ads for pharmaceutical companies.

    Anyway, I consider all the pseudo-Christian Christian rockers to be nothing more than thieves…just like Jesus warned us about. And not just ordinary, in-your-face thieves, but sneak thieves. Because, if you are reading this post, this might be the first time you’ve been made aware of the stealth evangelizing, brainwashing, religious reprogramming that is going on over our nation’s radio airwaves.

    This sneak thievery is why I don’t listen anymore to “contemporary” rock music. I don’t know when my ears and brain will be assaulted by these pseudo-Christian sneak thieves with their religious fundamentalist lyrics. I will not be suckered by a bunch of religious fools. I can no longer trust our nation’s radio stations. I don’t like people with hidden agendas (like George W. Bush) or radio stations with hidden religious fundamentalist agendas. And any advertisers supporting these corrupted radio stations have lost my business. Evil is as evil does, and these religious fundamentalist sneak thieves, in my view, are evil.

    Oh, BTW, these crappy battlecry rock concerts sound like something the Vatican did years ago to incite support for their crusades to retake Jerusalem, including the disastrous Children’s Crusade. The Vatican held rallies, stirred up the rigtheous religious fervor, then sat back and watched fellow European citizens march off to the Holy Land to be slaughtered and to do, themselves, some slaughtering of men, women and children.

    This is why Luce is evil, no matter how much he claims to be righteous…and a Christian. Pure evil. Pure unadulterated evil. On a power trip. Which has nothing at all to do with what Jesus was teaching. And these poor kids at these battlecry concerts have literally been seduced by the devil…and don’t even realize it. Hopefully, a lot of innocent men, women and children will not be slaughtered in their name…or Luce’s name…or Lucifer’s name.

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    By BC Bud, May 14, 2006 at 2:56 am Link to this comment
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    What are you going to do about me, Vera? I’m an athiest. I believe in reason, not faith. You will never convince me to live in your ‘fairy-tale world’. Your efforts to force me to accept your beliefs, by trying to dominate the government and courts, is completely intolerable. Your support for a corrupt and cowardly war criminal named Bush simply because he says God tells him what to do is simply unbelieveable.
      Before you go converting the 20%-30% of Americans who don’t believe in Jesus, why don’t you direct your attention to all the Christians who don’t believe, but say they do. Which should be pretty much all of them, at least the right-wing crowd.
      America is a Christian nation right now and look what you’ve got. A society that runs on greed and blood. The gap between rich and poor is truly scandalous and would never be allowed to happen if Christian America actually believed in Christian values. In fact, rich, right-wing Christians seem to have an all embracing hate on for the poor.
      Christian America killed approx 2 to 2.5 million people in South East Asia during the Vietnam War, another 1 million or so Iraqis died because of Christian American imposed sanctions in the ‘90’s. Would you care to to tell me that Jesus would approve of such mass slaughter?
      Christian America pollutes and ravages the planet for resources that can’t be replaced and the best that you can do is froth and foam about gays and gay marriage. For the life of me I can’t see how any intelligent, rational human being would sign up for your religion given its lousy track record.
      So Vera, why don’t you get out of the religion game and do something useful with your life; try helping the poor in some under-developed third world country that Christian America has raped and robbed for the last half century. You’ll feel better for it.

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    By Damned Atheist, May 14, 2006 at 1:21 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    How sad… These poor misled fools. This article shocked me, and has spurred me into action. With any luck, I can start something good to end this terrible, hypocritical group…

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    By magoo, May 13, 2006 at 9:51 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.” - Sinclair Lewis

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    By Mike Corbeil, May 13, 2006 at 9:01 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Vira seems to be missing the point or fact that the youths at the concert were indeed being very mislead, fooled.

    << “Thank god for giving us George Bush.” >>

    No one of sane mind, no truly patriotic individual can think in that manner, being thankful for GWB, for he’s the very worst president in US history, he’s clinically treatable as suffering from a condition on the order of delerium, dementia, delusion and self-delusion, pathological lying or deceptiveness (although not really deceptive is he, for to deceive people who are trivially fooled is not worthy of being referred to as being really deceptive), and perhaps psychopathy.  He’s in one or more of these categories.

    Worse, he’s that and president and c-i-c, and he’s very obviously worked at trashing the human rights of Afghans, Iraqis, Haitians, and many other people, including, and very much so, Americans.  According to the US Constitution and BoR, he is TRAITOR, but then he’s so stupid that he could be alternatively written off as simply insane, and that he definitely and very clearly is. 

    What does insane mean?  It simply means to be of unhealthy mind and therefore outlook and character, and he’s all of this, and worse.

    No true Christan can be in support of such lunatics, all the much less when they’re in positions of state power.


    << (While in the bathroom, I saw something equally unsettling—a pre-teen girl wearing a shirt being sported by many attendees that night: Jesus on the cross, robes waving, and emblazoned across the front, the words “Dressed to Kill.”) >>

    That’s an insult unto Jesus.


    << “We’re and army of God and we’re ready to die…Let’s paint this big ol’ town red…We see nothing but the blood of Jesus…” >>

    Ready to die?  That’s not what Jesus called for, except when it’s in DEFENDING innocents, and that most definitely and CLEARLY is NOT what GWB et al have been doing.  They DO NOT care about innocents and it’d be difficult to make it any more obvious than GWB et al have done.  After all, the way they treat Americans and their Constitution and BoR is a CLEAR proof that GWB et al do not care about innocents.


    << “He doesn’t just want to be in your heart, He wants to own your heart…There’s only one good reason to come to Christ: because He’s the rightful owner of your life.” “You don’t have to know much about Jesus, just enough to surrender your whole life.”

    Throughout this section, a loud crowd from the back of the stadium would periodically erupt, “We are warriors!” ...>>

    Jesus and God do not want to own anyone or anything.  They are in absolutely no need of ownership, and no one can take God’s Kingdom away from Him.  When it comes to souls, Jesus and God don’t want ownership, They DO NOT want to treat us as objects.  They want a mutually LOVING relationship, and when we disregard the rights and dignity of others, then we act CONTRARY to love and therefore CONTRARY to Jesus and God.

    That is the way true Christians BELIEVE.  Never can a true Christian be in support of injustices, and the graver they are, the more they have to be OPPOSED.


    << Ron instructed individuals to stand up when they felt the spirit and cry out, “I want the cross!” >>

    First, for the minor point:  Why would any sane Christians “want the cross”, and it should be not ‘cross’ but ‘Cross’, for Christians anyway.  (The distinction is that there were many crosses, many crucifixions, but only one was for Jesus, for His crucifixion, and it’s therefore the Cross.  Else, people have the legitimate basis for asking such Christians which cross they want, given they did not make it explicitly clear which one they’re talking about.  ‘Cross’, instead of ‘cross’, would make it immediately and explicitly enough obvious.

    Second, for the main point: Why would any sane Christian want the Cross?

    Jesus NEVER taught that His true followers are to desire suicide.  He NEVER taught that we should also want the cross.  He left it rather very clear that we sanely should not want the cross, because to go the way of the cross, well, consider when Jesus transpired blood at the Garden of Gethsemane, out of great fear, anxiety or anguish over the “Cup” He was to go through.  He asked God, the Father, to take this Cup away, but only if it was in The Father’s Will to do so, else Jesus would accept this “journey” on the path of persecution, jailing, prosecution, torture and crucifixion.

    No one in a sane frame of mind would [want] that too.  He DID NOT, and it would be arrogance towards Him if we pretended otherwise.  It would certainly be falseness towards Him and God, and would be out of rather insanity or dementia, or something in that “neighbourhood” in any other terms. 

    To be willing to go the way of the cross if ever the cause is great enough to justify such a consequence being accepted as possible, this is one thing, while to simply and superficially, and therefore falsely want the cross, this is a whole distinct matter.

    Some people who have gone the way of the cross and while speaking of recently deceased individuals, we have some examples from Palestine, the peace and human rights activists or workers who were murdered or assassinated by Israeli forces, while the activists were simply trying to safely get Palestinian children to school.  There’s also Dorothy Day who was sadistically murdered or assassinated in South America over the past year or two, perhaps in Nicaragua, or El Salvador, or Bolivia, or ..., one of those countries anyway, while she was greatly working to try to bring a halt to the obliteration of very important forests to be maintained.

    Those are true bearers of the Cross.  They can be truly considered as having Joined Jesus on the Cross.  And notice how NONE of these people paraded falsely around pretending that they wanted the cross, which is the same thing as saying to want “the way of the cross”.

    No, what’s going on with this right-wing Christian movement bears NOTHING of true Christianity, except in terms of FALSE references and “leadership”, teaching.

    And Christians need to carefully realise the Evil, aka Satan and his/its ilk, they do speak truths, just that they never present whole truths.  When they use truths, it is for the purpose of deceiving a person into venturing onto a path which is truly and seriously WRONG.  That’s aka half-truths, which are just a form of lying that employs a bit of truth, to try to get the person or people to be more easily fooled into believing that the lying part is not deceit or lying but truth, too.

    And anyone who tries to pretend that Bush is fitting to support in public office, any for that matter, is liar.  Or the person is about as stupid as Bush is.


    << Luce put great emphasis on following every word in the Bible, treating it as an “instruction book,” ...>>

    For true Christians, the Bible is not an instruction book but a guideline “sprinkled” with instructions.  Much of what Jesus taught was not presented in the manner of explicit instruction, but to cause listeners, hearers to learn to develop their thinking, and a very concrete example of this is found in His parables.

    Part of this requires realising that not every word or phrase in the Bible is true.  What’s written in the Bible is all truly there, but there’s a major difference between recognising that, and whether or not it’s all truly fitting with God’s will and way, and therefore with Jesus.  There are examples in both Testatments, the OT and the NT, both.  But I’ll take one from the NT, only, to keep this post shorter.

    Matthew, du-fous Matthew, he writes that it’s an abomination for men to bear long hear, and women bearing short hair, etc.  What Matthew therein wrote were not of Jesus’ teachings and way, it was Matthew’s bigotry inserted into the NT.  Jesus would’ve never taught any such rule, and He did make or leave clear on a number of occasions that His first apostles erred and that Christianity for all time needs to keep this carefully in mind.


    << We then decided to ask them a little about this God, and his “instruction book,” as Luce calls it. Specifically, we asked them if they supported the parts of Deuteronomy and Leviticus that spell out, for example, death sentences for women who dare to enter the city while menstruating. The most memorable response came from Luce himself. >>

    I don’t know about all Christian denominations, but the RCC dumped one or both of those so-called OT books.  And I don’t know when this was done, but the RCC is the founding church (not the one Jesus Founded, but the first church instituted by humans who at least believed to be following and to therefore have been in conformance with Him), from which all or at least most Christian denominations known of today derived, through various schisms.

    If those two books were dumped by the RCC before these schisms happened, then some denominations chose to add one or both of these books back to their version of the Bible, and this would’ve been an awfully poor and tragic choice to make.

    The church “fathers” have been careless, negligent, have not vigilantly applied themselves, so we have a Bible bearing contradictions.  The “fathers” chose to ban some books into apocrypha, while not others, and they were not comprehensive enough.

    As for laws in the OT, there are not many, there being relatively little of this, Biblically that is, before Jesus, and His laws were not declared to be Law, but they’re commandments for His followers to abide by.  We can correctly interpret His teachings in the manner of commandments and therefore religious laws.  It’s just that Jesus wasn’t particularly “big” on doctrine, being primarily, by far, a Teacher of Essence, or, if you prefer, of Spirit or spirit, as in it being crucial to focus on not the letter of law, but on the spirit of it.

    By focusing on the spirit of law, we are far enhanced in terms of being regularly just, and never apply literal laws unjustly.  If we stick to the letter of the law and therefore treat it too literally, then it is conducive to apply laws in unjust ways.

    So, Luce is loose, clearly so, having a bunch of loose nuts in his heads bolts, and as nuts on bolts become loosened, they risk popping off, eventually, or the bolt risks breaking, because it’s no longer held firmly in place.  Luce is very loose with his very negligent and fraudulent pretention of being a Christian, which is very clearly is not.

    Luce is looser than a goose with its head cut off.

    And the so-called Christian minister who spoke at the concert, he clearly is no Christian.  He rather clearly is what Jesus strongly forewarned about when He CARED enough to let all followers, immediate and future, that we have to be wary of FALSE prophets who’d pretend to speak in Jesus’ holy name.  He also said what’s going to happen to such souls, if they don’t straighten out before passing on to Judgement.

    NO true Christian can be in support of despots, or any forms of injustices, so NONE can be in support of the Bush administration, including this insane fool who’s been released to prey on Humanity.

    Jesus said to pay taxes to Caesar and there’s a very valid reason for doing so.  If the people want the state to provide services for the populace, then the state needs funds to work with.  Either that, or everyone has to abide by the rule of a new making and which is that absolutely no one makes any income, that all receive freely, according to their contributions (and for Christians, room has to be made for people who are handicapped and therefore can’t contribute, for to reject them would be to reject Jesus, metaphorically anyway).

    Yes, He said to pay the taxes to the state.  BUT, he did not go parading around promoting any particular leaders.  He might have defended Caesar (if what I recently read about him is indeed true anyway), if any of His followers started griping about Caesar, for he purportedly was a good leader and was betrayed by greedy individuals.  Jesus still was not a political promoter or advocate, He was a social order advocate for social justice, and for [all] members of society; rather than only for Jews, or His own followers, or any particular group.  He was omni-humanitarian, caring about and loving [all].

    Jesus held a short dialogue with some of His apostles and on the question of when it is that they, and therefore all of His followers, can really know if we possess real discernment.  The first two got their answers wrong, one having referred to being able to differentiate between night/darkness and day/light (metaphorically, between evil/dark and light/good times); and the other referred to differentiating between wolves and lambs (metaphorically, wovles including those disguised as lambs).  Jesus told them that they were both mistaken, so the third apostle, realising this double-‘No’, that he might also be mistaken, and that Jesus surely knew the answer, well, he chose to ask Jesus for it, and it was provided.

    What did Jesus say the answer was/is?

    It is when you can look at your fellow neighbours, that is, human beings, and truly perceive the presence of God in these other people.  Given that Jesus said that the answer was not about being able to distinguish between evil doers and innocents, that He, himself, while on the Cross, prayed to God the Father to forgive the persecutors, torturers and crucifers, executioners, and that He praised the humanitarianism in the Good Samaritan, who was neither of Jesus’ following nor Jewish, etc., etc., well, we therefore and certainly know that He also meant this teaching regardless of what our neighbours’ religious beliefs are.

    Therefore, Jesus TAUGHT to rid ourselves of all wrongful prejudices, to NOT discriminate against others.

    I’ve condemned Bush et al numerous enough times over the past several years, yet the Christian in me always reawakens to the realisation that this is not fitting for a Christian to do.  It’s the human part of me, aside from the parallel Christian in me, which causes such reaction from real anger, and hatred of wrongs, especially extreme wrongs, which is all Bush et al have been committing all along.  No, the right thing for true Christians is to simply realise that Bush et al need to be opposed, but also prayed for, in the manner like Jesus on the Cross did.

    He asked God, the Father, to forgive those heinous actors because they did not know what they were doing, and this also needs to be carefully understood, for it’s bogus if we treat it literally.  After all, they certainly knew that they were persecuting, jailing, torturing and crucifying him.  But there was a very special order of matter that they were not aware of, or at least had lost focus of, and it’s the spiritual.  They did not know what the deserving life-eternal, perdition-vs-salvation avenir, future for them was, so Jesus clearly recognised this and prayed for them to be forgiven.

    In so doing, it also made it such that Jesus died without hatred toward those who committed this end to or unto Him, so His soul would die in far greater perfection, than it otherwise would have.  It’s far better to die forgiving, than it is to die hating, full of hatred.

    Hatred is toxicity for the soul, and I unfortunately do hate, but it’s Injustice, Wrongs that I hate, particularly when they’re intentional, deliberate, not accidental.  I can easily forgive accidental, unintended injustices, but not intended, deliberate ones; although they also need to be forgiven, for the sake of perfecting ourselves.

    That is the real Christian theme or faith substance, or essence.  And there therefore is no way that any true Christian can be in support of GWB et al and all of their extreme crimes against Humanity. NO WAY.

    Pass this on to that so-called Christian minister who spoke at this folly of a concert.

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    By R. A. Earl, May 13, 2006 at 8:58 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Just an observation…

    Any American looking for a major threat to his/her country and way of life need not look any further than Philadelphia and “Ron Luce & Co.”

    “Luce,” of course, is short for LUCIFER.

    If I had to choose, I’d rather bed down with Osama bin Laden. He’s far more honest and far less a threat to our country’s future than Ron Luce.

    Can even the most rabid Christian fundamentalist out there actually envision CHRIST condoning such perversity as is reported in this article?

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    By Mark Mayfield, May 13, 2006 at 8:29 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Vira said, “Then God brought us Jesus. We no longer have to live by those rules because God said that Jesus died for our sins.”  And you can point to which verse that declares those rules null & void?  That’s right, no such verse.  To the contrary, Jesus declared, “Do not think that I have come to do away with the Law of Moses.  As long as heaven and earth last, not the least point nor the smallest detail of the Law will be done away with.” (Matt. 5:17-18)  Besides, if you do away with all the Old Testament laws, there go the Ten Commandments as well as any reason to condemn homosexuals.

    So which is it, the Old T laws don’t apply, or only the ones you don’t like?  Can you say cherry picking?

    It never ceases to amaze me.  Those who proclaim to live by the Bible are the ones who know the least about it.  Do you even realize that there are TWO creation stories (Gen 1 & Gen 2) that CANNOT both be correct?  So much for infallible, and that’s just the first 2 chapters of the first book!  If we can’t trust the Bible to tell us where we came from, how can we trust it to tell us where we’re going?

    You want to truly live by the Bible Vira?  Tell your gay co-worker on Monday as you stab, shoot, choke or otherwise render him lifeless, “Sorry, my God demands that I kill you.”  Or are you just another hypocrite?

    Simply put - he is YOUR god, they are YOUR rules, YOU BURN IN HELL!

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    By yours truly, May 13, 2006 at 7:59 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    No, you know what? The world has been blowing sunshine up your a$$ for the last four decades. Why don’t you come down to a battlecry rally and hear for YOURSELF what we have to say, and not to these twisted articles. I have heard everything Ron Luce has to say and what he says isn’t anything compared to what the writer of the last two articles on this has said. I think some adults need to grow up some more and start to engage their brain before writing twisted bullshit like this on a large scale. This seems like a pretty biased article if you ask me. And I laughed when I saw what the URL for this page is… Truthdig… LOL. What do you know about the truth? Tell me? Honestly I want to hear you write about the truth, thats what I visited this page for after all. So lets hear it! You make me sick.

    I’m beginning to see what the world does when it’s time to look at itself in the mirror. Exactly what you are doing.

    And I’m so sick of hearing this term fascist christians. What the??? Have you been educated at all? Where in your right mind have we done anything fascist?

    After just reviewing this article again I noticed that the author of this article is also the lady from the O’rielly factor. I honestly laughed out loud when you came on. You got owned so badly by Bill O’rielly. Ron Luce didn’t even attack you, you attacked yourself. Do you know how twisted and blindsided your views are? I know hardcore athiests who laughed at that. You dug yourself a hole every step of the way.

    One day the world will realize, until then our mission isn’t complete.

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    By rashomon, May 13, 2006 at 7:33 pm Link to this comment
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    Vira, you don’t follow those laws because of what Paul said; not what Jesus said. The early church was a part of the Jewish community and followed Jewish Law, laws found in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. People
    Who wanted to become Christian had to be circumcised and follow Jewish dietary laws until Paul said no, you do not have to become Jewish to become Christian. This split the church and a lot of hostility grew out of this. You find references to Paul calling him Paul the liar and so forth. There is a great deal of information on the early church out there and more is appearing all the time. I hope you take the time to look into it. You could start with the Wikipedia entries:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_Christianity
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pauline_Christianity
    There are also some good documentaries such as From Jesus to Christ: The Early Christians and Christianity: The First 1000 years.

    Militarism and Christianity should be disturbing to everyone but Christians should be the most disturbed. Where is blessed are the peacemakers? Where is God is Love? No, this is a rage rally, where young people get hooked on anger. Anger is powerful stuff and group anger is even stronger. You feel pumped up, energized with adrenaline, and connected with everyone else in the audience. It’s like a drug. They hand out this drug in exchange for obedience, so they can use you. You’re not hate filled good that means you were paying attention in Sunday school but look at what these people are selling. Dishonoring your mother and father. (Those pew sitters are mom and pop.) Killing. (War means death, that’s why the Pope condemned the Iraq war and told Bush not to do it.)
    But hey, you can think for yourself; just remember to compare what they are selling to what your faith teaches because their Christianity and my Christianity are very different.

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    By Joy, May 13, 2006 at 7:28 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Let’s be clear that the Christian right-wing fundamentalists do not represent the whole of Christendom. There are moderate and liberal Christians who do not subscribe to the idea of forcing our entire society to live and think a certain way with regard to abortion rights and gay rights. The extremists are dangerous because they believe they have a monopoly on the truth, which gives them the right to impose their philosophy on others.

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    By Balzac, May 13, 2006 at 6:37 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    I’m impressed. That took guts.

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    By Ed Raby, May 13, 2006 at 5:59 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Sorry I am so sorry for you. We do not go out to rally to bring destruction on people. I am 16 years old and support this rally I actually went to one myself. God Loves You no matter what you think. You yell at Bush for killing Iragis yet you don’t seem to have a problem with OBL and Saddam killing thousands of Americans in the world tarde center. Your argurment will be that Americans are dying over there. Well let me tell if you talk to any soldier over there I can garuntee you they will say that this war is worth fighting for.

    I will tell you the truth God instructed many times in the bible for the isrealities to go to war. So to say that war is unbibical is a lie from the pit of hell. The truth is that as a Christian I am not tolerent to other religions. Why? Well the answer is simple they are wrong. When Muhammed startin Muslim he was a peaceful man. However after a couple of years he had only 100 converts to show for it. So he decided to go from village to village and say if you don’t believe in the Quaran we will kill you. I make my point. It seems to me that everyone blames Bush for everything. So what would you have rather of him to do. When the world trade center was attacked would you rather of him not went to war and showed the terrorist that we were weak and then a few years later they attack something else but we would show we were weak again. Then you liberals would have been mad at him for not doing something about it. Then terrorists wouldn’t be afraid to drop a nuclear bomb on them.

    I am very sorry for you I really hope that God gets a hold of you. If you don’t let him take your life you will go to hell and it doesn’t matter what you believe. Don’t say I didn’t warn you

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    By Charlie, May 13, 2006 at 5:52 pm Link to this comment
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    Perhaps it would help if the members of the organisation actually did read the Bible. How do they interpret the 2 versions of the creation of man? or the variant versions of the birth of the Christ?

    If these deceived did read the “Good Book” they might begin to realise that the bigots who organise these groups are playing them for fools. The leaders of such groups commit blasphemy and I use the term precisely. They take the name of the Lord, their god, in vain. The deceivers interpret what they say are the words of their deity and claim to know the mind and intention of their god. They claim to be doing god’s will.

    That is fine by me, they should do god’s will and submit to the punishment for blasphemers.

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    By Ivan, May 13, 2006 at 5:48 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Have you heard of spell-check?  How about proof-reading?

    Nothing takes the wind out of an arguement more quickly than a sloppily written web release like this.  The issue is too important to screw up like that.  Get your s**t together.

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    By Psalm25, May 13, 2006 at 5:43 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    We guide ourselves by every word from God; New and Old Testaments.

    We are no longer under the law, which is in Deuteronomy and Leviticus. If you read the whole Bible, the New Testament talks about the old law. Galatians chapters 2 and 3 talk about how rightousness doesn’t come from the law but from Jesus. We don’t follow the law because Jesus has been sent to be the connection between us and God. We don’t need the law to live by to be rightous. We can now confess our sins directly to God instead of having a priest make a sacrifice for us. The veil was torn when Jesus died. We are not under that law anymore.

    The law was known by all Jews and they were aware of what consequences their sin had. The judgement wasn’t from man, it was from God. They were stoned because of thier sin and the judgement God had given for that sin. It would have been unjust for them to not follow the law of God. Even if they didn’t want to stone that particular person, they had to because of God’s will. You may think that God was just being mean. Well, we have all sinned and we all deserve death. BUT (this is where we see another part of God’s nature) he sent his Son, Jesus, to die for us and make the sacrafice for our sins.

    What about the people that died before Jesus? In 1 Peter chapter 3 it talks about how Jesus will witness to all the people that came before Him.

    Why is the Old Testament part of the Bible and why do we still study it? We study the Old Testament because it reveals so much about God and his nature. We can know God better in a personal relationship if we know more about Him?

    I hope that helped clear things up. As a far as Mr. Luce’s response: Ms. Taylor, you said “This is your Bible. You have to defend this.” You never made an attack on the Bible for him to defend. You just said defend this. There is no need to defend something that is not being attacked. When someone just comes up to you and says something hostile to you, you are going to wonder why they are mad. He gave a good response that shows that he cared about you. He wanted to know the source of your anger and help you.

    Ms. Taylor, you seem to write every detail as an attack against us. The first part of your article could have been written like this:

    “I was surprised by the awesome fireworks that kicked off the rally. The lights and smoke set the scene. A few kids had the honor of reading a letter written by the leader of this great country.”

    By saying how the fireworks were so loud and kids being pulled up on stage, you make it seem like were so grizzly-like. You do this throughout the article by comparing us to Hitler’s youth. Is that really neccasary?

    I think on lots of occasions you interpretted what Ron Luce was saying wrong. You said: “Yeah, if only people would stop practicing “love, joy and peace.” Wouldn’t that make the world a better place…” He didn’t mean lets get rid of the love, joy, and peace. Who would be ridiculous enough to believe that getting rid of those would make the world better? He meant that most Christians like to sit around and be part of a church that provides loving fellowship, which brings joy and peace. He is telling us not to be like them. We need to not be stagnant. We must reach out to the world, especially our generation, to win them to Christ, so that they may have forgiveness from thier sins. Only then will we have the true love, joy, and peace that is from Christ.

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    By Vic Anderson, May 13, 2006 at 5:33 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    For Bush and his Youth League: Start with Leviticus 19:11 and progress to the secular humanist 10 Amendments. By then they’ll join us beyond belief.

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    By Jim the History Teacher, May 13, 2006 at 4:34 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    By the way, I’m a Christian.  I, too love the sinner—partly because I’m sinner, too—but, having studied hatred so much, I hesitate to call an act of human love “sinful.”  I haven’t reached that level of moral clarity yet.

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    By Jim the History Teacher, May 13, 2006 at 4:23 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Mr. Golsen:

    Qualifying “blitrkrieg” as a “German” term rather than a “Nazi” one is literally true but fundamentally misleading.

    It is further true—but irrelevant—that this term is used in non-military contexts, e.g., NFL Football, but those terms are derivations of, not antecedents to, the original term, which specifically addresses Second World War tactics.

    Further, those tactics were the handmaiden to the Hitlerian concept of “lebensraum”—living space.  Territorial conquest and expansion is a fundamental precept of Nazi ideology—amply articulated by Hitler in “Mein Kampf”—and to “sanitize” the term is to do both your reporter, Ms. Taylor,  and history injustice.

    Had Germany’s Weimar Republic somehow been able to survive the horrific 1920s and early 1930s, I doubt we would have ever heard of the “German” term “blitzkrieg.”  I further doubt that the German Social Democratic party would have launched a “Blitz” on Great Britain in 1940.

    From what I’ve heard about the group “Battle Cry,” I have no doubt they understand the term as it’s understood by the popular imagination, either.  Neither do I doubt that, like the Nazi movement, albeit on a different plane, their ultimate goal is conquest and expansion.

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    By Shamus, May 13, 2006 at 4:13 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    This really does remind me of a fascist movement. From the presentation, through the language and goals.

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    By stephen miller, May 13, 2006 at 3:28 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    “We no longer have to live by those rules because God said that Jesus died for our sins.” -Vira

    “Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices.” Voltaire

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    By D Allen, May 13, 2006 at 3:14 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Battlecry concerts should be banned period.  What our country dose not need are more religious freaks.  Great article Sunsara, but you are scaring the shit out of me.

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    By John Hall, May 13, 2006 at 3:13 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    I do not have issue with anyone wishing to be religious or follow their beliefs strongly. My concern is when those same people wish to integrate on a large scale their religious doctrine with government operation and the law.
    To an extent, religious doctrine already exists in our law (Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not kill).
    To allow religion to become an overwhelming force in government policy would mean decision making would be based on ideology instead of logistic thinking.
    We have seen how theocratic government works in the Middle East, and a large majority of Americans feel threatened by its presence. Anyone who does not think a theocratic based government here in America would not send out a negative signal to the rest of the world is foolish.

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    By Cheryl Seal, May 13, 2006 at 3:05 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Sunsara Taylor’s article is right on and very important. And the Battlecry agenda goes far beyond what it appears on the surface - and that’s bad enough. For more on Luce and his “Teen Mania” crusade, please read

    TEEN MANIA: Duping Kids into Going to War as 21st Century Crusaders
    http://cherylsealreports.com/teenmania.html

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    By cml, May 13, 2006 at 2:57 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    For what it’s worth.  One can only feel regret and sadness at youth who are so blind as to excuse a President’s lies because they believe him to be somehow anointed by God.  When will this madness stop?  There is not one shred of objective evidence as to the reality of a “God” or any other supreme being.  These beliefs belong in the Middle Ages or ancient history not the 21st century.  Recall that earlier period of time when people thought the world flat, did not know how the blood circulated through the body nor what caused the black death. It is at that level of ignorance religious beliefs function.

    All we poor humanists can do is point out the obvious and keep doing so until such anachronisms eventually fade into oblivion where they belong.

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    By Blair Golson, May 13, 2006 at 2:10 pm Link to this comment

    Vira, your point is duly noted, and I have added an editor’s note in the piece to reflect it.

    -Blair Golson
    Managing Editor
    Truthdig.com

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    By Hilding Lindquist, May 13, 2006 at 2:06 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    It’s not Nazi youth. And Bush is not Hitler.

    But ... too often Fundamentalism creates an “Us” versus “Them” mentality ... where the identifier for “Us” is obedience to an “authorized” authority.

    And this is the method of the Neocons for gaining and retaining political power ... now being woven into a nexus of coporate-state-military control based on the concept that the successful pursuit of a career is the epitome of human success, and by doing my best in my career, I thereby do what is best for the collective good. Control the career paths to power and wealth, and you control the population.

    So, while not being Germany before WWII yet ... there are some disturbing parallels. Still, for now we are witnessing the aberrations identified in our Psych and Soc 101 classes ... pretty basic stuff.

    Fundamentalist Christianity is specifically directed at getting the True Believer to obey the authority God has placed over him or her. (And in the case of a wife, it is her husband.)

    If you have been taught since earliest awareness that there is a real Hell for those who disobey God ... well, the emotional/mental trap is virtually impossible to escape rationally. Most start the process of escaping the entrapment of irrational belief with alcohol or drugs ... and then many revert to their childhood faith after the hormones settle down in mid-life—if they in turn escape the grasp of their addiction.

    My experience has been that few break free into a mature, creative life.

    Like I said before, it’s all in my play, HUNTING THE ROAD KILL MOOSE, and I have made it available non-commercially, for discussion and education on The Blog Lattice ( http://www.bloglattice.org ) staring at:

    http://www.bloglattice.org/Hunting_the_Road_Kill_Moose-Act_I.html

    It is a subject I know well ... and the play has received positive feedback from the actors and other writers in its dramatic reading and in-depth critique workshops ... and is now ready for its dramatic presentation workshop coming this year in the Village. Let me know what you think. I can be reached through my blog at:

    http://ncswede.blogspot.com

    Cheers for our side!

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    By Vira, May 13, 2006 at 1:53 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Oh, and please take a look at what Wikipedia has to say about the meaning of Blitzkrieg. It’s not a Nazi thing. It’s a German term.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blitzkrieg

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    By Vira, May 13, 2006 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    We defend the second half of the bible. Jesus is what CHRISTians defend. The New Testament is what we guide ourselves by. In the Old Testament, those laws were placed because they had to be in order for the people to know what God expected of them. Then God brought us Jesus. We no longer have to live by those rules because God said that Jesus died for our sins.
    And so instead of punishing the sinners, we offer them a way to be saved from eternal damnation.

    I apologize for Ron Luce’s silence. But it is not he who will make the difference. We, the youth of this nation, will make the difference.

    Sunsara, I would ask you to please watch the youth. Watch as we proclaim what we believe.

    You and your protestors do the same thing, but in a more aggressive fashion. You want to have the voice of homosexuals and the anti-Bush be heard, correct? That is the same for us. We are simply calling out to our own kind to let their voices be heard. It’s a democracy. People express themselves, and the majority rules.

    When you say that the Christians are hateful, you are saying that I am hateful as well. I am not. I work with a gay man, and if you were to ask him what he thinks of me, you would get very positive feedback. My gay co-worker knows that I am against homosexuality, but he sees that I hate the sin and not him. We are friends. Jesus did the same thing.

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