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24 November 2017

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ex-PFC Chuck

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation was set up by 1970s US Air Force Academy grad Michael Weinstein 10+ years ago in response to the harassment his sons received at that same institution a generation later by evangelical Christian proselytes. The elder Weinstein had experienced similar harassment in his time there. The foundation pushes back on all forms of religious proselytization that is reported to them. The perpetrators are usually evangelicals of some flavor or other, and the targets the MRFF assists include Moslems, Roman and Orthodox Catholics and mainstream Protestants as well as Jews. Weinstein's book about his and his sons' experiences that led to the MRFF's founding are a worthwhile read, as is the Wikipedia page on the organization. This issue appears to border on being a similar misuse of religious influence and it will be interesting to see how the MRFF responds when it is brought to their attention.

Larry Kart

May have told this story before here: About five years ago my wife and I were on a tour of Israel. Our hardbitten cynical tour guide was a former Israeli Air Force officer who recently had lived in the Palo Alto area while his wife, a scientist (gene therapy IIRC), was teaching at Stanford. While in Palo Alto he ran a "security firm."

When we got to the area where the battle of Armageddon was supposed to take place, he mentioned that when he was serving as a guide for tours of American Evangelicals, they were understandably quite excited by this. I asked him whether they asked what the Israelis would do when the Messiah arrived. He said, "We'll ask him if he's been here before. If he says 'yes," you win. If he says 'no,' we win." "How do the Evangelicals react when you say that?" I asked. "The same way you did," he said. "They laugh."

Babak Makkinejad

Everyone knows that Isa Masih will appear in Mecca - accompanying the Twelfth Imam.

turcopolier

Babak

If I understand Shia thinking, this Mesih will be the Mahdi as well and he will come with Jesus. pl

turcopolier

larry Kart

They left Palo Alto? Why? The Middle East sucks. pl

English Outsider


Colonel,

For those who are not as familiar with American history as I am I may be able to explain Mrs Bryen's final statement in her speech linked to in your article:-

"For the British, rights came from the earthly King or Queen, and only those rights the sovereign choses to give – which is why we had a Revolution."

On the face of it this statement looks puzzling. But Mrs Bryen has clearly been studying Constitutional Theory and here displays a true analyst's grasp of the underlying principles. I would guess she has also been studying the relevant history, which I set out here.

From early times the Continental Monarchies had been tending towards ever greater absolutism, a tendency that reached its high point in the early 21st century but which was marked enough before that for Continental Constitutional theory to be described by some specialists as L'etat c'est moi squared.

The Stuart Kings of England liked the idea of absolutism and had a go at it in England. Influential and widely read theorists such as Sir Robert Filmer propounded the Divine Right of Kings in support - I've no doubt it's his works that Mrs Bryen studied in preparing her thesis. But the Stuarts ran into a snag. The awkward squad - the Puritans and such like - took against the enterprise. They were more attached to the idea of "We the People" running the show.

The awkward squad won. The English rejected the idea of absolutism and the subservience to the continental monarchies that went with it. The historians call this victory Brexit 1. Then the Stuarts came back for a return match. We the people told them to push off again. There was a Glorious Revolution (Brexit 2) in 1688 that led to the famous English Constitutional Settlement: we would no longer settle our differences with swords and muskets, which were becoming outdated anyway. We'd settle them by bribing the respective sets of politicians. This compromise worked reasonably well until the early 21st Century, at which point the cronies got fed up with messing around and took over the whole shooting match.

As you will know, at an early stage in the proceedings many of the awkward squad decamped to the new American Colonies, where they invented some very interesting ways of cooking Turkey that I mean to try at Christmas if my IT skills run to retrieving your recipe from the SST archives. In addition to taking their cutlery with them - that bit's assumption on my part but there's no evidence of the cutlery getting there before the Puritans and you can't eat turkey without it, so it's fair assumption - they took with them a well-justified suspicion of the English Monarchy.

They also took their teapots with them. And used them enthusiastically, to judge from their reluctance to pay any more for their tea than they had to. That reluctance led to the Boston incident and to subsequent events that further strengthened their well justified suspicion of the English Monarchy. It is that well justified suspicion of the English Monarchy that Mrs Bryen summons up so effectively in the peroration at the end of her speech that I have quoted above.

Tea, incidentally, was to remain close to the heart of the American people and there are recorded instances of Tea Parties being held as late as the early 21st Century, at which point the cronies got fed up with messing around and took over the whole shooting match there too.

But that's by the way. I can confirm that the account of our respective histories that Mrs Bryen's working from is reasonably accurate, except that Mrs Merkel's French isn't very good so she says L'etat c'est moi in German instead. Apart from that I'd say that Mrs Bryen's grasp of the English Constitution is fully as secure as her grasp of history.

dsrcwt

I seem to remember reading that a lot of these junkets include "honey-traps". It would explain a lot.

Bill Herschel

Recall that the church supported slavery in the South. Visit France to find a country that believes in the separation of church and state. The U.S. certainly today has become more theocratic than ever. Roy Moore? God's law above human law? Trump supports him and has as a Secretary of Education an avowed evangelist?

Babak Makkinejad

Never read or heard anyone refer to Mahdi as Masih. There is only one Masih and he has been Jesus, who, it is hoped, will intercede on behalf of evil doers and enemies of True Religion, so as Mahdi's armies won't have to shed that much of their nlood.

Bill Herschel

I think it's worth hypothesizing, I believe correctly, that the Israeli/Saudi rapprochement, absolutely unequivocally signaled by Friedman's piece, directly comments on Israel's dissatisfaction with the results of the programs Colonel Lang describes.

The United States has about as much military presence in the ME as can be imagined. It has fought at least two wars there in the past few decades. Russia comes in, and in an extraordinarily brief stretch of time, completely overturns what the U.S. has been trying to do, certainly in Syria and perhaps throughout the ME, including Lebanon.

Can Israel's leaders be happy with this turn of events? Can it be happy with the results of what it has patiently bought throughout the decades?

What Russia has done in Syria is to, as effectively as it can, protect the Syrian population. And probably the Lebanese population and the Iraqi population as well. And we should throw in Iran. The Russian idea of a victory celebration is a concert in Palmyra, not Putin posing in a flightsuit on the deck of an aircraft carrier moored a few hundred yards off shore.

This is strong stuff from Russia and it will take quite a lot of articles by Friedman to overcome it. Embracing the genocidal Saudi's is a desperation move.

Trump has succeeded in slipping an additional 40,000 troops into Afghanistan to try to track down the Taliban. Let's see him go to war in Lebanon/Iran/etc. And let's see how convincing his threats against NK become if he is in a hot war in the ME.

james

stick with me, lol...

james

absolutely.. they have been replaced with ''jesus saves'' signs everywhere..

Croesus

imo zionism is more deeply embedded in the American (Anglo) psyche than Evangelicalism (which is, I've been led to believe, a deliberately distorting implant on biblical faith, by way of Scofield & Oxford press).

Heinrich Graetz wrote the first 'modern' history of the Jews ~1860. The earliest (modern) zionists were raised on Graetz; Rabbi Stephen Wise, right-hand man to both Louis Brandeis & Henry Morgenthau, wrote to his wife about his delight in reading Graetz.

Vol. V is astonishing. Graetz expresses profound disgust with Polish Jews and their "Talmudic" trickery and deceptions. He dedicates several pages to describing in gory detail the battles with Cossacks, which, says Graetz, Polish Jews brought upon themselves.

Then he turns to Manasseh ben Israel and the numerous stratagems he used to gain re-admittance of Jews to England as a preliminary step to the fulfillment of Jewish return to the Holy Land -- first, Jews had to be scattered to all the ends of the Earth.

"Manasseh reveled in intoxicating dreams of the approaching glorious time for Israel. He regarded himself as the instrument of Providence to bring about its fulfillment. In these dreams he was upheld and confirmed by Christian mystics, who were eagerly awaiting the millennium."

In response to Manasseh's visions and pleadings. Cromwell gladly sent a passport to Manasseh. He was far from alone in laying out the welcome mat.
"Cromwell had called together . . .the Short . . .Parliament, which was composed wholly of saints, i.e., Puritan preachers, officers with a biblical bias, and millennium visionaries. The partiality of Cromwell's officers for the old Jewish system is shown by the serious proposition that the Council of State should consist of seventy members, after the number of the Jewish synhedrion. In Parliament sat General Harrison, a Baptist, who, with his party, wished to see the Mosaic law introduced into England. When Parliament met (July 5, 1653), Manasseh hastened to repeat his request that Jews be granted permission to reside in England. "

J

I like that, instead of the 'Grand Old Party', it's now the 'Giant Israel Puppet'. Question is, are they stick figure marionettes, or are they stuffed sock puppets? When we see the GOP figures on TV, are we really seeing the Monkees part deau? Controlled with wires from above by Israeli handlers, or a bunch of stuffed monkeys, either way is bad for U.S. policy and U.S. interests.

With (just to name one Pastor among many) all the trips and freely provided Lear Jets at Pastor John Hagee's disposal provided by the Israeli Government, Hagee and many Pastors like him IMO needs to be hammered by DOJ to register as a Foreign Agents, and the IRS needs to jerk their 501C status. After all it's American Taxpayer money that the Israeli Government is using to pay their puppets like Hagee, with Taxpayer funded Israeli Government money laundering operation.

The Israeli government propaganda mantra is hammered into the American psyche each and every Sunday service. Just think, an I/O operation with little to no overhead, I'm sure that the Kremlin and Beijing are green with envy.

kooshy

Colonel Lang, according to late British professor of History of Zoroastrianism, Professor Mary Boyce of university of London, the bases for this belief in return of Mahdi/Messiah in Abrahamic religions originated in Zoroastrianism.

Peter AU

Not long ago, Trump did not certify that Iran was in compliance with the nuke agreement. It is now up to congress as to what to do about it.
MBS now has total control of Saudi purse strings and I would guess continued "sponsorship" and donations to "foundations" will be dependent on US going to war with Iran.
Team Trump is handpicked for their hatred of Iran. Nutty wants the US to destroy Iran.
Reading this article, it seems that the US going to war against Iran may now be inevitable.

turcopolier

Bill Herschel

Not a Christian? the various churches tolerated slavery. they did not support it. "Theocratic?" No. More religious among some people does not equal "more theocratic." pl

Phil Cattar

No Babak,IMO the secular American Creed is stronger than ever and gaining strength.There are a few pockets in parts of the US where Evangelicals are strong.These are mostly in the South...................ie Southern Baptist etc................There is a strong overlap of Trump supporters,Evangelcal Christians and the Tea Baggers..............Your Northern Roman Catholics and your mostly non southern Protestants ie Methodists,Episcopalians are on the wane.................I'm not in favor of this but the country is becoming less religious by the hour.

Henshaw

Mr Friedman?? try this for your Thanksgiving amusement. It's better than the real thing.
http://thomasfriedmanopedgenerator.com/about.php

mariner

'The ME clearly has no national benefit'

US interest is making money. Asia not the ME is where the US must go to do that. Iran, Saudi, Israel know it and are doing so themselves. The US dalliance in the ME and the Gulf in particular may be of use if it enables economic leverage over PRC oil and gas supply. The recent changes in Saudi, if they last, will change Islam in Asia and the US as a Saudi ally stands to gain.

Mathiasalexander

Is it ok for me to like cultural Marxism but not Zioism?

LondonBob

It is interesting to recount the experience of the post WWI officer corps, Marshall, Wedemeyer, Patton etc. and the attitudes they held and how they were effectively neutered.

http://www.kevinmacdonald.net/benderskyrev.htm

In the 20s and early 30s they freely spoke their minds and were given a platform in the media to do so. The Military Intelligence Department investigated Jacob Schiff's involvement in funding the Bolshevik revolution, whilst individuals like Felix Frankfurter were of deep concern. Ultimately though the access to the media was cut off and political pressure from the Roosevelt administration meant their opinions came to be expressed only privately. Indeed General Moseley was one of the few who continued to speak his mind publicly and was forced in to retirement in '38. Steadily this generation died out and were replaced by those brought up in the new ideology. As with now people are shaped by the ruling ideology of the time and the environment they operate in.

LondonBob

Massachusetts and Connecticut had established churches up in to the 19th century. The New Hampshire constitution required members of the legislature to be Protestant until 1877 with state funding of Protestant classrooms continuing to 1968. The idea of the US being a strictly secular country was a fringe far left opinion in the early 20th century, through political and legalistic manoeuvring this vision was imposed against the wishes of the majority of Americans.

rjj

because this asseveratio [fake rhetorical term + pun]

I have taken more than 400 ..... I have sent more than 500 .... And I can say that they all understood .... They don’t always agree .... but I never found one that didn’t believe in ....

sounds a lot like Auntie Sadie (everybody knows one) warming up for a tirade, perhaps Ms. Bryen should be 1. encouraged to speak, and 2. widely quoted.

Anybody know ... did she go to Harvard??

Dubhaltach

In reply to Bill Herschel 24 November 2017 at 12:45 PM

Autosycophancy has always been one of Friedmans's traits.

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