Pope Francis grovels Thursday at the hairy feet of a sub-human Muslim girl.
Top Cardinals at the Vatican said Pope Francis is “taking that whole ‘respecting the smallest and least-fortunate’ joke a little too far.”
The move has the Vatican PR Department worried the public has finally caught on to Catholic efforts to paint the church as a sympathetic, non-child-fucking institution.
“That was supposed to be tongue in cheek, you know, to pacify the media. Now he’s washing the feet of a Muslim prisoner? This is just sick. It’s time to come on back inside, Mr. Pope, and wash your hands for a dinner of souls.” – Pope Handler Jacob Inglacius
Inglacius said he told the Pope to break tradition on the Hope and Fear campaign that launched President Obama into permanent dictatorship.
“We asked him to do some stuff the Pope would never do – you know, ‘Be Christlike!’ – and all that – but now I think the joke is on us. I think he wants us to look bad by acting so good. I mean, you know he’s not really like this, right? I’ve seen him play Euro Truck Simulator 2 14 hours straight.”
Chronicle religion expert Kilgoar Trout said the PR move comes as no surprise. The new Pope, Kilgoar said, is likely to go so far as take a positive stance on homosexuality – “How else is it ever going to be alright again for men of the cloth to fuck supple young altarboys?”
Pastor Hal W. Hubbard caresses an Eastern Diamondback rattlesnake.
Saddleback Mountain, VA — Pastor Hal W. Hubbard of the Pentecostal Church of Holiness outraged the nation Wednesday with statements denouncing traditional marriage and the sacrosanct status of fetal life. In a recent sermon, Hubbard said, “God’s children are killing this planet, and soon his creation will be trampled into a wasteland of dust and refuse by the unholy feet of devil-worshiping breeders. Those married to the opposite sex will burn in hell along with those women who refuse the sacrament of holy abortion.”
Pastor Hubbard is known for fiery snake-handling sermons and speaking in tongues, and reportedly changed his position on gay marriage during a mystical experience in which he was bitten by a copperhead. “God sunk his venom into my veins as punishment for preaching against his will. Gay marriage and abortion are the only way we can save this planet; what was once evil may now be our only chance at salvation.”
Some have drawn a parallel between Hubbard and Westboro Baptist’s Fred Phelps, as both preachers use radical polemics in order to popularize their seemingly satirical message. Hubbard was offended by such comparisons, “I ain’t ruinin’ anyone’s funerals or sending my family marching around like moron hippies with retard signs. I just listen to the snakes and the people speakin’ in tongues. I believe what I believe, and only gay marriage and abortion can save God’s creation now.”
MORRISVILLE, PA. — New analysis from The Internet Chronicle suggests that the 2012 murder of its editor-in-chief may have been a work of Pennsylvania journalist Vic Livingston. Livingston’s explosive reporting, fueled by an unreal Rolodex of establishment who’s-whos, has yielded exposé after exposé so groundbreaking that many believe there is no other possible conclusion than he has had to cannibalize one of his own to take a place amongst the inner fold. In October Livingston issued an astonishing report uncovering the “brain-fogging” of President Obama during the first presidential debate.
Rumors once again swirled around Mason’s Virginia death after local Illuminati human sacrifice activity was revealed this month by the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The secret society’s ruthless initiation rituals were let out of the bag when would-be victim Thomas Johnson accidentally survived rapper Wafeeq Sabir El-Amin’s sacrifice attempt.
“You are my sacrifice,” Johnson quoted El-Amin as saying before he allegedly fired a shot toward his friend’s head inside a Henrico home that was to become a music studio.
The victim awoke from a drowsy sleep to see El-Amin pointing a gun at his head and saying he needed to be sacrificed, according to the search warrant.
The bullet ricocheted off the victim’s hand sending bone and skin fragments into his eye, according to the warrant, but the victim was able to get hold of the gun and shoot El-Amin in the stomach before he ran off.
[A] sacrifice had to occur in order to join the Illuminati that allegedly incited El-Amin, Johnson said. Investigators recovered from the Athens Avenue home, according to the search warrant . . . literature dealing with the Illuminati and its . . . connection to the music industry.
And as any working journalist can tell you, the reporting game is no less competitive than the rap game.
Angstrom Troubadour, parasociologist at University of California-Berkley, tells the Chronicle that human sacrifice is a routine demand for those hoping to cross the blood-drenched line into the world of “journalism.” Unlike the widely celebrated role of the journalist, that of the blogger is thankless. Substantiating credential means approval of the powers-that-be — at the cost of one’s soul.
“Grassroots researchers, speculating on rapidly deleted Democratic Underground forum threads,” said Troubadour by phone, “have long sought to pinpoint the specific human sacrifices that empowered the media elite. Just how did Matt Yglesias execute Gary Webb to convince Atlantic editors he was for real? MSNBC viewers have long suspected Luke Russert executed his own father to assure a place in the sun.”
But when Professor Troubadour first laid out the latter question in a lecture to the Columbia School of Journalism last fall, many graduate students and faculty expressed skepticism. The late “Meet the Press” host, Tim Russert, they insisted, might have permitted an assisted suicide to ensure his son any prospects whatsoever.
The winter 2012 “panic attacks” that claimed Mason came soon after the editor attracted the ire of Bilderberg attendees and the Club of Rome. In mid-2011, for example, he reported on the signing of the cloak-and-dagger National Defense Authorization Act, which permits the indefinite detention of American citizens.
UPDATE 1:33 a.m. EDT — Hat tip to a Twitter follower who direct-messaged me this amazing Breitbart report from Thursday. Breitbart blogger Ben Shapiro has uncovered that the aforementioned Slate economics reporter, Matt Yglesias, has just purchased a $1.2 million condominium — an impossible task on a writer’s meager salary.
James Holmes, a newly converted Muslim, now says his victims were infidels.
AURORA, Colorado — Thursday, news broke Mass murderer James Holmes re-imagined the motivation for his spree-killing and took up strict Islamic practices. Holmes’ spree-killing took place in a Colorado movie theater as a gunfight broke out on screen in the newest Batman movie. Holmes was dressed as the Joker as he gunned down 12 people and injured 58 others.
Holmes now follows a strict diet, prays toward Mecca five times a day, and diligently studies the Koran. He now sports a full beard in Islamic tradition.
Dr. Angstrom H. Troubador, psychologist, said, “Holmes is a perfectly sane person who styles himself an extreme performance artist. This killing was meant to satirize the bloodthirsty public, and his constant tongue-in-cheek posturing as the ‘other’, whether it be the Joker or an Islamic terrorist, is meant to poke fun at the simple-minded black-and-white thinking in American culture. His message couldn’t be more clear: There is a disgusting double standard for violence where innocent deaths at the hands of the American Military or in motion pictures do not cause public alarm until ‘innocent’ Americans die. He was willing and desperate enough to stake his life on this joke.”
Inside sources at the prison say Holmes is already planning to shave his beard and hair to pose as a neo-Nazi for his next hearing.
Hi, I’m Jim Ficks and this is Wal-Mart. At Wal-Mart, we cheer every morning, working ourselves up into a ravenous furor in the name of the great one and only, the provider, the destroyer – Wal-Mart of America. I’m Jim Ficks, and I have a job now. You Don’t. I’m Jim Ficks. My job is to rally employees working for $8 an hour, to rally together and “cheer” on our company name as audaciously as though they were speaking the unspeakable name of Yahweh himself.
Oh, HA HA. Don’t kid yourself! The Wal-Mart cheer not your typical high school cheer. At Wal-Mart, our morning cheers are actually the wailing song of abandoned hope, tinged with self-hatred the likes of which you never knew existed. That is, until our corporate overseer stated, in a company newsletter, that every morning from now until the end of human civilization will begin with a light-hearted climaxing chant, grow to a dull pulsing roar, and finally explode into a fireball of frenzied rage. Sweet, profit-maximizing rage. Don’t just watch – but focus – as the bald one they call “Joey” bristles with tension before snapping free from his hate-filled fervor, ready to seize the day like the throat of his enemy. Ready for blood, ready to stock shelves.
YOU LIKE THAT, YEAH YOU LIKE THAT DON’T YOU WAL-MART
WE HATE NIGGERS FOR YOU, WAL-MART. WE HATE OURSELVES. WE JUST WANNA COME IN THERE AND BUY YOU $2.15 CORN DOGS WAL-MART. WE NEED YOUR NITRATES IN OUR TOXIC BODIES TO MAINTAIN EQUILIBRIUM, WAL-MART, LEST WE TIP THE BALANCE OF HATE IN THE DEVIL’S HONOR. DACTARAI!!!!! FOR YOUR LOVE, MINE PRINCE OF PURITY. FOR YOUR PROFIT! Erodium Purus Nosferatu! MY PALE, FLUSHED FACE WAL-MART IT BURNS WITH SODIUM IODIDE, WAL-MART. WWWWWAAAAAAAAALLLL-MAAAARRRRRRRT!
Sakawa relies on Juju priests who often cast curses and charge terrible prices for their blessing.
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You might be thinking, “Why trust the Internet to Juju? Is this magic real?” This is an understandable objection, but let’s face it: Sakawa mostly takes place on the Internet. While appeasing the gods of the physical world will help with Sakawa success, these gods are inexperienced with bringing blessing to the Internet, which is an entirely new realm. Only Inglip was born inside the Internet, and only a sacred few prophets and holy men know how to appease his hunger. When Inglip is hungry, all the Sakawa in the world will not bring you money–he eats all your profits!
Luckily, you’ve found the secret that has brought so many Sakawa practitioners the greatest wealth imaginable. The holy men who make sacrifice to Inglip will help you gain riches for a very small price, and send you a token proving the ritual’s success–as well as instructing you on how to best please and appease Lord Inglip, keeping your Sakawa profits skyrocketing.
The best part of making sacrifice to Lord Inglip is the minimal risk involved. No one has ever been diseased or harmed from crossing Inglip; however, at his most wrathful Inglip has been known to destroy computers. Because Inglip only lives inside the Internet, he is only capable of harming computers and not people. However, our priests know Inglip fairly well and can inform you of most activities that will anger him, and your computer should not be at risk.
You can contact Inglip’s high priest by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @kilgoar. We understand that your Sakawa has not been paying well lately, so we only ask a very small price to cover the expenses in making the sacrifice to Inglip. Advice on keeping Inglip pleased will be provided free of charge, making repeated sacrifices to Inglip less necessary.
Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman urged a More Civil Tone Friday with Certain Mideast Policy Proponents.
NEW YORK — Policymakers and the media are urged to refrain from articulating “Jwsh lbby” aloud, or with vowels.
Citing conspiracy theorists’ proclivity for deranged fantasies about a “Zionist Occupation Government,” Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman said thousands of years of persecution – culminating in the Holocaust – add potential for Jews’ own references to the “lbby” to yield baseless accusations of self-hatred, he said, “and that would be gay.”
Foxman said his anti-hate speech group wants an international shift in tone. “The Jewish community,” said Mr. Foxman, “has for too long naively trusted humanity to responsibly articulate aloud the presence or actions of Washington-based policy advocates who advance the work of the whole and free state of Israel. Never again will we permit their work’s reputation to be sullied by the agents of hatred and bigotry.”
In a Friday afternoon press release Associated Press Deputy Standards Editor David Minthorn expressed “delight” to modify the Associated Press Stylebook to include a complying stipulation. The email advisory said Mr. Minthorn and his fellow editors were were still ironing out details but that new guidelines for reporting on Washington-based lobbyist groups would maximize clarity while respecting the religious and political convictions of all parties:
The Associated Press is committed to its wide, diverse readership. The full written articulation of the phrase previously represented by “Jwsh lbby” evoked multiple traumatic incidents: from Auschwitz’s gas chambers — burnt offerings so that the only possible Judaic sanctuary against an intolerant world could be born into it — to the possibility that the two words might be overheard out of context, whispered at a loud party, and presumed to represent the machinations of plotting genocidaires.
Following Senate Republicans’ blocking of defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel Thursday, Mr. Foxman, a 72-year-old Soviet émigré, issued a follow-up plea to up the Anti-Defamation League’s statement last month criticizing Mr. Hagel for using the term “J***** l****.” On January 7 Mr. Foxman wrote that Mr. Hagel’s use of the slur was “hurtful to many in the Jewish Community.” In December the national director had written to Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin claiming that Mr. Hagel’s “record relating to Israel and the U.S.-Israel relationship is, at best, disturbing, and at worst, very troubling.”
Joining Mr. Foxman was William Kristol, Emergency Committee for Israel board member. Mr. Kristol said, “[W]hat [Chuck Hagel] said was extremely narrow-minded. Israel’s friends are not simply Jews but numerous Christian groups who believe in the necessity that the Jewish people return to and remain in Israel so that Jesus can return to earth, cleanse its surface of his unholy enemies, causing every single living Jew to worship the Christian deity. If he thinks worshiping Jesus is a practice representing those of the mainstream Jewish community, he is the wrong choice for Defense Department leadership and the wrong choice for America.” Mr. Kristol clarified that he himself does not worship Jesus, and that he is himself Jewish, but that Mr. Hagel’s comments made Israel look as though it were “alone in a sea of hate.”
An Israeli reporter on the call, Haaretz’s Chemi Shalev, pressed Mr. Foxman as to whether the term “*sr**l* l*bby,” written with vowels, would be acceptable under the ADL’s new guidelines. “Absolutely not,” replied Mr. Foxman, saying that he recognized a reasonable exception to that rule for the purposes of inquiring as to its appropriate sensitivity. He added that the “Israeli” term “implies that advocating for an Israel nation-state — made whole once more despite the anti-Semites’ occupying Gaza and West Bank — is somehow a foreign, and thus nefarious, interest.” ADL leadership say they anticipate that in time the original pronunciation of the ethnic slur used by Mr. Hagel will be as lost to memory as that of vernacular Latin.
Wednesday Boy Scouts of America decided to hold off until May a decision on whether to allow gay scouts or scout masters. The May vote, to take place in Grapevine, Texas among 1,400 national council members, will decide a potential religious and ethical turn for the federally funded youth organization. For decades the Boy Scouts have been encumbered by debates about the meaning of their public support in relationship to values that critics see as springing exclusively from the domain of religion.
Six years ago this reporter interviewed the unsuccessful plaintiff in a suit regarding the religiosity of the Scouts’ oath, which calls on members to be “morally straight” as well as theistic, in relationship to the organization’s federal funding. Scout leadership has decided that that oath prohibits homosexuality among the ranks. The report was filed in relationship to a Virginia beat.
At least someone among the federal authorities funding the Boy Scouts long ago began to imagine that they could pin God down like a frog under academic dissection – any confounding or appealing mystery to the whole matter officially sliced into ribbons by the magistrate. Though it has left the womb of the state, religion has hung onto the establishment by a seemingly indestructible umbilical cord.
The cord’s transfusion flows strongest at times like the beginnings of legislative or city council meetings, wherein a preacher or other religious authority is called in by custom to ceremonially unite representatives through their faith in a mortality-transcending god or gods.
In 2007 Rajan Zed, a Hindu cleric from the Reno-based Indian Association of Northern Nevada, appeared as Senate guest Chaplain, to jeering:
That same year, 2007, Attorney General Bob McDonnell — now the governor of the purple Commonwealth of Virginia — sent an advisory brief to an Illinois Federal District Court, his public relations efforts chalking up his intended influence as defending “traditional understanding of religious freedom” and halting “the possible loss of the direct and substantial impacts [a military base Boy Scout event] has on the Commonwealth.” Mr. McDonnell’s intended consequence was to defend the the Defense Department’s monetary and logistical support for the National Boy Scout Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill, near Bowling Green, Virginia. By email, he expressed his pleasure to the press that a Chicago decision indicting the Defense Department had been overturned.
Then Governor Tim Kaine, now a senator, voiced his understanding that the case was a federal, as opposed to a commonwealth, funding matter. “It’s not one that I have really focused on at all,” he said. Though, he alluded to having supported the Boy Scouts in one way or another while Richmond mayor.
Mr. McDonnell’s press secretary, Justin Tucker Martin, explained the governor’s advisory brief to me as this: “The Boy Scouts of America are a theistic organization, not a religious one.” Mr. Martin advised me that the Boy Scout Jamboree’s standing congressional support did not constitute a violation of the establishment clause, which prohibits the government from prohibiting the free exercise of religion.
Soon after the federal trial had wound down in early April, I conversed with Eugene Winkler, the primary plaintiff on the suit against the defense secretary. Winkler was at the time the head of Gary United Methodist Church in Wheaton, Illinois. We spoke on the phone for a few minutes.
Tyler Bass: What was your personal stake in preventing the federal funding from going to the Jamboree?
Eugene Winkler: The Boy Scouts discriminate. I am not only a religious man, a pastor. I was an Eagle Scout, and have served on regional Boy Scout councils. So all of those are in my favor in terms of the Boy Scouts, OK? I am not antagonistic toward the Boy Scouts, but the Boy Scouts have a very limited understanding of what it means to believe in God. On their authority, if you don’t believe in their concept of God, you can’t be a Scout. Their concept of god is — it is my concept of god, certainly — a Judeo-Christian concept of God, but if you don’t accept that concept of God, you can’t get into the Scouts. And they’re a discriminatory organization and federal funding is being spent on the Jamboree to further that kind of discrimination. That’s why the suit was filed.
TB: Why exactly did they decide that you didn’t have standing? Because it’s not like they weren’t acknowledging many of the facts that you’re presenting to me right now; for example, that they recognize a monotheistic, Judeo-Christian, Islamic-even concept of God. Why is it that they rule that you don’t have standing to make this suit as a taxpayer?
EW: Two words: beats me. If you read there right on the first page, second page of the brief, they admit that they are ignoring the other issues, and that they are just simply saying that I don’t have standing, which is a chicken way out of it.
TB: They said –
EW: Let me just say one other thing. These are three old Republican guys.
TB: The judges?
EW: These judges. They just didn’t want to deal with the issue.
TB: When you were a Boy Scout, did you ever question this when you were younger? Did you have atheist colleagues or associates or people who were polytheistic? Did you raise the question in your own youth?
EW: No, of course not. I wasn’t aware of those kinds of issues when I was in the Boy Scouts. I mean, I was 12 years old!
TB: Do you know of Boy Scouts who are atheist or polytheistic who are just like you – you’re a monotheist? When did it first start to occur to you that it was perhaps discriminatory to have this sort of oath?
EW: Well, I guess when I became an adult and was a scout master and was working in regional Scout councils, it became apparent to me that there was a very limited understanding in the Scouts of what it means to be — what the Scout motto means for them.
TB: Do you guys plan to appeal the decision?
EW: I’m not sure yet because our ACLU lawyer is traveling and we won’t be talking this week. You know, I’m confident, from my point of view, that I want to appeal certainly. Because I think it’s a vital issue that has to be faced.
TB: Would you still raise the issue even if the feds or the Congress weren’t funding the Boy Scouts, and the Boy Scouts were simply discriminatory?
EW: Oh, we’ve already raised it in a number of other venues, with the Chicago Board of Education. We’ve already won other suits on this same matter.
TB: I noticed. I mean, if the Boy Scouts were a private organization, and you clearly have –
EW: They are a private organization!
TB: But they receive funding from the Congress, do they not?
EW: Well, that’s why they shouldn’t receive funding from the Congress, and, certainly, they shouldn’t receive that kind of blessing because it’s an issue of church and state really.
TB: So you would rather see the Boy Scouts as a separate organization that still kept their [religious] motto?
EW: Oh, sure!
TB: I was trying to see if you were opposed to the motto itself.
EW: Oh, no, no, no. Not at all. They can do whatever they want with the motto, or they can discriminate against whomever they want as long as they don’t get federal funding for it.
The Southern Baptist Fortified Super Church looms over its flock.
ROANOKE, Va.– Two former members of Cave Spring Baptist Church have filed a lawsuit claiming the church and its affiliates deceived members into donating millions to misrepresented causes, such as a digital signboard and homeless shelters.
Jim and Melinda Bastez of Roanoke, Virginia, filed the complaint in federal court in Washington, where the couple claimed they were duped into giving more than $420,000 for a building campaign, police arsenal upgrades and incest research, only to find the bulk of the money went to homeless shelters and the less fortunate, led by progressive Pastor David Miscavige.
“The church, under the leadership of David Miscavige, has strayed from its founding principles, the lawsuit claims, “and no longer stands for the hatred and distrust of outside cultures that protect the family, God and the Bible.”
Pat Harney, a Southern Baptist spokesman said the church had not yet been served with the lawsuit, but challenged any contention that money was misused.
“We understand from media inquiries this has something to do with fundraising and we can unequivocally state that – we know the meaning of the word unequivocally – and that all funds solicited are used for the hateful and xenophobic purposes for which they was donated,” Mr. Harney said.
The Bastezes were members of the church for 27 years, rising to upper levels of its hierarchy, and doing cocaine with celebrities in the infamous 700 Club. They left in November 2010 over their disenchantment with the church’s direction toward compassion and human understanding led by Mr. Miscavige.
The lawsuit names various trusts and nonprofits linked to the church and says they actively engage in charity work, unfair donations to the poor and deceptive trade practices with the Salvation Army.
Attorney Teddy Bobby of Fairfax, Virginia, who is handling the suit, said it would be followed by more similar claims from former Southern Baptists. He said the Bastezes still believe in the precepts of the Baptist Church and that the litigation is not a commentary on whether it is a true religion. That question, he said, is ultimately irrelevant when considering its members’ donations, who were led to believe the money would help keep the blacks in their place, and faggots from marrying.
A cornerstone of church practice is personal counseling sessions, known as auditing, in which members disclose many facets of their personal lives.
The Bastezes also claim to have prepaid for auditing and training services that were never provided and for which a refund was never received, and to have given about $340,000 for the church’s planned White Power building for high-level hatemongering.
Air Force Global Strike Command Image Celebrating Martin King’s 83rd Birthday
WASHINGTON — Monday the Air Force Global Strike Command Programming Division published commentary claiming that slain civil rights leader and proponent of nonviolence Martin Luther King would be proud of a team commandeering the military’s nuclear-capable assets. The command’s ethnic, religious and socioeconomic diversity, presumably deduces commentary author Mr. Warren Ward, would outweigh any concerns by Mr. King that the vast technological enterprise could capably end the lives of all people on earth.
Dr. King would be proud to see our Global Strike team — comprised of Airmen, civilians and contractors from every race, creed, background and religion — standing side-by-side ensuring the most powerful weapons in the U.S. arsenal remain the credible bedrock of our national defense. . . [ellipses AFGSC's] Our team must overlook our differences to ensure perfection as we maintain and operate our weapon systems. . . Maintaining our commitment to our Global Strike team, our families and our nation is a fitting tribute to Dr. King as we celebrate his legacy.
This is not the first time that Defense Department officials have tried to co-opt the legacy of the slain civil rights activist to forward the cause of military operations following his death. At a press conference January 13, 2011, then Defense Department General Counsel Jeh Johnson, who heard Mr. King speak in person, said, “I believe that if Dr. King were alive today, he would recognize that we live in a complicated world, and that our nation’s military should not and cannot lay down its arms and leave the American people vulnerable to terrorist attack.” Mr. Johnson acknowledged Mr. King’s opposition to America’s involvement in Vietnam but claimed that contemporary military theaters constitute involvements with which Mr. King would have had special sympathy.
In analysis of Mr. Johnson’s remarks, Terri Moon Cronk for American Forces Press Service wrote, “[Mr.] Johnson said today’s service members might wonder whether the mission they serve is consistent with King’s message and beliefs.”
Quoting pieces of Mr. Johnson’s remarks, Ms. Cronk continued:
“The question is not, ‘If I stop to help this man in need, what will happen to me?’ The question is, ‘If I do not stop to help the sanitation workers, what will happen to them?’”
Johnson compared today’s troops to the Samaritan, who chose to help instead of taking an easier path.
“I draw the parallel to our own servicemen and women deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, away from the comfort of conventional jobs, their families and their homes,” Johnson said.”
“Every day, our servicemen and women practice the dangerousness — the dangerous unselfishness Dr. King preached on April 3, 1968.”
Mr. Johnson further said that day, “Those in today’s volunteer Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps have made the conscious decision to travel a dangerous road, and personally stop and administer aid to those who want peace, freedom and a better place in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and in defense of the American people. Every day our servicemen and women practice that ‘dangerous unselfishness’ Dr. King preached on April 3, 1968.”
That evening in 1968, while giving his famous “Mountaintop” speech, Mr. King allowed his imagination to expand on the text of Luke and ponder the motivations of those two Hebrews who ignore the victim of robbers.
Mr. King said:
It’s possible that the priest and the Levite looked over that man on the ground and wondered if the robbers were still around. Or it’s possible that they felt that the man on the ground was merely faking. And he was acting like he had been robbed and hurt, in order to seize them over there, lure them there for quick and easy seizure.
If we expand on Mr. Johnson’s take on the “Moutaintop” address, and the former general counsel’s drawing a parallel between the robbers, Pashtun and dissident militias; U.S. service people and the Good Samaritan, Mr. King would have intended the Samaritan to search nearby hills to capture or kill the robbers so that they did not trouble another traveler. If Mr. Johnson’s metaphor for the Afghan and Iraqi conflicts is naturally expanded in light of Mr. King’s speech, whether apparent Afghan and Iraqi victims are genuinely seeking “peace, freedom and a better place” should have remained suspect to American service men and women.
Of course Martin King’s legacy borders on an intensely critical eye towards U.S. military involvement overseas, repeatedly denouncing those who would decry a role for America as the world’s “police men.” His actual statements reveal a man who talked in absolute terms about violence and nonviolence, not in relationship just to the Vietnam War but to humanity’s longer-term plight and condition. Also in the “Mountaintop” speech Mr. Johnson referenced was this claim by Mr. King:
Men, for years now, have been talking about war and peace. But now, no longer can they just talk about it. It is no longer a choice between violence and nonviolence in this world; it’s nonviolence or nonexistence. That is where we are today.
A year before that speech, on April 30, at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, Mr. King would lay out his specific rationalization for opposing the war in Vietnam, the conditions of which stand in the face of the conflict in Afghanistan and a global annihilation strike force, whose technological prowess dwarfs any of the late 1960s.
I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money, like some demonic, destructive suction tube. And you may not know it, my friends, but it is estimated that we spend $500,000 to kill each enemy soldier, while we spend only $53 for each person classified as poor, and much of that $53 goes for salaries to people that are not poor. So I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor, and attack it as such.
Mr. King wrote that the violence pervading America’s inner cities drew ferocity from the death tolls the U.S. government threatened or did visit on millions of people in Vietnam. Today the U.S. government has legislatively enshrined the practice of killing minor citizens without trial, and a tolerance for murdering children reigns in the new, glorified technological wonder of drones, which have since replaced the vast carpet bombings of Vietnamese civilians. Mr. King rejected those bombings as evil.
Mr. King further said:
As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young [American] men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action; for they ask and write me, “So what about Vietnam?” They ask if our nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without first having spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence I cannot be silent.
He added, “[T]he Vietcong, or to Castro, or to Mao, as a faithful minister to Jesus Christ . . . [,] can I threaten them with death, or must I not share with them my life?” What Mao Zedong, Fidel Castro and South Vietnam’s National Liberation Front had in common were much larger threats and actualizations of democide. Yet in the face of disenfranchised Islamist extremists, the Air Force Global Strike Command and Jeh Johnson would have the American people believe that Mr. King would have celebrated the maintenance and deployment of nuclear weapons, in addition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
How could the legacy of a man, who leaned quite nearly into pacifism, be thought of as pro-interventionist war? How has his legacy been co-opted by the huge defense establishment of the United States? How has this symbol of defiance and subversion become understood as an enemy of a state’s enemies?
To this end Internet Chronicle readers should look to 20th century French philosopher Roland Barthes’ and his dissection in Mythologies of a piece of 1950s nationalistic propaganda, a cover of Paris-Match, a publication incidentally still in print.
African Soldier Boy on Cover of mid-’50s Imperial French Periodical
Wrote Mr. Barthes (see Page 116) in 1955, “On the cover, a young Negro in a French uniform is saluting, with his eyes uplifted, probably fixed on a fold of the tricolour [French flag]. All this is the meaning of the picture. But, whether naively or not, I see very well what it signifies to me: that France is a great Empire, that all her sons, without any colour discrimination, faithfully serve under her flag, and that there is no better answer to the detractors of an alleged colonialism than the zeal shown by this Negro in serving his so-called oppressors. I am therefore again faced with a greater semiological system: there is a signifier, itself already formed with a previous system (a black soldier is giving the French salute); there is a signified (it is here a purposeful mixture of Frenchness and militariness); finally, there is a presence of the signified through the signifier.”
This week the Air Force has tried to contrast its organization’s relatively sexist and (internally) racist practices from the ’60s, Mr. King’s world, with that of today. Mr. King signified equality in a sense in the ’60s and in the modern ’10s. However, it is by forwarding this image of Mr. King as a symbol of equality that the Air Force’s article seeks to whitewash his image as a proponent of nonviolence, as an enemy of militarism, as an advocate against a philosophy of retaliation.
As Mr. King said in an April 30 1967 speech at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, “When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, militarism and economic exploitation are incapable of being conquered.”
Indeed, maintaining a commitment to one’s nation, to the exclusion of other nations, touted by Mr. Ward flies in the face of the Ebenezer speech’s “call for a worldwide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one’s tribe, race, class, and nation” and “call for an all-embracing, unconditional love for all men.”
Anecdotes evincing the inappropriateness of the Air Force’s most recent appropriation of Mr. King’s legacy flow freely, including this example from Riverside Church, New York City on April 4, 1967, in which he unequivocally said, “War is not the answer,” speaking not just of the Vietnam conflict but war in general. He added. “Communism will never be defeated by the use of atomic bombs or nuclear weapons.” It was in that same speech that the southern reverend saw a fork in the road for human beings between “nonviolent coexistence or violent co-annihilation.” Violence and coexistence have no apparent ready place in the rhetoric of Mr. King.
Barthes, again in Mythologies, wrote: “[T]he signifier already postulates a reading, I grasp it through my eyes, it has a sensory reality (unlike the linguistic signifier, which is purely mental), there is a richness in it . . . the Negro’s salute” is a credible whole, at its disposal “a sufficient rationality. As a total of linguistic signs, the meaning of the myth has its own value, it belongs to a history, that of . . . the Negro: in the meaning, a signification is already built, and could very well be self-sufficient if myth did not take hold of it and did not turn it suddenly into an empty, parasitical form. The meaning is already complete, it postulates a kind of knowledge, a past, a memory, a comparative order of facts, ideas, decisions. When it becomes form, the meaning leaves its contingency behind; it empties itself, it becomes impoverished, history evaporates, only the letter remains. [emphasis, mine]”
With respect to the Paris-Match cover Mr. Barthes adds: “[O]ne must put the biography of the Negro in parentheses if one wants to free the picture, and prepare it to receive its signified.”