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Atwood DoubleQuoted

Friday, September 6th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — just alerting you to the sequel ]
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Since my life these days is largely spent in bed or in my wheelchair, and since I don’t have access to my books,I’ve been working on a slew of book reviews. This is just to forewarn you that Margaret Atwood has a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale coming out very soon:

Amazon:

  • Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale
  • Margaret Atwood, The Testaments
  • **

    While we’re at it, compare and contrast:

    The theoretical Calvinist theological underpinning of Atwood‘s tale would be:

  • RJ Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law
  • **

    And thanks, Gregory:

    !! Yes !!

    Rabbi Yisrael Ariel ‘s vision of Jewish world dominion, plus respect

    Monday, March 11th, 2019

    [ by Charles Cameron — in Judaism, J’lem, Sanhedrin, Temple, Noahide Commandments — in Christianity C Peter Wagner, Dominion eschatology — in Islam, Maududi — hatred springs from love far too narrowly constrained? ]
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    As someone who has noted the visions of world domination of Islamist extremists and those of their Christian counterparts, it seems only fair for me to note that some scripture-listeralist extremists within Judaism also foresee world domination for their faith — taking the form of Israel converting all nations to the seven Noahide commandments, if not to Judaism itself, by the sword if need be.

    Thus Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, founder of the Temple Institute and head of the reconstituted Sanhedrin, said:

    This is what the Torah commanded us: ‘When thou drawest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it’ [Deuteronomy 20:10].

    What is meant by ‘peace’? Maimonides says that they must agree to follow the seven Noahide laws … Meaning, you ask them, ‘Do you follow the seven laws? If so, we will allow you to live.’ If not, you kill all of their males, by sword. You only leave the women.

    How do you leave them? They must all agree to follow the seven laws. And that is how you impose the Seven Laws on that city. We will conquer Iraq, Turkey. We will get to Iran, too. We will impose the seven Noahide laws on all of these places.

    You say, ‘I call upon you in peace.’ If they raise the flag [of surrender] and say, ‘From now on there is no more Christianity, no more Islam,’ the mosques and the Christian spires and their crosses come down, ‘from now on we follow the seven Noahide laws.’

    .

    **

    I recently posted a piece titled Laughing at, and respecting, Sebastian Gorka in which I, yes, laughed at Seb Gorka, whose views on many topics I strongly disagree with, and whose speech at CPAC last week seemed frankly over the top, but also expressed respect for the narrative of his boyhood which was part of that speech — and which struck me as explaining something of the intensity of his feelings — at the age of seven or eight, he saw something that changed his life for ever: he saw deep white lines on his father’s wrists, and when he asked what had caused them, his father told him — without emotion —

    Son, that’s where the secret police bound my wrists together with wire behind my back so they could hang me from their ceiling of the torture chamber.

    Coming to the present day, and with that memory seared into him, he told the CPAC audience:

    Russia, we have to remember, is run by a former KGB colonel. That’s the sort of person who would be torturing freedom-fighters like my father in the basement of the Headquarters of the KGB. That’s the reality.

    That I respect.

    And in that spirit, too, I respect Rabbi Ariel‘s memories of the Six Day War and the retaking of the Temple Mount — sacred to both Islam and Judaism —

    We saw fire and smoke from all directions. Gunfire was heard. Suddenly the bad news began ton arrive: friends.. this one was killed, that one was killed.. I saw with my ownb eyes, to my great sorrow, some of the artillery struck fellow soldiers. I had to gather up legs, arms, to bring them to a proper burial. Then the shelling began on the Old City. Planes were streaking overhead, lots of fire and smoke.

    and then, this:

    From the place where I was standing, I could see the entire Temple Mount. After 2000 years this is happening before my very eyes. Within minutes I saw suddenly atop the Dome of the Rock the flag of Israel waving — truly the messianic age..

    .

    **

    I said above that I had noted “the visions of world domination of Islamist extremists and those of their Christian counterparts”. I’d like to quickly document those two claims to world dominion:

    C Peter Wagner, convener of the New Apostolic Reformation declared:

    My favorite term is “dominion eschatology.” Why? Because Jesus did not give His Great Commission in vain.

    The battle will be ferocious, and we will suffer some casualties along the way.However, we will continue to push Satan back and disciple whole nations.

    We are aggressively retaking dominion, and the rate at which this is happening will soon become exponential. The day will come when “‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever’” (Rev. 11:15, NKJV)!

    while Syed Abul A’la Maududi wrote:

    Islam is a revolutionary faith that comes to destroy any government made by man. The goal of Islam is to rule the entire world and submit all of mankind to the faith of Islam.Islam is not a normal religion like the other religions in the world, and Muslim nations are not like normal nations. Muslim nations are very special because they have a command from Allah to rule the entire world and to be over every nation in the world. Islam is a revolutionary faith that comes to destroy any government made by man. Islam doesn’t look for a nation to be in better condition than another nation. Islam doesn’t care about land or who owns the land. The goal of Islam is to rule the entire world and submit all of mankind to the faith of Islam. Any nation or power in this world that tries to get in the way of that goal Islam will fight and destroy. In order for Islam to fulfil that goal, Islam can use every power available every way it can be used to bring worldwide revolution. This is jihad.

    Okay?

    **

    And it was the prophet Isaiah, I think, who offered a more peaceable version or vision of the same global imagery:

    for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

    Spiritual Warfare, an evolution / devolution

    Saturday, March 2nd, 2019

    [ by Charles Cameron — fascinating — how a scriptural theme is developed by Catholic and Orthodox sources, is turned by a Calvinist split-off and a related Pentecostal movement to an attack on the Virgin Mary, carried out on Mt Everest — and in New York City, on AOC! ]
    .

    Said president Dave Kubal of Intercessors for America:

    It’s been widely publicized that there is a coven of witches that cast spells on President Trump 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This particular coven is found in the southern portion of New York City.

    The southern portion of New York City? A coven? Typically, though not always, referring to a gathering of a dozen plus one witches? 24/7?

    Is this a witch-hunt? Literally??

    So, right in the middle of all of this, the southern district, in the middle of where these witches are doing the 24/7 spell-casting, we find the territory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Her district is in the center of all of this going on. Is this a coincidence? Maybe … Is there an evil thread running through this area, trying to dispel diabolical power?

    Furthermore:

    Just this week, there was a spiritual SWAT team that was sent into this particular geographic area to deal with the spiritual activity that is going on there.

    **

    Sending prayer teams to tackle the malevolent spirits associated with geographical areas is an idea associated with C Peter Wagner, lately of Fuller Theological, the moving spirit behind geographically oriented Spiritual Warfare, and the New Apostolic Reformation.

  • C Peter Wagner, Territorial Spirits: Practical Strategies for How to Crush the Enemy Through Spiritual Warfare
  • C Peter Wagner, Breaking Strongholds in Your City: How to Use Spiritual Mapping Tomake Your Prayers More Strategic, Effective and Targeted
  • I’ve used the full titles and sub-titles of both books above, because I want to catch the geographico-militarist flavor of each — and of course, from my POV and with my interests, the word mapping doesn’t hurt..
  • Spiritual warfare is a concept at least as old as St Paul’s letter to the Christians in Ephesus, telling them:

    Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

    It’s also to be found in both Catholic and Orthodox traditions:

  • Dom Lorenzo Scupoli, The Spiritual Combat: and a Treatise on Peace of Soul
  • Theophan the Recluse, Unseen Warfare: The Spiritual Combat and Path to Paradise of Lorenzo Scupoli
  • What can I say? In these classic, sacramental traditions, there’s no emphasis on territorial spirits. Territorial spiritual warfare is an innovation that goes along with the Seven Mountains theory, by which many present-day Pentecostal and other Christians seek dominion over:

  • family,
  • religion,
  • education,
  • media,
  • entertainment,
  • business, and
  • government
  • Dominion theology is the work of an off-shoot of Calvinism pioneered by RK Rushdoony in his master-work:

  • RJ Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law
  • :

    There’s a slippery slope, I believe that’s the phrase, between the somewhat eschatological dominionism of many who may nonetheless feel a sacred devotion to the Constitution, and Rushdoony‘s original version, which regards anything less than strict Old Testament law with some New Testament changes — “Ye have heard.. but I say unto you..” — and views the existing laws of the United States as tantamount to anarchy:

    For a sense of where C Peter Wagner‘s territorial spiritual warfare takes us, see:

  • C Peter Wagner, Operation Queen’s Palace
  • This includes Wagner‘; endorsement of Ana Mendez‘ spiritual warfare on Mt Everest, fighting the Queen of Heaven. Wagner quotes Mendez‘ report, in which (see final paragraph below) she asserts that among the blessings brought about by her spiritual warfare on the lower slopes of the highest mountain on earth was the death of Mother Theresa, whom she describes as “one of the most visible advocates of exalting Mary as co-redemptrix and mediatrix” — Mary Mother of God in the Catholic tradition, the Theotokos or God-bearer in Orthodoxy.

    Mendez, as quoted by Wagner, reports:

    After five days of prayer, on September 22, 1997, an incredible climbing anointing came over the team, and God led us through the Ice Fall, the most difficult, dangerous, and technically exacting part of the Everest ascent, with no guide but Him and no help other than from His angels. After many hours of crossing crevasses and climbing ice walls, we were about to reach the point where we had located the seat of the Queen of Heaven. At that moment the fury of the devil was unleashed and a huge avalanche broke loose above us, sending megatons of ice and snow crashing our way. At the last moment a huge crevasse in front of us swallowed up the avalanche, saved our lives, and we only had to deal with the [life threatening] resulting cloud of ice for about ten minutes.

    “We continued toward our goal, and when we arrived we took the throne that the Lord had showed us, prophesying against the powers of darkness and declaring the judgment of God on the whore of Babylon and the false religions of the world.

    “That same evening God spoke a clear and strong order: “Go out from this mountain tomorrow before 11:00 AM because I am going to destroy everything. The next day we dismantled the camp in a great hurry, and left Base Camp at 10:30. When the last of our 36 beasts of burden [yaks] had come out, not one, but all three mountain slopes which surrounded Base Camp–Everest, Loh-La, and Nuptse–simultaneously collapsed in the greatest avalanche ever seen in Everest. Base Camp was totally buried under the snow and the enormous falling clouds of ice. The climbing season was closed, and the only flag waving on the top of the world was the one planted by the king of Kings and Lord of Lords.” [ .. ]

    Ana points to some world events which occurred within two weeks after the prophetic act at the throne of the Queen of Heaven which she senses have some connection: (1) The nation of Indonesia, the largest Muslim nation in the world, caught on fire and began to burn on that very day; (2) An earthquake destroyed the Basilica of Assisi in Italy, the place where the Pope had called a meeting for the unity of all world religions; (3) Hurricane Paulina destroyed the infamous temple of “Baal-Christ” in Acapulco, Mexico; (4) Princess Diana of England died, representing the crown of England, to whom Mt. Everest was consecrated by Sir Edmund Hillary; and (5) Mother Theresa, one of the most visible advocates of exalting Mary as co-redemptrix and mediatrix, died in India.

    This attack on the Blessed Virgin Mary, to use another title afforded her in Catholicism, was so blatant as to arouse a comic-book artist to pillory it:

    It is often taught in Catholic circles and elsewhere that Mary, as Queen of Heaven, is portrayed in Revelation 12.1:

    A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.

    The artist Albrecht Durer rendered her thus:

    Jessica Dawson on Relationships with God and Community as Critical Nodes in Center of Gravity Analysis

    Friday, April 13th, 2018

    [ by Charles Cameron — An important article, meaning one with which I largely, emphatically agree ]
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    Let me repeat: Jessica Dawson‘s piece for Strategy Bridge is an important article, meaning one with which I largely, emphatically agree — a must-read.

    **

    Prof Dawson writes:

    There is a blind spot in U.S. joint doctrine that continually hinders operational planning and strategy development. This blind spot is a failure to account for critical relationships with a person’s conception of god and their community, and how these relationships impact the operational environment.

    Let’s just say I was a contributing edtor at Lapido Media until its demise, writing to clue journos in to the religious significance of current events:

  • Lapido, Venerating Putin: Is Russia’s President the second Prince Vlad?
  • Lapido, ANALYSIS When laïcité destroys egalité and fraternité
  • Lapido is essentially countering the same blind spot at the level of journos, and hence the public conversation.

    **

    I haven’t focused on the relationship with community, but I have written frequently on what von Clausewitz would call “morale” in contrast with men and materiel. Prof Dawson addresses this issue:

    Understanding religion and society’s role in enabling a society’s use of military force is inherently more difficult than counting the number of weapons systems an enemy has at its disposal. That said, ignoring the people aspect of Clausewitz’s trinity results in an incomplete analysis.

    Indeed, I’ve quoted von Clausewitz on the topic:

    Essentially, war is fighting, for fighting is the only effective principle in the manifold activities designated as war. Fighting, in turn, is a trial of moral and physical forces through the medium of the latter. Naturally moral strength must not be excluded, for psychological forces exert a decisive in?uence on the elements involved in war.

    and:

    One might say that the physical seem little more than the wooden hilt, while the moral factors are the precious metal, the real weapons, the finely honed blade.

    **

    And Prof Dawson is interested in “critical nodes” and the mapping of relationships, vide her title:

    Relationships with God and Community as Critical Nodes in Center of Gravity Analysis

    :

    This too is an area I am interested in, as evidenced by my borrowing one of my friend JM Berger‘s detailed maps in my post Quant and qualit in regards to “al wala’ wal bara’”:

    That’s from JM’s ICCT paper, Countering Islamic State Messaging Through “Linkage-Based” Analysis

    Indeed, my HipBone Games are played on graphs as boards, with conceptual moves at their nodes and connections along their edges, see my series On the felicities of graph-based game-board design: twelve &c.

    **

    My specific focus, games aside, has been on notions of apocalypse as expectation, excitation, and exultation — in my view, the ultimate in what Tillich would call “ultimate concerns”.

    As an Associate and sometime Principal Researcher with the late Center for Millennial Studies at Boston University, I have enjoyed years of friendship and collaboration with Richard Landes, Stephen O’Leary and other scholars, and contribuuted to the 2015 Boston conference, #GenerationCaliphate: Apocalyptic Hopes, Millennial Dreams and Global Jihad

    **

    I could quote considerably more from Jessica Dawson’s piece, but having indicated some of the ways in which her and my own interests run in parallel, and why that causes me to offer her high praise, I’d like quickly to turn to two areas in which my own specialty in religious studies — new religious movements and apocalyptic — left me wishing for more, or to put it more exactly, for more recent references in her treatment of religious aspects.

    Dr Dawson writes of ISIS’ men’s attitudes to their wives disposing of their husbands’ slaves:

    This has little to do with the actual teachings of Islam

    She also characterizes their actions thus:

    They are granted authority and thus power over the people around them through the moral force of pseudo religious declarations.

    Some ISIS fighters are no doubt more influenced by mundane considerations and some by religious — but there’s little doubt that those religious considerations are anything but “pseudo religious”. Will McCants‘ book, The ISIS Apocalypse: The History, Strategy, and Doomsday Vision of the Islamic Stat traces the history of ISIS’ theology from hadith locating the apocalypse in Dabiq through al-Zarqawi and al-Baghdadi to the loss of much of the group’s territory and the expansion of its reach via recruitment of individuals and cells in the west.. leaving little doubt of the “alternate legitimacy” of the group’s theological claims. Graeme Wood‘s Atlantic article, to which Prof Dawson refers us, is excellent but way shorter and necessarily less detailed.

    On the Christian front, similarly, eschatology has a role to play, as Prof Dawson recognizes — but instead of referencing a 2005 piece, American Rapture, about the Left Behind series, she might have brought us up to datw with one or both of two excellent religious studies articles:

  • Julie Ingersoll, Why Trump’s evangelical supporters welcome his move on Jerusalem
  • Diana Butler Bass, For many evangelicals, Jerusalem is about prophecy, not politics
  • As their parallel titles suggest, Trump’s decision to move the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem — which received a fair amount of press at the time that may have mentioned such a move would please his evangelical base, but didn’t explore the theology behind such support in any detail — has profound eschatpological implications.

    Julie Ingersoll’s book, Building God’s Kingdom: Inside the World of Christian Reconstruction, is excellent in its focus on the “other side” of the ceontemporary evangelical right, ie Dominionism, whose founding father, RJ Rushdoony was a post-millennialist in contrast to La Haye and the Left Behind books — his followers expect the return of Christ after a thousand year reign of Christian principles, not next week, next month or in the next decade or so.

    Sadly, the Dominionist and Dispensationalist (post-millennialist and pre-millennialist) strands in the contemporary Christian right have mixed and mingled, so that it is hard to keep track of who believed in which — or what!

    **

    All the more reason to be grateful for Prof Dawson’s emphasis on the importance of religious knowledge in strategy and policy circles.

    Let doctrine (theological) meet and inform doctrine (military)!

    Not a target, squared — plus one

    Wednesday, April 4th, 2018

    [ by Charles Cameron — Putin, Mueller, Trump, and Nada Bakos ]
    .

    IMO it is a pure coincidence that these two barely related headlines popped up on the same day:

    That’s “not a target” squared. Not that I generally believe in coincidence — I favor synchronicity, but admittedly switch between magical and naturalistic worldviews as suits the moment.
    **

    Sources:

  • The Week, Report: Mueller named Trump a subject, not criminal target
  • NY Times, For Russia, Trump Was a Vehicle, Not a Target
  • **

    while we’re on the subject of targets, here’s the Targeter par excellence, Nada Bakos, whose can’t wait book is currently targeted for redaction by the relevant CIA publications review office::

    Hers is the definitive al-Zarqawi-ISIS story.


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