Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Corruption of Religious Thinking

I blogged in November on the Christian attack, originating from liberal and progressive ideology, on Christian Zionism and on the claim Zionism makes, even by its secular proponents, that it is a fulfillment of religious tradition. That attack continues.

Here is one opinion, of Daniel C. Maguire, a professor of moral theology at Marquette University, a Catholic, Jesuit Institution, and past president of The Society of Christian Ethics from a year ago writing

Israel’s conservative government ignores the “back to the 1967 borders” solution since it would take away their prime excuse for imperial expansion and their claim of unique victimhood and insecurity... The prophet Micah is looking more and more like a realist. Before it is too late, Israel and the United States should remember the words of Micah. You cannot build “Zion in bloodshed” (Micah 3:10). Zechariah said it also: “Neither by force of arms nor by brute strength” would the people be saved (Zech. 4:6). The United States and Israel, these twinned amnesiacs, forget prophetic wisdom to their own peril and undoing.
In another "admission" piece he writes of:

fits of brutality and the retreat into religious mythology that have characterized some Israeli governments, especially under the Likud.

and claims, ludicrously, that he is "Jewish" and that his

coming out as a Jew would certainly surprise my Irish Catholic parents...My coming out as a Jew would also surprise Benjamin Netanyahu, especially when I insist that I am more Jewish than he is.  Did I convert to Judaism? No need to do that. I just became Jewish, I absorbed Jewishness as my ego and personality was being constructed. It was a matter of osmosis...

See his "piracy" comparison of Israel with Somalia. 

This is plain silliness.  But he attempts to be a serious theologian and he quotes Scripture, which the Devil does well, too. His ultimate goal, though, is to zero in on the "Special Relationship" between Israel and the United States:

Israel and the United States have a unique relationship, one so close that Israel has been called the 51st state, a privileged state that pays no U.S. taxes and receives ten million dollars a day in aid, more than any other country, except perhaps Iraq. The prime alleged reason for this intimate bonding is a shared commitment to democracy, with Israel being, allegedly, a bastion of democracy in a hostile Middle East. As ever in statecraft, the alleged is rarely the real...Severe criticism is a service to both nations. The acknowledgment of guilt is the beginning of wisdom and the first step to peace.

1. Both nations were founded on ethnic cleansing
2. Both Israel and the United States claim religious warranty for their existence and expansionism.
3. Both the United States and Israel claim their special security needs justify violence, unchecked militarism, torture, violations of human rights and international law, and imperial expansion.
4. Both the United States and Israel are sacrificing their original idealism at the altar of empire.
5. Both the United States and Israel define their national identity in morally normative terms.
6. Both the United States and Israel preach nuclear disarmament while armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons
7. Both the United States and Israel use strategic amnesia as policy to cover over inconvenient imperialist, expansionist, and genocidal truths. It acts as cover for all six of the just listed unflattering similarities.

This orientation of inter-related Marxist, post-modern and progressive themes, utlizing theological frameworks, is nothing but a twisting of intent and purpose. It is a mixing of concepts, applying sources to radical philosophy in a disjointed attempt to undermine the most moral and ethical ideals - assuring the existence and security of the Jewish people in its national homeland.

Maguire dares to quote Micha and does so selectively.  Here's from Chapter 4 which envisions a renewed Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount and the non-Jewish nations making a pilgrimage to the restored Jewish sovereignty with the return of the dispersed Jewish people to Zion and champion Israel against all assembled against her:

1 But in the end of days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established as the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and peoples shall flow unto it. 2 And many nations shall go and say: 'Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths'; for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 3 And He shall judge between many peoples, and shall decide concerning mighty nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. 4 But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig-tree; and none shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken. 5 For let all the peoples walk each one in the name of its god, but we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever. 6 In that day, saith the LORD, will I assemble her that halteth, and I will gather her that is driven away, and her that I have afflicted; 7 And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a mighty nation; and the LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion from thenceforth even for ever. 8 And thou, Migdal-eder, the hill of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come; yea, the former dominion shall come, the kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem. 9 Now why dost thou cry out aloud? Is there no King in thee, is thy Counsellor perished, that pangs have taken hold of thee as of a woman in travail? 10 Be in pain, and labour to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail; for now shalt thou go forth out of the city, and shalt dwell in the field, and shalt come even unto Babylon; there shalt thou be rescued; there shall the LORD redeem thee from the hand of thine enemies. 11 And now many nations are assembled against thee, that say: 'Let her be defiled, and let our eye gaze upon Zion.' 12 But they know not the thoughts of the LORD, neither understand they His counsel; for He hath gathered them as the sheaves to the threshing-floor.

He quotes Zachariah but ignores Chapter 12:

 3 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will make Jerusalem a stone of burden for all the peoples; all that burden themselves with it shall be sore wounded; and all the nations of the earth shall be gathered together against it. 4 In that day, saith the LORD, I will smite every horse with bewilderment, and his rider with madness; and I will open Mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the peoples with blindness. 5 And the chiefs of Judah shall say in their heart: 'The inhabitants of Jerusalem are my strength through the LORD of hosts their God.' 6 In that day will I make the chiefs of Judah like a pan of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire among sheaves; and they shall devour all the peoples round about, on the right hand and on the left; and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem. 7 The LORD also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem be not magnified above Judah. 8 In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that stumbleth among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as a godlike being, as the angel of the LORD before them. 9 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. 10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplication; and they shall look unto Me because they have thrust him through; and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his first-born.

The portrayal of a Biblical prophetic pacifism, of a weak Israel, of an Israel that will not be restored to political primacy is, well, since we are in a religious framework of reference, evil.

And a university employs him.


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