If you believe in the fellow called The Prince of Peace, and call yourself Christian I really feel strongly that you read the article "Pharisee Nation" by Father John Dear.
A quick quote from the body of the article:
We have become a culture of Pharisees. Instead of practicing an authentic spirituality of compassion, nonviolence, love and peace, we as a collective people have become self-righteous, arrogant, powerful, murderous hypocrites who dominate and kill others in the name of God. The Pharisees supported the brutal Roman rulers and soldiers, and lived off the comforts of the empire by running an elaborate banking system which charged an exorbitant fee for ordinary people just to worship God in the Temple. Since they taught that God was present only in the Temple, they were able to control the entire population. If anyone opposed their power or violated their law, the Pharisees could kill them on the spot, even in the holy sanctuary.
Most North American Christians are now becoming more and more like these hypocritical Pharisees. We side with the rulers, the bankers, and the corporate millionaires and billionaires. We run the Pentagon, bless the bombing raids, support executions, make nuclear weapons and seek global domination for America as if that was what the nonviolent Jesus wants. And we dismiss anyone who disagrees with us.
We have become a mean, vicious people, what the bible calls “stiff-necked people.” And we do it all with the mistaken belief that we have the blessing of God.
In the past, empires persecuted religious groups and threatened them into passivity and silence. Now these so-called Christians run the American empire, and teach a subtle spirituality of empire to back up their power in the name of God. This spirituality of empire insists that violence saves us, might makes right, war is justified, bombing raids are blessed, nuclear weapons offer the only true security from terrorism, and the good news is not love for our enemies, but the elimination of them. The empire is working hard these days to tell the nation--and the churches--what is moral and immoral, sinful and holy. It denounces certain personal behavior as immoral, in order to distract us from the blatant immorality and mortal sin of the U.S. bombing raids which have left 100,000 Iraqis dead, or our ongoing development of thousands of weapons of mass destruction. Our Pharisee rulers would have us believe that our wars and our weapons are holy and blessed by God.
In the old days, the early Christians had big words for such behavior, such lies. They were called “blasphemous, idolatrous, heretical, hypocritical and sinful.” Such words and actions were denounced as the betrayal, denial and execution of Jesus all over again in the world’s poor. But the empire needs the church to bless and support its wars, or at least to remain passive and silent. As we Christians go along with the Bush administration and the American empire, we betray Jesus, renounce his teachings, and create a “Church of Christ without Christ,“ as Flannery O’Connor foresaw.
TheocracyWatch.org can inform you more fully on the rising power in our society of fundamentalist "Christians" that practice Christianity without the benefit of the teachings of Jesus Christ or the Judeo-Christian values of social justice. The Yurica Report can more fully expand on this avenue of thought. Both sites are comprehensive tools.
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Hearing
Porter Goss, new director of the CIA admits that Mr Bush has opened a terrorist bees nest with his war of choice on Iraq.
The insurgency in Iraq continues to baffle the U.S. military and intelligence communities, and the U.S. occupation has become a potent recruiting tool for al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, top U.S. national security officials told Congress yesterday.
"Islamic extremists are exploiting the Iraqi conflict to recruit new anti-U.S. jihadists," CIA Director Porter J. Goss told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
"These jihadists who survive will leave Iraq experienced and focused on acts of urban terrorism," he said. "They represent a potential pool of contacts to build transnational terrorist cells, groups and networks in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and other countries."
Admiral James Loy, deputy secretary of Homeland Security states that "intelligence strongly suggests" Al Qaida operative might want to use the our border with Mexico to get into the United States.
Remember when Mr Bush said he would add 2000 Border Patrol agents per year for the next 5 years to help beef up US security? Well, truth is...
Officially approved by Bush on Dec. 17 after extensive bickering in Congress, the National Intelligence Reform Act included the requirement to add 10,000 border patrol agents in the five years beginning with 2006. Roughly 80 percent of the agents were to patrol the southern U.S. border from Texas to California, along which thousands of people cross into the United States illegally every year.
But Bush's proposed 2006 budget, revealed Monday, funds only 210 new border agents.
Admiral Loy called the possible Al Qaida border threat a serious situation.
The "Why do they hate us" question is touched on here:
"Our policies in the Middle East fuel Islamic resentment," Vice Adm. Lowell E. Jacoby, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told the Senate panel. "Overwhelming majorities in Morocco, Jordan and Saudi Arabia believe the U.S. has a negative policy toward the Arab world."
Robert Mueller sees an Al Qaida sleeper cell threat in America. He fears a terrorit group would use chemical biological or nuclear weapons in a stateside attack. (.pdf link) We see that the Bush budget impacts police and fire departments throughout the nation.
According to figures obtained by the AP, Bush would slice a $600 million grant program for local police agencies to $60 million next year. Grants to local firefighters, for which Congress provided $715 million this year, would fall to $500 million.
He would eliminate the $300 million the government gives to states for incarcerating illegal aliens who commit crimes. It's a proposal he has made in the past and one that Congress has ignored. Also gone would be assistance for police departments to improve technology and their ability to communicate with other agencies.
The Bush tax cuts, while not creating jobs as touted, are primarily benefitting the richest Americans(GOP campaign contributors), while regular working folks struggle( a must read link); the children of the poorer Americans are fighting and dying for the Bush administration and its war of choice.
"Most recruits in the All Volunteer Force come from non-vocal, working-class families--a disproportionate number from the poor and from minority groups--while more privileged Americans are conspicuous by their absence." -- Colonel David Hackworth
Some food for thought: would a draft cause our fellow citizens to pay attention to the realities of war? Read "The Threat of Draft Will Tame Warlike US Populace"
NEW YORK It's official: The war on terror cannot be won. That, at least, is now the view of its chief proponent, President George W. Bush.
"I don't think you can win it. But I think you can create the conditions that those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world." --GW Bush
Talking in war-code to a Parisian audience, Condoleezza Rice made it clear that she sees warfare throughout the entirety of our lives: “If we make the pursuit of global freedom the organizing principle of the 21st century, we will achieve historic global advances – for justice and prosperity, for liberty and for peace.”