By William Wraithwrite—a human and truly American perspective.
[Note: If you agree with this essay and think it important then share it with many others—email, fax, publish, post, discuss, etc. Only contingencies of everyday people will make any difference in the larger scheme of things.]
[Notice: This essay will be addendum to the next draft of When God Became the Terrorist: Traces of the Authoritarian Nature in the Three Abrahamic Religions by Michael Manchester]
Essay: YOU CANNOT DIE IN HELL: Using Indefinite Detention for Political and Religious Purposes
By William Wraithwrite
Many of us Americans (including those peoples conquered and enslaved) have some strong religious heritage that traces to Judeo-Christianity. Concepts like ‘heaven’ and ‘hell’ (as afterlife realities and inevitable realms of eternal abode) are familiar to all of us. One assumption ingrained into our belief systems is that we have souls that live on into eternity after death—either in a happy place of blissful congruence or condemned to a place of chaotic torture.
Yet despite the fact that the Hell side of this after-death religious equation has become very much downplayed by many denominations over the last centuries, no other options that depart from Heaven and Hell (“you’re” either with us or you are against us”) were ever delineated as possible aftermath (save the Catholic Church’s limbo Purgatory where some sinners would suffer certain spans of time, with nebulous degrees of pain or dread, until they too were finally allowed into the presumption of eternal land of grace and light). Still we were basically confronted with two stark extremes—protected paradise with dividing wall or a concentration camp of the worse sort.
And we also well note “we” (the subjects to this grand Creation plan preached to us and our ancestors) had no input in its devising, as far as choice outcomes or self-actualization, any part of how the after life would be, only the two extreme already built (at least psychologically); as no alternative options were proffered to contemplate (such as just true and plain death as complete nonexistence and hence freedom from all future vulnerability or liability—as not needing to please anyone).
Instead we were, and apparently are, at the mercy of some Almighty Creator story that originated in the Middle East. And this High God we were instructed still presumes to maintain “all power” (omnipotence)—which in essence equates to a very unequal power balance: God is very powerful and we mere mortal subjects are pretty powerless in comparison (and in respect of His right to judge us).
So, you have to admit, it more than just ironic, that we individual subjects, who had no choice as to whether we would even be born into this world of humanity (and too often inhumanity) as in even wanted to be, are somehow also told we are also subject to eternal outcomes as well that are equally not of our devising (and irrespective of whether we feel about such ideas)?
Life then, starting with one’s un-chosen birth (no one chooses to be born), comes with a lot of serious and frightful consequence—big carrots and sticks—at least from dominant Judeo-Christian points of view (which have been more or less commandeered onto congregational masses, top-down in the authority chains, for millennia).
One would expect potential parents would think far more deeply about having children if the stakes were so arbitrarily large or ruthless? Caution would suggest not even taking such a risk as having children (but apparently human nature has its own of rationalizing almost anything)?
So, in another words, once you are born a creature (and irrespective of your personal circumstances which can vary greatly), that is as you were forced into existence (not by any choice on your part but according to European religious dogma originating in the Middle East) not just for a lifetime on earth but also forever after by some notion of an immortal soul, so then you are also forced into an immortality (almost like a vampire who too can never truly die in literature) and irrespective of however terrifying such an immortality might present itself. (Note that the Russian gulag system operated from the 1930s to the 1950s in which Aleksander Solzhenitzyn wrote The Gulag Archipelago of political prisoners and extra-judicial punishment, and a lesser known but controversial Two Hundred Years Together (never translated into English and accused of being anti-Semitic).
However, this religious description of cosmic reality, supposedly instigated by some “loving God”, doesn’t seem especially fair to all parties involved—let alone some judicial systems mere humans concoct?
And what if a particular subject, or group of subjects, is not especially excited either by the insanity of humanity as played out on planet earth or the long-term consequences of an afterlife proposed by various churches? What if the whole charade of justice seems highly alienating and overwhelming that one doesn’t really care to participate? Then what? What recourse is there for those who are not happy with any presumption that life, as a human, is such a wonderful prospect?
Or more philosophically, where is there any equal possibility the supposed good, God-guy could go to some form of Hell (to kind of balance the power equation and hold all forms of power in check, because is it not true power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely)? Why should this so-called Middle East Creator God be free from such a dilemma he supposedly forces others of less power to abide? (Instead we, apparently, are supposed to be amused by Yahweh’s little games of casting plagues, burning bushes, and turning a staff into a serpent for an ancient Egyptian, along with other sorcerer-like and carnival events, and go merely along with all the strife he had up his sleeve like “…Hey lets go kill those Canaanites cause Moses said God gave us that land!”)?
If God, or Yahweh, as highest assumed form of moral power and authority, can never be held to any accountability or judgment, then how do we know God or Yahweh might not do something other than what is just? Are we just supposed to just take “The Word” from those who claim to speak for these Judeo-Christian religions and various splinter sects as incorruptible? Is blind faith really so wise in a world that has so much criminal nature, and so much war nature (that is also often of a criminal nature)?
Why was this Hebrew Yahweh demanding the deaths and slaughtering of many thousands of peoples that he apparently regards as “less than” his chosen people? The Old Testament is full of scriptures justifying the killing of people—while supposedly as sanctioned by this holier-than-thou Deity? And this is what modernity is supposed to abide?
Are we Americans still willing to accept this kind of war propaganda as religious truth—or can we ever see it for what it really is—war propaganda in the form of religious propaganda.
Rather this religious psychology of a supposed specially anointed people seems inherently ethnocentric (irrespective of explanations offered in intra-cultural terms as to why Yahweh chose the Hebrew people).
No wonder it doesn’t take much to convince some people that it is OK to treat the Palestinians as if they to are “less than” in today’s terms and realities? No wonder it doesn’t take much convincing to assume it is OK for American coin and life to fight and die for Israeli priorities—because apparently all people are “less than”?
And why would any God, let alone some high, almighty God, need an eternal Hell of torture (or for that matter, put it in temporal earthly terms, a Government need an eternal den of “Indefinite Detention” outside the realm of the border)? Or why and how would or could a Government play God so as to assume some inevitable right to indefinitely detain others (especially with ‘dark’ truths that include various tortures of sort and concomitant and elaborate legalese explanations on such matters cooked up by the George W. Bush White House while that dark side Cheney goes shaking up the Intelligence Community to find weapons of mass destruction in Saddam Hussein’s pocket)?
And as important why would any human with a conscience accept this propaganda, be it religious or temporal, as legitimate conditions as any form of governance (that is by what is obviously arbitrary decree and authoritarian Machiavellian oppression)? Is it because one never asked to participate in devising this psychological conditioning that one is supposedly just supposed to go along with the brainwash—as if one is not really as political subject to have any real say in how a governance works?
When Benjamin Netanyahu claims he wants to “…Defend the Jewish State…” is he also arguing to defend what the Jewish State (and what Christian and Islamist State) really entails—political authoritarianism and ethnocentricity?
He claims ‘his people’ have a legitimate right to the land of Israel, as if it were mythically decreed thousands of years ago (something about a Moses guy claiming it was OK and a Command to kill off thousands of then current inhabitants—because these people were so much more worthy—after all Yahweh said so—and he was the big Chief and Commander just like a George W.)?
Well Ben, “all” people have a direct biological lineage of at least five thousand years, and many go back tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of years to pre-historic times—but few claim some legitimate right to dominate a particular place because of where some people lived many, many centuries ago—that is based on war propaganda that included orders to kill women and children (Netanyahu’s own definition of terrorism in his own book)?
So how long does he, and his kind, think the Holocaust card is going to hold out before people start actually looking at what the political implications of those three Abrahamic religions (as Theocratic States) actually mean—all the while claiming to be a democracy?
There seems then a theoretically connection between the United States not closing the prison system in Guantanamo and Israel and Saudi Arabia continuing to push the United States into more wars on the behalf of Israel and Saudi Arabia, and thus the future killing of Muslims (and the further imprisoning and torturing of Muslims as aftermath).
Meanwhile there should be no doubt, by now, that the United States went to war illegally with Iraq primarily because of the covert manipulations of Israel’s Likud party to correspond with staff in the U.S. Pentagon (Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz, etc.) to push America in a disastrous war (and irrespective of the lies we were told about Saddam Hussein and weapons of mass deception, his gassing of people, etc.). Americans were lied to by our own Government and the Israel Government that was pushing false and concocted intelligence.
Or why would any people want to believe in a God (or any temporal form of government or particular set of politicians) that so readily punishes subjects, and does so without legitimate forms of legal justice—that is that the realm’s subjects and bystanders themselves would agree to call justice? What kind of religion and/or what kind of government would in essence operate as a tyranny, all the while claiming to stand for justice in ethical parlance?
People should understand why there Government is spying on them—it is because it has much blood on its hands.
To have opened the Guantanamo trials and files to the public would have been the equivalent of Americans learning and realizing the lies of the Bush Administration and the NeoCons. So instead we continue to protect Israel’s Zionist ambitions, and AIPAC’s foreign agenda, as we Americans are told we must keep Gulag Gitmo off American shores (and to remain as hush-hush as possible).
Why? Because all the wars are not over that Israel wants America to engage—there is still more Syrians and Iranians to kill, murder, butcher or torture—all in the name of protecting Yahweh’s special people and land—and all in the name of war as religious propaganda.
The Christian religion that came to dominant European peoples, via the Roman Empire, and then eventually the United States of America, was based on fear and terrorism as complete disregard to mercy. This is why some have called for another Age of Crusades—to justify the zealous religious murder of thousand and hundreds of thousands of more people in the modern age.
Ask your self: “What kind of God (or Yahweh) would put a soul, any soul (no matter how supposedly evil in human terms) into an eternal length of torture—and never having to contemplate acquiescence—what kind of compassion is that? This is as extreme of cruelty and barbarity as one could espouse. Such cosmic outcome, supposedly as Divine Justice, doesn’t even reach the categories of mere human ideas to justice.
Instead it is exactly the opposite of justice. It is injustice. It is an extreme form of self-centered power and egotistical disregard to any idea of humanity outside the self. It is the extreme in its rigidity and absolutism. This mindset cannot and will not forgive. This mindset is arguably evil its craven and deformed spirit. It is monstrous.
Any God who claims to have created all people, and who claims a right to judge those subjects so created adamantly, even as this God claims to have created all the very circumstances of his individuated peoples circumstances, including their very personalities and DNA, and then takes no responsibility for “his” creations’ choices and behaviors is anything but just. What kind of leadership is that? It’s called authoritarianism.
It is time to recognize the truth about the political nature of Abrahamic religions—all of which were born in times when there were no lines drawn between the State and Religion—and that religions were a strong part of State psychology—that is they were part of the propaganda machines used to justify imprisonment, extra-judicial rendition, lack of human rights, murder, hate, torture and war.
How long is the human race going to buy into this political psychology? How long are we Americans going to imprison people on arbitrary reasons with no logical and legal (truthful) explanations?
Netanyahu (despite the persecuted history of various Jewish peoples), like his predecessors, relies on the convenience of an age-old conceit—that this Jewish religion, and its splinter Christian sects, is holy and worthy of adoration and reverence—when in fact in plenty respects it is not.
It is only because Religious Studies programs have not yet hardly analyzed religions in terms of their political implications (like they have analyzed them in terms of sociological and anthropological implications) that has allowed Judaism, Christianity and Islamism to escape appropriate levels of critical evaluation—such as their inherit totalitarian natures.
When this happens, and eventually it will, then it will not as much matter about Weapons of Mass Destruction, or sophisticated weapon systems, such as Israel now controls (or how many NSA taps they can play into). Israel will be challenged based on the political implications of the religion itself—that is the very words of its Torah or Bible—including such ideas of some carping, peevish and too often vengeful God who liked to get people to go to war and claim to own land.
Then the Israeli Government, and the Israeli people will be judged on “human” terms as equals, and not as some exceptional class or by psychological blackmail that claims all peoples of the world “owe” Zionists this and this because of a list of historical sins against of Jews—because the issue is not about any particular people but the religion itself.
Guantanamo prisoners are force-fed if they go on hunger strikes (and are not allowed to die to some semblance of peace).
IN HELL YOU CANNOT DIE.
Whereas to close Guantanamo might mean a sea change to American foreign policy. For starters it could mean U.S. Senators and Representatives could begin to put U.S. objectives first before those of Israel and AIPAC (and this is not something easily to come by when this country’s government has been so cowed and intimidated by these special interests and wily ways for so long).
The United States is not a Theocracy like is Israel or Saudi Arabia. In Israel you are not a wanted citizen unless you are Jewish, as many of the other Middle Eastern countries are equally theocratic based on one or another version of Islamism.
So why are our elected leaders supporting these autocratic societies to the point of playing to their authoritarian forms of psychological tyranny—that is to a point of creating hell and torture for many people here on planet earth—not to mention endless bombing, etc.?
For years we have heard resistance from Congress in Washington D.C. as to why we cannot close the Guantanamo military prison when in fact we have never had honest truth and awareness about the particulars of most of those prisoners as to how they were actually put there. Instead we were informed they were terrorists and were the “worst of the worst”; but much solid research has proved this propaganda to be deception.
Mankind then, as a species, is a deadly creature—proving himself enough of what Thomas Hobbes, author of The Leviathan, claimed as nasty and brutish. No creature, real or imagined (including the devil) has proved itself to be as deceptive and mean as our own human capacity (as no outside or supernatural forces are necessary to trigger the innate fears, hatreds and misdeeds of human nature).
This is the Freudian reality that few can readily dismiss.
Is the United States going to become an agent of religious tyranny or a country that believes in real freedom and equality? We need to start asking why all the countries in the Middle East are not separating Church and State? What are the so-called progressives actually espousing these days?
When God Became the Terrorist: Traces of the Authoritarian Nature of the Three Abrahamic Religions at: http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2013/07/511565.html
The Demonization of Dissent in the United States at: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/102642
Where the Hell is the Progressive Rebel Party? at: http://pittsburgh.indymedia.org/news/2010/10/36620.php