Return of the Religious War
Throughout the 20th century, religion was increasingly unfashionable in Western society. But with the decline of communism, religion returned with a vengeance.
Consider a few examples: escalating Islamist religious terror and aggressive Islamism within the Middle East, Eurasia, Pakistan and Southeast Asia; the rapid expansion of Roman Catholicism in competition with the Eastern Orthodox religions in the former Soviet satellite nations; the ongoing debate between the Anglican and Catholic churches about papal primacy; the pope’s front-line efforts to bring the church’s Protestant daughters and wayward Orthodox bedfellows back to the fold, his insistent efforts to have his religion written into the European Constitution, and his call for a new Catholic world order modeled on a united federal Europe; Britain’s efforts to divorce the crown from direct control of Westminster Abbey; priestly abuse of minors; the furor created by Mel Gibson’s film The Passion of the Christ; the U.S. Supreme Court hearing a case on removing “under God” from the nation’s Pledge of Allegiance; the adoption of religion as the vehicle for perverse causes such as homosexual rights, and the rise of the Christian right in North America in reaction to that cause. Truly, religion dominates our headlines!
The new assertiveness of religion today may not be so much reflected in church, synagogue or mosque attendance as it is in the power of the religious lobby and the media attention devoted to various religious controversies. In these times, many significant political issues exhibit religious overtones.
The trouble is, it seems religion is more often intent in wreaking vengeance rather than seeking peace. Hans J. Morgenthau wrote in Politics Among Nations, “The wars of religion have shown that the attempt to impose one’s own religion as the only true one upon the rest of the world is as futile as it is costly.”
In the Balkans, Catholic, Orthodox and Muslim were embroiled in a series of messy little wars, the effect of which is still observed in the smoldering hatred that bursts periodically onto the streets within Kosovo. The Irish question, still a running sore, involves conflict between Catholic and Protestant. It’s Hindu against Christian in India, Muslim against Hindu in the Pakistan/India situation and Muslim against Christian in Indonesia. Israel reverberates regularly to the blast of Islamic suicide bombers blowing themselves to bits and taking Jewish civilians with them.
Even in the tiny, deprived nation of Cuba, Fidel Castro fetes both Catholic and Orthodox leaders as he seeks a patron to finance Cuban development following the loss of aid from the old Soviet Union. Will it be the Catholic EU, or Orthodox Russia, that moves in once the aging dictator fades from the scene? Castro has enough of a mind for history to understand that unfashionable communism must be replaced by another ideology as an “opiate to the masses,” to steal a phrase from Karl Marx.
Then there’s the Muslim headscarf controversy in France. This legislation—supposedly aimed at preventing discrimination based on religion—effectively disenfranchises Jews from wearing yarmulkes and Christians from wearing “large” crosses. It had the Sikhs worried about their turbans and others, for whom the beard is a badge of religion, worried about retention of their whiskers! Far from working to stabilize a potentially volatile situation, the French legislation may well ripple on to create even worse social tension than existed before its enactment. “The issue has sparked a culture war in France, where defeating the once-almighty Roman Catholic Church was a crucial step in creating a modern democracy” (Reuters, February 8).
In his April 13 press conference, U.S. President Bush said, in reference to the war on terror, “We are changing the world. And the world will be better off … as a result of the actions we’re taking.” That is crusading language, reflecting powerful overtones of religion. What is it that the U.S. is offering to change the world to? Simply to acceptance of the values of Western democracy. What is the source of those values? Judeo-Christian, Anglo-Saxon religion. From where did these beliefs come? Check the foundation of law in Britain and the U.S.
Biblical law is its bedrock.
All that is historically basic to Western democracy is founded in that which claims belief in the God of Israel, the God of the book we call the Holy Bible—the most translated and widely published of all books in the history of man. The religions of Rome and of Mecca and Medina know this. Is it any wonder then that they perceive the hegemony of the U.S. and its English-speaking allies as a crusade to conquer the world with White Anglo-Saxon Protestantism? This simply puts the U.S. and its allies on a direct course to a clash of religiously based civilizations of a different order, particularly in the Middle East and Europe.
Political scientist Samuel Huntington rightly pointed out that people define themselves in terms of civilizations rooted in religion. Increasingly isolated and hated, an Anglo-American civilization struggles to maintain global peace along the lines of fracture that are increasingly separating and alienating civilizations across these religious divides. Cast in the light of history, illuminated by inspired Bible prophecy, these emerging civilizational divisions of seismic proportions are destined to consummate in history’s most devastating racially and religiously inspired holocaust! Request our free booklet Who or What is the Prophetic Beast? to discover what you personally can do to escape its horrifying impact.