Friday, August 10, 2007

Is the Military Promoting Armageddon or just Dehumanizing non-Christians?

With the blessing of the Pentagon and the Pentagon Chaplain, an evangelical group calling themselves “Operation Straight Up” (OSU), will soon be mailing care packages (called "Freedom Packages") to the Soldiers in Iraq that contain the controversial Left Behind: Eternal Forces video game. The game is inspired by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins' bestselling Left Behind series about a blood-soaked Battle of Armageddon pitting born-again Christians against Jews, mainline Christians, Muslims, atheists, Buddhists, and everyone else who does not adhere to their particular theology. In LaHaye's and Jenkins' books, the non-believers are ultimately condemned to "everlasting punishment" while the evangelicals are "raptured" up to heaven.

The best thing about the Left Behind books is the way the non-Christians get their guts pulled out by God." -- 15-year old fundamentalist fan of the Left Behind series

The video game, set in a landscape looking like post 9/11 New York, has players commanding a virtual evangelical army, complete with tanks, helicopters and an arsenal of automatic weapons at their disposal, as they wage a violent war against United Nations-like peacekeepers who represent the armies of the Antichrist. Each time a player kills a UN soldier, their virtual character exclaims, "Praise the Lord!" To win the game, players must kill or convert all the non-believers left behind after the rapture.

In addition to the video, OSU's “Freedom Packages” will include a copy of evangelical pastor Jonathan McDowell's More Than A Carpenter -- a book advertised as "one of the most powerful evangelism tools worldwide" -- that is double-published in Arabic. Considering that only a handful of American troops speak Arabic, the book is ostensibly intended for proselytizing efforts among Iraqi civilians.

OSU also plans a trip to Iraq, again with the expressed permission of the Pentagon, to perform a crusade. On their website OSU proudly proclaims, "We feel the forces of heaven have encouraged us to perform multiple crusades that will sweep through this war torn region ..…We’ll hold the only religious crusade of its size in the dangerous land of Iraq."

I wonder what the intended, and unintended, consequences of this action will be. What does the U.S. Government hope to achieve by endorsing such a project?

5 comments:

Just Curious said...

Is this an attempt to desensitize the troops and help justify the carnage that they witness every day? (make it fun?)

Or is it part of Bush's "faith based initiative" to create an army of God's soldiers (presumably for future "God's work"), and dismantle the idea of seperation of church and state at the same time?

hurry up 1/20/2009! said...

I think it includes both and probably a whole lot more not so christian motives..........

Barb said...

This is scary! Who's in charge here? Why are we allowing these zealots to set policy for the United States government? I can see this as a major downhill development for our relations with middle eastern countries.

not sure said...

http://j-walkblog.com/index.php?/weblog/posts/operation_straight_up/

and

http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/59161/

and

http://www.osutour.com/

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