If nothing else, presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama’s controversial longtime spiritual guide Rev. Jeremiah Wright has prompted Americans to think in new ways about religion in this season of Easter and Passover.
Retiring Pastor Wright of Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ – the same “progressive” Protestant denomination to which Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean belongs – is a loud-spoken advocate of Liberation Theology, which in its Roman Catholic version was briefly faddish decades ago throughout Latin America.
Liberation Theology, say its critics, is merely an attempt to sell godless Marxism camouflaged in the respectable garb of Christianity.
“By the year 2050 there will be only two true-believing Marxists left on Earth,” international economist Peter Bauer once said, “and they will be two nuns in Brazil.”
A leftist radical, Pastor Wright bases few of his hot jeremiads on openly Marxist class warfare – although, like Marxists, he hates the United States. Wright’s rabble-rousing, like Adolph Hitler’s, has mostly promoted racial polarization and balkanization.
In Wright’s judgmental Manichaean cosmology, all with dark skins are victims of beasts with white skins, whose evil is responsible for every African-American problem and shortcoming.
In Wright’s un-Christian black-vs-white religion, every black person wears a white hat, and every white person wears a black one.
Americans are certainly right to ask why Democratic presidential frontrunner Barack Obama remains so close to this racist reverend, and to wonder how much of Obama’s conscious and unconscious thinking has been programmed by this preacher of hate.
Reverend Wright’s pseudo-Christianity has been polluted by radical and racist values.
But is our own faith as loving, unpolluted and clear-sighted as it ought to be?
In a few days President George W. Bush, who describes himself as a born-again Christian, will officiate at a pagan ceremony outside the White House and initiate young children into its un-Christian symbols.
This ceremony, the annual Easter Egg roll on the White House lawn, has its roots in the idolatrous pagan religion of ancient Mesopotamia, the land that was Babylon and is now war-torn Iraq.
Our word "Easter" comes from the pagan Germanic goddess of spring and sunrise, Eostre or Eastre.
Others find the origin of our word Easter in Ishtar, one of the names of the Great Mother goddess of sex and fertility of ancient Middle Eastern peoples living between the Mediterranean and Mesopotamia.
Christian Easter has become permeated with pagan religious symbols.
The bunny, or more precisely the hare, was Eostre's symbol of fertility. In myth it had originally been a bird that the goddess magically turned into a hare, so it retained the ability to lay eggs.
The display and gift-giving of colored eggs was a common springtime practice among ancient Saxons, Greeks, Romans, Persians, Egyptians, and other pagan peoples.
Ancient Sumerians and Babylonians believed that our world itself was hatched from a giant "world egg."
Like the Egyptian god Osiris, the Babylonian deity Tammuz would be resurrected each spring in green plants.
Tammuz’s consort Inanna's (or Ishtar's) followers celebrated his annual return from the dead each spring by wearing new bonnets for luck, making river reed baskets, and filling their baskets with brightly colored eggs symbolic of the earth-creating world egg that fell from heaven into the river Euphrates.
Another version of Inanna was the Sidonian fertility goddess Asherah, depicted with a lily in one hand.
During pagan rites, their followers lit new fires and candles, and baked hot-cross buns marked with the horns that symbolized Tammuz, and worshipped the rising sun.
For an echo of this pagan cult in the Bible, see Ezekiel 8:13-16, wherein God condemns the abomination of paganism next to the holy temple itself: women at sunrise "weeping for Tammuz."
From the recurring worship of golden calves to President Bill Clinton's and Hillary Clinton’s creation of pagan witchcraft chaplains in the U.S. military, Hebrew and Judeo-Christian culture has repeatedly faced revanchist paganism.
One of paganism's modern forms is the pseudo-atheism of Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris, both of whom seem eager to impose the values of the cult of the left on those who bow to different gods.
To install their new religion, of course, today's radical leftists must demolish and demonize the old religions. Or, to win converts more easily, they must (as other faiths have done) expropriate some of the symbols and shrines of older beliefs.
Thus, e.g., today's radical leftists are using the global warming issue to impose socialism — and they are using "progressive" Christian apostates to preach that God wants enviro-socialism imposed in the name of the stewardship humans God wants humankind to have over planet Earth.
Cloaked in enough pseudo-Christian propaganda, radical environmentalism could deceive millions into forgetting that it is itself an ancient pagan nature-worshipping religion . . . with Vanderbilt Divinity School flunkout Al Gore as its Druidic high priest.
Christians, where in the Bible does Jesus endorse colored eggs, bunnies, bonnets, Easter baskets, lilies or other things rooted in pagan Babylonian nature religion?
What, one wonders, would the Judeo-Christian God say about President Bush's annual pagan Easter Egg roll on the White House lawn?
As for the other major Western faith, Islam, the Rev. Wright trekked to Libya with and honored the Rev. Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam.
Because so many American slave owners were Christians, thousands of African-Americans in recent decades adopted Muslim names and embraced this very unorthodox black Muslim faith.
But one seldom-discussed secret of the slave trade is that in Africa, Christians mostly bought people already enslaved by fellow Africans. And most of the time, those at the dock selling Africans they had put in chains were Muslim slave traders, who today continue selling human beings in East Africa.
How blind some of today’s African-Americans must be to embrace the political party of the slave owners, the KKK, Jim Crow and Bull Connor – the Democratic Party – and to exchange their Christianity for the Muslim faith of those who sold their ancestors into bondage.
Theirs is the same kind of ignorance found in the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and in those blinded by his hatred.
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