Monday, September 01, 2008

Joel's Army: Crazy/Scary Christians

Oh. My. God. (Not). Check these lot out - it would be funny if it were not so scary. The next threat to democracy is not Islam - it's Christianity!;

Tattooed across his sternum are military dog tags that read "Joel's Army." They're evidence of [preacher Todd] Bentley's generalship in a rapidly growing apocalyptic movement that's gone largely unnoticed by watchdogs of the theocratic right. According to Bentley and a handful of other "hyper-charismatic" preachers advancing the same agenda, Joel's Army is prophesied to become an Armageddon-ready military force of young people with a divine mandate to physically impose Christian "dominion" on non-believers.

And they are busy-bees;

This also means that the US military has become an increasing target for infiltration. The very paramilitary training camp noted above has gotten quite official sanction by the general in charge of most of the US Air Force's military recon and IT security. This effort has become disturbingly successful; no less than two of the primary parties involved in the Abu Ghraib scandal including policymaker William Boykin are directly involved in the Assemblies and the "Joel's Army" movement within the denomination, and in many cases the US government has literally been paying for packing the chaplaincy of the US Army and Air Force with "Joel's Army" promoters. (Boykin is especially interesting in this regard; he has quite explicitly referred to Joel's Army theology in speeches to his fellow soldiers.) One of the major groups involved in infiltration of the military, Campus Crusade for Christ, has been known to promote this sort of theology as well.

Increasingly, though, these groups aren't restricting themselves to infiltrating the military (or political parties, for that matter) or having their kids play soldier in "Bible boot camps". Increasingly, "Joel's Army" theology is leaking into real world violence--including the neopentecostal dominionist hategroup "Watchmen At The Walls" (which has received official support from the Assemblies of God as a whole) as well as domestic terrorism (such as targeted assassinations of women's clinic workers and bombings of not only women's clinics but adult bookstores and LGBT nightclubs).

Holy. Fuck.

No comments: