Pentagon Chaplain Thinks "Convert Or Die" Religious War Game Is Way Cool
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 01:53:20 PM EST
Will Bold New 'Crusader' Rhetoric help Turn Tide In Iraq ?

Courtesy of the Pentagon, and the Pentagon Chaplain's Office, troops in Iraq and Afghanistan will soon be able to unwind, after a hard day's urban warfare, by playing a video game in which they command a Christian fundamentalist army waging urban warfare in America ! On the streets of New York City ! Plus, in the game screens appear, between different levels of play, with short, helpful essays such as one that explains how the Theory of Evolution is clearly impossible. And, the game will be provided to US troops, free of charge, by a fundamentalist ministry that says it's waging a 'military crusade'... How cool is that ?

The United States Pentagon Chaplain likes "Left Behind: Eternal Forces" and the religious warfare the game depicts so much that the Chaplain's Office is sponsoring a prayer breakfast in the Pentagon's main executive dining room this Friday morning, where the founder of an apocalyptic fundamentalist "extreme sports" ministry that will distribute the game to US troops in Iraq (thoughtfully included in care packages along with baby wipes) will address top officials of the most powerful military on Earth.

Religious war is way cool. On the smoking battlefields of the religious wars that erupted in Europe in the wake of the Catholic/Protestant rift, victorious armies would entertain themselves by making small incisions in the sides of wounded enemy soldiers and pulling their intestines out to wind those around sticks and so extract entire intestinal tracts, very, very slowly. In Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins' "Left Behind" series, God does that to unbelievers; God pulls their guts out.

That's religious war. Way cool.

image, below: a painting of the 'St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre' depicted the radically badassed nature of religious warfare.

I guess some folks in the Pentagon think apocalyptic religious warfare is pretty badass too, and "Operation Straight Up" (OSU), that will be distributing the religious warfare video game to US troops, boasts that the President of The United States might just be there. OSU says it's waging a "Crusade" too, and that's beyond badass, because the Crusaders, in their singular dedication to furthering Christianity, were willing to impale, barbecue, and eat pagan children and so maybe the Pentagon's endorsement of a ministry that invokes the name of the Crusades will send a strong message, to America's foes, that they'd best think twice before messing with the US of A.

The "Left Behind: Eternal Forces" video game, is set in a "post apocalyptic" New York that looks almost exactly like New York City after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and lets players simulate commanding a paramilitary Christian army that seeks to convert Jews, mainline Christians, Muslims, atheists, Buddhists, and everyone else in New York City to fundamentalist Christianity. All who resist will be killed.

Some, like Mikey Weinstein and his Military Religious Freedom Foundation criticize the game because it promotes apocalyptic religious thnking and an ideology of religious war, and pushes creationism. Others, like Troy Lyndon who thinks it's way cool as a coffee-table book, just miss the point altogether :

"....this tremendous game that has it all; great graphics, strategy, depth and meaningful messages worthwhile of fascinating coffee table discussions." - Troy Lyndon, CEO of "Left Behind Games", describing the new "Left Behind: Eternal Forces" video game.

That's ridiculous. "Left Behind: Eternal Forces" is radical, baddass cool ; like the Crusades and the Crusaders. Jonathan Spinks, founder of Operation Straight Up, wouldn't say such wussy things. Spinks was a badass kick boxing champion.

The game is based on the infinitely cool "Left Behind" book series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. Soak up the coolness:

"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

God pulls out their guts - radical. I bet God makes their heads explode too, just like in that Cronenberg movie. "Left Behind" books are radically cool, and a video game based on the books is cooler still. Here's Max Blumenthal, for the Nation, covering this exciting new development with his usual razor-edged aplomb:

As an official arm of the Defense Department's America Supports You program, OSU plans to mail copies of the controversial apocalyptic video game, Left Behind: Eternal Forces to soldiers serving in Iraq. OSU is also scheduled to embark on a "Military Crusade in Iraq" in the near future.

"We feel the forces of heaven have encouraged us to perform multiple crusades that will sweep through this war torn region," OSU declares on its website about its planned trip to Iraq. "We'll hold the only religious crusade of its size in the dangerous land of Iraq."

Crusades ! How radically cool are those ?

I mean, listen to the radical, crazy stuff the Crusaders did ! They were some badass dudes, impaling heathen children on spits, barbecuing them and eating them like big kebabs. Baddaaaaassss cool. Look at what I found on the Wikipedia. Crazy shit :

"The most infamous event from the city's history dates from late 1098, during the First Crusade. After the Crusaders, led by Raymond de Saint Gilles and Bohemond of Taranto, successfully besieged Antioch they found themselves with insufficient supplies of food. Their raids on the surrounding countryside during the winter months did not help the situation. By December 12 when they reached Ma'arra, many of them were suffering from starvation and malnutrition. They managed to breach the city's walls and massacred about 20,000 inhabitants, as they often did when they captured a city. However, this time, as they could not find enough food, they resorted to cannibalism.

One of the crusader commanders wrote to Pope Urban II: "A terrible famine racked the army in Ma'arra, and placed it in the cruel necessity of feeding itself upon the bodies of the Saracens."

Radulph of Caen, another chronicler, wrote: "In Ma'arra our troops boiled pagan adults alive in cooking-pots; they impaled children on spits and devoured them grilled."

Those events had a strong impact on the local inhabitants of Middle East"

"Had a strong effect on the local inhabitants" ! Damn right. Barbecue and eat people's kids, they'll remember that for a long time. A thousand years, maybe, its so badass !

Makes todays' military look mamby-pamby by comparison. Geneva Conventions ? Hellooooooo - the Crusaders knew how to get the job done, and it's refreshingly, radically badass cool that the Pentagon and the Pentagon Chaplain's Office is endorsing that kickboxing minister guy, Jonathan Spinks, and his ministry, because Spinks invokes the noble military enterprise of the Crusades, and the Crusaders who were innovative enough to think of cooking and eating people's kids and courageous enough to do so. Was that pleasant for them ? I doubt it. But, they had the courage to do that, in the furtherance of their Crusade, and their courageous acts of Christian cannibalism sent a message of strength that let their foes know better than to mess with Crusaders.

So, it's a refreshing change of pace that the Pentagon Chaplain's Office is bold enough to stand behind Jonathan Spinks' invocation of the Crusades, because it might make Iraq insurgents in Baghdad think twice before taking on America troops to know that those troops are playing a video game that's sort of like a Crusade, in which they're waging war against their fellow Americans ! If the Iraqis can be made aware that US troops, some of them anyway - the ones who are tough like the Crusaders were tough - can be taught to wage war against their fellow Americans or pursue victory with the single mindedness of Crusaders, those Iraqis might just smarten up and stand down.


US troops will surely benefit from the "wholesome family" values imparted by this information packed Christian religious war video game that includes helpful creationist refutations of the Theory Of Evolution in the screens between play levels.

Major Christian leaders such as Promise Keepers co-founder coach Bill McCartney, who told a LA Times reporter that in the End-Times "The Jews will be toast", have endorsed the game. Tim LaHaye, co-author of the book series the "Left Behind: Eternal Forces" game is derived from, has stated that atheistic Jews have committed some of the worst evil the world has ever seen. So as US troops playing the game manage their paramilitary Christian armies fighting to conquer NYC, which many believe to be the world capital of Jewish atheism, they can learn Christian values of ethnic and religious tolerance while they practice ridding the world of what may be, per Tim LaHaye, the locus of the greatest force for evil on Earth.

Beyond teaching US troops how to combat Jewish atheism, the game will serve to relax US soldiers fighting in Iraq to protect America from the terrorist threat there that seems to grow worse daily ; tired from bloody combat in hot, dusty Iraqi cities and towns, they can retreat to the soothing tranquility of simulated warfare from which all the mess of urban combat - the bloodshed, and the mess of dismembered, disemboweled, and burnt bodies, decapitated children and rotting dog carcasses that US troops see littering the Iraqi streets, have been thoughtfully and soothingly expurgated. In the tranquil, simulated "Left Behind: Eternal Forces" world of warfare there is none of the smell, trauma, or mess.

Some, like this cranky guy on a political website called the "Daily Kos seem dead set against bringing this fine game to troops in the field.

But, if US troops in Iraq get to wield modern high tech weaponry, the best Uncle Sam can provide, to fight and kill insurgents on the streets and alleys of Baghdad, why shouldn't they get a free game that lets them practice doing a very similar thing in New York City ? What's the harm in that ? I'm sure US troops are homesick for the good 'ol USA and if "Left Behind: Eternal Forces" can help out a bit with that, why not ? Some of those troops will be from New York, so they can revisit all the spots they know and love !

The "Left Behind: Eternal Forces" game has it all - total war, tanks, helicopters, snipers, satanic 'UN Peacekeeping Troops", goat-footed demons, Creationism smacking down Evolution, satanic atheists and rock musicians....

The Pentagon Chaplain's endorsement of distributing the game to troops, and invoking the name of the badass Crusaders to strike fear into the hearts of America's foes, is radically cool.

You go, Pentagon Chaplain. The only thing cooler would be if you had the the strength to personally send brave symbolic messages, to America's enemies, the way the Crusaders did.

But you're a chaplain, not a crusader, and so I guess your coolness only goes so far.


..but I remember blogging about the share-price of the company that produces Left Behind: Eternal Forces falling to "penny-stock" status. It seems it wasn't as popular as LaHaye's cooool books...

What better way to rid yourself of a warehouse full of unsold merchandise than to take a tax-deduction for giving it to US soldiers in Iraq.

Unless you are already a tax-free entity - and then I don't know what their motive would be, except the obvious: gain converts.

Or, and this is despicable: to get the soldiers wound up and let them loose, with loaded rifles...and a bad attitude...

Have I mentioned yet how much I fear and loathe these people?

In the spirit of "evil is as evil does", our soldiers had better keep better track of their LB:EF players - "what goes around, comes around" has occurred when we begin to find dead GIs with their "guts pulled out"!

I wonder if their families will think it's still "badassss cool" then...

by Naomi on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 07:08:14 PM EST
That was part of my take as well - tax writeoff.

I'm not sure what direct effect this will have, but the major import is that the Pentagon - and the Pentagon Chaplain's office - is sanctioning the distribution of the game, with it's apocalyptic theology, Creationist readings, and structural anti-Semitism.

by Bruce Wilson on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 08:53:29 PM EST

...but the bad chaplain has fled; he's now an uber-pastor of some Airport Chapel/church group in DC.

Which means that the new one is no better at keeping Christian Embassy (and CE clones) from rushing the door.

Bruce, how do we stop this? I asked a question on a blog about the DoD/IG report after stating CE's attitude is: We're here. We've been here for a long time. We've been here so long, we'll never be kicked out.

How do we loosen their tentacles? Or lop off CE's arm? Whatever we do, they'll just go underground...for a while, until they think we've forgotten about them.

The CowardlyCongress won't want to touch this a mile-long pole! Bet me: there will be no hearings on this!

Can we make them get an office off-campus? We need to throw up roadblocks and barricades, a spider-web of rules, an encyclopedia of Don'ts/Thou-shall-nots...and a big, mean bouncer!

On one of my other blogs, I'm known for specializing in CE and the Pentagon, and Mikey Weinstein's fight...

by Naomi on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 12:25:15 AM EST
Rules can always be subverted, especially by those who hold power.

The first steps in any movement are :

  1. initial coherence of a core group - solidarity is strength. At many levels.

  2. evangelism ( please take that word in secular terms )

But beneath those outward, necessary embryonic initial steps, underneath all, there's the need for conviction, fearless belief that you  have no choice but to work at changing things. This can be hard to achieve and maintain, but it's basic.

That's  very indirect - I've had a long day, but please keep asking. We're all searching for answers.

by Bruce Wilson on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 01:45:08 AM EST

What a great expose of this facet of the these theocrats. Knowledge is power, so thanks again Bruce.

I am a barber in the bloody red state of Mississippi. I have some military (air force) customers and many of them are getting sick of the whole war. Maybe the chaplains and/or the pentagon brass think that the warriors are 'growing weary in welldoing' and need to get 'pumped up for Jesus' by playing these games.

It's amazing to me than no one has called them on the sloppy theology inherent in the 'Left Behind' series. If they really knew how to study the bible, they'd find out quickly that this whole rapture cult is a bunch of crap.

We certainly live in interesting times.

by COinMS on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 09:22:11 AM EST

I sent e-mails to my senators (Boxer and Feinstein) and my Congresscritter (Pelosi) regarding this and asking that they do something.  Let's see if I hear back from any of them.  

by SFLady on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 12:36:41 PM EST

OSU stands for Ohio State University, and the school has a much longer history of being known as OSU. How about trying to avoid using that acronym unless you're actually referring to Ohio State?

by Len on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 11:47:28 AM EST
Says "OSU" is "USO" backwards.

by Bruce Wilson on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 12:33:33 AM EST

I can't understand how anyone can find this game cool, I mean religious war... How can it ever be cool? More like horrifying.
Angelica, IT Freelancer currently working on the canada cialis project.
by Angelica on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 04:03:46 AM EST

WWW Talk To Action

Why Is Bishop Robert Finn Still In Power?
As I reported in September 2014, Bishop Robert Finn, head of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri has been under Vatican investigation to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
Thus It Was Prophesied in 2012: Ted Cruz Will Be VP, Or a Supreme Court Justice
This is a transcript, of pastor Larry Huch and Rafael Cruz, father of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, from an appearance Rafael Cruz made at......
By Bruce Wilson (1 comment)
Crusin with Cruz
Ted Cruz threw his hat into the ring, announcing his bid for President in the worship center at Jerry Falwell's University last night.  Mother......
By wilkyjr (2 comments)
Ted Cruz: Born From The Heart of the Dominionist Christian Right
[welcome, Thom Hartmann Show fans, here is a short introduction to my past coverage on Ted Cruz and the dominionist Christian right] Did you......
By Bruce Wilson (1 comment)
Coming Soon to Utah: An International Festival of Bigotry
An international network of some of the world's most vitriolic Religious Right activists and self-proclaimed orthodox religious leaders is holding its ninth global conference......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Bumpy Lane: Religious Right Operative Seeks To Build (Another) Church-Based Political Machine
Here's what the country doesn't need right now: another zealot aiming to mobilize right-wing pastors to become a force in electoral politics.Yet that's what......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Team Jeb Bush's Liaison to Religious Right Is Hardcore Culture Warrior
In 2008, Senator John McCain's campaign recognized that he needed to shore up his credentials with the Religious Right, which was skeptical about his......
By Bill Berkowitz (2 comments)
American ISIS: Christian Reconstructionists And `Biblical Law' In America
Every now and then, while scanning the day's news, I come across a headline that's hard to believe.Like this one: "California lawyer proposes ballot......
By Rob Boston (3 comments)
Will our Prisons Overflow with Christians this Summer?
Many leaders of the Christian Right, from megachurch pastors like Rick Warren to the top prelates in the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, have......
By Frederick Clarkson (3 comments)
Say You Want A Christian Nation?: Let's Try This One
Last week an article began circulating on social media claiming that 57 percent of Republicans in a recent poll said they believe Christianity should......
By Rob Boston (3 comments)
Are The Fundamentalists Winning?
We missed Evolution Weekend, which was held February 13-15 this year.   This worthwhile effort, which began the same year as Talk to Action,......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Mario Cuomo's Memorable Lesson on Challenging the Political Authority of the Church
It is never too late to remember. Here is a reposting of a column I did following the death of former New York Gov.......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
The Legacy of Francis Bellamy
"We assemble here that we, too, may exalt the free school that embodies the American principles of universal enlightenment and equality; the most characteristic......
By wilkyjr (2 comments)
The Inquisitional Urge Gets the Better of Bill Donohue (Again)
Bill Donohue is at it again. The Catholic League president went apoplectic over President Obama’s seemingly innocuous comments at the February 5th National Prayer......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
John Dorhauer Recommended to Lead United Church of Christ
I am very pleased to report that John Dorhauer, who joined us early on at Talk to Action has been recommended by a national......
By Frederick Clarkson (3 comments)

Evangelicals Seduced By Ayn Rand Worship Crypto-Satanism, Suggest Scholars
[update: also see my closely related stories, "Crypto-Cultists" and "Cranks": The Video Paul Ryan Hoped Would Go Away, and The Paul Ryan/Ayn Rand/Satanism Connection Made Simple] "I give people Ayn Rand with trappings" -......
Bruce Wilson (9 comments)
Ted Cruz Anointed By Pastor Who Says Jesus Opposed Minimum Wage, and Constitution Based on the Bible
In the video below, from a July 19-20th, 2013 pastor's rally at a Marriott Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, Tea Party potentate Ted Cruz is blessed by religious right leader David Barton, who claims......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Galt and God: Ayn Randians and Christian Rightists Expand Ties
Ayn Rand's followers find themselves sharing a lot of common ground with the Christian Right these days. The Tea Party, with its stress on righteous liberty and a robust form of capitalism, has been......
JSanford (3 comments)
Witchhunts in Africa and the U.S.A.
Nigerian human rights activist Leo Igwe has recently written at least two blog posts about how some African Pentecostal churches are sending missionaries to Europe and the U.S.A. in an attempt to "re-evangelize the......
Diane Vera (1 comment)
Charles Taze Russell and John Hagee
No doubt exists that Texas mega-church Pastor John Hagee would be loathe to be associated with the theology of Pastor C.T. Russell (wrongly credited with founding the Jehovah's Witnesses) but their theological orbits, while......
COinMS (0 comments)
A death among the common people ... imagination.
Or maybe my title would better fit as “Laws, Books, where to find, and the people who trust them.”What a society we've become!The wise ones tell us over and over how the more things......
Arthur Ruger (0 comments)
Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (3 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (5 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (5 comments)
Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Yes, that's right. We have totally lost our religious freedom in Mississippi and it must be restored by our legislators. ......
COinMS (2 comments)
Bill Gothard accused of harassing women and failing to report child abuse
Surprised no one's mentioned this, but one of the longest-standing leaders of the religious right is in a world of trouble.  Bill Gothard has been active in the fundie movement for over half......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
Eugene Delgaudio may lose his day job as Virginia county supervisor
Surprised no one's noticed this, but one of the nation's most virulent homophobes is in a fight to keep his day job.  Eugene Delgaudio is best known as the head of Public Advocate......
Christian Dem in NC (1 comment)
Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents
This caught me by surprise. I guess times are a changin in Dixieland. ------------------------------------- Cross posted from the HRC blog. Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents January 21,......
COinMS (1 comment)

More Diaries...

All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.