"Convert Or Die" Game Sent To Troops In Iraq w/Pentagon Blessing
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 who criticized the game have said that it conditions players for religious war. Others think it's way cool:
"....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.
Now, with the blessing and endorsement of the Pentagon, a Christian ministry with apocalyptic fundamentalist beliefs that is planning a series of tours it calls a 'military crusade' to entertain US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq will also be distributing the "Left Behind: Eternal Forces" 'Convert or Die' religious warfare video game....
To US troops.
To US troops.
Let me repeat:
The United States Pentagon has endorsed sending a Christian supremacist religious warfare video game to United States troops in Iraq, a predominantly Muslim nation.
Osama Bin Laden himself could hardly hardly have hatched a better plot to incite widespread war between Christianity and Islam, and the Pentagon's endorsement of "Operation Straight Up" and that ministry's plan to bring the bigoted, hateful religious ideology inherent to Tim Lahaye and Jerry Jenkins' "Left Behind" book series to American troops in the front lines casts into question the basic competence, not to mention the sanity, of every Pentagon official involved in the decision to endorse such mind boggling idiocy. Once again: "Left Behind: Eternal Forces", a game depicting fundamentalist Christians religious warfare will be distributed to US troops. Courtesy of the PENTAGON. Here's Max Blumenthal, for the Nation:
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.
Now, American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan will be able to unwind by playing out a sanitized version of what in reality may the most savage type of war humans wage.
If war is hell, religious war is hell with vengeance. 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 incision in the sides of wounded enemy soldiers and pulling their intestines out to wind those around sticks and so extract the 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. Woo Hoo.
The real scandal involving the violent video game Left Behind: Eternal Forces is that the demonization of enemies, bloodthirsty dualism, and murderous rampages on the computer screen are accurate reflections of the apocalyptic theology espoused by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins in their Left Behind series of novels which have sold more than 70 million copies.
Last year, in May of 2006, Talk To Action contributor Jonathan Hutson began an unprecedented series of posts on the "Left Behind: Eternal Forces" video game, the first of which was entitled "The Purpose Driven Life Takers":
"Imagine: you are a foot soldier in a paramilitary group whose purpose is to remake America as a Christian theocracy, and establish its worldly vision of the dominion of Christ over all aspects of life. You are issued high-tech military weaponry, and instructed to engage the infidel on the streets of New York City. You are on a mission - both a religious mission and a military mission -- to convert or kill Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, gays, and anyone who advocates the separation of church and state - especially moderate, mainstream Christians. Your mission is "to conduct physical and spiritual warfare"; all who resist must be taken out with extreme prejudice. You have never felt so powerful, so driven by a purpose: you are 13 years old. You are playing a real-time strategy video game..."
In writing about the game, Jonathan Hutson, Chip Berlet, Frederick Clarkson, and other Talk To Action contributors were writing on how the game was being marketed to teenagers, and the prospect that the game would, little more than a year later, be on the way to US troops in Iraq would have seemed to us to be almost beyond imagination.
Now. visualize the hands of a clocks whirring round and round... they stop. It is now August 8, 2007, and the United States Pentagon has endorsed an Evangelical Christian organization that calls its planned, upcoming Iraq entertainment tour a "crusade", advocates apocalyptic theology, and distributes the "Left Behind: Eternal Forces" video game to the troops so that, exhausted after long hours guarding tense checkpoints or fighting block to block to root out Iraqi insurgents, American soldiers in Baghdad and elsewhere can relax by playing a video game, set on meticulously rendered New York City streets, in which fundamentalist Christians engage in simulated urban religious warfare.
"Push The Prayer Button"
Last December, 2006, I wrote a piece on the "Left Behind: Eternal Forces" game entitled "Push The Prayer Button". My title was a reference to an odd feature in the game : the Christian fundamentalist soldiers lose "spirit strength" every time they kill, so they need to go through a little ritual of penitence to restore their strength, after they kill, by "praying". Gamers active the "prayer" by pushing a button on their gaming joysticks. So: kill/push "prayer button", kill/push "prayer button", push button to kill/push prayer button, push button 1/push button 2.
In "Push The Prayer Button", excerpted from a longer essay I wrote called "Religious Warfare Stocking Stuffer", I addressed the teenagers who would be playing the game. So, I've struck out the word "teenagers" in the text below, to replace that with "US troops", and I've inserted "Pentagon" as necessary :
image, below: the true face of religious war, a painting of the 'St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre' of French Protestants.
Talk To Action may be the only website on the Internet with a special site section devoted to the "Left Behind: Eternal Forces" video game and the hateful ideology of the "Left Behind" book series that the video game is derived from.
There are over 34 articles on Talk To Action in our site section entitled Religious War. Here are the early Talk To Action posts that followed Jonathan Hutson's landmark "The Purpose Driven Life Takers".
A CONTRASTING OPINION
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