Department of Defense Funded Christian Ministry That Promotes The Glorification of Suicide Bombing
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 03:48:04 PM EST
"Check it out! We're stoked to present Tedashii's music video for "Make War" off his last album, Identity Crisis. Hope you dig sure to pass it on to your friends!"
---Billy Graham Evangelistic Association's Ransom ministry, November 3, 2010.

In September 2010, the Department of Defense, via Fort Bragg in Georgia, funded a Christian ministry that two months later was promoting an artist who celebrates suicide bombing as an example of Christian commitment to the cause. Here are the details.


Last September 2010, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) staged an evangelical rock concert, "Rock The Fort", at Fort Bragg in Georgia. The base both co-sponsored, endorsed, and even funded the event, which by one estimate cost US taxpayers over $100,000. "Rock The Fort" was billed as being part of an official "spiritual fitness" program.

In response, a coalition of atheist and freethinker groups planned a counter-concert at Ft. Bragg that was scheduled to be held on April 2nd, 2011. According to the organizers, Bragg officials have refused to endorse or fund the planned "Rock Beyond Belief" event and have also set up bureaucratic obstacles which make the event very difficult or even impossible to hold as planned (here's an excellent blow-by-blow account of the dispute, from Al Stefanelli.) Mikey Weinstein's Military Religious Freedom Foundation is suing on behalf of the Rock Beyond Belief effort.

Meanwhile, two months after its Fort Bragg concert, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, which has long sought to position itself squarely in the evangelical mainstream, promoted Christian rap artist Tedashii as well a song from Tedashii's new album--with lyrics declaring that Christians should be as dedicated as suicide bombers.

"Now we gotta start making WAR. Now we can start saying NO to the fleshly impulses that Jesus was paying for. Now we can start taking the lead, just like the Dalai Llama, and start going all out, just like a suicide bomber." - from Christian rap artist Tedashii's song Make War

Given that some soldiers now training at Bragg may be one day be killed by suicide bombers, the BGAE's promotion of Tedashii's song Make War seems especially striking.

In Fort Bragg's defense, it of course has to be noted that the BGAE promoted Tedashii and Make War after the "Rock the Fort" concert. But regardless of that mitigating circumstance, imagine the likely national outcry had the "Rock the Fort" concert been held by a Muslim religious group which subsequently promoted a rap song by a Muslim artist who celebrated suicide bombing.

It would have been national news.

In early November 2010 one of the 11 official sub-ministries of  the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, RansomTV, showcased an edited version of Tedashii's rap song Make War from which Tedashii's exhortation--that Christians should be as dedicated as suicide bombers--had been removed. But Ransom encouraged its readers to buy Tedashii's Identity Crisis album (which has the full version of Make War) and Ransom also promoted Tedashii as an artist.

Does globally celebrated evangelist Billy Graham endorse suicide bombing? That would seem unlikely, especially given his September 14, 2001 address at the National Cathedral on September 14, 2001, three days after the September 11, 2001 suicide bombing attacks obliterated the World Trade Center, damaged the Pentagon, and slaughtered over 3,000 innocent people.

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association's first line of rhetorical  defense will probably be that RansomTV featured a cut-down version of "Make War" from which the reference to suicide bombing had been stripped out. But that's irrelevant. RansomTV, and the BGEA, have promoted Tedashii, and that will entice evangelical Christian youth to buy Tedashii's albums, including the full-length cut of "Make War" on Tedashii's Identity Crisis album - in which they'll be rhetorically encouraged to be as dedicated as terrorists who immolate themselves in fiery explosions that claim the lives of others (including women and children, we might assume.)

In other words, Billy Graham's BGEA has just promoted, and thus endorsed, an artist who seems to celebrate what American secular media would typically describe as terrorism.

As writer Glenn Greenwald observes, leading Republican politicians can be found these days fraternizing with members of a known terrorist group. American Taliban author Markos Moulitsas would seem to argue that's the new norm for secular 'conservative' leaders. But religious leaders of Graham's generation typically have aspired to a higher level of conduct.

Tedashii's exhortation is especially disturbing in light of the 2011 New Year's suicide bombing of an Egyptian church that killed 21 and injured 79 Coptic Christians.

Billy Graham himself has managed to wind down his astonishingly influential career as an evangelist with public perception of his character still heavily favorable despite the recent emergence of incriminating Nixon Tape conversation in which, for example, Graham can be heard telling Nixon, in a 1973 conversation, that there are two kinds of Jews in the world, one good and the other part of the "synagogue of Satan".

Tedashii's suggestion that Christians should aspire to a level of dedication shown by suicide bombers is not an anomaly. It's part of a rising tendency in evangelical Christianity, far from marginal, which celebrates the revolutionary zeal of suicide bombers and Hitler Youth, and speaks in the vernacular of religious warfare.

Hitler, Lenin, Mao, Hurrah!

As a November 5, 2010 story in Christian Today described,

"Make War" is from Tedashii's sophomore release "Identity Crisis", which debuted at No 2 on Billboard's Top Gospel Album chart.

The song was inspired by a message from pastor and author John Piper, in which he said: "I hear so many Christians murmuring about their imperfections, and their failures and their addiction, and their shortcomings. And, I see so little war!"

In 2005, Time Magazine published a list of "25 Most Influential Evangelicals." Billy Graham shared the list with Doug Coe, head of the Family/Fellowship which runs the National Prayer Breakfast and has been the subject of two books [1, 2] by journalist Jeff Sharlet. Coe, who seems to have been a personal friend to a succession of US presidents, has also been known to encourage Christians to aspire to the level of dedication shown by the followers of Hitler, Lenin, and Mao [see NBC  video segment]

Coe wasn't the only evangelist on Time's list to have publicly evinced admiration for Hitler Youth. Joining Coe was Rick Warren.  In 2005, the same year as Time's "25 Most Influential" issue, mega-evangelist Warren, selected to give a prayer at President Barack Obama's inauguration in early 2009, held a massive church rally at California's Anaheim Angels Stadium during which Warren told his followers,

"In 1939, in a stadium much like this, in Munich Germany, they packed it out with young men and women in brown shirts, for a fanatical man standing behind a podium named Adolf Hitler, the personification of evil.

And in that stadium, those in brown shirts formed with their bodies a sign that said, in the whole stadium, "Hitler, we are yours."

And they nearly took the world.

Lenin once said, "give me 100 committed, totally committed men and I'll change the world." And, he nearly did.

A few years ago, they took the sayings of Chairman Mao, in China, put them in a little red book, and a group of young people committed them to memory and put it in their minds and they took that nation, the largest nation in the world by storm because they committed to memory the sayings of the Chairman Mao.

When I hear those kinds of stories, I think 'what would happen if American Christians, if world Christians, if just the Christians in this stadium, followers of Christ, would say 'Jesus, we are yours' ?

What kind of spiritual awakening would we have ? "

...don't use suicide bombings per-se...

This reminds me of Engle's talk of having Martyrs for Christ and the coming civil war in America over Abortion:

I was raised with this kind of stuff, a church that hosted Engle at one point taught me that martyrdom was the greatest thing I could ever do for Christ.  The language of the greatness of Christian Martyrs is not unique to this one group.  DC Talk, a famous Christian Rap artist put out a book that was supposed to be a contemporary "Foxe's Book of Martyrs."  It was called, "Jesus Freaks," I read this when I was a young teen.

It's interesting that they capitalize so much on the street gang style, Engle's son employed similar rhetoric in regards to "The Call" saying that there was "God's gang" and "The Devil's gang."  And that "God's gang" is now recruiting 12 year-olds for the cause:

Anyway, with rhetoric like this coming from the far right, I certainly support a liberal right to bear arms.  If these people ever fully snap, liberal leaders will have done us a great disservice by disarming us through rhetoric and a false sense of security.

Then, of course, there is this, which I'm sure is completely unrelated in regards to probability:

by OldChaosoftheSun on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 06:48:13 PM EST

Munich Germany, they packed it out with young men and women in brown shirts, for a fanatical man standing behind a podium named Adolf Hitler, the personification of evil.hcg drops

by jacus on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 06:03:56 AM EST

For those who benefit from it, progress is about improving their material lifestyle at the expense of those they enslave, steal from, or otherwise exploit.Voodoobunny Directory

by mydraid on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 03:54:48 AM EST

Billy Graham's BGEA has just promoted, and thus endorsed, an artist who seems to celebrate what American secular media would typically describe as terrorism. birkin

by mike12 on Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 07:12:09 AM EST

Munich Germany, they packed it out with young men and women in brown shirts, for a fanatical man standing behind a podium named Adolf Hitler, the personification of evil.Ted Garoutte

by nilky698 on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 03:29:04 AM EST

It is very well portrayed as well as depicted. roofing Nashville

by mero on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 06:25:29 AM EST

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by dennishobson on Mon May 27, 2013 at 01:30:34 PM EST

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