"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"It is impossible for me to say in my book one word about all that music has meant in my life. How then can I hope to be understood?--Ludwig Wittgenstein

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Spreading the "gospel"

"Evangelism" comes to English via the Greek word "euangelion", originally "a reward for good news, then simply good news," according to Arndt and Gingrich.

Now, sadly, it means this:

From October 31, 2005, issue of The New Yorker:

[...] The neoconservatives—the Republicans who argued most fervently for the second Gulf war—believe in the export of democracy, by violence if that is required, Scowcroft said. “How do the neocons bring democracy to Iraq? You invade, you threaten and pressure, you evangelize.” And now, Scowcroft said, America is suffering from the consequences of that brand of revolutionary utopianism. “This was said to be part of the war on terror, but Iraq feeds terrorism,” he said.

Scowcroft was Richard Nixon’s military assistant in the last years of the Vietnam War, and he says, “Vietnam was visceral in the American people. That was a really bitter period, and it turned us against foreign-policy adventures deeply, and it was not until the Gulf War that we were able to come out of that. This is not that deep.” But, he said, “we’re moving in that direction.”
It isn't entirely an accident that the neo-cons are so closely connected with the "religious right" in this country (which, I am tempted to say, is neither).

Nor is it accidental that America feels itself peculiarly positioned to prosecute this war.


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