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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Left Behind. To Slaughter Infidels.

Left Behind to do some Shooting

A common criticism leveled at Muslims is that they don't do enough to speak out against the radical elements of their religion which are warping public perception against the whole religion. Fair enough.

Likewise, Christianity has some radical elements that I don't see the mainstream Christians doing much to reign in. A prime example is the Left Behind series, and the new Left Behind video game.

Based on a perception of biblical end times this game advocates, in the developer's own words, to "Conduct physical & spiritual warfare : using the power of prayer to strengthen your troops in combat and wield modern military weaponry throughout the game world." and "Command your forces through intense battles...fighting in China Town, SoHo , Uptown and more!"

Basically, the aim of the game is to "convert" (to Christianity) as many people as you can, and kill those that you can't.

Does this sort of thing sound familiar?
Does the word "jihad" ring a bell?

Some Christians are speaking out against this game, but so far surprisingly few.
From an MSNBC article:
“Part of the object is to kill or convert the opposing forces,” said the Rev. Tim Simpson of Jacksonville, Fla., who heads the Christian Alliance for Progress. “It is antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
"Frederick Clarkson..."The message is. ... there will be religious warfare, and you will target your fellow Americans, people from other faiths, people who you consider to be sinners.”"
Shockingly, many Christian organizations generally thought of as mainstream, have come out in support of this game. Dr. James Dobson's Focus on the Family gave the game a positive review (which they have now taken off the web). The game and/or books are also endorsed by Promise Keepers, Women of Faith, Concerned Women for America, and "numerous others" according to their website. I personally know people who are members of these organizations.

This is not just a fringe phenom.
The book series, on which the game is based, has printed a shocking 50 million copies, and the 10th book debuted at #1 on the New York Times best seller list. At one point in 1998, this series simultaneously occupied the top four slots on the NYT list. (source)

Also notable in the article linked above from Catholic.com entitled "False Profit - Money, Prejudice, and Bad Theology in Tim LaHaye’s Left Behind Series" is the author Tim LaHayes close affiliation with Rev. Sun Moon - the self proclaimed "new messiah" and head of the Moonies. Now that is getting WAY beyond the bounds of Christianity.

Also the fact that LaHayes was one of the founders of the Moral Majority, which lobbied for legislation against many things, including violence in video games. Ironic that he is now marketing a shoot-em-up game.

So why has the Christian church supported these people and this kind of a warped message? Or of those that have not supported directly, been reluctant to come out against it and defend against the damage it is doing to public perception of the religion?

The parallels with the situation regarding extremists the Islamic world are plain. Interestingly, I find Christians to be the ones most vocal in their criticism of the Islamic situation. Perhaps they should be checking their own eyes, if you know what I mean.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's an excerpt of a letter LaHaye dictated to Bo Hi Pak, Moon's top political operative at the time:

Once again, my friend, I am in your debt for your generous help to our work. You don't know how timely it was! This move and reorganization of the whole ministry to free me for more time in Washington and ACTV [American Coalition for Traditional Values] activities has been extremely expensive, much more so than I originally thought. But I see daylight down the road and feel it is part the Master's plan. As soon as I can afford it, I plan to hire a PR firm to give more coverage for ACTV, get our message to the people. ["Unholy Alliance" by Carolyn Weaver - Mother Jones - January, 1986]

The entire letter can be found here.

Lahaye also visited Moon when the conservative's messiah was serving time in prison for tax evasion. No, Tim didn't ask Moon to repent, quite the opposite. From Bo Hi Pak who drove LaHaye for his visit:

During the drive, Dr. LaHaye said, "It is incredible what our government did to Reverend Moon, to confine Reverend Moon in this kind of place." When we got to Danbury, he met Father, who was wearing humble prison clothes. He held Father's hands and the first words Dr. LaHaye spoke were, "Reverend Moon, I apologize on behalf of my government." Mother [Moon's co-messiah wife] saw that Dr. LaHaye's eyes were red and he was crying. What a beautiful union, a beautiful union of brothers, like Esau and Jacob. Father and Dr. LaHaye were embracing. [Chapter 45 Mount Danbury- Belvedere Estate - Tarrytown, New York - Feb. 3, 1985 - Bo Hi Pak - Truth is My Sword, Volume II ]

6:08 AM  

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