February 13, 2012

The Two Beasts

A year ago the Middle East exploded, or pehaps "imploded" would be more accurate. The "Arab Spring" swept away bitter, oppressive dictators in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and half a dozen smaller countries. At about that same time, a pro-Shari'a fundamentalist political group was voted into power in Turkey's parliment. As spring moved into summer and summer into fall, power struggles within the Arab Spring countries gradually forced out modern democratic reformers. Although the world's press is trying to pretend otherwise, this spring fundamentalist military and political regimes are being solidified in every single Arab Spring country. Here are two of the rare news articles that have actually been brave enough to report the facts, one of them is Israeli, the other British:

IsraNet Daily Briefing: As the Arab Spring Fades Into an Islamic Winter
Daily Mail Online: Arab Spring is becoming an Islamic Winter

My own take on this phenomena is much less focused. After all, I'm not a journalist. I'm just a guy living in Ohio who makes connections the real journalists tend to overlook (partly because their profession requires them to have razor sharp focus on the immediate situation). Some of my views are here:

June 26, 2010: The Final Unholy Alliance
August 14, 2010: Progressive Hypocrisy
May 14, 2011: Chaos, Confusion, and World War Three
May 21, 2011: Time, times and half a time

Ever since early 2010 I have been racking my brain trying to understand why the Marxist-inspired academic and journalistic worlds have been so hot to downplay Islamic violence, disregard for human rights, and imposition of Shari'a law on freedom-seeking national populations. One reason, although not the only reason, is a basic assumption held by both groups that some individuals are superior by nature and this entitles them to tell the rest of us how to live. This "divine right" has been used throughout human history to force we the people into subservience to tyrants, dictators, kings, emperors, and other "rightful leaders".

A key difference between the American revolution and every revolution before or since is that we strove to abandon as much as possible this core assumption whereby some individuals are seen as more "enlightened" than others. Unfortunately, just enough of the old monarchist assumptions remained to cloud the issue. Although the complex system of checks and balances meant to restrain these power-hungry individuals lasted for nearly a century, the Civil War pretty much ripped that system to shreds, opening the way for the psuedo-dictatorships of Lincoln, Jackson, Wilson, and Franklin. These men, who we've been taught to regard as national saviors, each forced us to surrender a few of our individual freedoms "for the greater good". Now we find ourselves at a point in time where two presidents in a row, one a Republican and the other a Democrat, have felt no guilt and no compunction at ordering the nation to shut up and abide by their dictates.

The office of president has drawn to itself so much power that all it would take is a single executive order to dismantle the constitution and render us all slaves of the federal government. Thanks to the combined legal framework of the War Powers Act and the Patriot Act, the president does not even need a real-world cause, all he would need to do is claim that an undefined systematic threat to our way of life exists and the only way to command the resources to counter it is to short-circuit the system "temporarily". He could suspend the Constitution for six months, and at the end of those six months, suspend it again. After the first year, all he would need to do is write a new executive order prohibiting the Constitution from ever being restored and asking for a new one to be drawn up by a committee he appointed.

For better or for worse, our current president spent his formative early years in an Islamic school in Malaysia. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that much of his foreign policy encourages and strengthens Shari'a-based fundamentalist Islam everywhere it raises its violent, blood-soaked head.

"Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon. He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven in full view of men. Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name."
--- Revelation 13:11-17

And, as everyone knows, that number is 666. The number itself, however, is just as symbolic as everything else in that passage. When John wrote it he was no doubt referring to the reigning Roman Emperor. The important elements of this passage are the two beasts, the first out of the sea and the second out of the earth. The sea and the earth were very important symbols to the Jews of the First Century. John was a Jew while his audience was a mixture of Jews and everyone else.

The beast from the sea for non-Jews would resonate as the Kraken or perhaps the god Poseidon who commands the Kraken. For Jews it would resonate as the Leviathan from the book of Job. It carries the weight of a huge, unexpected danger rising from the unpredictable sea and destroying all in its path. In today's world, it could easily be a powerful nation such as the United States, Russia, or China. It could also be the combined submarine launched nuclear arsenals of the United States, Russia, China, France, and Great Britain. There are two important characteristics: it is vast and destructive and it is wounded from an apparently fatal blow to the head.

The beast from the earth would represent something much different. For both Jews and non-Jews of the 1st Century, a beast from the earth would represent tradition, order, kingship, and other human institutions. Lions, dragons, griffins, manticores, serpents, and even a variety of werebeasts were used by landed gentry and powerful elites to symbolize their personal virility, their political power, and their rightful station as defenders of the masses.

The key point in all of this is the fatal blow to the head suffered by the first beast. For five years now that is what I have been watching for. Remember, it does not have to be a literal blow to the head or stroke of a sword even as the beast itself does not have to be a literal sea dragon. The second beast is powerless without that blow and cannot appear until after it has taken place. The second beast "resurrects" the first beast as some kind of "image" and it is from that resurrection that the second beast derives its power. The key metaphor is a perversion of Christ's redemptive resurrection, not the literal appearance of a couple dragons. The resurrected "image" replaces Christ and Christ's body on earth (the church) in the popular imagination, deceiving if possible, "the very elect" (Matthew 24:24). Again, the ability to deceive is the point the text is trying to make. A perversion of something ordinary and everyday becomes the device used to convince Christians and non-believers alike that a new world order has arrived, a world order which demands their allegience at swordpoint.

Now, in case you're having trouble putting the pieces together, let me spell it out for you. The modern collectivist movement (Marxism primarily, as well as the more palatable cousin, "socialism") seeks to resume it's "rightful place" telling the rest of us how to think, how to eat, and how to live. They know for a fact (at least in their own minds) that they are better educated and more intelligent than you and I, therefore, it is their solemn duty to guide us. In keeping with this sense of privilege and entitlement, they dare not sully their hands and reputations with the real blood-work of mass destruction that is necessary to give them this power. Every divine king must have his dutiful liege who commands the actual executions. Starting with the rise to prominence of the Palestine Liberation Army, western collectivists (both conservative and liberal, by the way) have counted on Islamic terrorists to perform that duty. Since radical muslims also feel they are more enlightened than the rest of us, and since the Qur'an commands the use of violence and death to fulfill this duty, they are more than happy to do the dirty work. It is, as they say, "a match made in heaven".

And I am not the only one saying this. Today I found an article by a very liberal, collectivist documentary filmmaker named Eric Allen Bell which arrives at the same conclusion I arrived at in early 2010. Unfortunately, I cannot get the original article to load, so you will have to read the same abridged version I did. I do apologize for that. I always prefer to list up original sources whenever possible and in a case like this, it is vital, but I cannot send you off on a link that will not load. If you've read every link I've posted today, then you've been hanging here for a hour or so already. I do appreciate that. The following article is just as long, but the perspective is entirely unique and radically different from my own. It is, I freely admit, shocking to find someone at the opposite extreme of the intellectual and political spectrum who has arrived at the same conclusion as I have.

Dancing Czars: "The High Price of Telling the Truth About Islam", by Eric Allen Bell

I'm not a fan of Alex Jones and his "Prison Planet" movement, but I will give him credit for getting one thing absolutely right: there is a war on for your mind! The ultimate prize, however, is not just your mind. The real prize is the future of your children and the destiny of your immortal soul. If you don't choose a side in this war, your side will automatically be chosen for you by your family and your culture, so please, take the time to make your own choice. Honestly, it does not matter to me which side you join. My only concern is that you make the choice yourself. Your eternity depends on it. The real-world future of your children and mine also depends on it.

Choose wisely. Even more importantly, make sure it is your choice and not someone else's choice being forced onto you.