The Rev. Dr. Richard Banach
REV. DR. RICHARD BANACH: An amended essay with endnotes on the deeper implications of the Bush II Presidency
The following essay on the deeper implications of the Bush II presidency by the Rev. Dr. Richard W. Banach was published in The Olympian [scroll down], regional newspaper for the Washington State capital area, circulation 35,000, on October 3, 2007. Title: Reclaim power and create better future.
It was first published in The Nisqually Valley News in Yelm, WA on September 21, 2007. Title: Faith, Values: Its not too late to make future better.
Rev. Banach’s letter was also published on the Yelm Community Blog Scroll to Sept. 25, 2007.
It was originally written to compliment NVN editor, Keven R. Graves, for courageously publishing political cartoons like the following:
August 17, 2007: Cartoonist Gary Markstein depicted little boy Bush sitting at his desk amidst the rubble of a ruined America, holding on to the string of his happy face party balloon, while father figure Karl Rove walks away saying, My work is done here
August 31, 2007: Cartoonist Stantis portrayed civil liberties robbed blind as Alberto Gonzales runs away heavy laden with the evidence saying, My work here is done!
September 14, 2007: Cartoonist Sherffius showed a redesigned Seal of the Imperial President of the United States with a two-faced disheveled eagle courtesy of Bush, Cheney, etc.
The original The Nisqually Valley News essay was posted this blog on 9/25/07.
Dr. Banachs reply to the challenge of a professional provocateur can be found under comments.
Printed below is the original essay amended with endnotes giving more information on this subject.
(Obviously, The Olympian version did not contain the first two sentences.)
Thank you for courageously printing insightful opinion page cartoons that unmask the sinister motives of an imperial presidency. They are reminiscent of an insight I once gained.
I became a minister with the expectation of teaching about the art of living life aglow with Gods presence within. But to my chagrin, some members were not interested. They joined the church, one wise member counseled, because it looks good on their resume.
Many people voted for the Bush II administration because faith and family values looked good on its resume. But they got more than they bargained for, a hidden agenda.
A great big OUCH!
First, it finagled its way past losing the popular vote in 2000. Then, it bamboozled us with the ultimate shock and awe – 9/11. Frightened to death, we surrendered our freedom for its protection. Its turning out to be the false security of Bush Is New World Order, run by multinational corporations (corporatocracies) whose lobbyists write our laws, and a vast military-industrial complex enforcing covert hateful foreign policies.
All this bears an uncanny resemblance to Revelations Babylon the Great, a globalized religio-capitalistic domination system of complete control over everything and everyone, by the elite. 1
Twenty-seven years ago in September 19, 1980, the evangelical magazine Christianity Today, warned its readers, that single-issue politics was too narrow a front in battling a moral crusade, and could prove disastrous. It could lead to the election of a moron who holds the right view on abortion. 2
Now, we are finally waking up to having been deceived by the slick spin of ravenous wolves in sheeps clothing, the fruit of whose actions is exposing them, Matthew 7:15-20 style. 3
Let us not retreat into denial, but reclaim our power, and create a better future! 4
1 An excellent introduction to the ancient domination system and its link to the ancient cosmic combat myth is given by theologian Marcus Borg in Reading the Bible Again for the First Time, chapter 10, Reading Revelation Again. Another source is theologian Walter Winks trilogy on the invisible forces that manipulate human existence: 1. Naming the Powers, 2. Unmasking the Powers, and 3. Engaging the Powers.
One of the reasons for the power of Johns Revelation, writes Borg, is his use of one of humankinds most widespread archetypal stories: the ancient cosmic combat myth. It appears in many cultures, ancient and modern, and takes on many forms. It is a story of cosmic conflict between good and evil. In the ancient world, the conflict was between gods (some interpret as aliens) or light, order, and life against an evil power of darkness, disorder, and death, commonly imaged as a dragon, as in the archangel Michael warring against the dragon.
Its found in the Enuma Elish, one of the worlds oldest creation stories from Babylon, the Hebrew Bible and the Christian New Testament. It is the central plot element of the Star Wars movies. Babylon the Great is not code name simply for Rome in Johns day: it designates all dominations systems organized around power, wealth, seduction, intimidation, and violence. It is a web of political oppression, economic exploitation and religious legitimation. Elites of power and wealth control societies in their own interests and declared the order they imposed to be the will of God.
Learning the art of reclaiming ones power and creating a better future, one free from eons of manipulation by the ancient domination system, is a topic on the curriculum at Ramthas School of Enlightenment.
2 This quote is from Getting Gods Kingdom into Politics 10 , cited on page xvii in Balmers book listed in the next endnote.
3 Some Christian leaders are now writing about how the religious community was misused and betrayed by the Religious Right. Examples: Thy Kingdom Come: How the Religious Right Distorts the Faith and Threatens America, An Evangelicals Lament by Randall Balmer, and Why the Christian Right is Wrong: A Ministers Manifesto For Taking Back Your Faith, Your Flag, and Your Future by Robin Meyer. Ironically, while preaching against being duped by Revelations Babylon the Great, the Religious Right has been a participant all along in setting the stage for its ultimate fulfillment.
4 Many Bible students believe that biblical prophecy is fixed and cannot be altered. But the book of Jonah says No. The great city of Nineveh, capital of hated Assyria in Jonahs day, was headed for destruction. It repented, after Jonah reluctantly prophesied against it, meaning it changed. In doing so, it averted destruction, and was spared. The gift of Jonahs prophecy became its non-fulfillment.
Prophecy is a warning, not a prediction. Nineveh is biblical proof the future is not fixed or predetermined. Prophecy is not meant to be fulfilled, but is a warning to change or else what is being shown will take place.
The site of ancient Nineveh is on the bank of the Tigris River in modern day Iraq. Its about 230 miles upriver from Baghdad near Mosul, smack in the middle of Bush IIs endless war of potential star wars proportions because it might just become a prelude to Armageddon.
If the future was changed there thousands of years ago, it can be changed there again today, if we change.
We the people have a big mouth. During the day let us do a lot of loud talking and in your face action, until criminals are brought to justice, and the rotten fruit of their actions are pruned away.
And at nightah, let us dream of a better world unspoiled by sinister motives. And in the process, let us create a new future, a new heaven and a new earth, wherein we qualify to be invited into the intergalactic family of peaceful planets. On the loftiest of levels, its called The American Dream.
Kindly forward this essay on to others, especially the religious community.
Permission granted by The Rev. Dr. Richard W. Banach, United Methodist minister
Your comment is welcomed at drRichardB@hotmail.com.
The Rev. Dr. Banach and his wife Mary reside in Rainier.