The Coming War in Outer Space

SpaceX stacks the full Starship launch system for the first time, standing  nearly 400 feet tall | TechCrunch

One of my retirement hobbies is to stay abreast of events within the space industry. Elon Musk’s Starbase in Boca Chica, Texas is a launch and rocket development facility unlike any other in history, because it’s all out in the open for anybody to give it a look-loo. Test. Fail. Test. Succeed. Thanks to the remarkable space media company,, I get videos of each day’s activity and live coverage of major events in the construction and development of next generation rockets and space vehicles.

Musk’s vision is truly extraordinary, and through his leadership, the private sector is taking over the space program, and it won’t be long before NASA’s role and the government’s oversight is dramatically reduced. Musk sees a day for business-related travel and expeditions to the moon and other planets. When he says he wants us to become an interplanetary species, the guy is the right person to lead the privatization of rockets and rocket travel.

And so, I’ve become enamored with all of this, and my mind is busy putting together the things I see downstream that will impact my progeny in the decades ahead.

Who doesn’t love and appreciate the adventures and sacrifices of those pioneers and explorers who went before us? They share one thing in common and that is that business interests mostly paid for their discoveries in the hopes that what they’d find would produce profit for their governments but especially those deep pocketed business visionaries who could see the possibilities. Since the beginning, whichever institution was responsible for growth in the home country/system, the conquering of foreign lands has been the driving force of that growth.

Outer space is now the realistic new frontier, and it’ll be business interests that spawn the exploration and discoveries that await us in the darkness of space. This is going to produce marvelous accomplishments for humankind in the century ahead. Musk plans to build and launch massive fuel tankers that will allow for refueling in space. Efforts at creating nuclear-powered engines are underway, and you can see it all at the corners of Elon Musk’s vision.

The media is obsessed with billionaire launches to space for show and tell, but there’s a reason these deep-pocketed business icons want to get onboard, and it has nothing to do with personal glory. Space is the future of the human race, and especially from a business perspective.

If we study the impacts of European expansionism of the past, we encounter wars fought by countries seeking to grow their influence. When we pull back the curtain, however, we find these wars were financed and built through the efforts of the business communities who profited from conquered resources, including people. You don’t go to war against those who piss you off; you go to war to grow YOUR ability to call the shots when it comes to profit and loss. This is why in war, the victor gets to write the history.

So, we look at the future of outer space discovery and see these same kinds of influences coming to fruition in Boca Chica and elsewhere. Like intercontinental travel, interplanetary travel will be paid for by private investors seeking a very real return. Given that these same forces have raped our own planet, it’s not a stretch to think they might want to go someplace else. It’s what we know as humans. God help the other planets!

The next major war will be in outer space, and already, the battle lines are being drawn. China is racing to space at a pace that is staggering. They’ve built their own space station and plan to keep growing it. China has a rover on Mars. They’re blasting spy satellites into space almost weekly, and only a fool would think the Pentagon hasn’t noticed. Russia plans its own new space station, and it’s only a matter of time before weapons systems are built into each, not only to threaten earth targets, but also those in space.

This war may be the war to end all wars, for it’ll be over which business community or communities will lead planet Earth into Musk’s interplanetary species.

In my view — which may change — this is inevitable, because our history as a species is not known for its coöperation or getting along. Donald Trump’s Space Force is a step in that direction, because you don’t need a “force” to explore space; that term’s reserved for arms and armies. The United States cannot resist dominating our opponents, and we like to win races, such as the space race. What I’m writing about today is something the U.S. can only tolerate if we’re on top. Think not? Think again.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX is rewriting the development and testing of reusable boosters, and that alone is dramatically impacting cost to the point where outer space is available to so many more companies for research and development. And, this is to say nothing about the potential benefits to humankind in reaching outside the government-controlled space industry box.

Now is the time to begin talking about all of this. It may turn out that space exploration creates a necessity of global coöperation, but that’s likely more wish than logic. And, this is especially true for those who feel that power is the only way to maintain citizen safety and freedoms, like we’re hearing today from the radical right.

The future of space is yours, young people. What will you do with it?

The Church’s Need To Moralize Politically

The first of the logical fallacies in human interactions is to accuse your opponent of doing exactly what you’re doing yourselves.

The extreme right, led by the tax evaders of the Council for National Policy (CNP), is a complex, integrated, and coördinated disinformation stream of propaganda that is slowly destroying our democracy. They’re very good at what they do and very effective, because its members are all supported from the same pot and by design incapable of independent thinking. Do not be deceived. This is a top-down group with the essential message that the business community — led by many of America’s wealthiest people — is the rightful governor of all and that the lower class exists to support them before anything else. And, it uses the church to do much of its heavy lifting.

Extremist Christians in this group have so bastardized the ministry of Jesus as to render themselves fools when confronted and powerless in the realm of the spirit. God no more supports their efforts than those of the devil himself. To maintain their delusion, they require regular reminders of their fallacious enemy, what they view as sin in the culture. Keep eyes focused on that, they think, and everything falls into place.

An excellent example of this can be found in the current aggregator of “news” pages known as Google News, an article originally published by the right-wing propaganda site Western Journal. Like all of these disinformation sites, it’s run by people with deep ties in this community of unbelievers who have a “form of Christ” but are not the real deal. These people use God to oppress the less fortunate.

This article was the subject of a softball “analysis” by The Washington Times (another untrustworthy media form) under the remarkable headline “America’s new religion: Fake Christianity: Stop calling yourself a Christian if you don’t believe in Christ.” Based entirely on this Western Journal opinion piece. Here are some of the most provocative Washington Times quotes:

Writing for the Journal, Rachel Bratton said this: “American Christianity has fallen. Thanks to cultural corrosion and a lack of biblical literacy, a new ‘fake Christianity’ is now being preached within the American church.”

“This counterfeit religion is Moralistic Therapeutic Deism,” stated Ms. Bratton, “a worldview that has quickly gained prominence and given many Americans a theology that looks nothing like historical Christianity, despite what they may claim.” She then goes on to cite the recent work of George Barna, whose February survey showed that Moralistic Therapeutic Deism (MTD), or — watered-down, feel-good, fake Christianity – is the most popular worldview in the United States today.

Absent reading on, this seems an intriguing perspective, but the real “enemy” is revealed as anything “progressive,” which means complaining about the political left by casting doubt in the name of the political and Christian Right. Even the phrase “writing for the journal” elevates this commentary to the mainstream. After all, who can argue with “the journal?” Read on:

“The moralistic perspective is we’re here to be good people and to try to do good…The therapeutic aspect is everything is supposed to be geared to making me feel good about myself, ultimately to make me happy. Deism is the idea that God created the world but has no direct involvement in it. Basically, according to MTD, there is a distant God who just wants everyone to be nice, and the purpose of life is to be happy. American ‘Christians’ who have adopted this philosophy have… elevate[d] personal definitions of right and wrong above any objective standard of Truth — like the Bible.”

So, this “fake” Christianity is based in what they view as the moral swamp of liberal progressivism. It gets worse:

It is rather a syncretistic amalgamation of Bobby McFerrin and Black Lives Matter, sad solipsism of “don’t worry, be happy!” as we celebrate the “queering” of all that ails us.”

Read that again. Black Lives Matter, they allege, is part of the sinful culture brought about by this “fake” Christianity. The article continues its religious bigotry:

Ms. Bratton concludes: “Moralistic Therapeutic Deism distorts the God of the Bible in an attempt to make him bless all the dissipations and vanities of the modern world.” Ms. Barna adds: “MTD is one of those models that says you gotta live in the moment. This is all you’ve got, and you’ve gotta make the most of it.”

“It makes sense,” says Ms. Bratton, “that ‘Christians’ who embrace MTD are hesitant to [salt] the culture. How can anyone pass judgment if everyone’s just trying to be happy? The only sin is getting in the way of someone’s personal ‘truth.’

“That’s why so many are siding with [neo-Marxist atheistic] groups like Black Lives Matter and the LBGT movement. They’ll listen to the loudest voice on either side. Enter the screaming woke mob; [those who] promote sin under the guise of ‘loving everyone.’”

I would suggest this is very much a part of more traditional Christianity that alway pointed its judgmental and boney fingers towards sin in the culture, usually including an image of evil personified within the framework of poverty, unemployment, race, misogyny, and especially sexual and gender relations. When those with a mind to think for themselves in their interpretation of scripture reference the resemblance of these matters with the ministry of Jesus, blank stares follow, because, well, that’s not what the church teaches.

More from the Times article:

The Christian apologist Frank Turek recently said, “Some people call themselves progressive Christians when they’re neither progressive nor Christian because they disagree with Jesus on several significant issues. They disagree with Jesus on sex. They disagree with Jesus on the Bible. They disagree with Jesus on Heaven and Hell. They disagree with Jesus on his atonement. So, why would they call themselves a Christian?”

To paraphrase — Please stop calling yourself a Christian if you don’t believe in Christianity!

“Followers of Christ have forgotten that Jesus didn’t come to tell people to be nice. His message has always been a stumbling block, and [this is] especially hard for 21st-century Americans to accept,” says Ms. Bratton.

It is my belief (and that of a great many others) that this is a part of the disinformation associated with the Right’s version of reality. Jesus called us to love one another, including and especially the poor and the afflicted. You cannot find in the red words any condemnation for cultural sin. He was vastly more concerned with the damage that religious leaders of the time inflicted on the very people he came to save. In making such a proclamation, I realize full well that these views represent an attack on the institution that is the church. Institutions, remember from Clay Shirky, will always try to maintain the problem for which they are the solution. In this case, it’s a false narrative designed to keep them in power. We should reject this and all similar attempts as corrupt and not worth saving.

It’s all heresy, and we need a modern day Council of Churches to deal with it.

Revisiting the Evolving User Paradigm

Eleven years ago, I wrote an essay called “The Evolving User Paradigm,” and I believe this to be the most important piece of writing in my history as a new media observer. That’s because you can more easily see the message of that essay today, and it’s even more significant today, especially to special interest institutions such as business, media, medicine, and power institutions like politics, government, and higher education.

All of these groups are lagging behind as innovation continues to sweep our land, and the real problem for these institutions is that the disruptions are coming not from them, but from, as Jay Rosen so brilliantly stated many years ago, the people formerly known as the audience, the churchgoers, the customers, and beyond. It is bottom-up, and these institutions work from the top-down. You can see the conflict.

Moreover, institutional thinking cannot move as fast as the evolving user paradigm, so our culture’s status quo is tilting like a teeter-totter in search of balance. It can’t be done for long, so the very equilibrium of the whole world is gone, and as long as that status quo refuses to move with the evolving user paradigm, the quicker will be its destruction.

The pandemic greatly added to the ability of users to use, simply by isolating them at home with their computers. While the culture looked for solutions to bring us back to “normal,” people had already gone far past them. It’s to the point now where it’s difficult to find employees, because a lot changed over the past 18 months and the people have moved with it.

It has never been more important for us to band together and fight against a status quo that gives every advantage to rich people while sticking the rest of us to janitorial duty in cleaning up their messes. For example, Donald Trump’s tax welfare for the wealthy back when he first took office put 2 trillion dollars into the accounts of the most wealthy people in the U.S. He did it by borrowing money, which we are all now responsible for repaying. If this isn’t an illustration of how we are manipulated by the status quo, then I don’t know what is.

Let me warn everybody: Do not underestimate the evolving user paradigm, for as long as our constitutional freedoms exist, there is simply no way to contain it.

He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

The Evolving User Paradigm, an essay by Terry Heaton.

I strongly recommend reading or re-reading this old essay, and while you’re doing it, take note of the date it was first published.

Those Satanic Democrats

ABC Family, No Matter What It Calls Itself, Can't Get Rid of Pat Robertson's  The 700 Club

My old boss Pat Robertson is using the latest Arab-Israeli conflict to threaten every person who doesn’t unilaterally support Israel with a curse from the Bible. Isn’t it amazing how fundamentalist Christianity uses threats of future harm as a way to manage its denizens into doing exactly what the Republican Party wants done today? Evangelicalism, at its very core, uses such fears to scare people into marching in lock step. It’s a clever ruse, because it doesn’t require proof other than its shared beliefs in interpreting the Bible.

Evangelicalism is the management of people via the threat of hell. Every pamphlet, every first contact with a sinner to “save” begins with the question of one’s future habitation. This way, you don’t have to address what’s happening to a person in the here and now. You’re doing them a favor by promising them a future in heaven. It’s how pro-lifers can dismiss what happens to all those babies after they’re born. They just don’t seem to matter, do they?

Dismissing the entire concept of grace, Robertson and his ilk have slid into legalism as their theological core. Do this, not that is the very definition of legalism within the faith, even though the Bible says “I desire mercy, not sacrifice” and “the just shall live by faith.”

Quoting from his broadcast of The 700 Club on Monday, Newsweek noted the political aspects of his screed in a piece called “Televangelist Pat Robertson Warns U.S. Will ‘Suffer Curse’ from God If Dems Don’t Support Israel

“Here’s what the Bible says in Genesis, talking about Abraham,” he (Pat Robertson) said, “ ‘I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families in the earth you shall be blessed.’ Genesis 12:3 NKJV. Now, I think the Jews have been God’s messengers. They have been entrusted with the oracles of God, and to see this rise of antisemitism which mirrors what was done in the Nazis… This is satanic.”

Robertson then named names, …calling out “Tlaib and the other members of the Squad,” meaning six young, left-leaning, POC members of Congress including Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Jamaal Bowman of New York and Cori Bush of Missouri.

“If the United States of America stopped supporting Israel…if you listen to what [the squad] is saying, and if the Democratic Party swings in that direction, and if the millennials lead America away from Israel, we as a nation will suffer the curse that God placed on those who would curse Abraham,” Robertson said.

To be clear, in the name of political expediency, Pat Robertson has just determined that the Democratic Party is the party of satan, thereby forbidding his followers from ever voting for Dems.

Zionism — to be factual, the geo-political base of the state of Israel — has carefully and systematically shifted the definition of antisemitism to now include unwillingness to be supportive of their plans, tactics, and goals. Israel is free to act in its own best interests with impunity and not those of its neighbors or even the whole region we call the Middle East.

Zionism is not Judaism, and they’re not even close.

Fundamentalist Christianity MUST support Israel, or its entire narrative crumbles. After all, its theology is based in the end times, and Israel’s resurrection in Canaan is their (Biblical) signal that Jesus is coming back soon. To deny the political nature of its Zionist government, however, is to turn a blind eye to real poverty, suffering, and death in the process of self-justification, and that, folks, is the total opposite of the commandment of Jesus to “love the Lord, ourselves, and our neighbors.”

Actor Jon Voight made a video that attempts to shame us all in the same direction. “How dare you attack the righteous souls of God’s highest truths,” he angrily chided those who stand against America’s $10 million-a-day gift to Israel, noting that Jews brought the concept of love into humanity, a claim that’s convenient but hardly true. There’s no love whatsoever in Israel for a Palestinian community it wishes would just go away.

Remember, friends, there’s a difference between freedom and license, for the former includes responsibilities to others, whereas license offers carte blanche in the acceptance and development of self-centeredness. Republicans deny their responsibilities as humans in favor of the most sinister form of selfishness ever brought forth on this planet.

Which one is God truly undergirding?

The Press is Killing Democracy

CBS Sunday Evening Newscast reveals an example of by-passing the truth in favor of “independence.”

Let’s review a couple of important truths about our current culture and the shift to the postmodern era of Western Civilization.

In 1990, Historian Chris Lasch published his revelatory essay “The Lost Art of Political Argument.” Lasch wrote that we could track the decline in participation in the political process in America with the rise of the professionalization of the press. He further argued that the idea of objectivity originated to provide a sterile environment within which to plant advertising and its more destructive cousin, public relations. The public is increasingly aware of how they are manipulated by these two forces, and the internet is providing them with something to do about it.

Enter J.D. Lasica with his book “Darknet” and Dan Gillmor’s “We, The Media,” both of which described the personal media revolution taking place all around us. As surely as postmodernism is the age of participation, people in the new era would be making their own media to not only inform but entertain each other. Look what’s happened since. A pandemic hits, people lose jobs, people have a year off with stimulus and unemployment payments, which in many cases supercharged the rise of everything from YouTube to Instagram to OnlyFriends, Patreon and beyond. We actually now have an employment problem, because so many people have found better and freer ways to make ends meet. Even the term “job” has a different meaning today than it did back in the Modern Era.

These two important factors have worked together to put us in the precarious position we find ourselves today with the press, because the press doesn’t know how to respond. Does it cling to the idea of objectivity or does it opt for a more truthful way to share what’s happening in the world. Even old, tried and true methods don’t hold up anymore, and very smart but dangerous thinking has crept into the public discussion. However, based on what you read, hear, and see these days, you’d really never know it. It’s just the same‑o, same‑o “bothsideism” (as Jay Rosen calls it). It’s still still the AUTOMATIC default for the press, and it’s killing the pursuit of truth in order to stay free of the appearance of political labels. Chris Lasch is rolling over in his grave.

Here’s a current example. On the Sunday night CBS Evening News broadcast, reporter Debra Alfarone did a live shot from Washington that contained new polling on the state of the Republican Party. CBS News found that 80% of Republicans approved of removing Liz Cheney from GOP leadership on Capitol Hill. Ms. Alfarone said that Cheney is now “…paying the price for saying she would not enable or spread President Trump’s destructive lies — that’s her quote — that the 2020 election was stolen.”

The “that’s her quote” places Trump’s lies on an even playing field with those who embrace the truth that Donald Trump LOST the election and that Joe Biden is the real President. In other words, it’s presented as merely Liz Cheney’s opinion, which must be weighed against all the other opinions. Bullshit! Here, once again, the press is trying to present this as a standard, both sides have different points of view, which is surely a fallacy of immense proportions. The danger of Donald Trump’s lies is self-evident. Do we really need to play the old “objectivity” game with such a group? It’s a false balance, because one side isn’t sharing the truth.

Pursuit of the truth should be the objective of the press in the Postmodern Era, because the last century has been a heyday for the extreme wealthy manipulating everybody else with the sole purpose of deepening their own pockets.

What Ms. Alfarone should have said was “Liz Cheney is now suffering for being a truth-teller in the matter of Donald Trump’s ridiculous claims that the election was stolen from him.”

See the difference? One is an open question that says “Did Trump actually win? There’s a difference of opinion out there.” The other asks “Why are these people so deceived as to think Trump actually won?”

I mean, it’s no wonder America is confused right now. But, Terry, isn’t that taking the side of the Democrats? Are you serious? It’s called taking a stand for truth, just as Liz Cheney has done with her own people. Why is the press so extraordinarily afraid of simply seeing right and wrong? “Harrumph, well, Terry, it’s complicated.” No, it’s not.

This bothsideism delegitimizes so-called legitimate news organizations, and here’s the rub: the public knows it. To perform in such a way is to validate a fallacy, and how can that possibly be justified in furtherance of the truth? If it’s a lie, SAY SO! Is it dangerous? Absolutely!

But the Republicans will use it to add to their liberal media allegations! However, that is not of sufficient weight to justify falling back on “we just report about the differences.” What good is journalism if it is not married to the truth? It’s worse than useless; it’s destroying our culture, and let me add that the future absolutely does not align with bothsideism or false equivalencies.

Jay Rosen is equally disturbed by this and has been a strong advocate for new thinking. He told me via email, however, that “Both sides thinking and practices will never die. It’s the zero degree or most basic way to demo that you’re news, not politics.” That fear is a holdover from a prior age, and it’s being successfully used to manipulate us all today. The press is so concerned with maintaining the institution it represents that it has no defense against the forces of change in our world.

The destiny of the objective press is to die. Transparency is taking its place, and there are too many of us out here who choose not to tolerate being fed such nonsense from an earlier era.

Liz Cheney’s quote is truth and doesn’t need any balance.

Jerusalem Violence: Why the West Doesn’t Care

Hundreds wounded in weekend of East Jerusalem violence | The Japan Times

When examining the roots of the right-wing Christian uprising in the West, observers tend to deliberately avoid the truth that Israel’s resurrection in the Middle East started it all. This is crucial to understanding the religious delusions presented as facts in the region. These fallacies are then presented to whip believers up into a frenzy over modern times and the return of Christ to the Earth. Make no mistake: without Israel, we would not have found ourselves in the predicament of the January 6, 2021 insurrection.

What can possibly make Christians give up their loyalty to Jesus and become political pawns for the GOP? That would be a fallacious faith over what they believe are urgent cues about Jesus’ imminent return to judge humanity, both dead and alive. This means they’re living lives of expectation with eyes fixed on their “reward” of salvation. Cut away all of the social and foreign policy issues that the Christian Right votes for, and they’d still be supporting Israel and the return of their Savior as justification for clinging to a group of manipulators that they’ve been told to support.

Here are the hopeful lyrics from the bluegrass gospel tune “Any Day Now” by Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver:

Just any day now our Lord is coming
He’ll be returning for you and me
Oh I’ve been watching and I’ve been waiting
Just any day now His face I’ll see

This is the anticipation manifested among certain Christian sects, and it’s a powerful motivator for political action.

This was reflected in the very first sentence of the Mission Statement of the Christian Broadcasting Network:

“The mission of CBN and its affiliated organizations is to prepare the United States of America, the nations of the Middle East, the Far East, South America, and other selected nations of the world for the coming of Jesus Christ and the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth.”

Mission Statement of CBN, circa 1980.

This could not have been anybody’s successful business strategy in the late 20th Century without the history of what now stands as the nation of Israel on land shared by Palestinians and Jews for centuries prior to modern times. Israel was given status among Western evangelists as a verifiable sign from God that the return of Jesus was imminent.

Remember that Jesus, according to their faith, comes back via Israel and Armageddon, so Israel NEEDS to be there in order for the evangelical message to seem real and relevant. It’s a big part of why we give Israel $10 million-a-day (holidays and weekends included) in “defensive” weaponry and other needs. It’s also why we perpetuate the myth that somehow Israel is the victim in the region. The reality is that Israel (with the U.S.) is the disruptive source in the Middle East, not the Arabs. Israel’s Zionist government constantly rails against the “existential threat” of murdering Arabs who want only to kill all the Jews in the area. This is a necessary position in the perpetuation of murder, maiming, harassment, intimidation, land and building seizures, property destruction, and the steady dehumanization of the Palestinian people through tactics designed to accomplish exactly that.

However, many believers refuse to look at this as Biblical prophecy fulfilled, because, well, it isn’t. Today’s version of the Jewish State is was engineered by people in the wake of the Holocaust, the systematic murder of Jews by the Nazis surrounding World War II. The Holocaust was Hitler’s “final solution” for the Jews. This implies a problem that needed solving, and that problem — known throughout Europe historically as “The Jewish Question” — was the Jews’ refusal to fully assimilate themselves into the cultures of their host countries in Europe. At the turn of the 20th Century, leadership of prominent countries had begun to seriously conceive of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. When it finally happened in 1948, smart Christian evangelists began to claim that this was “restoration” of Israel according to “everlasting” promises made to Abraham about the property. If this was the case, the thinking went, then it means that Jesus’ return was VERY near, because prophecies about that return were validated in their minds, because they claim that Jesus will return in the Holy Land, specifically Jerusalem. This is important, for these believers are easily convinced that Israel was permanently set aside for those with Jewish roots, among which they included themselves. This gave Christian evangelists a tool to use in preaching their message of “get things right, because Jesus is coming soon.” Of course, getting things right began with church attendance, tithes, and offerings, which catapulted prominent evangelists to positions of power, fame, and extraordinary wealth.

Moreover, the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine hasn’t done a thing to resolve the original “Jewish Question,” because the bulk of the Jews living in foreign lands are still right where they were. Other geo-political and business reasons now justify Israel beyond the faith of these Christians end-timers.

My views here are supported by my understanding as Executive Producer of The 700 Club in the early and mid 1980s. Israel and Israel’s future was one of the tap roots of not only The Christian Broadcasting Network, but other prominent big Christian ministries. The reality that this has gone virtually unnoticed by the press in covering events in the Middle East and even back home is a sinister form of ignorance, in part, because wealthy media owners, many among them of Jewish heritage and faith, want it that way.

Nobody publicly challenges this, because Jews claim the role of sole arbiter in determining who wears the dreaded outcast label of “antisemite.” Hence, the overwhelming majority of U.S. citizens avoid Middle Eastern violence or explanations other than what comes from the Israeli propaganda machine, hasbara. Exaggerations about the “miracle” of the 1967 war with its Arab neighbors have fueled it, because in war, the victors get to write the history (or at least they used to have that privilege before the internet). Israel was the smart aggressor, while the Arab armies were sitting ducks. How do you remove an existential threat? By attacking it before it can attack you.

So, if this view of a nearly sacred Israel is what’s behind all of the mischief of today, what’s to come? The answer is easy, if you follow end-times prophecies and Christian extremism. What comes next is that Jesus is supposed to come back via a rebuilt Solomon’s Temple, and what stands in the way of that today? The Al-Aqsa Mosque, which was built right on top of what’s known as the Temple Mount. Hard-line Israel right-wingers would love nothing more than to tear down the Mosque and build the new Temple, and here’s the thing. Christian groups would love it, too, so it’s easy to look the other way when Palestinian worshippers at the Mosque are ousted and even killed. Many actually believe that this is “God’s plan” for the whole region, and this is a difficult nut to crack when religious “saints” are busy telling them that they must pray for (the peace of) Jerusalem. In this view, a narrative that includes the sacrifice of any number of Palestinians is simply God doing His thing.

At the rate we’re going, this is quite likely to become reality within just a few years. Think about that. And, all because a group of religious fundamentalists want so badly for it all to be real that they’re willing to subjugate their own minds to fallacy in the name of supporting some of the most blood-thirsty and violent human beings in all of history.