News Intelligence Analysis
By Dennis Crews
I must say without reservation Katherine Yurica's book is more devastating than anything I've come across in a very long time. I passionately urge, even plead, for all thinking people to read it.
I defended the Bush administration in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks. I gave them the benefit of all doubts, believing that in George W. Bush we had a fundamentally decent man, even if an inexperienced statesman, in the White House--despite the 2000 election debacle. I had confidence in the maturity and judgment of his cabinet and believed the attack against us would focus all minds and bring out everyone's noblest side. What a difference three years have made.
It isn't my purpose to make summary judgments about anybody. Lord knows I've done all I could to point out what I believe are fraudulent claims and inhumane policy decisions made by George Bush and his administration (their actions) for the past two years, but I've tried hard to remember it remains for God to actually judge people's hearts.
For those of you who aren't Christians you'll have to tolerate some discussion of religious ideas here, for unless we discuss them we cannot discuss the Bush administration fairly. Much less can we address the issue of whether or not Bush's supporters are being faithful to the Christianity they profess. As open-minded people, whether you accept or reject such ideas it will do your understanding no harm to ponder the concepts that so many of your fellow Americans hold dear. Consider it a sort of civics lesson. To borrow a few lines from an old Dylan song, "Swallow your pride; you will not die; it's not poison," (Tombstone Blues).
Most of America's founders were Deists--they believed in a Supreme Being. As to whether or not they were Christians, that depends a great deal on definitions, and which founding father is under consideration. But for practical purposes we may assume they all held certain beliefs in common with the majority of Americans today. They believed that America was divinely blessed and had a noble destiny because it was founded on the great ideals of human liberty and the inviolability of individual conscience. Because of the vast differences between various individually held beliefs they erected (through the first amendment to the Constitution) the so-called wall of separation between church and state.
In his later years James Madison even objected to the appointment of chaplains to Congress, or any branch of the military, on the basis that such appointments were a violation of the first amendment (see at: http://www.counterpunch.org/brenner12042004.html).
What a long road we have traveled since. It is alarming to contemplate how evangelicals today would regard such principled thinking. Now we have millions of church-going Americans clamoring for sectarian religious legislation to be enacted, and finally a president -- George W. Bush -- who is eager to accommodate them. All that stands between him and this goal are Constitutional principles. All it will take to overthrow those principles is a little more consolidation of power to the executive branch. And they are working hard on that.
Will achieving this goal bring America closer to God, and defeat the secular tidal wave now flooding American life and culture? Will we reap greater blessings if somehow we can forcibly control the behavior of people, and export our form of government to faraway places? Or have Americans ignored the authentic principles of both Christianity and America's founders, and mistaken George Bush for something he really isn't? If America has been blessed by God for its commitment to principles of liberty (and I resoundingly believe it has), we stand at great peril if we turn away from those principles.
One thing I believe evangelicals have exactly right is that God is holy, and will not be mocked. For mere men to put themselves in the place of God is a folly the Bible speaks of as blasphemy. For nations to do this invites terrible judgment. History is littered with the detritus of empires that once seemed unconquerable. The United States is not the world's first sole superpower, but if Bible prophecies are to be believed, it may well be the last. How it all ends is within the hands of both God and man. God controls and sustains the universe, but through free will he has entrusted humans with the reins of their own destiny. Our moral choices are our very own.
Katherine Yurica has written a searing essay in which she lays out charges against the Bush administration. This is no idle liberal rant, but a scrupulously researched, biblically-based forensic examination of fundamental Christian principles and how the Bush administration intransigently refutes them by virtually every one of its policies. She spares no sympathy for the churches that have been so active in supporting this agenda. Since her authority is the Bible itself, her article has the sobering quality of a prophetic warning, and current events give her words an urgency that cannot be overstated.
If you are a Bush supporter, you owe it to your own conscience and to all who have sacrificed to make America the land of the free, to examine this evidence carefully and ask yourself: "On whose side am I standing? God's side, or man's?"
If you are a Christian, this article (or book) is simply a must. It will motivate you, not from any partisan prejudices, but from righteous principles authoritatively taught by the Word of God.
And finally, even if you are not the least bit religious but oppose the Bush administration's policies, this article (or book) will give you the most effective tools possible with which to dismantle the administration's credibility on their own chosen ground of "moral issues." You will see that their claims are hollow, and understand the scriptures that prove this.
We must act now to limit the power of the executive branch, by any and all means available under the Constitution of the United States. Use your influence well. Vote against measures that would remove the checks and balances our founders established to limit government power, which the Bush administration is racing to remove. They are counting on Americans being so preoccupied with entertainment, so flush with patriotic fervor that they will not notice until their freedoms are gone. And what of the next administration? Even if other generations could, we can no longer afford to be complacent.
Trust me - it is worth the time to read this book. Katherine Yurica painstakingly covers every base, from biblical jurisprudence to the war in Iraq to the torture memos, to various fiscal and domestic policies (including Medicare and Social Security) and voting fraud - all using the Bible alone as her legal criterion. Her conclusions are devastating.
From the Book Preface
Cant Anyone Prove Any Position By Quoting Bible Verses?
The short answer and the long answer are both No. But first, I think you are entitled to know that I hold no degrees that would identify me as an expert on the Bible, save only this: I read the Bible through from cover to cover by the age of ten for the first time! Ive read it cover to cover many, many times since then. Also, I spent five and a half years of my life in the 1970s and early 1980s studying and researching the Pentateuch for a book that remains unpublished and which I initially titled, The Great Superbook Trial. My book became a defensean apologetic workthat showed the integrity and genius of the Old Testament.
The second fact about my background that plays a huge part in my book Bloodguilty Churches is my legal education at the University of Southern Californias School of Law. Though I completed only two years, those years redirected my life. I developed a passion for the rule of law and our judicial system and have actively participated in court cases and legal research and writing over a thirty year period. This book has been born in my passion for the biblical literature itself and in my love of the law. I am motivated by one major principle that up until now has made America a distinctive nation: we must continue to be ruled by laws not by men.
After I posted Bloodguilty Churches on our web site at the YuricaReport.com, I received a number of letters from my readers. One letter stands out. My reader wrote, Your latest article cites chapter and verse from the Bible to argue against the far right policies of the Bush administration and its attacks against the poor. However, you fail to consider the opposed viewpoint, which justifies Bushs regressive policies. My correspondent then listed a long list of Bible verses that appear to denigrate the poor in some fashion. Verses such as, The poor are despised even by their neighbors, while the rich have many friends. (Proverbs 14:20-24.) The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is a slave to the lender. (Proverbs 22:7).
However, these verses do not pretend to speak for Gods view of the poor. In any case, they do not outweigh the statutory passages of the Bible. My correspondents position is not unlike the lawyer who must defend a client, but who has little or no legal precedents and no statutory law to back up his position. If that lawyer searches long enough and hard enough, he might find a court case in which a judge wrote something on an issue that was not adjudicated and that was not even part of the decision before the court but which supports his position. Thats called dictum, or in extreme cases obiter dictum.
If a lawyer has only dictum on his side, if he finds only statements here and there to quote either in or out of context, but his opponent has statutory law, documentary evidence and legal precedents to citethe first lawyer is going to lose. The reason is: all words in a book or in legal decisions do not have equal weight. That is also true of the Bible.
[And here I would like to insert an example that is not in my original preface. When I was a youngster in a Pentecostal church, we all wanted to hear from God on a daily basis. The only way we could be sure we were hearing from God was to read the Bible. But thats a pretty big book! So we played what came to be known as Bible Roulette. We would take our Bibles, close our eyes and turn the book every which way, open it at random and point at something on a pagethen open our eyes to see what God was telling us. This worked pretty well until one day one kid read his word from God for the day: And Judas went out and hung himself. We all decided that was not an inspiring word from God so we told him to do it again. This time, he went through the process with great intensity. When he opened his eyes, his finger was pointing to these words, Go and do thou likewise! Thats how we learned that not every word in the Bible has equal gravity.]
In Bloodguilty Churches, I cite the Criminal and Civil Code of the nation of ancient Israel as my authority. In addition, I cite passages from the prophets Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Amos and Micah to name just several. These prophets stood in a unique position; they were eyewitnesses to events and they authoritatively charged that the peoplethe citizensof the nation had been or would be carried away as captives and slaves because of the nations policies toward the poor (the widows, the orphans, the working poor of Israel and the immigrants). The prophets made the charge that the nation and its citizens had violated the statutory laws of Israel that required a national tax for the purpose of feeding and clothing the needy.
But my correspondent was not satisfied with my response and sent another email saying, You fail to cite any commandment for governmentthe king, not the prieststo give to the poor. This is essentially my response with a few changes for clarification:
First the civil code of Israel ordered the people to pay taxes for the purpose of feeding and clothing the needy and to pay the civil servants who were to administer the laws. The government was established to execute or facilitate the purpose of the taxation. Not the other way around. In other words, the legal documents and laws were written before the government was even establishedjust as the Constitution preceded the establishment of the U.S.A.
Secondly, one must recognize the existence of the civil code of Israel and the dual roles of the Levites (both as civil and religious servants). Moses was essentially a civil leader but his brother Aaron was a priest. While both brothers were Levites, all Levites were not priests. But the people of the nation were required to pay the taxes or tithes and the Levites were required by law to administer the program. (It is unclear if they consistently acted as civil servants or did so only sporadically.)
It makes no difference which word you use to delineate the act of taxation. In Deuteronomy 24:17-22 the people of the nation were required to leave portions of their crops for the poor and needy, the widows and the orphans and even the wild animals to eat (see Leviticus 25:7).
The Statutory Code required that oil and grape crops be set aside and these two crops were excellent cash crops, which the needy could sell. I am describing a tax which the people executed without any apparent interference by the Levites. It was also a tax that transferred some wealth to the poor.
(Note: The tax payments consisting of crops from a farmer were not sent to the Levitesthe payment stayed upon the farmers own land.)
The working poor (See Deuteronomy 24:14-15), the widows, and orphans, the sojourners, and even the wild animals gleaned the fields as a matter of legal right. (See the story of Ruth in the Book of Judges.)
The entire nation was ordered to comply with the tax requirements. Moreover the Judges of Israel ruled Israel for about 410 years if we take the biblical literature at face value. Samuel, the last of the Judgeswas technically neither a Levite nor a Priest, but the taxation process was in forceyet there is no mention of priests or Levites in Israel at the time of his rulership. It was not until the people chose a King, that the kings began to neglect the Statutory Codes of Israel. When the people chose Saul over Samuel they substituted the rule of law for the rule of men. The Kings decreed the law at their whim.
It is with great sadness that I point out in the pages of this book that we are standing now for the first time in the history of America, at a crossroads where American democracy hangs in the balance: either we shall regain the initiative from the religious-right and insure that we are a nation ruled by laws or we are doomed to march down the road toward the destruction of our Constitution and our freedom.
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