Under God

Clumsy Warning: I’m accidentally hitting the Publish Now! button a lot. A way-premature version of this essay went up and then I deleted it and some people may have gotten the notice. Yeah, that was me.

Clumsier Warning: I hit Publish yet again. I’m going to leave it up and update as I write the thing because brain is being brain dumb. I’ll leave an announcement here when it’s done-ish.

My writing group has gotten all talky and I can’t concentrate. I’m going to leave this here and try to get back to it later.

Yesterday I discussed the (literal) business-end of Satan‘s effort to end humanity. In short, Satan likes Rock-&-Roll, fantasy fiction, pen-and-paper role playing games, Women’s Lib (Including lesbianism and witchcraft), sex toys and sexual health, including contraceptives, women’s health and abortion access. I may have missed some things. Satan may like violent video games, but the narrative about them is that they cause children to go on shooting rampages, not that they’re The Devil‘s handiwork.

And as the narrative goes, these are devices by which The Devil will bring down the human species.

So, to contrast, I’ll talk about what the Almighty has brought to the table.

Before doing that I should make a Disclaimer And Clarification: A lot of people are more invested in what God thinks than what the The Devil thinks. They’re more interested in how God is portrayed than The Devil. To me it’s curious, considering how I’ve encountered a far more hostile reaction to admitting my skepticism regarding The Devil than my skepticism regarding God. That said, my intent here is not to reflect on who God is or what She intends for the Earth or for humankind. Rather, my intent is to reflect on common narratives of what God intends, often aligned with ulterior, less godly motives. So when I talk about God‘s narrative, I’m talking about those things that human figures have publicly attributed to God or in God‘s name. Regarding the veracity of any of these attributions, I’d advise (as expected) a healthy dose of skepticism.

So here we go. Things that God likes, according to those who claim to know what God likes:

Containment policy, proxy warfare against USSR-allied forces, nuclear stockpiling. It’s a terrible truth still often censored by history books that the red scare and containment policy regarding Soviet Communism was started by President Wilson. Maybe it’s because our school districts don’t trust the dunce-caps to get the nuances of slow historical progress. Maybe it’s a willful effort to perpetuate the myth that the Soviets shot first. The October Revolution happened on Wilson’s watch. We backed the Tsar and the White Army and the Reds won. Grudges were held. Lenin set up the communist party. Religion was abolished throughout the USSR, and Wilson wasn’t having any of that, and thus the red scare began.

At the time, Soviet communism was newfangled and there wasn’t a nuke in sight. Our disagreement was all about ideology (and plenty of academics in the US were saying we shouldn’t knock it until we try it. Plenty of rich guys were suggesting we should also look at this other newfangled fascism thing). After WWII Stalin affirmed our suspicions of Soviet expansionism by refusing to retreat from territories occupied during the war. The US was the godly nation to contrast to the Reds, those godless infidels. We even added under god to our pledge of allegiance just to remind everyone who’s side the almighty was backing.

Then we went nuclear.

I’ll clarify that: We were already Atomic, and everyone in Russia who was not Stalin was quaking in his boots. Then they got their nuclear program going. Then the US developed the hydrogen bomb. Then the USSR got it. And then it was good to be in the nuke business, and scary to be… well to be anyone.

By 1972 we had a lot of bombs. Nixon was already thinking this nuclear escalation thing was getting a bit out of hand. When Nixon went to China, he learned of the Soviet policy of peaceful coexistence. Stalin was regarded as a bit of a dick even in Moscow. And Lenin’s plan all along was to seduce the Capitalists economically, once Soviet sidewalks were curbed in polished brass and free ice-cream dispensers were operating at every street corner. It was something of a relief.

This peaceful coexistence idea caught on in the White House through the Carter years. But then Reagan couldn’t stomach a civilization — even a prosperous one — in which Jesus was illegal. And for God and country, he resumed nuclear escalation, establishing the Reagan Doctrine, stating that there could be no peace so long as the Communist State remained standing.

There’s actually a more cohesive explanation for my train experience than I thought. spiritual war doctrine is a part of many denominations of Christianity, which starts with the existence of Satan and and derives the notion of good and evil as elemental forces (e.g. chesspieces painted black or white.) Which consequently lifts all rules of engagement so that torture, rape, deception, systematic genocide and WMDs are all fair game.

To be fair, the United States LGM-118 Peacekeeper ICBM program (aka the MX missile when Reagan was signing it off) was a retaliatory strike weapon, though those still get bad press since retaliating from a Soviet first strike would mean targeting population centers rather than military targets. The Peacekeeper used MIRVs to spread a 3.0 megaton payload across a wide (form-fitting) target area. One would handily reduce the San Francisco Bay Area to radioactive ash, and the United States deployed fifty. At the same time, the Strategic Defense Initiative was meant to shield the US and allies from attacks both pre-emptive or retaliatory, and created the hazard of subverting the MAD stalemate. Fortunately, SDI never got past the drawing board, a couple of early prototypes and a lot of odd technological advances.

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