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Apparently Stephen Baldwin, the actor, had a conversation with Jesus, (not an actor), and Jesus told Baldwin to do something for him. The Reverend is always keenly interested when celebrity folks, like politicians or actors(some think these are the same), report that Jesus has told them to do something for him. And of course this makes The Reverend envious because even though I know the Nazarene from his "recorded" words in the most popular book of all,
Alright....let's break all of this down, shall we? First comes Stephen Baldwin's 2004 statement about the Lord(I take it this is THE LORD....Jesus).....
"In my position, I just don't think I'm supposed to keep my faith to myself," Baldwin told a group of Texas Southern Baptists in 2004. "I'm just doing what the Lord's telling me to do." Link
It's not clear what Mr. Baldwin meant by "in my position".....was it a crouching position, reclining, kneeling......but there is no doubt about the last part of the actor's testimony.....Jesus is "telling" Baldwin "what to do".
Right away those of us who Jesus does not tell "what to do" are curious. We feel oh-so-second-class when celebrity guys like Baldwin say stuff like this. Immediately comes the question: What would the Lord of Hosts be telling a rather mediocre actor to do for him?
Could this be what Jesus "told" Baldwin to do?.....
Baldwin became a right-wing, born-again Christian after the 9/11 attacks, and now is the star of Operation Straight Up (OSU), an evangelical entertainment troupe that actively proselytizes among active-duty members of the US military. As an official arm of the Defense Department's America Supports You program, OSU plans to mail copies of the controversial apocalyptic video game, Left Behind: Eternal Forces to soldiers serving in Iraq. OSU is also scheduled to embark on a "Military Crusade in Iraq" in the near future.
Looks like the Saviour told Baldwin to "go forth and make me some Crusader warriors", huh? Even though it's reported elsewhere that the Lord's "kingdom is not of this world", Baldwin, having spoken to the God-Man directly, is doing what Jesus wants him to do NOW. Apparently that old adage about God, " changing not", is no longer applicable....your Christian mileage may vary. And of course, an actor would never lie about serious stuff like this.
And how thoughtful of Baldwin and Operation Straight Up in their plans to send a video game to our soldiers in Iraq to play on their down time. You know, nothing like kicking back after a hard day chasing those Iraqi "Muslim infidels" in real life than by doing some fun virtual killing of those left behind after the make-believe-but-soon-to happen "Rapture". Keeps a soldier sharp and yet close to the Prince of Peace at the same time.
But you see "Left Behind, Eternal Forces", the video game of choice of the Galilean according to Baldwin, has many virtual enemies to shoot at.....
When a Left Behind player kills a UN soldier, their virtual character exclaims, "Praise the Lord!" To win the game, players must kill or convert all the non-believers left behind after the rapture.
"Praise the Lord" indeed, and may I throw in a couple of "Hallelujahs" for good measure.
This is not a "come unto me, all ye that are heavy laden" kind of fun game. And doesn't "kill or convert" sound like a great Republican slogan? Let's be candid....who would not spontaneously burst into singing the National Anthem whenever a White House spokesclone mentioned "Operation Kill or Convert"? I think it could be The New Way Forward.
Baldwin, according to his own words, was "told" by the Christian Messiah to "get thee to Operation Straight Up". And what connection does Operation Straight Up have with the 'Alpha and Omega'?
"We feel the forces of heaven have encouraged us to perform multiple crusades that will sweep through this war torn region," OSU declares on its website about its planned trip to Iraq. "We'll hold the only religious crusade of its size in the dangerous land of Iraq."
Wow. Not just the Lord, himself, but "the forces of heaven" are "encourag(ing)" Operation Straight Up. Who would take the chance of arguing with "forces" like that? Best just to do what these "forces" are "encouraging" you to do. That's why traditional conservative Republicans who say stuff like this....
"The constitution has been assaulted and brutalized," Mikey Weinstein, former Reagan Administration White House counsel, ex-Air Force judge advocate (JAG), and founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, told me. "Thanks to the influence of extreme Christian fundamentalism, the wall separating church and state is nothing but smoke and debris. And OSU is the IED that exploded the wall separating church and state in the Pentagon and throughout our military." Weinstein continued: "The fact that they would even consider taking their crusade to a Muslim country shows the threat to our national security and to the constitution and everyone that loves it."
.....do not stand a chance. I mean, who does this Reagan JAG-off think he's dealing with here? What's a silly old piece of paper called the Constitution of the United States of America compared to "the forces of heaven"??
Onward. Christian. Soldiers.