Sunday, January 23, 2011


American Nebuchadnezzar

There's a strange piece at The Times and Democrat of Orangeburg, South Carolina. The author is Bill Connor, a lawyer and former senior U.S. adviser to Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

Connor starts by telling the Biblical story of Nebuchadnezzar's attempt to assimilate the Israelites he had conquered:

[W]hen Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem, he brought the young male Jews to his capital of Babylon "to enter the king's personal service." He forced the young men to take on new names and even attempted a forced change away from kosher traditional Jewish food. The primary means to remake the young men of Israel into Babylonians was through education. The king ordered Ashpenaz "to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans."

Then he recounts the usual guff about America being a "Christian nation" and how secular education is the same as Nazism and Communism, equating Nebuchadnezzar to Marx and Engels. And then comes the "solution":

That was then, this is now: Enforced teaching of evolution and major court cases about whether or not "intelligent design" or "creation science" can even be offered as an alternative? ...

One manner of changing society in school is through historical curriculum. American children are generally shielded from learning of the importance of Christianity to American history. They are usually made to feel shame about traditional American heroes and events by focusing on sexism, racism or discrimination to the exclusion of the heroic selfless service. ...

Read what the late Theologian Harold O. Brown wrote in 2005 about the "remaking" of America through our schools. "Since the end of WWII, American society has been suffering decomposition and deconstruction. Consider what we have come to in seven decades: The distinctiveness of marriage has been abolished; prayer and Bible reading in schools has been stamped out; the mother's womb has become the most dangerous place for a baby; the rights of fathers and parents of minor girls have been voided; divorce has become easier than marrying; the Ten Commandments have been banned from public view. ... The structure of American society is being abolished brick by brick." ...

The economy is tied to our education system and the moral fiber of our citizens. We, as a nation, will have to make Herculean efforts to bring public education back under control. The future is with the children and we owe them the society we were given.

One wonders if he advised the Afghanis on how to teach the importance of Islam to Afghanistan's history; to avoid denegrating traditional Afghani heroes and events by focusing on their sexism, racism or discrimination; and how to best give Afghani children the society they were given.

I suspect he didn't. Connor wants only to force everyone else to assimilate into his own idea of an ideal society.

In short, Conner aspires to be Nebuchadnezzar!

Connor would only object to the Taliban's sexism, racism and homophobia on the basis that it is in the name of Muhammad not Jesus. Clearly, he pines for the days when women could be raped and beaten (particularly by their husbands) with impunity and when non-whites were openly treated as subhuman and gays could be killed for fun (and re-assurance).
He missed a crucial part of the story, which is that Daniel and the other three excelled (according to the story, that is) in learning what the Babylonians had to teach. Knowledge isn't the enemy in the story at all, as "God favoured these four boys with knowledge and intelligence in everything connected with literature, and in wisdom;" (Daniel 1:17 Jerusalem Bible).

Their devotion to God gives them the power to understand what the Babylonians had to teach.

Only the anti-knowledge fundamentalists could turn this story of faithfulness leading to knowledge into something that is opposed to learning.

Glen Davidson
What Glen said. Not only that, God cast a "likey likey" magic spell on the king and made the king like Daniel. And then later the king literally fell on his knees and worshiped Daniel, no magic spell required. So kids, the moral of the story: Learn your evolution and all kinds of good stuff happens.
I saw your image of Nebuchadnezzar II, and thought you might enjoy this magnificent portrait of him in the landscape of Utah. His image is 1.5 miles long, and is part of a HUGE mural that illustrates the "Great Harvest" scene from John's Book of Revelations. The entire image is 3 miles long, and shows Nebuchadnezzar's face above the angel with the sickle and the golden crown. It can only be seen from 3 miles up in the sky (via GoogleEarth), and I put it into a 30-second Youtube video.

In fact, EVERY image that John describes in his Book of Revelation is adjacent to this image. All of them are 3 miles across mountain landscape, and oriented perfectly North/South. This video is 8 minutes long, but shows at least a dozen of those images.

Happy 2013!
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