Nation magazine journalist Max Blumenthal has developed a nice little niche in political guerilla video journalism, going to right wing meetings and asking participants awkward questions. Although he is soft-spoken, always polite, and has the credentials to attend, he usually ends up getting thrown out by the organizers.
His latest visit was to the annual meeting of CUFI (Christians United For Israel) where he manages to get highly amusing but also disturbing and creepy footage. The CUFI is one of those rapture-ready groups that believe the second coming is due any day now and are strong supporters of Israel, even though they think that non-Christians have to convert on rapture day or be slaughtered. This group gets a lot of money from the true believers, enabling its leader John Hagee to live in lavish style. The group is also supported by some Jewish organizations like the Israel lobby group AIPAC. The former Israeli ambassador Dore Gold and Senator Joseph Liberman also attended the meeting, with the latter receiving a very warm welcome and reciprocating during his speech by comparing Hagee to Moses. (Of course, since there is good reason to think that Moses never existed, I am not sure of the value of this comparison but I am sure it was meant as a compliment.) It looks like these right-wing Jewish groups seem to be willing to overlook the CUFI’s nasty expectations for Jews because the CUFI supports the most extreme and reactionary policies of the Israeli government and settler groups. What seems to bind these extremists together is their hatred of Muslims.
Meanwhile, some time ago I linked to a video of protestors (see the post script) shouting during the opening prayer in the US Senate when a Hindu was invited to do the honors. The reason protestors gave for choosing the Hindu day for protesting is because Hinduism is polytheistic.
But actually, Hinduism is monotheistic and the other deities that one finds in that religion are the manifestations of the one god. You would think that Christians would understand this because their religion is very similar. The doctrine of the Trinity says the same thing: that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are also manifestations of god, and that all three should be worshipped equally.
So on the basis of their criticism of Hinduism, Christianity is also polytheistic and therefore, at the very least, in violation of the first of the ten commandments.
The doctrine of the Trinity has always been a nightmare for theologians, tying them up in knots trying to explain the mathematical impossibility of 1=3. I remember in my religion classes in school and later in theology classes for my ordination as a lay preacher, discussing this question and the clergymen never really being ably to answer it, except for saying it was one of the great mysteries of the church that could be understood only through the eyes of faith, thus conveniently taking a weakness and making it your fault. If you couldn’t understand, it was because you did not have enough faith.
I wonder what would happen if someone sued, not to get rid of ‘In God We Trust’ on the currency or ‘Under God’ in the Pledge of Allegiance, but to replace them with ‘In Gods We Trust’ and ‘Under Gods’, since the existing formulation excludes two of the three members of the Trinity.
If someone sues on these grounds, perhaps we could settle this thorny issue of what the Trinity means once and for all, with the US Supreme Court making a ruling on whether there is only one Christian god or three.
Now that would be a court case worth following.