Hell, Fire, and Damnation

By Christopher Zoukis

Up to this point, Hoskins would not have been described as a religious or spiritual or mystical personality.  This changed in the mid-1960s.  For Hoskins got religion.  His spirituality, previously dulled by insufficient stimulation and by a lack of human compassion, emerged and shone in zealous splendor.  Hoskins was narrow-minded and saw no need for religion, because to his way of thinking religion was weak.  It preached tolerance, love, forgiveness, and turning the other cheek.  Hoskins had no tolerance for such namby-pambyism.  He wanted the Jesus of the Second Advent, not the whimpy Jesus of the First Advent, which was what religion taught.  At the Second Advent, Jesus came back with eyes like fire and a tongue like a sword, with which he killed his enemies.   Image courtesy www.nndb.com

Hoskins finally found it.  And when he did it was transforming, life-changing.  For his spiritual awakening nurtured the seeds of a new and fervent vocation:  unreasoning religious fanaticism.

It happened like this.  Hoskins had descended into the pit of alcoholism.  “On April 28, 1965, at 4:00 in the afternoon, in the green rocking chair on the front porch,” Jesus showed up.  Only this Jesus wasn’t a Jew, he was a Nordic from the great Aryan race.  As Hoskins said, “When He saved me all He got was a drunk with a nervous breakdown who couldn’t work and who had no money.” 

Hoskins became a devotee of the hell-fire and damnation preaching of Jerry Falwell.  Falwell was an old-line fundamentalist, who hated Jews, abortionists, non-whites and government interference.  But Falwell was smart too.  He didn’t want to be stamped as a rightwing nutcase.  It was more profitable to be conservative than radical.  So he preached a watered-down version of Christian Identity, a version that made it more palatable to the average champion of the status quo Christian.

Falwell’s preaching was music to Hoskins’ ears.  He had found a kindred soul, a fellow warrior of the White Way.  Hoskins began attending Thomas Road Baptist Church, where Falwell held sway every Sunday, preaching the truth of God’s word.  Which in reality had little resemblance to the truth or to God.  More accurately, it was the Jerry Falwell show and the word being preached was the Gospel of Jerry Falwell.

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The Lunatic Fringe

By Christopher Zoukis

In the year of our Lord 2013, many Americans believe in the Bible and what it says – literally.  The Bible is right, according to eighty percent of all Americans.  Not only is it right, it is the divinely inspired Word of God.  In other words, God dictated the Bible, and his secretaries – people we call prophets and apostles – wrote it down.

Furthermore, more than thirty percent of Americans believe that God speaks to them directly.  Which, when you stop and think about it, means that the Bible has been superseded as far as these favored people are concerned.  These chosen people, of course, still believe the Bible is the Word of God.  It’s just that they get special memos from God when He has something to add or when clarification of some point of doctrine is needed.

What’s more, fully (which means more than) ten percent of all Americans believe God speaks to them out loud.  They ‘hear,’ in a very real sense, the voice of God. 

Unsurprising, then, that white supremacist groups pop up everywhere.  The Montana Militia, the Nazi Low Riders, W.A.R (white Aryan resistance) and the Aryan Brotherhood being just a few examples.  And while skinhead groups are viewed as the lunatic fringe by many people, there is little doubt that some radical-fundamentalist religious groups agree that people of color are somehow inferior.  Noah said so.  Moses said so.  The Bible says so.  And that means God says so.  Image courtesy vkb.isvg.org

Although theologians place the Flood and Noah’s curse in the year 6000 B.C., which means racism started about 8000 years ago, the term ‘white supremacy’ was born in 1902.  

‘White supremacy’ is a racist ideology – a strong belief – that white people are superior to other racial groups.  White people are superior not only as a race, but because they are God’s chosen. 

Most white supremacists are ardent racists, desire power over others, and are xenophobic.  What they don’t understand, they hate.  And since they automatically don’t understand anything or anyone that is different than they are, they hate almost everything and everyone.  The automatic (unthinking) part comes easily to them, as they are usually ignorant, uneducated and violent by disposition.  But not always – some are indeed educated.  Often their racist attitudes mask ulterior motives or are the product of environmental influences, such as parents, peers or churches.

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