GOD'S LEADERS ALWAYS PERSECUTED
Either Jesus was a cult leader or he wasn't. Either St. Paul, St. Francis, Augustine, William Penn, William Bradford, John Wesley and Joseph Smith deserved being incarcerated or they didn't.
Hassan says he is a Jew. Doesn't Moses fit his criteria of a charismatic cult leader? Didn't he tell his followers God spoke to him and they are better than everyone else because they are the chosen people. And how about Abraham? He is going to plunge a knife into his son who lays on the altar with total obedience. Is this blind faith totalism? If you take Steve's logic then we have to down the road of those liberals and Marxists who say the traditional biblical family as taught by the Southern Baptists is a cult because the man is the head of the house who determines which church the children attend. They received a tremendous amount of negative publicity when they announced their "extremist" views as Jimmy Carter said they had. He announced he was leaving the church because it was cruel to women. Leaders have to be equalitarian, not authoritarian. The truth is that patriarchy is not a cult as feminists and the majority of America thinks it is. Hassan's argument goes down the road of those like Frederick Clarkson who quote Hassan and then proceed to say Pat Robertson is dangerous because the Christian Right works with Father and they are all evil.
In Hassan's world of anti-cultists there are some who see the Christian Right as dangerous. Flo Conway wrote a book about cults called Snapping and another book about how good men like Jerry Falwell are evil. Hassan's world is filled with conspiracy theories of Nazi religions who are hell bent on creating a 1984 in America. This paranoia would be a funny joke to look at if it wasn't for the tragic reality that hundreds or thousands of Unificationists have been brutally kidnapped and verbally abused. The cultural war is deadly and Hassan types have great power. The Boy Scouts were almost destroyed by the Left judges in the Supreme Court. Sun Myung Moon went to jail even though many mainline churches supported him. Conway's book, Holy Terror, is one of those ridiculous anti-conservative books that haven't got one sentence of truth anymore than there is Hitler's Mein Kampf.
The following are some of the paranoia of God's side from the anti-cultists who wrote Holy Terror. They practically call the Christian Right a bunch of violent terrorists like some Islamic extremists who hate America. The truth is that movements and groups like Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority are on God's side to defeat the Left.
In the eighties, America has given birth to a new form of terror, a campaign of fear and intimidation aimed at the hearts of millions. It is in two great American arenas--religion and politics--that this new terror has raised it's head. In the past few years, a small group of preachers and political strategists has begun to use religion and all that Americans hold sacred to seize power across a broad spectrum of our lives.
Much has been written and even more has been broadcast about the rise of the "Moral Majority" and the ascension of the far right in American life.
What does the fundamentalist right have against human beings? What grudge do they hold against the human mind, human feeling, our capacity to choose and our ability to live as free people? Is their own fear so great that they would wreck the American spirit in the name of God? Or in their escape from humanity through technology, would they turn us all into machines programmed by Scriptures? That is the future which would unfold under fundamentalist right rule: stripped of will and conscience, with our thoughts and feelings under remote control, we would become not godlike but machinery, for we would lose our ability, as these men apparently have, to make ethical judgments in a human world.
They would also realize that totalism is not triumph. Their whole grand mythical scheme will not stop this complex age from rushing down on them, nor will it stop their children from rushing to meet the world. They may confuse millions, they may drive some crazy, but they will not still the human mind any more than they can suppress the human spirit.
But they can continue to divide us as Americans. They can play upon our panic in the face of complexity. They can create fear and turmoil in every corner of our culture. They may even bring down a second Civil War.
To Conway, Jerry Falwell and Sun Myung Moon are spiritual terrorists. Notice the words used in the above quotes from the book. A favorite of anti-cultists and the Left is that the Christian Right are all ayatollahs who will beat a woman in public if she doesn't have her veil on just right. All that Conway and all these books that fear religious zeal in America are just a projection. It is they who are scary and who want to regulate and curtail freedom more than their opposition. It is the sickening attitude and logic of Boy Scout bashing. The Boy Scouts are good and their enemies take them to court to force them at gunpoint to violate God's common sense morals. Hassan's attack on the UC is the same as those who want to destroy the Boy Scouts.