Cook lectures on religion in politics
Posted Oct. 3, 2008
Leah Heagy
Bill Cook’s lecture titled, “Blinded by Belief: Faith vs. Freedom,” expounded his views on Christian Zionist Groups. He spoke of how they have bonded together with both the Israeli Zinoist Groups and the Bush Administration in order to further control the U.S. government. Cook spoke Sept. 23 in the President’s Dining Room.



With the upcoming presidential election and the newfound need for candidates to label their religious views, Bill Cook, professor of English, held a lecture titled, “Blinded by Belief: Faith vs. Freedom.”

The lecture was given Sept. 23 at noon in the President’s Dining Room with about 30 people in attendance.

Cook began his presentation by describing a program on the Trinity Broadcasting Network, where dozens of Christians crowded around an American flag calling upon God to protect America on the eve of battle.

On another channel, “Shock and Awe” was underway.

In 1904 Mark Twain dictated “The War Prayer” 99 years before “Shock and Awe.”

“O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead…We ask it…of Him who is the Source of Love…Amen.”

“But now, as then, power uses religion to mobilize the masses to accomplish ruthless ends,” Cook said.

Cook has published many articles and books that touch on the Christian Zionist movement and their promotion in the Middle East.

The Christian Zionist movement in the United States believes in a plan based on the Book of Revelation, he said.

It calls for the existence of the state of Israel to usher in the second coming as prophesied therein.

They have joined other followers including Israeli Zionists and Neo cons to manipulate the beliefs of their followers for political ends

By doing so, they control the policies of the United States in the Middle East, Cook said.

“Although a few students can give a precise synopsis of particular world crises, too many students with whom I speak could not even identify the religion of Israel or Palestine, let alone the role of religion in politics today,” Alfred Clark, associate vice president of academic affairs, said.

Cook believes that this is not the first effort to control political power in a state or in a religion, and that the current conflicts in the Middle East arise out of the same manipulation of religion and politics.

“I thought his points were interesting being that I am a Christian,” Kimberly Detwiler, assistant director of athletic training said.

“The title of this presentation suggests that the Christian Zionist faithful act blindly because they believe in a cause that is contradictory to the teachings of Christ. Second­ly, it suggests that their faith is confrontational with the definition of freedom,” Cook said.

Cook then explained how language is redefined so that it contradicts the traditional meaning and justifies the action of the Christian Zionists.

For example, liberty means acceptance and obedience to Jesus Christ.

It is estimated that 70 million to 100 million Americans adhere to fundamentalist beliefs, and, of that number, roughly 25 percent of them are “hardcore” Christian Zionists.

“It’s dangerous that some Christians act that way, but I felt a need to express what a majority of Christians believe,” Detwiler said.

Cook has written several articles and books, including “Chronicles of Nafaria,” which was released in September.

“I have read several of Bill’s books. I found his “Psalms for the 21st Century” particularly interesting,” Clark said. “Bill has a combative style that always engages the reader.”

Madison Steff can be reached at madison.steff@laverne.edu.

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