By Jay Stephenson
February 3, 2015
“But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas and destroy Jesus. The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas.” – Matthew 27:20-21
In the year following the Bush administration’s illegal and unjust war in Iraq, debate raged among media elites and the country at large regarding a biblical film depicting the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ broke box office records and remains the highest grossing R rated film in history. The movie was released nearly two months after the capture of Saddam Hussein and prior to a vastly changed Iraqi landscape that would eventually eradicate a Christian population nearly four times the number held prior to a war cheered by conservative Christians here at home.
Fast forward nearly a decade later and America is once again on the brink of another ground war in Iraq and a new R rated movie is smashing records at the box office, but this time it’s about a glorified warrior said to have more kills than any other sniper in American History.
“American Sniper isn’t just a hit, it’s on its way to a colossal box-office return,” penned National Review’s David French in celebration of a profanity laced movie that glorifies violence. No longer are conservatives decrying Hollywood’s immoral role in America’s culture wars; along with television shows like 24 and movies like Zero Dark Thirty that promote torture, Clint Eastwood’s war porn biopic has Christians and neoconservatives siding with an evil industry they’ve been criticizing for years.
Reviling the epic poems of Homer and Virgil, the mythical creation of Chris Kyle’s life as portrayed by Bradley Cooper is as fabled a tale as the weapons of mass destruction lies told in the lead up to the Iraq war. Since the country’s faith in politicians is at an all time low, gone are the days of infallible presidents who can lie the country into war. Instead, a farm boy from Texas turned Navy SEAL has been cast as the great war messiah whose story can lead the American sheep to once again support and cheer present and future wars. Released after the U.S. government commenced bombing Iraq and during the lead up to the war promoting Superbowl event, the timing could not be more perfect.
Aside from the 160 confirmed kills (confirmed by the never to be trusted U.S. government), Kyle’s real story is much different from the movie portrayal. When the American Sniper book was published, it was mostly promoted via his viscous slander upon the character of former Navy SEAL and vocal anti-war proponent Jesse Ventura. Fox News and “Christians” such as Glenn Beck allowed Kyle to bear false witness against Ventura with his lie that he punched the former governor out at another veteran’s wake for saying his Navy SEAL team “deserved to lose a few” in Iraq. Ventura took Kyle’s estate to court for libel, and after he won his suit, even the mainstream media criticized Kyle for the Ventura lie and a slew of other made up stories, including a claim that he shot dead dozens of looters in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Despite the false and repeated smears against Ventura, the deadliest sniper’s Christian cheerleaders refused to admit wrong even after the libel case was won in court. In fact, they piled on even more smears.
The proclaimed Christian Glenn Beck, who called Ventura a “scumbag” based on Kyle’s lies, doubled down on his Ventura criticism while never admitting that he was wrong for giving the lie airtime in the first place. Since Kyle was sadly killed by another veteran at a gun range before he could testify in court, the war friendly right was able to use his death to portray the former governor as heartlessly taking money from a distraught widow even though the publisher’s insurance company was on the hook for the $1.8 million awarded in the case.
Once the movie was released, Kyle’s fictional story and death turned him into a pagan god conservative Christians could idolize; detractors not on board with the nation’s newfound blood lust were to be excommunicated for daring to blaspheme the Iraq war’s gun toting Moloch.
In addition to Kyle’s critics like Ron Paul and Ventura, the Hollywood director Michal Moore and actor Seth Rogen learned how easy it is to be cast down as heretics for not appreciating the Leviathan state’s holy script.
“My comment about the movie was not meant to have any political implications,” Rogen said in an effort to water down a previous tweet comparing the American Sniper movie to a Nazi propaganda film.”Any political meaning was ascribed to my comment by news commentary.”
Moore also had to walk back a tweet questioning Kyle’s bravery.
Similar to the way conservative Christians like to portray Muslims as fanatics who overreact to criticism of the Prophet Muhammad, any criticism of the Prophet Kyle’s legacy is met with brazen hysteria. Nowadays, conservative Christians typically turn the other cheek to real blasphemy against Christ, but criticism of the war messiah shall not be tolerated.
In the wake of Kyle criticism, the “born again Christian” Sarah Palin even took a break from her sacrilegious applause lines mocking the Christian baptism and drunken family brawls to take a picture of herself holding up a sign telling Michael Moore “F*** You.” Much like the Constitution conservatives like to hang their hat on, biblical rules against using profanity, taking the lord’s name in vain, and even murder, get tossed out the window once war comes into the picture. As Chris Hedges recently wrote: “The innate barbarity that war and violence breed is justified by a saccharine sentimentality about the nation, the flag and a perverted Christianity that blesses itsarmed crusaders. “
Hedges words could easily describe the Kyle worship on Fox News that was exemplified by commentator Todd Starnes, who said : “I suspect Jesus would tell that God-fearing, red-blooded American sniper, ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant for dispatching another Godless jihadist to the lake of fire. ’”
With so much war talk coming from those claiming to be Christians, it’s no wonder the world’s largest religion is in decline. Even the atheist Bill Maher recently observed the gross inconsistency of those proclaiming to worship the Prince of Peace while celebrating the violence Kyle’s life promotes through the American Sniper film.
The sad irony is that the war Kyle fought in actually served to eradicate the Christian population in Iraq, as noted earlier. But even more ironic is the fact that Kyle is no longer alive because of that war and the false Christian jingoism that led up to it. His life was brought to an end by another war veteran suffering from PTSD. The war on terror isn’t just killing Muslims. It’s killing our veterans here at home.