Bad Company

For my brothers and me, the four musketeers, living in the countryside and having virtually no neighbors made for a very empty social life in terms of having friends while growing up. We attended a small Catholic school, and since none of our classmates lived within 10 miles, we four boys were somewhat desperate for contact with other persons outside of our family. About 1/4 mile away there was a family whose kids were close in age to us.

Tragically, the family’s father had run off with another woman, and not long after his flight, the household began to show all the signs of decay that have come to typify a broken family in America. The mother started taking in guys as live-in boyfriends who seemed to come and go about once a year. Not too long into the breakdown, the oldest girl, 15, became pregnant and wasn’t sure of who the father was. For a while, my parents grudgingly tolerated the associations my brothers and I had with the younger boys in this family, but when the oldest boy was arrested for drinking and using drugs, my parents brought our friendships with them to a halt.

My father justified his decision to protect his sons with what I now recognize as pure wisdom, although at the time I didn’t. “When you lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas.”

They were right, my parents. They knew what was best for us, as parents usually do. Hanging around bad friends, (who really aren’t friends at all) will only drag you down. And for the most part, you can forget about being a good influence on them, all the odds are stacked up against you. From a broken family to a broken society, all will conspire to turn your best heartfelt efforts into a waste of time.

If only the fathers of our national family felt the same way.

We hear all the time about how America is a “Christian country” and how it was founded on Godly principles. That may have been true at one time. Now I would have to disagree. America’s associations, despite the best angle that some put on it, have been friendships with the worst that humanity has to offer at anytime in history. Sure, we take the credit for defeating a man like Hitler, but little mention is made of the fact that in his early rise to power, we helped put him there. Dittos with the Bolsheviks, whose revolution would not have been possible were it not for the aid of Wall Street gold. Even recently, amid the celebrations of victory over defeating the tyrant of sand-land, Saddam Hussein, it seems to have gotten lost in the discussion that the threat he posed to American security was the product of ideas sculpted in meeting rooms at Langley and Pennsylvania Avenue.

Now let us consider another alliance into which we have entered with another brutal regime that we have helped to create, and let us decide now whether or not these new “friends” are the kinds of friends we should have.

Left to our imaginations, we have to assume that the last thing each of these children did before the knife was plunged into their hearts was to cry out for his or her mother. They probably pleaded too, as the man stood there, laughing viciously with knife in hand. Of course, these children should have known better than to expect that these men would show them any mercy and spare their lives. After all, the fact is that these children had been tortured and raped repeatedly for hours. Finally, despite all the pleading that each of these children did, they were each tied to an alter constructed in the shape of a six-pointed star and were murdered by a group of gangsters who filmed everything and were selling it over the internet to customers around the world.

Such were the shocking events as described in several news outlets a few years ago. In the US, it got little press, save for some small newspaper in a California suburb that detailed the arrest of one of its residents for his involvement in this heinous act. In England, Australia, France, Italy and other parts of Europe, it received more press, including segments that were broadcast showing the little children being murdered in these snuff-porn videos that were sold for as much as $20,000 apiece. The information in the reports made big news in these areas outside the US not only because of the sheer brutality involved, but as well due to the fact that the government of Israel was trying to buy the silence of the other governments where the arrests had taken place, for fear of the backlash that might occur when it was learned that the gangsters who perpetrated these crimes were Israelis. Obviously, these unspeakable acts of brutality and ruthlessness would be impossible to justify and politicize in the same manner as occurs on a daily basis concerning the violent behavior that the Israeli government dishes out on the peoples living next to her, and in a day when she needs all the support she can get for her pet projects, this wouldn’t make things any easier.

In the interests of being fair minded, it can of course be argued that the Israeli people should not bear the brunt of the blame for this crime nor for the attempt to buy the silence of everyone else involved around the world. It is safe to say that the average Israeli would have nothing to do with such horrible violations of these and other children, and that the men who were involved with the commission of these acts as well as those individuals within the Israeli government who attempted to cover them up are those who deserve the full weight of justice. In addition to this, to be fair, we must be honest enough to admit that we would be hard pressed to find any government in the world that did not have such ruthless men in it. Unfortunately though, this sordid business does not end with these detailed accounts of children being raped and murdered.

According to several stories printed in media outlets as varied as Reuters, CNN, Indymedia, and the Jerusalem Post, as well as reports issued by human rights groups such as Amnesty International, the sex business, (in particular the trafficking of sex-slaves) is big business in Israel as well. By some accounts, there are over 1,000 women brought into Israel every year who are sold as sex-slaves to Israeli pimps who wish to use them for monetary profit, or to others who simply want them for themselves. Most of the girls come out of Russia and Eastern Europe, who were lured into coming to “the promised land” (a quote used by one of these news outlets) under the pretenses that they would be given a better life. In one of the stories run by Reuters, a girl who managed to get away from her pimp recalled what her life was like, being sold to as many as 20 men a day, earning nothing outside of the tips she was able to beg from each of her customers. According to her accounts, she was forced to prostitute herself seven days a week, and said that the only day during the year that she was able to take off was on the religious feast of Yom Kippur. And again, it would be unfair to blame an entire nation for the evil actions of a few men, however, as in the aforementioned case involving the murdered children, the government of Israel was involved as well, in that at the time the story was written, it was still legal for Israelis to own sex-slaves, provided, (according to one news story) that the sex-slaves in question weren’t Jewish. And again, unfortunately, it does not end there either.

Over Easter weekend, 2002, after the Israelis had invaded the Palestinian town of Ramallah, three television stations run by the Arabs were seized by the Israelis, after which time pornographic videos were broadcast into the homes of the Arab residents, both Muslim and Christian who lived there. The people had no idea of what they were in for, and as Palestinian children sat in front of their television sets expecting to watch cartoons, they were instead exposed to videos that exemplify the worst acts of human depravity and exploitation, courtesy of the Israeli government.

And yet we are told, on an hourly basis, that we in America should cherish and always maintain our friendship with such a nation.

These are important things to consider, particularly for those of us here in the United States who consider ourselves to be religious people, and particularly in light of the fact that many men in this country who have assumed the unofficial positions of being our nation’s religious leaders tell us that as a Christian country we should be throwing our support behind the government of Israel, that same government that had its hand in the aforementioned events.

We are told by the likes of these “religious” men–men like Falwell, Robertson, Graham, Lindsey, and the rest that our support of Israel is based on shared religious and moral principles, that the Israelis are biblically mandated to possess that land as God’s chosen people, and as Christians, we are duty-bound to help them out. As God’s chosen people, they say, everything the Israelis do in pursuit of possessing the land is justified, and should be considered outside the scope of scrutiny, especially by us Christians. Most of the fuel for this fire is supplied by their self-described “expert” translations of the last book of the Bible, known as Revelations, in which the end of the world and the return of Christ to defeat Satan is preceded by the return of the Jews to their ancient homeland.

And while we can possibly dismiss the sympathies held by a media and government bought off by AIPAC and other pro-Israel outlets, since, after all, the US Government, (in alliance with the multi-national corporations that control it) is nothing more than a whore that will sell itself to whomever has the most cash, we should, (at least those of us who try to live our lives based on religious convictions concerning right and wrong) in light of the above mentioned examples of sheer brutality collectively throw our hands out in front of ourselves and shout “Whoooa, wait a minute!”

Don’t these evangelists ever read anything besides the Book of Revelations?

Maybe these people purporting to be Christians and who support our alliance with Israel should get their noses out of the Book of Revelations, and read some of the other parts of the Bible as well, particularly a book that was written by a Jew named Paul who at one time made his living by hunting down and killing the early Christians.

In one of his books in which Paul discusses the Last Days, he warns people about the danger of associating with others of low morals, his words in effect being “Do not be misled. Bad company corrupts good character.” How did these evangelists giving Israel a great big bear hug manage to miss that passage? It seems to be pretty clear, as well as pretty important. In fact, if these men, these “ministers of God’s word,” as they often call themselves, followed the direction that Paul gives us here, they would be running for the hills to avoid the company of such wicked souls.

And as for the propriety of putting one group or race of people above others in importance, (as many of these present day evangelists do in their elevation of the people of Israel to a position of superiority over the rest of us) Paul also was very clear, stating, “God does not show favoritism.” The question being considered at that particular moment in his epistle was the practice of seeing the Jewish people as superior to the other peoples of that time. We should see the obvious importance and relevance in Paul’s statement today, given the fact that the “ministers of God’s word” tell us on an hourly basis that whatever acts of viciousness committed by the Israelis against their neighbors is justified, due to this supposed elevated importance in God’s eyes. And forget about accusing Paul of being a tobacco chewing, gun toting, uneducated anti-Semite from the backwoods who deserves to have the ADL dispatched after him. As we discussed earlier, he was a Jew and had the best education possible for someone in his day.

As religious Americans, being Christians, Muslims, Jews or whatever, a people who purport to believe in a just God that punishes the wicked and rewards the good, do we really stand to gain anything by allying ourselves with a nation’s governing body that tries to keep quiet the rape and murder of little children, allows the trafficking of human sex-slaves, and broadcasts pornography into the homes of peoples that are seriously offended by it? As a Christian nation, do the words of St. Paul admonishing the just to stay away from those of bad character mean nothing to us? Do we really believe that in associating ourselves with unsavory people, for whatever reason, that we will not be sullied ourselves? The idea that we can associate with people of low morals and remain untainted ourselves is a twisted fantasy that is best summed up in this often repeated saying: “You can’t get a little bit pregnant.” As far as our religious and political leaders, I think it is safe to say that they are “kept men” and that they know fully well what is going on and what is at stake, and that it really all boils down to 30 pieces of silver.

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge,” is something I often hear quoted by the likes of these men, these Born-Again Zionists who are nothing more than the blind leading the blind. Yes, we as a nation certainly will be destroyed, and not only from lack of knowledge, but also due to the lack of good judgment in our choice of bad friends.

But more importantly, what we must keep in mind, what we must never forget, are the images of each of these little children and the hell that they endured. Let us not allow their lives and suffering to be forgotten by the fancy and melodic words of men who make their living by lying to us, nor by the threats of men who hold power. These little children, sons and daughters of our Father in heaven, were destroyed, on film, and our “friends” tried to keep us from knowing about it. Are these the kind of friends we should have? What if it were your son or daughter? Wouldn’t you want the rest of the world to know?

Personally, I don’t relish the idea of waking up with fleas, or with any other parasite for that matter.

“Bad company corrupts good character, therefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, sayeth the Lord.”

Mark Glenn is an American and former high school teacher turned writer / commentator. He can be reached at: [email protected]. He contributed above article to Media Monitors Network (MMN).