Religious Freedom

Koot van Wyk


All dictators are very scared of criticism. So the first thing they do after a coup ‘etat is to grab the media to prevent any gossip or rumors against them. And rumors there are and gossip as well because not everything happened without error or even corruption. Hitler grabbed the newspapers and Radio and TV networks for propaganda and set up rules to abide by and force the journalists and networks to be pro-party and pro-government or else.

It is the way fascism works. Only one view should prevail but under the smoke-screen that unity is in diversity. But the unity is forced and the diversity is captivated and placed in chains and under lock. There is not a single fascist history example that one can watch on Youtube that did not do that. They live with a desire to be praised because they have a lot of skeletons in the closet and do not know how to handle properly their conscience at night-time…so they sleep in different houses and different beds every night. They flee from critics and potential destroyers of their views or their lives.

Fragile politics cannot stand criticism because it will collapse. For sure.

After grabbing the media, shut down critical newspapers and critical radio and tv broadcasters or stations they then start a fascistic approach also to rules of conduct political, educational and also religious. The last one evolves into a persecution of the church by the state. The state grew teeth and bite severely and very often. Like Karl Barth as observer of the Vatican II in 1962 had concerns about the religious freedom of the post-counsel church, so I also have concerns of any country I live in that evolves into a fascistic agenda before my eyes. Barth was questioning religious freedom at Vatican II.

We hear of neighboring countries burning churches, braking down their crosses, spying on their services, forcing them to take only woman pastors and sending certain religions to forced education camps for deconstruction and reconstruction of the ideologies of religion of these people. Not one, not two, not one hundred, not one thousand, not ten thousand, but one million of them. Yet the fascist regime denies that they are encroaching on people’s freedom of religion. It is true that this particular religion that are incarcerated is a political-religion and so is Catholicism, or some Protestants. But, Adventism with their a-political stance, is not interested in politics. Only on the spreading of the gospel and true doctrines. Whereas other churches agenda of proselytizing may mean sharing political agendas as package in the worship, or not, with Adventism definitely not.

Yet fascistic regimes do not have the ability to separate the corn from the weed. Everything must be punished and burned and destroyed and captivated and prevented from expressing their worship.

Fascists want absolute worship of personalities in the regime, like bowing, etc. to the flag, to military parades to high officials or the top leader. What Hitler demanded from his public.

Jesus operated among a similar regime, the Roman power in Palestine. He had to flee a number of times. But strangely enough, his problem was not the political power of the Romans who were heathens, but the religious politicians of His own race. They were foretold that He is coming as Messiah but they missed the signals, clear signals like Daniel 9:24-27 for the dating and Isaiah 53 for the nature of His coming (not in glory or power but in death and suffering first), or Psalm 110 what happened after His resurrection. The politico-religious Jews were His greatest problem in His ministry.

The corona virus is shaking all including fascistic regimes. When Sennacherib came to Jerusalem a second time and destroyed Lachish in 689 BCE [for why would he come to a already burnt city if he did not burn it only the second time], he confronted Hezekiah the king of Jerusalem and Isaiah the prophet. But God was on their side and what happened? Overnight a coronavirus killed the 185000 soldiers of Sennacherib in the valleys to the north of Jerusalem. Sennacherib went back to Assyria and between 689-681 [his death] he was hated in Assyria and in Babylon. R. K. Grayson published a tablet on these eight years of unpopularity of Sennacherib which is cited in footnote 9 of Mordechai Cogan’s article in Israel Exploration Journal on Sennacherib. He could not answer back home his home base as to why so many widows were created in his country suddenly. Isaiah was correct in his description of the events. No confusion as Cogan is indicating. When I heard Cogan at Stellenbosch University in 1985 I stood up after his lecture and suggested that instead of one event and two descriptions, is it not better to talk about two events and two descriptions in the Bible? He was quiet. Today I wrote online to him about it in academia, but he is quiet so far. Will wait and see afterwards. Too soon to say.

He was assassinated by his oldest son and the Babylonians in their texts are saying that Sennacherib was killed by order of Marduk because Sennacherib for nearly 8 years destroyed the temples and religious sites in Babylon. They also mention a 21 year period of destruction. Is this the 8 years under Sennacherib and the 12 years under Esarhaddon? Add up to 20 years inclusive 21?

Religion plays a role since fascists deny religion as a humanistic endeavor to cover up their weaknesses but this Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels attempt to explain the psyche of human, as S. Freud and C. Jung also did, is ridiculous. If evolution was the name of the game for the origin of everything, why was there no evolution on Mars, or Jupiter or Moon? Not even a half-life of an ant or a weed? Nothing. Not even skeletons of the past. Why is only this earth so diverse and high-tech developed with its Fibonacci spirals in almost everything from constellations to DNA?

Then fascists still want to be the main player of everything? Self-creating Utopias of their own with every single one in history failing as Youtube is evidence of.

They must wake up from their illusion and get real. Marx and Engels studied theology and Marxism is a religious cult. So do not say that they are atheistic. There are secular religions too. There are not only five needs in Maslow. There are six. The need for the metaphysical is the sixth need and two years after his model, Maslow adjusted it by adding the sixth need. But the world is quiet about it.

Neo-fascism sounds right but it is an ecumenical secular religion that takes away the religious freedom of other religions. Political right is biblically wrong.