Monday, August 20, 2007

God's Warriors: Battlecry...

The other night, I was watching CNN (or the 'Communist News Networks' as those so-far-to-the-right-they're-practically-dropping-off-the-scale love to call it) and another trailer for Christiane Amanpour's documentary series God's Warriors came up.

This one was about a group previously completely unknown to me, called Battlecry, led by the "charismatic" Ron Luce. Holy Moly! I'm an agnostic-stroke-atheist and not a particularly militant one at that, but seeing the kind of rallies that Luce organises and the resonance they seem to have with a certain type of youngster, I might have to have a rethink on my militancy.

Looking at their
website, it would be all to easy to dismiss these guys as just another bunch of televangelists but that would be underestimating them. Luce and his team have their fingers on the buttons when it comes to manipulating crowds of teens. And it really isn't hard to see what the appeal is for impressionable teenagers.

Here's a vid that gives some idea of Battlecry's type of events:

(funnily enough the well known former Palestinian terrorist and Muslim renegade Walid Shubat that far-right broadcasters like Shox Noise like to wheel out in their own propaganda, features briefly in this clip. Ayaan Hirsi Ali eat you heart out!)

And another one:

Here's some well reasoned analysis on Amanpour's upcoming documentary (viewing times at the bottom).

'God's Warriors': CNN's Christiane Amanpour looks at 'zealots'

Joanne Weintraub

They've been called radicals, militants or zealots. Christiane Amanpour calls them God's Warriors.

The CNN reporter's three-part series on the subject, scheduled to air next week on the cable news channel, looks at Jews, Christians and Muslims who have aggressively brought their religious faith into the political arena.

These fervent believers change social policies, shape the course of national elections and influence global affairs. A small minority use terror to achieve their ends.

Amanpour, CNN's chief international correspondent and one of the most recognizable faces in broadcast news, spent eight months working on the special, which will be shown in two-hour segments Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

It's hard to overstate the impact religious fundamentalists have had in the Middle East, Europe and the United States, Amanpour said in an interview last month following a CNN session with critics in Los Angeles.

"We're talking about the (members) of these three faiths who feel that they have a direct line to God and that religion needs to be brought from the personal into the public sphere," she said.

"We traveled to several states (in the U.S.), to the U.K., the Netherlands, Egypt, Iran, Israel and the occupied West Bank. It was a huge undertaking."

For the segment on Christian activists, scheduled to air Thursday, Amanpour sat down with the Rev. Jerry Falwell for what turned out to be the evangelist's last interview before his sudden death in May.

The winner of numerous awards for her war reporting from the Middle East, Bosnia and elsewhere, Amanpour, 49, was raised in Tehran by a Catholic mother and a Muslim father.

Educated in Iran, England and the U.S., she is based in London and is married to a Jewish American, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State James Rubin.

"I've lived my personal life in a multiethnic, multifaith, multicultural environment," Amanpour said, "and I've spent my professional life dealing with the opposite, (covering) wars based on divisions among faiths."

For the Jewish segment of the report, which airs first, Amanpour and her crew visited Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, whose legitimacy has been debated by other Israelis for 40 years.

"These are religious people who really believe they're chosen, that this is their Promised Land," she said.

A source of outrage to Palestinians, the settlements "have a huge impact on (Israel's) ability to hammer out a peace agreement."

The segment also looks at U.S. Zionists, including a NewYork State legislator and his wife who raise large sums to support the settlements and evangelical Christians who work for the same cause in the belief that the Jewish settlements are divinely ordained.

For the middle segment, on Muslim activism, Amanpour returned to Iran, where visiting the members of a particularly devout sect meant donning a black robe and scarf that allowed only part of her face to peek out.

"We use Iran as a historic look at martyrdom - where it comes from, what it means and how it was first demonstrated," she said.

The final two hours, filmed entirely in the U.S., focus on Christian activists from Washington, D.C., to Washington State, with stops in Virginia and Minnesota.

Amanpour found this portion of her research the most surprising part of the project.

"I had never inquired into the nuts and bolts of how Christian conservatives operate here in the U.S.," she explained.

"We tend to look at them like some exotic subspecies, while they're actually a huge segment of the population here. They have huge impact, and we can't afford to treat them as a sort of loony fringe. I think that's quite clear."

Even with eight months of work, Amanpour conceded, there were aspects of the topic that went unaddressed.

"It might have been interesting to get to Africa," where both Christian and Muslim activism is on the rise, "or to look at the new pope and how he's getting back to the roots of Catholicism," she reflected.

As for future assignments, Amanpour still feels drawn to report on the Islamic world, which she believes Americans ignore at their peril.


What: God's Warriors, a documentary mini-series

When: 8-10 p.m. Tuesday (Jewish), Wednesday (Muslim) and Thursday (Christian); subject to change if news events intervene

Where: CNN


At 4:52 PM, Blogger Ed said...

I share your concerns about this. However, I expect that there are a fair few young Christians who are getting laid at these gigs; it may be a bit like concerts for the enviornment that cause pollution. I was surprised to see that P.O.D. are still around. I thought that they perished long ago.

At 11:43 AM, Blogger Baconeater said...

I saw part one about the Jews. It was completely one sided against Israel. No mention of pulling out of Gaza. A focus on the two or three terrorist acts committed by radical Jews like Baruch Goldstein.
Jimmy Carter was interviewed, and he sort of brushes aside Arab terrorism.

Proof the Jews don't run the media.


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