24 September, 2020

Blog

Karma In American Actions 

By Patrick Mendis

Dr Patrick Mendis

Karma in American Actions – Or, Has “the Mandate of Heaven” Been Bestowed Upon the Trump White House?

After his assassination order to kill the Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in Iraq, both domestic and international hostilities against President Donald Trump began to multiply. Since then Trump backed down on his threats but ridiculed the Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei to “Make Iran Great Again.” 

Within days of the president’s military order from the Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida, Pastor Paula White, his  favorite televangelist and a newest White House aide, organized a rally of evangelical Christians at the King Jesus International Ministry in Miami. There, the president singled out the two Democrat congresswomen – Somali-American Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Palestinian-American Rashida Tlaib of Michigan – and denounced that they “hate” Jewish people and then claimed God is “on our side.” 

Invoking God is “on our side” is heretical and diametrically opposed to the traditional Christian faith; the true believers always want to be “on God’s side.” For the die-hard evangelical Christian base of supporters and financiers, Trump is the champion of their religious faith. And, their political agenda is cleverly shrouded in the Prosperity Gospel of health and wealth creation. For them, the genuine practice of the Christian teachings of Jesus Christ rests somewhere else. 

The Mandate of Heaven over Providence?

When President Trump decided to abandon the America’s Kurdish allies fighting to defeat ISIS in Syria, Reverend Pat Robertson – the 90-year old patriarch among the influential televangelists and the founder of Christian Broadcasting Network – criticized Trump and decried that “the president of the United States is in danger of losing the Mandate of Heaven if he permits this to happen.” Using the phase “Mandate of Heaven” by a Christian is extraordinary but seemingly purpose-driven in the prevailing political environment.

The Mandate of Heaven or Tianming is an ancient Chinese political and religious doctrine. It justifies the rule of the emperor according to the natural order of the moral universe and the supreme will of the celestial power. If an emperor was unfit to govern, calamities ensued, and the mandate was withdrawn with the appropriate justice of reward and revenge. Reverend Robertson’s subtle use of the Chinese phrase was to send a coded message, which other American leaders often referred to as “Providence” or “Nature’s God” as enshrined in the Declaration of Independence.

When a powerful editorial in the flagship evangelical magazine Christianity Today described President Trump as “immoral” and called for his removal from office, the most domineering Republican group of evangelical leaders and conservative commentators rallied around the impeached president. Apparently for Reverend Robertson, Trump is acting more like a Chinese emperor or a dictator than a leader of the free world.

The other White evangelical Christian group would fear losing the president’s already shrinking electoral base to advance their own pro-Israel Middle East policy agenda that had temporarily been hidden away during President Barack Obama’s administration. 

Born Again Christians

This neoconservative policy toward the Middle East has its own rebirths. Within weeks of the 9/11 attacks, for example, General Wesley Clark, the former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, was informed that then Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had a plan in the George W. Bush administration. It described in a memo how “we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off Iran” after of course invading Afghanistan. 

Then Secretary of State General Colin Powell – who was cynically used to provide justification for invading Iraq by the Bush White House – advocated the traditional Party’s platform of diversity and tolerance at the Republican National Convention in 1996. By the time he supported President Obama and defended him as neither a “Muslim” nor a “foreign-born” in 2010, the Trump Republicans had long abandoned Powell and labeled him a RINO (“Republican In Name Only”). These resurrected forces and dynamics have subtly propelled the emergence of Trump’s Republican base with nativist evangelicals.

Exporting the Culture War

Having assembled a cohesive white national security team of obsequious Christian men, President Trump’s acts would constitute the most consequential of his presidency to remake America. Emphasizing the national security risks, the Washington Post analysis highlights that Secretary of State Pompeo, for example, has tried “a maximalist position on Iran” and as the CIA director, Pompeo “quickly set up an Iran Mission Center” at the agency. The Post then provides the reason that these acts made him “popular among two critical pro-Israel constituencies in Republican politics: conservative Jewish donors and Christian evangelicals.” This is essentially an attempt to export the American “culture war” to other countries with their Christian zealotry.

The very essence of the founding doctrine of the United States is to prevent the current perils of advocating religious, personal, and partisan agendas that would undermine the functioning of government in American democracy – not as the governance of absolute monarchy in a Christendom. The sobering lessons of yet another hubris of power come from the Bush administration of neoconservatives (one of whom included President Trump’s former National Security Advisor, John Bolton).

In his book Decision Points in 2010, President Bush wrote “I had reached one of the defining decision points in my presidency: We would fight the war on terror on the offense, and the first battlefront would be Afghanistan.” In a new age of global war on terror, targeting the safe havens of terrorists in Afghanistan was a “war of necessity;” Iraq was a “war of choice” as Dr. Richard Haass coined the phrases. The latter phrase was a war against the moral universe rather than a “special calling” from God for President Bush, a born again Christian.

The Return of Providence

Knowing the unseen forces of unjust wars and unfair congressional decisions is beyond normal human capacity but inevitably the higher power does always bend toward justice. It is the immutable law of Nature’s God or Providence as the mysterious mechanics of this impartial magistrate will bring about fairness for all. 

It was precisely the point recognized by Otto von Bismarck when he cautioned Wilhelm I in 1875 that “I would . . . never advise Your Majesty to declare war forthwith, simply because it appeared that our opponent would begin hostilities in the near future. One can never anticipate the ways of Divine Providence securely enough for that.”

As in the Chinese doctrine of Mandate of Heaven, God is all about justice that comes with an intrinsic karmic mechanism of rewards and punishments for the individual ruler and collectively for particular group or geography. It is with that understanding by which the Founding Fathers wrote the Declaration of Independence and the need of government to be “the great moral purposes of society. . . founded in the laws of nature and of Nature’s God,” said Secretary of State (and later President) John Quincy Adams in 1821. 

The omniscience of God here has always been the omnipotent arbitrator of justice in American public life. The unfolding impeachment saga of President Trump and his “Make America Great Again” role in the world has yet to be revealed in the moral universe of Nature’s God.

*Dr. Patrick Mendis is a Taiwan fellow of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China and a distinguished visiting professor of global affairs at the National Chengchi University in Taipei. Previously, he served as a distinguished visiting professor of Sino-American relations at the Yenching Academy of Peking University and a commissioner of the US National Commission for UNESCO at the US Department of State. The views expressed in this article are his own; they do not represent the institutions of his past or present affiliations. 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 2
    0

    Read up about PNAC and read the signatories below.

    “The Project for the New American Century (PNAC) was a neoconservative[1][2][3] think tank based in Washington, D.C. that focused on United States foreign policy. It was established as a non-profit educational organization in 1997, and founded by William Kristol and Robert Kagan.[4][5] PNAC’s stated goal was “to promote American global leadership.”[6] The organization stated that “American leadership is good both for America and for the world,” and sought to build support for “a Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity.”[7]”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_for_the_New_American_Century

    Many in that list are pro Israel, and one in particular Frank Gaffney a well known anti Muslim activist, who has an ugly record of spreading Islamaphobia.

    America’s wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the toppling of regimes in the Middle East, were based on false information. The real criminals on 9/11 were mostly from Saudi Arabia, and there were no Afghans, yet Saudi Arabia was spared by America.
    America and it’s allies have killed 1-4 million Muslims, injured millions, and have made millions refugees as they flee the violence, and have resulted in terror groups like A Qaeda and ISIS intensifying. They used these wars to recruit, and justify their violence.

    To date, we have yet to hear the US apologize for destroying these nations, they show no remorse, and never mentioned the number of civilians they have killed, FOR NO REASON. Would they have attacked, shocked and awed, and bombed, these nations had it been a nation of caucasians, or Jewish? No chance.

    Might is not Right.

    • 6
      0

      Good points here! But the global and local media is big on the politics of Distraction.

      We a being distracted from Trumps’ and the US deep State Rogue States’ crimes in Iraq and Iran and his impeachment with panic inducing stories about a flu virus in China.
      Appears that biological war is being waged against China and Asian economies with all sorts of viruses – from flu in humans to birds and pigs.
      So the impeachment of Trump who threatened more crimes – to attack Iran’s ancient Cultural sites, (while CIA has been doing this all along in Asia anyway ) and the moving of US and NATO to occupy the Indian Ocean with British, French and US occupation of the Indian Ocean islands while India is being distracted with the clown Modi’s CCA Bill, is being covered up with stories about a flu epidemic and Fitch Ratings jumping up to say that Lanka’s economy will be impacted by Flu in China. Utter Tosh from filthy Fitch.
      The US which with its Israeli and Saudi buddies funded and staged the Easter Attacks in Lanka, is the biggest rogue state in the world – a crashed superpower that has lost the plot and is trying to take over by military means with its 800 odd military and lily pad bases all over the world. Karma has already caught up with the US which is a second rate country now with China the world’s no. 1 Superpower with its AI, billion people histry and wealth.

      • 1
        0

        USA has only 300 year history as it wiped out native Americans.
        The US deep state that is now led by mad Trump, (smooth talking Obama the Drone assassination king was just as bad is seems now), is so jealous of Asia’s 3,000 year history, so they are bombing Cultural Sites and even churches, pretending to be ISiL to destroy Asian Civilizations while weaponizing Buddhism to try to colonize Buddhist countries and fight socialism and nationalism. Please see the book “Cold War Monks: Buddhism and America’s Secret Strategy in Asia, by Eugene Ford. Yale UP 2017.
        CIA also set up, owns and operates IS with Israel and Saudi to destroy Islam and to justify its 800 bases.. CIA set up the clash between Sunnis and Shias to protect Israel and distract from Palestine issue, and now in Southeast Asia it is organizing a clash between Buddhism and Islam and Hindusim and Islam in moda Modi’s India to crash the rise of Asia led by China!

    • 2
      0

      Tara,
      Most Muslims/Jews in the ME are Caucasians! Also, most Jews don’t like Trump. Trump is only trying hard to win their votes. Iran’s behavior has to be viewed in the light of the sectarian conflict in the Muslim world with Iran is heading Shia while Saudi is heading Sunni Faction. Also, trump is trying very hard to “de-Obamaize” US politics. His ME policy is mostly driven by this urge. Soleimani is the Bin Laden of Trump. Whether it will help him in the impeachment trial is yet to be seen. So far GOP senators is standing behind him.

      Whatever the nature of US politics & the behavior of Trump, the Chinese effort by this column to attack the democratic world can’t be appreciated. Voters will have a chance to give their verdict on Trump in coming November but there is no such opportunity for Chinese people!

  • 1
    1

    Why then Trump & Jared Kushner worship Lucifer (Jewish Chabad) whilst Mike Pence & Mike Pompeo are Evangelists? is there any parity between these two beliefs

    • 2
      0

      Jerry,

      Evangelicals believe that the existence of Israel as a Jewish state is proof of the existence of their God. You can search the internet to find what Pat Robertson says so evangelicals’ support for Israel.

      It doesn’t make any sense to me; after all, Jesus Christ rebelled against the practices of Judaism and the new Testament arose as a repudiation of the old Testament.
      I don’t know how such hypocrisy and contradiction can be at the heart of a belief system.

      • 0
        0

        My understanding is Evangelical Christians do not have any specific belief. They are providing Sales (including Tourism as packages) with Church material. The church preaching vary from building to building. Definitely, it has events which socialize people and that draws (and dancing too). Born again Christians believe that one day Israel ceases to exist.

      • 1
        1

        Agnos tks.

        May be Freemasons, because in God they “Thru$t”.

  • 1
    1

    Why blame only the US? What about China? China (like Russia) that couldn’t control its oligarchs hold on country wealth,
    turned to Communism in desperation. Now China apes the Western system by building their city structure upon city structure in a short span of a decade ….such that it took the US to build up for nearly 200 years, and out of desperation with the millions of immigrants coming to her shores.

    Instead of giving credence to its communist philosophy and ensuring it works for her masses, China is mutating the natural chronological laws and creeping onto other countries in a deliberate effort to force a take over from the West.

    Only redeeming factor: China has good morals coupled with hard work; US continuously debates the rights of poor morality, and broken families and all kinds of addiction ensues……thus depreciating the work-ethic. But for Trump- he is comparatively a conservative in cultural affairs.

    • 1
      0

      Ramona Therese Fernando:
      What are you talking. You say bad, bad, and bad China. Then you say China has good morals and hard work.
      Look very confused

      • 0
        0

        China is deliberately using its traditional culture as the main factor to induce hard work so as to score points in the taking over the world game.

        USA on the other hand is letting all tradition and morals go to the wind so as to stoke up creativity……and creative they are. However there is a limit to creativity, and worker drones are the needed factor to get the money-ball rolling.

  • 2
    1

    Mr. Mendis,

    I thought you were still at GMU ?

    Anyway, your claim about Karmic justice is nonsense and is easily disproved by great many examples of those who terrorized people and never had to face justice. The colonizers of the West got away without serious consequences to themselves; Israel has always got away with cruel punishment to Palestinians. America has thrived despite the genocide of native Americans and slavery.

    Closer to home, JRJ got away with it without any justice, and so did India despite considerable losses to the IPKF. Now the Rajapaksas are getting away with many misdeeds and crimes.

    Karmic justice is something people wish for, but rarely happens. For it to be proven, there has to be direct consequences to the perpetrator not some nebulous link.

    • 0
      1

      Agnos
      Well said.
      Karmic justice and such other beliefs (previous birth etc.) are escape routes for the miserable who cannot face a reality that they cannot do much about.

      • 1
        0

        SJ: You are living in your own reality. But, how do you know whether you are talkmg about the ultimate reality or something else. Your knowledge is very limited.

  • 0
    0

    Thank You Dr Mendis for this most interesting article, and hope you will follow up with an article on the future of the many South China sea islands including the Spratley Islands, and the impending future of Taiwan (Republic of China).

    I found Taiwan an amazing place when I visited – population (23m) the size of SL but area half the size of SL – well ruled, industrious and happy, and a GDP several times ours. But is Big Brother to the north jealous?

  • 4
    0

    “Christian teachings of Jesus Christ rests somewhere else. ” Intriguing notion Dr. Patrick. I thought the teachings of Jesus Christ was universal and timeless although his message was one other than the message of God that was NOT limited to the Christian faith or the disciples of the times. The same can be argued to the philosophical teachings of the Lord Buddha. I thought Jesus’ teachings also included as the continuation of Judaism, Christianity, and the prediction of new faith to come although not revealed within a new gospel called the Qoran for the Islamic faith. Although I am not an expert on either one of these Abrahamic religions, my studies, readings and research of each ot them, taught me that Jesus’s teachings did not limit to Christianity alone. At least, this is evident from the later revelations andwritings in the Quran and what Mussalmans quote from their Hadeeth, as well as texts written under different Imams or scholars. I think all religions explain Yahudi (Jewish) and Nassara (Christians) scriptures and their continuation from the times of when the Tora, Bible and Sayyedina Da’wud’s message called Zabur was revealed. Nevertheless, I stand corrected as I state I am no expert in any of the Abrahamic religions and I don’t mean to offend any of these minorities either as Buddhist. However, Dr. Patrick, you state that “The omniscience of God here has always been the omnipotent arbitrator of justice in American public life”. In my view, the majority of the American public nowadays are philistines and this clarification that “the majority of the American public” needs to be understood. If not, how come a American system could have allow allowed to be hijacked by the Anti Christ? Those Americans who embrace the Anti Christ o Trump, by far are not sane! If Rev. Jerry Falwell Sr was alive, the father of Evagalical Christinaity will no doubt in my mind commit harakiri over Trump’s NUT-O-cracy.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 7 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.