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Home arrow Blog arrow July 2009 arrow July 28, 2009

July 28, 2009
July 28, 2009: War, Drugs and Jesus

Dr. Gary G. Kohls is a retired physician whose practice of medicine largely dealt with the myriad of mental “illnesses” that were largely the consequences of psychological, emotional, physical, sexual, and spiritual trauma and abuse or adverse effects from prescription drugs.

He is also a founding member of Every Church A Peace Church:

Mission of Every Church A Peace Church

The mission of Every Church A Peace Church is to call every church to embrace the form of power taught and demonstrated by Jesus, the power of nonviolent struggle.  The goal is to recover gospel nonviolence as a norm for all churches.

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http://www.ecapc.org/


Dr. Kohls is also a member of a Duluth, MN non-denominational affiliate of ECAPC, the Community of the Third Way and what follows is a trio of his "Duty to Warn" essays


Duty to Warn: 

What Kind of Christianity is This?

An Apologetic for the Original Form of Christianity

    Gary G. Kohls, MD

      From time to time there are public condemnations of religion in the media, often revolving around Christianity’s historical involvement in many of the world’s most brutal wars.

 
    Although I agree that most of history’s wars have had their origins in fundamentalist interpretations of their "holy" scriptures, I do have to take exception to the blanket condemnation of Christianity by pointing out one reality, and that is that the original form of Christianity, long since forgotten, was initially a religion of pacifists. The earliest followers of the pacifist Jesus rejected violence, tried hard to return good for evil, fed the hungry, did acts of mercy and unconditional love and tried to make friends out of enemies (by caring for them and disarming them with their refusal to retaliate).

    The earliest Christians did indeed take seriously Jesus' clear command to love their enemies, and, despite brutal Roman persecutions, the religion survived and thrived. Indeed, by 300 CE, it had grown into one of the largest religions in the empire, at which point the emperor Constantine (who was a worshipper of the Sun god until his deathbed baptism) co-opted the church by granting it property, wealth and prestige, thus seducing it into becoming the empire’s state church. Eventually – and logically - church leaders felt obliged to support the military defense of the empire by sending its Christian men to assist in the armed defense of the empire’s borders. St. Augustine soon wrote the first just war theory, making Christian homicide - long forbidden to the followers of Jesus - legitimate. Christianity had become a religion of justified homicide, clearly contrary to the teachings and life of Jesus, and it remains that way until this very hour.
 
    So, the blanket condemnation of homicide-justifying Christianity is justified up to the point of acknowledging that the church, over the past 1700 years, has ignored – or become apathetic to - the ethical teachings of Jesus (forgiveness 70 X 7, unending mercy, ministering to “the least of these” and the unconditional love of friend and enemy). What keeps the churches silent, of course, is the fear of losing their state-granted tax-exempt status and their dues-paying pro-war members if they were to speak out prophetically about Sermon on the Mount ethics and the incompatibility of nationalistic militarism and the life and teachings of Jesus.
 
    But the original form of Christianity, where Christians refused to take up the sword, should not be condemned. Rather, critics of Christianity should start challenging the churches to go back to their roots where evil was not allowed to run rampant, but rather was aggressively and courageously resisted using the nonviolent means of Jesus and his imitators Gandhi, King and a multitude of others.
 
    The organization whose main mission is to challenge the churches to transform their Justified War Theory practices and become true peace churches is Every Church A Peace Church (ECAPC - www.ecapc.org). ECAPC could use all the help it can get to proclaim to the churches this apparently unwelcome message. ECAPC could use help from non-Christians, practicing Christians, lapsed Christians and even non-Christians like Jews and Muslims, who have been so terribly victimized in Christianity’s sordid history of anti-Semitism. The world needs more pacifist churches that actually try to imitate and implement the powerful ethical stances of such nonviolent heroes as Jesus (obviously), Gandhi, Tolstoy, Dorothy Day (and her Catholic Worker movement), A. J. Muste, Martin Luther King, Jr., the Berrigan brothers, and numerous other courageous prophetic voices whose major motivation for their civil disobedience was their commitment to the nonviolent Jesus. The followers of the pacifist Jesus should be courageously  “going to the streets” wherever violence and hatred (whether military, economic, racial) raise their ugly heads - no matter if it is in the US Congress or the Parliament in London, the Oval Office or # 10 Downing Street, in the Knesset or in the headquarters of Hamas, whether in Tehran or in Baghdad, in the Kremlin or the Vatican, in Colorado Springs or in the bowels of the 700 Club.
 
    Jesus was an outspoken leftist. He had all the characteristics of a modern antifascist. He would have stood in solidarity with pacifists, socialists, antiwar liberals and feminists and surely would have marched in antiwar rallies. He was definitely NOT a punitive, pro-war, pro-death penalty conservative, and so he would have therefore been involved in modern non-violent resistance efforts. Jesus’ power came not from the sword, but from the power of love and mercy.
 
    The power that Jesus utilized (which is available to anyone, whether a “believer” or not) is epitomized by the willingness to do the right thing in the crisis situations even if it involved risks to life or liberty. That power comes out of the holy spirit of love, goodness, mercy and forgiveness and the certainty (belief/faith) that by refusing to do evil,, one is doing the will of God. The practicality of that radical nonviolent stance resulted in the healing power that Jesus’ disciples and apostles acquired when they started practicing what Jesus' taught them.
 
    War and violence comes from an entirely different spirit, and it is the spirit of the unholy, the spirit of the satanic, the spirit of Cain. The willingness to kill was strongly present in Hitler, Goebbels, Himmler, Eichmann, Stalin, Mussolini (all baptized pro-war Constantinian Christians). It was also present in all the other saber-rattling militarists throughout history - the ruthless generals, dictators, legislators, gun-runner businessmen and trained killer-soldiers that have ever lived - from the ancient low-tech Achilles, who killed up close and personal, looking into the eyes of his victims, to the ultra-modern, high-tech Air Force, Navy, Army and Marines that orchestrate, usually from safe distances, such atrocities as were perpetrated by Christian soldiers against innocent unarmed civilians at Nagasaki, Dresden, MyLai, Baghdad and Fallujah, to name just a few.
 
    Only if the Christian church starts teaching what Jesus taught about violence – that it is forbidden for those who wish to follow him - will our so-called "Christian” nation ever be able to stop its participation in the endless suicidal cycle of war. Jesus was absolutely right about the satanic nature of killing, and the powerful, wealthy, high-profile pro-war “christians” who have dominated the news for the past generation are dead wrong. Their brand of Christianity definitely deserves condemnation. What has been regarded as legitimate Christianity is not Sermon-on-the-Mount Christianity but rather “Constantinian” Christianity that espouses an anti-Christic, punitive and aberrant theology that justifies killing fellow children of God in the name of the one who forbade it.

    Church leaders need to repent of their support of (or silence about) their nation’s state-sponsored terrorism and start acting ethically, as if the Sermon on the Mount mattered. The Christian church in America MUST take the lead in this or it is doomed - as doomed as was Germany’s Christianity in the 20th century, whose pro-military, nationalistic, racist, domination theology permitted torture and genocide and two brutal world wars that resulted in German Christianity’s suicide.

 
    Will we learn those lessons, or is it already too late?
 
 

Duty To Warn:

The People Don’t Want War – And Why Real Patriots Should Agree

 Gary G. Kohls, MD

 

                “Why of course the people don’t want war.  Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece?  Naturally the common people don’t want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany.  That is understood.  But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship.  Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.  That is easy.  All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.  It works the same in any country.”

 

    Those were the words of the German World War I Luftwaffe hero Hermann Goering, military strategist, close confidant of and deputy to Adolf Hitler, who also became obscenely wealthy during the years leading up to, and especially during, World War II. Those same words could have been uttered by Hirohito, by Harry Truman, by the Johnson and Nixon administration hawks that mired us so deeply into the atrocity that was Viet Nam, by Ronald Reagan before his criminal wars in Central America, by George Bush Sr. before the first Gulf War and, most glaringly, by George Bush Jr. after 9/11. Many leaders in many militarized nations have taken their countries into war by using Goering’s simple and secret logic to fool the people and the warriors into participating, to their eternal peril, in the mass slaughter that is modern war.

 

     The first step that all war-mongers use in starting wars is to demonize, by oft-repeated propaganda, the intended enemy. The right-wing Hitler placed the blame for Germany’s economic problems on left-wing groups of various types, including the trade unionists, Jews, socialists, the pacifists and eventually liberal Christians. And it worked.

 

    For George Bush Jr. it was equally easy to demonize his intended enemies. In fact, Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein demonized themselves.  Non-white, non-English-speaking, non-Christian Muslims, just like the Japanese, North Koreans and Vietnamese before them, were also easy demon material, and most Americans jumped eagerly and unthinkingly onto the pro-war bandwagon, never looking back.

 

    It is said that the first casualty of war is truth.  Truth-twisting propaganda units are top priority members in the executive branches of the Pentagons and White Houses of this world.  Myths about the military prowess of the fearsome enemy are told again and again. (Recall the “Elite Republican Guards”, the dangerous Scud (which were mostly “duds”) missiles or the poison gas threat of the first Gulf War.)  None of those fictitious bogeymen actually materialized, but a lot of propaganda mileage – and defense contracts - were generated.

 

    Censorship by a compliant press is another form of lying about war.  It’s hard to find better examples than the Pentagon and White House’s total suppression of bad news from the Middle East in both Gulf Wars.  Journalists with any integrity were appalled at how the Pentagon spokesmen fed them such obvious propaganda, but all the well-paid reporters, safely in the back pockets of the media giants and Pentagon spin-doctors, shamelessly swallowed the propaganda like sweet syrup and breathlessly and obediently repeated it back to us, their fawning public, further entrenching and legitimizing the illegal and immoral war.

 

    The conservative critics of Democratic presidential candidates Al Gore, John Kerry and Barack Obama borrowed Goering’s dictum by attacking the candidate’s patriotism and accused their anti-war supporters of being “unpatriotic” and a danger to the security of the nation.  A lot of people fell for those false arguments.

 

    So is there any hope that we obviously blindered Americans will ever wake up, wise up and rise up and see through the fiction that war is glorious, necessary and inevitable and realize that “supporting the troops” actually means sending and leaving them “in harm’s way” to kill and die in an illegal war?  Will Americans finally start noticing that the vast majority of our politicians are bought and paid for by greedy pro-war corporate elites and career militarists who are acting a lot like the fascist Goering, profiting by the wars that are physically, psychologically and spiritually destroying the soldiers who are actually doing the fighting?

 

    The answer to those questions is yes if we ever develop a large vocal and persistent minority of citizens who are able to think critically about the political and economic ”big picture” issues, see through the propaganda lies and half-truths that the controlled media is feeding us and then decisively act on those beliefs. The answer is yes if we finally start regarding the rest of our fragile and dying planet’s people (who also don’t want war) as brothers and sisters instead of as enemies. The answer is yes if we start counting the unaffordable costs of war and war-preparation and realize that the starvation, poverty, pestilence, death and mental ill health that follow all wars are no longer sustainable for the common people, especially children and other living things.

 

    Unfortunately, the answer to those questions is no if we don’t stop agreeing with the war-mongers that war is important for our economy. The answer is no if Herman Goering’s tactics continue to work for those that profit from war: the militarists, the neo-conservatives, the weapons-makers, the gun-runners and the powerful, conscienceless, un-elected group of elites that is known as the shadow government.

 

    And the answer is no if we fail to recognize that imposter - blind patriotism (and patriotism’s inevitable outcome – war) for what it is (as Samuel Johnson famously defined it), the last refuge of the scoundrel.

 

Duty to Warn

Our Mental Ill Health Epidemic: The Drugs Might Be The Problem

 Gary G. Kohls, MD

 

    Over the past several decades, especially since the onset of the mass marketing of psychotropic drugs, millions of unsuspecting, trusting patients have actually been made crazy - and drug-dependent - by chronically ingesting the brain-altering, brain-disabling, synthetic psychotropic drugs that have been handed out like candy by equally trusting and unaware but well-intentioned physicians.

 

    This sad reality is that the widespread prescribing of psychotropic drugs has become the standard of care in psychiatry, family practice and pediatrics ever since the first “anti-schizophrenic” miracle drug Thorazine (now universally known to have been a disaster because of its seriously brain-damaging qualities) came on the scene in the mid-1950s.

 

    Thorazine and all the other ”me-too” knock-off drugs like Prolixin, Mellaril, Stelazine, Compazine,  etc, are "tricyclic" compounds similar in molecular structure to the tricyclic “antidepressants” like imipramine and the dangerous, so-called "atypical anti-psychotics” like Clozaril, Zyprexa and Seroquel.

 

    Thorazine (remember "medication time" on the classic film “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest?) was originally developed as an industrial dye. That doesn’t sound so good but that may not be so strange when one considers that Depakote, a popular drug initially intended for epileptics and more recently heavily marketed as a so-called "mood stabilizer", was originally developed as an industrial solvent, capable of dissolving fat - including, presumably, the fatty tissue in human livers and brains.

 

    It is important to understand the pharmaceutical industry’s bottom-line need to expand market share and increase profits and ”shareholder value” wherever and whenever possible, even if it is compromising the long-term health of its customers.

 

    I recommend highly an important article by investigative health journalist Robert Whitaker, the author of the ground-breaking book Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill, that persuasively identifies the source of America’s epidemic of mental illness disability: It is the drugs and not the “disorders” that are causing most of our nation’s epidemic of mental disability. Please read the original Whitaker article carefully at www.madinamerica.com. When you are done (if you are open-minded on the subject, that is) you will want to read Whitaker's book.

 

    Then, after honestly considering the implications of Mad in America's thesis - and this is important - pass the word, and this essay, to every concerned person (and even the close-minded ones) in your sphere of influence, especially those who are health caregivers. The major reason that this is important is that we healthcare-givers have been Madison-Avenued into submission by BigPharma, and many of us have not yet heard the word, and it is the solemn duty of those of us in positions of authority or influence to warn others of the dangers.

 

    Sadly, it appears that most of us over-worked, double-booked health care-givers appear to be uninterested in the unwelcome truth that most if not all of the psych drugs that have been so heavily advertised as safe by the captains of industry and promoted as the only "treatment" for mental ill health are actually unsafe, dependency-inducing (ie, addicting), neurotoxic and increasingly ineffective as time goes on.

 

    The other unwelcome and sobering reality is that the people diagnosed as "mentally ill" are often simply those unfortunates who find themselves in acute or chronic states of destabilizing crisis or feelings of "overwhelm" due to any number of preventable and treatable issues such as poverty, abuse, violence, homelessness, joblessness, underemployment, brain malnutrition, addictions and/or exposure to neurotoxic csubstances in their food, air, water or prescription bottles.

 

    Those labeled “mentally ill” are not much different than those of us who are yet to be labeled, only they have become the victims of hopelessness-generating situations like bad luck, bad circumstances, bad company, bad choices, bad government, big business, and an ultra-competitive society that tolerates, indeed celebrates, punitive social systems resembling in many ways the infamous police state realities of 20th century Europe, where people who were different - or just dissidents - were “disappeared” into insane asylums, jails or concentration camps without just cause or competent legal defense. And many of them were drugged into oblivion against their will, appearing "mentally ill" in the process as a consequence of the drug's brain-altering mechanism of action..

 

    The truth is that most, if not all, of BigPharma's psychotropic drugs are lethal at some dosage strength and therefore should be regarded as very dangerous. They are a major cause of subtle brain damage, permanent disability, loss of creativity, loss of spirituality, loss of empathy, loss of energy, and they are the cause of a multitude of metabolic problems that can easily sicken the victims into feeling more depressed, anxious, deluded, psychotic, antisocial, paranoid and/or ill in body, brain and spirit.

 

    Long-term, high dosage or combination psychotropic drug usage could be regarded as a chemically traumatic brain injury (cTBI), what is sometimes jokingly - but accurately -referred to as a “chemical lobotomy”. cTBI is a useful way to conceptualize this serious issue, because such chemically brain-altered patients are often indistinguishable from those who have suffered physically traumatic brain injuries (TBI).


    America has a mental ill health epidemic on its hands that is grossly misunderstood because it worsens, not by the theorized "disease progression", but rather because of the increasingly unaffordable, neurotoxic band-aid drugs that are mis-advertised as being therapeutic.

 

    For more information of these important topics check out these websites: www.mindfreedom.org, www.breggin.com, www.icspp.org, www.newstarget.org, www.psychrights.org, www.benzo.org.uk, www.quitpaxil, org, www.cchr.org, www.wildscolts.com, www.endofshock.com and www.madinamerica.com and follow the links.


  Disclaimer:  The above article may have contained information about the risks associated with certain psychiatric drugs. If you are taking one or more of these medications, DO NOT suddenly stop taking them. Some people can experience serious, even life-threatening reactions during the discontinuation of such drugs. Any attempt to get off such medications should be done under the guidance and supervision of a qualified health care practitioner who has an understanding of the possible dangers of drug usage, the symptoms that can occur during drug withdrawal and the nutritional and mental health support that is needed.
 

   
 
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