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Robber Barons Subvert Christianity to Control Government

Dec 30, 2006
Michael Hogan

George Orwell took a bullet in the neck fighting heroically in the Spanish Civil War. Later he worked in Britain's wartime propaganda ministry. It was this expeience with a real propaganda effort that led Orwell to write"1984." While there are many messages in "1984," the one most germane to this essay is Orwell's observation that societies are always rewriting history. 

The phrase Robber Barons is obviously perjorative. Yet, when one Googles "Robber Barons" you will find the standard "Social Dawinist" view of the Robber Barons as "enlightened businessmen" who gained fortune through natural selection and gave much of their fortunes to charity. Chief among their charity was Christianity. This is an American cultural myth. We need it inorder to continue our respect for the ruling class.

In order to promote the myth of their greatnes and goodness the Robber Barons supported the work of Herbert Spenser, an english sociologist and inventer of Social Darwinism. The Robber Barons were very hospitable to Spencer when he visited America.The Robber Barons also supported the work of America's leading Social Darwinist, Yale University Professor William Graham Sumner.

In addition to promoting Social Darwinism, the Robber Barons gave massive amounts of money to libraries, universities, charities and churches - as a way to promote an enlightened image for the Robber Barons. In order to read how and why the Robber Barons sought to subvert and, in essence, control religion, it would be helpful to read Mathew Josephson's 1934 book "The Robber Barons." Those who may think old books aren't relevant, may wish to know that Josephson's book has remained current, popular and in print with a recent publication date.

One needs only to read the books of the American Nobel laureate Sinclair Lewis to understand the religious ferver in the Protestant heartland of America. One can read how businessmen control religious activities in "Elmer Gantry." Today the churches are far larger and televangelism controls the masses. Yet, the message has not changed. Rather then the teachings of Jesus, business controlled churches produce what propagandists call flack. There is zero concern for the poor. The public relations of religion never speaks about the massive affordable housing, public transportation and universal health care that is needed in our society. After a lifetime of reading four newspapers a day, I have not heard of Christians caring about their fellow men with a Marshall Plan for America.
When the Robber Barons reigned supreme in the 19th century, religion & mass media cared little for the workers being stepped on by the Robbers Barons. So it is today. Rather then housing, transportation and health care, all one has heard about for the last 30 years has been abortion, homosexual marriage and now stem cells. Todays Robber Barons have used religious flack issues to rob the people of their rights and humanity, and to go to war.

In any case, is religious charity the way to address the inequities in our societies? Please remember what Thomas Paine said to a french aristocrat during the french revolution. The people don't want charity, they want their rights.

Now we have a self proclaimed religious person in the White House. According to professors at Johns Hopkins and Columbia Universities the war in Iraq has cost 655,000 lives. Our Christian president lied to make us fearful so he could scare us into a war to benefit his class. The Power Elite have once again easily used Christianity to steal from the poor and make a profit on eternal war. 

Would Jesus Christ approve the message of the Robber Barons?
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