A nation forged in biblical prophecy
President Joe Biden.

In 1776 the United States of America obtained full political independence from Great Britain. The colonists of the emerging nation imbibed a wellspring of unspeakable joy and civic pride as the newly minted nation envisioned a fresh and new beginning.

That said country was no longer under the heavy yoke of British imperialism and colonialism sparked a sense of profound accomplishment. The Founding Fathers — Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, etc –of this magnanimous and prophetically destined nation crafted a masterly, singular and exceptional document known as the US Declaration of Independence, echoing grandiose and revolutionary assertions never articulated in the history of nation states: "...All men are created equal. They are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Indeed, the word "rights" connotes a radical ideology that was foreign to many nations of the world. That citizens of a particular country had natural rights was a bold and dauntless undertaking. In verity, the US represents a human experiment that was and is susceptible to destruction.

The concept of universal rights was a novel philosophical and political ideology. Martin Luther, the eminent Protestant reformer and German theologian, in his heroic exploit nailed his 95 revolutionary theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg in Germany. At the core of Luther's postulations is the exorbitant corruption in the Roman Catholic Church and said church's inextricable ties to State power. Prior to Luther's venturesome deed, Europe experienced a period known as the Dark Ages in which the Roman Catholic Church — in sync with secular European monarchs — governed Europe with an iron fist. In essence, the notion of individual and natural rights was non-existent and categorically denied.

Consequently, the nascent United States was built on the ashes of the Protestant Reformation. In the 17th century, the word 'protestant' signified to protest against papal dominion — espoused by the Roman Catholic Church — which embraced and continues to embrace the conception of its divine right to ecclesiastical and temporal rights of all nations of the world. On the other hand, the Protestant Reformation adhered to the injunctions, principles, and virtues of the Bible, which teaches the fundamental freedom of conscience, and not the diktats of popery.

Most people are not aware that the US, in the early stages of its founding, forbade the immigration of Roman Catholics, particularly the Jesuits — to its shores. The Jesuits, otherwise called the Society of Jesus, were specifically organised in the 16th century to counter the Protestant Reformation. Their mandate was/is to destroy the core beliefs and ideologies of Protestantism — ultimately restoring all temporal power to the Pope of Rome.

Napoleon Bonaparte, the puissant emperor of the French, made this revealing assertion: "The Jesuits are a military organisation, not a religious order. Their chief is a general of an army, not the mere father abbot of a monastery. And the aim of this organisation is power — power in its most despotic exercise — absolute power, universal power, power to control by the volition of a single man. Jesuitism is the most absolute of despotism and, at the same time, the greatest and most enormous of abuses."

Pope Francis, current pope and head of the religio-political juggernaut at the Vatican elegantly elucidates: "Jesuits make a vow of obedience to the Pope. But if the pope is a Jesuit, perhaps he has to make a vow of obedience to the general of the Jesuits! I don't know how to resolve this ... I feel a Jesuit in my spirituality, in the spirituality of the exercises, the spirituality deep in my heart." In this quote, Pope Francis has affirmed unequivocally the absolute fidelity of the Jesuits to the Pope of Rome. Given that Pope Francis is the first Jesuit pope in the history of the papacy, the author of this piece believes that he is wearing two hats — one of which is an unapologetic defender of Catholic social doctrine, which advocates for the human dignity and rights of each human, but grounded in the Roman Catholic Church's understanding of rights. The Vatican has always believed, and still does, that they have divine right to lead both in religious and secular spheres of human life — values that are diametrically opposed to the ethos of Protestantism. Essentially, the church is an indisputable monarchy.

In an electronic version of the Time magazine, the perceptive Christopher J Hale, during the 2016 US presidential elections, penned an enlightening article on July 23, 2016 titled 'What Tim Kaine, Donald Trump and Pope Francis have in common' posits: "What do Donald Trump, Tim Kaine, and Pope Francis have in common? ... all three men were educated by Jesuits, a religious order of Catholic priests whose most famous member is the Pope himself."

Also, in yet another fascinating and apocalyptic article, found on the DW website, titled 'Joe Biden, the pope, and the looming schism in America's Catholic Church', the anonymous writer declares: "On his inauguration day, Joe Biden's first stop was Catholic Mass. During the inauguration ceremony, it was a Jesuit priest who invoked God's blessing, and in his first address as president the 78-year-old led prayers for the more than 400,000 coronavirus dead in the US ... The new president of the United States of America is a Catholic — only the second Catholic to be elected to America's highest office after John F Kennedy in 1960. But, in recent times, a significant change in the US has seen the Catholic Church becoming the single-largest community of faith." Based on the aforementioned, has America lost its Protestant identity? Will Roman Catholicism, therefore, ultimately trump American Protestantism?

Prophetically speaking, the United States was declared, determinedly, in Holy Writ in Revelation 13 — centuries before its founding as a "lamb-like beast". A lamb in biblical lingua franca connotes Christ: "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, 'Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.' "

In contradistinction to the authoritarian system of Government that dominated the European continent, the US founded a nation with the underlying principles of liberty for all — at least in theory. However, a beast in prophecy symbolises a secular, earthly power. Thus, in the morning of its founding, the United States espoused unabashedly — in its constitution — a deep commitment to the transcendent theme of liberty and the unassailable principle of religious and political freedoms, according to the dictates of one's conscience.

Nevertheless, like ancient Israel, who followed in the steps of its heathen neighbours, the United States, subsequent to declaring itself as a bastion of democratic republicanism, developed one of the most formidable and grotesque slave societies in the history of the world. Edward E Baptist, author of the prolifically written historical text The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism persuasively intimates, "From the exploitation, commodification, and giant torture of enslaved people's bodies, enslavers and other free people gained new kinds of power ... And over the time the question of their freedom or bondage came to occupy the centre of US politics."

Logically, the institution of slavery — sanctioned by the Roman Catholic Church and its pliant and subservient monarchs — was incongruous to the virtues and teachings of the Bible and the ethos of US republicanism on which the nation was built. In a letter penned by John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, Adams propounds, "Now I will avow that I then believe that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God, and that those principles of liberty are as unalterable as human nature and our terrestrial, mundane system."

In fact, the conception of natural rights is a fundamental biblical teaching. It is interesting to note that slavery was vigorously debated in Congress; however, the economic benefits of this dehumanising system was more potent and bewitching for American elites to resist. Thomas Jefferson, one of the authors of the Declaration of Independence, in his polemical document Notes on the State of Virginia avers thusly: "And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that is, his prejudice cannot sleep ..."

Indeed, some American scholars believe, and rightly so, that the Civil War of 1861-1865, a horrific war waged to demolish the fortified walls of slavery, which witnessed the unwonted slaughtering of over 600,000 Americans, was the ultimate execution of God's judgement upon a defiant nation. For a nation that had received much enlightenment, instruction, and wisdom, much was certainly required. It does not seem, however, that America has learned from her past sins; the insatiable quest for world dominance, indubitably etched in every cell of her DNA, compels the nation to shred every noble virtue upon which the so-called "lamb-like" State was founded.

After the Civil War (some scholars would veritably argue both before and after), the United States, through the institution of slavery, had acquired enormous economic and political affluence. The country was thus considered as a rapidly developing world power. The United States would, therefore, spread its soaring and gigantic wings around the world. By the end of the 19th century, the world was alerted to the increasing economic and political influence of this fast-developing world power. Thus, the United States would stamp its incontrovertible clout on the global scene as a rising and competitive global power. For example, its military foray and meddling in the Cuban war against Spanish colonialism solidified the US's unmatched world power status. How could a nation — so young — grow so rapidly onto the world stage? I would attribute this remarkable feat to its prophetic destiny, explicitly delineated in Revelation 13 in the image of the "lamb-like beast". A beast in Bible prophecy refers to a world empire.

While the United States did not commence as a world empire, its meteoric ascent to the incontestable and unrivalled superpower status has been the wonder of the world. Unfortunately, its current status as superpower has thrust its foreign policy into controversial situations in which it is viewed by many nations, around the world, as a dragon — an apt description of the Bible prophecy — as so presciently predicted in Revelation 13:11, "And I beheld another beast coming out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon."

How does a nation speak? She speaks though her laws. Thus, it appears that US, the "two-horned" beast of Revelation, performs a dual role in world history — it safeguards freedoms for some, while trampling on the liberties of weaker nations and peoples. For a nation which proudly espouses universal and individual freedoms for its citizens and thus functions as a beacon of democracy around the globe, its political actions have often been contrarian to the tenets of human and sovereign liberties.

In an illuminating and stimulating scholarly book, Nemesis, authored by Chalmers Johnson (deceased), who was a distinguished political science professor at the University of California, San Diego, the writer asseverates, "The crisis the United States faces today is not just the military failure of the Bush's policies in Iraq and Afghanistan, the discrediting of America's intelligence agencies, or our Government's not-so-secret resort to torture and illegal imprisonment. It is above all a growing international distrust and disgust in the face of our contempt for the rule of law." As has been explicitly argued, the United States is fast morphing into a lawless, imperial behemoth — domestically and internationally.

The pivotal question, based on the drumming up of permanent wars that the Pentagon and their erstwhile accomplices in Congress are stone-facedly waging around the world is: Can the US still be reasonably considered as a democratic republic?

Johnson, in The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy and the End of the Republic, one of his, arguably, scholarly gems, proffers yet another incisive analysis, "Americans may still prefer to use euphemisms like 'lone superpower', but since 9-11, our country has undergone a transformation from republic to empire that may well prove irreversible." As an erstwhile empire, America has sought to dominate weaker foreign states — imposing its modus vivendi upon them. In recent times, the world has witnessed the US adopting some of its foreign-style authoritarian tactics on its denizens.

As global citizens, it is paramount that we come to grips with the stark reality of a rapidly changing world in which America plays an aggressive and dominant role. The rules-based international order, created post-World II, which promulgated the US to the seat of lone superpower is coming to an end. What portends for a future is anyone's guess. Nonetheless, for those of us who are diligent students of Bible prophecy, particularly as carefully delineated in the books of Daniel and Revelation, exhaustively comparing these prophetic events to world history and current affairs, we can incontestably conclude that the biblical narration of end-time events is, indeed, accurate and on point.

The swelling crescendo of human pride, arrogance, and hubris will eventually melt at the commanding voice of the Almighty, who dwells in light unapproachable, "And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which will never be destroyed, and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever." (Daniel 2:44)

It would behove the United States, a power set up by God himself, to humble herself and prudently weigh her imperialistic pretensions on the balance of Heaven. Like ancient Babylon, whose mighty empire came to a sudden destruction, the United States of America will, prophetically speaking, confront a similar fate.

Andrew Tucker is a writer, educator, and a social commentator. Send comments to the Jamaica Observer or agtuckerus@yahoo.com.

A depiction of the Founding Fathers of the United States
John F Kennedy
Pope Francis (Photo: AP)
After the Civil War, the United States, through the institution of slavery, had acquired enormous economic and political affluence.
US Declaration of Independence
Andrew Tucker

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