A research paper written by a U.S. Army major for the School of Advanced Military Studies in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., calls for Americans to lose the evangelical Christian belief of pre-millennialism because of the damage it does to the nation’s foreign interests.
“As a result of millennarian influences on our culture, most Americans think as absolutists,” Maj. Brian L. Stuckert wrote in his 2008 course requirement at the school for military officers.
“A proclivity for clear differentiations between good, evil, right, and wrong do not always serve us well in foreign relations or security policy,” he said. “Policy makers must strive to honestly confront their own cognitive filters and the prejudices associated with various international organizations and actors vis-à-vis pre-millennialism.
“We must come to more fully understand the background of our thinking about the U.N., the E.U., the World Trade Organization, Russia, China and Israel. We must ask similar questions about natural events such as earthquakes or disease.”
He warns against the Christian beliefs espoused by many that the end times will involve Israel as God’s chosen nation, a final 1,000-year conflict between good and evil and an ultimate victory for God.
“The inevitability of millennial peace through redemptive violence and an exceptional role for America have been and continue to be powerful themes running throughout the security and foreign policies of the U.S.,” Stuckert wrote. “Official U.S. government policy expresses these themes in a number of ways from the national seal that reads Novus Ordo Seclorum – the New Order for the Ages – or the nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile known as the Peacekeeper.
“As demonstrated by American history, millennialism has predisposed us toward stark absolutes, overly simplified dichotomies and a preference for revolutionary or cataclysmic change as opposed to gradual processes,” he said. “In other words, American strategists tend to rely too much on broad generalizations, often incorrectly cast in terms of ‘good’ and ‘evil.’”
The Army declined to put WND in touch with Stuckert, reportedly assigned in Afghanistan, to query him about his monograph. But Robert Baumann, director of the graduate degree program at Fort Leavenworth told WND it was simply an “academic paper” like works at any college across the nation, “which is to say it reflects the author’s own opinions.”
“It has no institutional consequences,” he said.
However, he could not provide information about whether the writing had earned Stuckert a passing grade for his course or even whether it was graded.
“The content does not represent anyone’s views but the author’s,” he said.
But he also said he could not say whether any other writings ever had attacked a religious belief as Stuckert’s work.
“Gratuitous criticisms of a religious point of view would not pass academic muster unless it was evidence based and argument based,” he told WND.
Others were more blunt in their assessments of Stuckert’s work. Blogger John McTernan, for example, called it “the most dangerous document to believers that I have ever read in my entire life.”
“After reading this document, it is easy to see the next step would be to eliminate our Constitutional rights and herd us into concentration camps,” he said.
“The last third is an interpretation of Bible belief on world events. This report blames all the world evils on believers! World peace would break out if it were not for Bible believers in America,” he said.
WND has reported the U.S. Department of Homeland Security previously has identified those who hold fast to the basics of Christianity as possible terror suspects.
McTernan said he had contacted Col. Stefan Banack, listed on the monograph as the director of the School of Advanced Military Studies, who defended the writing.
“The conversation was extremely heated between us, and he hid behind the freedom of speech to produce it. He refused to let me write an article to refute this attack on Bible believers. He refused to tell me what this study was used for and who within the military was sent copies. I believe that it represents an official military view of Bible believers as Col. Banack said there was no study or article refuting this one,” McTernan said.
Among Stuckert’s interpretations:
- “The U.S. millennial proclivity for an unqualified military defense of Israel will continue to be a potential flashpoint of great import. Both the United States and Israel believe that Iran poses a credible existential to the state of Israel – especially if it is able to develop or procure a nuclear warhead. … Because of the pre-millennial worldview, the U.S. will continue to adopt an adversarial approach to any country perceived as at odds with Israel. Since these conflicts are seen as deterministic and inevitable, there is little incentive to employ diplomacy or any other instrument of power other than the military in these situations.”
- “Pre-millennialism will drive the U.S. further from the U.N. in the near future since many pre-millennialists have to come to view that body as a platform for the anti-Christ. … American pre-millennialists will also feel increasingly threatened by the E.U. in coming years.”
- “Pre-millennial interpretations of biblical prophecy that predict the emergence of a one-world government led by an anti-Christ causes distrust and even antagonism toward organizations like the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the European Union, NAFTA and OPEC. … The Christian right constantly works to undermine the U.N. One particularly noteworthy example was a videotape produced by Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum titled Global Governance: The Quiet War Against American Independence, which prominently featured future Attorney General John Ashcroft denouncing the U.N.”
- “Pessimism and paranoia are two possible results of pre-millennial influence. This can lead to inaccurate assessments on the part of military leaders and planners.”
Stuckert suggested the U.S. “incorporate additional considerations into policy formulation and evaluation to assist ourselves in the identification of defects, diminished objectivity or unwarranted biases.”
But McTernan was blunt in his objections: “Right now the world’s big problems are both the hard left reprobates who are in charge of all Western nations including the United States and the Muslims who follow Islam. The problem is not Bible believing Christians. We are the solution to this sin cursed world, that will only be cured at the glorious Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
McTernan, who authored “God’s Final Warning to America” as well as “Israel: The Blessing or the Curse,” also is founder of International Cops for Christ. He was supported by a participant in his forum page.
“I can tell you that not all military members think like this major. I work with many outspoken Christians who are in the military. Many are just as disgusted as you and I with how our country and Constitution are getting strategically and systematically dismantled/destroyed,” the supporter wrote.
“While God is in control, I believe it’s also naive to deny the … stage-setting events happening right before our eyes,” he continued. “Read the many articles from WorldNetDaily (www.wnd.com) covering the EXTREME thinking of [President Obama's] core group of advisers.”
Stuckert describes the support “dispensational pre-millennialism” has had from established religious leaders, including Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, John Hagee and Jack Van Impe. Further are the cultural influences, including the 1970 book “Late, Great Planet Earth,” by Hal Lindsey, as well as the “Left Behind” series of books by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins.
“While technically a work of fiction, many Americans consider the [Left Behind] books an important guide to understanding world events. The story is at times more like LaHaye’s commentary on the Book of Revelation: it begins with the Rapture, has a great deal of geo-political analysis of the Anti-Christ (which LaHaye clearly associates with the European Union and the United Nations), and features the Battle of Armageddon prominently,” Stuckert writes.
Even political leaders in the U.S. subscribe to “millennialism,” he writes.
“Senator James Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma, stated, ‘I don’t believe there is a single issue we deal with in government that hasn’t been dealt with in the Scriptures.’ Senator Inhofe is widely known to be a devout believer in dispensational pre-millennialism. While serving as House Majority leader, Representative Tom DeLay, a Republican from Texas, kept a poster on the wall of office that read ‘This could be the day’ in reference to the Rapture and initiation of the Great Tribulation and Armageddon,” Stuckert wrote.
The report, dated May 22, 2008, is marked that it is cleared for general distribution without restrictions.
Stuckert’s own abstract explains his perception of millennialism, which “refers to any belief system, religious or secular, which anticipates a purification of society or the world through dramatic and sweeping change.”
“In the U.S. today, the most well-known and influential form of millennialism is a religious variant known in formal, theological parlance as dispensational pre-millennialism. This contemporary form of millennialism took shape during the 1970s and has significantly shaped current U.S. security policy. Dispensational pre-millennialism is loosely based on depictions of battle between the forces of good and evil in the biblical Book of Revelation. In the U.S., dispensational pre-millennialism contends that in the very near future Jesus Christ will ‘rapture,’ or remove his church from the Earth. A period of intense tribulations and battles will follow, culminating with a cataclysmic defeat of Satan. Jesus would then establish an earthly kingdom for 1,000 years – the millennium.”
But he noted, “this has resulted in a pervasive sense of determinism and pessimism that has significant implications for U.S. security policy around the world.
“Pessimism and paranoia are two possible results of pre-millennial influence,” Stuckert wrote. “This can lead to inaccurate assessments on the part of military leaders and planners.”
Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan
Stuckert’s work was finished long before religion and the military clashed in the Fort Hood attack by a Muslim in November. Thirteen adults and an unborn attack died in the attack – allegedly by Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist who reportedly shouted “Allahu akbar,” or “Allah is greatest.”
Hasan, a Muslim of Palestinian descent, allegedly entered the Soldier Readiness Center at Fort Hood about 1:30 p.m. Nov. 5 and, according to witnesses, took a seat at a table, bowed his head for a few seconds, then stood up and started shooting.
He later was shot by a civilian police officer and remains hospitalized under guard, reportedly paralyzed from his shooting injuries. Hasan has been charged for the attack that also wounded about three dozen.