Sunday, August 29, 2004


The descent of the Holy Ghost—the lucrative Crusade

Just because I bring up the name Tim d'Annunzio, you may think I'm about to write about his being a minor funder of the Swift Boat Veterans Disinformation Squad, or maybe that his company, which makes $4,000 body armor, has had significant government contracts and has benefitted greatly from the war in Afghanistan (and maybe Iraq—who cares?). But, no. The thought hadn't crossed my mind.

It's the name of his company that caught my attention: Paraclete Armor & Equipment.

For those of you who skipped your Confirmation classes, the Greek word "parakletos," which occurs in the Greek Bible only in the Gospel of John, was left untranslated in many versions of the Bible and was anglicized into "Paraclete." The Church decided long ago that what John was talking about was none other than the Holy Ghost, a member of the Christian triumvirate—the Holy Trinity—which is God. Yep, the Paraclete is coequal with God the Father and God the Son.

(There is also a derivative sense of the word (uncapitalized): an advocate; one called to aid or support; hence, the Consoler, Comforter, or Intercessor. Personally, I've never seen it used.)

So when I saw that Mr. d'Annunzio was the head of Paraclete Armor & Equipment, I was a bit surprised. Little had I suspected that when the Apostle Paul spoke of putting on the "armor of God," he had a $4,000 bullet-proof vest in mind.

A magazine called Business North Carolina has this:

In a former textile mill in St. Pauls, south of Fayetteville, women cut and stitch a miracle fiber that’s stronger than steel. Paraclete Armor & Equipment makes $4,000 vests that can stop .44-caliber slugs. Marines, Special Forces troops and Delta Force commandos from North Carolina bases wear them. In the wood-paneled lobby is a grainy photo of Special Ops soldiers waving in front of Kandahar Airport. They are covert, so their faces are blacked out. But each wears body armor made at Paraclete.

“The Army’s just not prepared for the Iraq war,” President Tim D’Annunzio says as he walks along the production floor. “We’re filling a big void.” This year, he says, he’ll add 300 workers to the nearly 200 he says are already on his payroll. When wars and rumors are the gospel truth, business is good. [emphasis added]

Can you say "Amen!"? Did you note the phrase "gospel truth"?

The mainstream churches don't use that word "Paraclete" much anymore. But it's very fashionable among some Pentacostalist sects such as the Assemblies of God. Whacha wanna bet there's a connection here?

Paraclete doesn't just make vests. They also make an armored groin protector. Could that have been a Paraclete codpiece that George Bush was wearing on his day of triumph aboard the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln? It surely does look like one.

The descent of the Paraclete was welcomed by the early Christians, but who knew it would descend to this?

Related post: Dominionism and the Yurica Report

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