governmental policies and actions. His advice to his followers was to
render unto Caesar what is Caesar's, to love their God with all their
heart and soul and mind and to love their neighbors as
themselves. He did not advise resisting Caesar or attempting to
overthrow the empire.
That was about 2000 years ago. Yet today followers of Jesus still
behave as if they have no say-so about government and should not
concern themselves with trying to effect change to make a world where
governments serve their people and promote the admonition of Jesus to
love one another. I wonder if Jesus is pleased with this situation?
We had an opportunity to have a government of the people, by the
people, and for the people, and we have let it devolve into a fascist
empire that dares any other nation to threaten its hegemony and
smashes any nation that the emperor declares to be an enemy. Our
government requires a standing military force billeted in some 700
countries to project force around the globe. The emperor tortures
people captured in illegal wars. He fails to provide national
security on our borders and emergency aid for our victims of natural
disasters. Our national healthcare, education, welfare, and regard
for our own work force are disgraceful and do not reflect concern for
the well-being of our neighbors. Our emperor and his entourage
subscribe to the theory that if a person is poor he must be an
unrepentant sinner, and if he is rich, God has justly rewarded him.
We Americans live as if we are entitled to whatever portion of the
world's resources we want. We make no effort to conserve any of the
planet's limited non-renewable resources. We deny the reality of
global warming. We deny any suggestion that the economy is not in
good health and providing for the people. Pollution is not a
priority. Just about everything that can go wrong has gone wrong, and
Christians behave as if they have no responsibility for the future
direction of the nation, or indeed, much concern about what is
happening to Earth.
At church I never hear any discussion about the direction our
country is heading and what our responsibilities as Christians are
(if we have any). Good Christians go to church every day in Holy
Week, obsess over the rituals prescribed by the church calendar, fuss
endlessly over doctrine, gossip daily about the schism in the
Episcopal Church and which faction is righteous--and never say a word
about the state of our nation and where it is headed. The extent of
churchly attention to a war that is unjust, immoral, and illegal and
which continues to kill people by the hundreds of thousands is lip
service in the prayers of the people, a part of the liturgy.
What would Jesus say about all this?