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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 4/16/19

From Jesus Christ to Julian Assange: When Dissidents Become Enemies of the State

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"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

When exposing a crime is treated as committing a crime, you are being ruled by criminals.

In the current governmental climate, where laws that run counter to the dictates of the Constitution are made in secret, passed without debate, and upheld by secret courts that operate behind closed doors, obeying one's conscience and speaking truth to the power of the police state can render you an "enemy of the state."

That list of so-called "enemies of the state" is growing.

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Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is merely the latest victim of the police state's assault on dissidents and whistleblowers.

On April 11, 2019, police arrested Assange for daring to access and disclose military documents that portray the U.S. government and its endless wars abroad as reckless, irresponsible, immoral and responsible for thousands of civilian deaths.

Included among the leaked materials was gunsight video footage from two U.S. AH-64 Apache helicopters engaged in a series of air-to-ground attacks while American air crew laughed at some of the casualties. Among the casualties were two Reuters correspondents who were gunned down after their cameras were mistaken for weapons and a driver who stopped to help one of the journalists. The driver's two children, who happened to be in the van at the time it was fired upon by U.S. forces, suffered serious injuries.

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There is nothing defensible about crimes such as these perpetrated by the government.

When any government becomes almost indistinguishable from the evil it claims to be fighting-whether that evil takes the form of war, terrorism, torture, drug trafficking, sex trafficking, murder, violence, theft, pornography, scientific experimentations or some other diabolical means of inflicting pain, suffering and servitude on humanity-that government has lost its claim to legitimacy.

These are hard words, but hard times require straight-talking.

It is easy to remain silent in the face of evil.

What is harder-what we lack today and so desperately need-are those with moral courage who will risk their freedoms and lives in order to speak out against evil in its many forms.

Throughout history, individuals or groups of individuals have risen up to challenge the injustices of their age. Nazi Germany had its Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The gulags of the Soviet Union were challenged by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. America had its color-coded system of racial segregation and warmongering called out for what it was, blatant discrimination and profiteering, by Martin Luther King Jr.

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And then there was Jesus Christ, an itinerant preacher and revolutionary activist, who not only died challenging the police state of his day-namely, the Roman Empire-but provided a blueprint for civil disobedience that would be followed by those, religious and otherwise, who came after him.

Indeed, it is fitting that we remember that Jesus Christ-the religious figure worshipped by Christians for his death on the cross and subsequent resurrection-paid the ultimate price for speaking out against the police state of his day.

A radical nonconformist who challenged authority at every turn, Jesus was a far cry from the watered-down, corporatized, simplified, gentrified, sissified vision of a meek creature holding a lamb that most modern churches peddle. In fact, he spent his adult life speaking truth to power, challenging the status quo of his day, and pushing back against the abuses of the Roman Empire.

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John W. Whitehead is an attorney and author who has written, debated and practiced widely in the area of constitutional law and human rights. Whitehead's aggressive, pioneering approach to civil liberties has earned him numerous accolades and (more...)
 

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6 people are discussing this page, with 10 comments  Post Comment


Alexander Kershaw

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Yes both Assange and Jesus were attacked by the state. But who was the state working for and why go after Jesus? Michael Hudson in his book "And Forgive Them Their Debts"

https://www.ancient.eu/books/3981826027/

At 5% interest an asset will double every 14 years. A piece of silver, say a dime, accruing at 5% interest would be impossible because it would fill the volume of the earth several times over. It would be 2 to the power of 143 dimes. So the state was protecting the creditors that Jesus threatened. Remember his only violence was against money changers in the Temple.

Today the state is protecting the TBTF banks. WikiLeaks had the hard drive of a CEO of a TBTF bank and was going to publish it in early 2011. It as never published and now the statute of limitations has run out hence the release and arrest.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/julian-assange-the-2011-60-minutes-interview/

Notice Julian's unease when asked about the hard drive. Maybe Julian didn't want he or his family to end up like Jesus so the hard drive was not published.

Submitted on Tuesday, Apr 16, 2019 at 7:29:59 PM

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Devil's Advocate

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Though I understand what you're doing with the reference to Jesus, and agree with the message, I would also point out that "religion" was also a major tool of mass manipulation and polarization of collective opinion. Just as dangerous, IMO.

Submitted on Tuesday, Apr 16, 2019 at 7:38:54 PM

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lila york

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Even for agnostics the teachings of the prophet Jesus in the New Testament are awesome. almost Buddhist in nature. There is a theory that he lived on to teach in India and died there. There was a prophet in India whose teachings were similar so it's possible. who knows. I am not claiming that. just saying - pacifists and free people have something to learn from that text.

Submitted on Tuesday, Apr 16, 2019 at 7:51:41 PM

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Devil's Advocate

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Reply to lila york:   New Content

No, I get that. I was merely pointing out that religion, like media, has the potential to betray the masses, just as easily as it can serve them well.

Submitted on Wednesday, Apr 17, 2019 at 4:26:23 PM

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Michele Goddard

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Beautifully written and so perfectly timed with the approach of Easter. I am not religious but I once was. I left the church because the church was full of hypocrisy and racism. The first time I saw a copy of the church budget, in the millions and listed among assets were stocks and bonds I was aghast. I don't know what those other people were doing to try and be good Christians but I was reading the Bible. Apparenly many of them didn't have the time. There were good people there to be sure but I could see the way "prominent" members of the congregation stood out, no doubt because of their monetary contributions. I became confused and left the church. Afterwards I felt tricked and disheartened as I studied about the darker epochs of Christian history. I adopted a nature religion, kind of neopaganism but I always felt love and truth in the lessons of Jesus. My son a once atheist, then convert to Christianity at the behest of his Catholic girlfriend ended up disheartened when at a church picnic the membership suggested that they stuff themselves so the food wouldnt5be thrown out. My son said,"Well, isn't that gluttony? And don't you think Jesus would rather we gave what's left to a homeless shelter?" He too left the church. But we both still love the lessons of Jesus because he was a true revolutionary with courage and principle. We often recall the scene of him going into the temple and acting out the money changers. Churches today, not all but most, are diseased. Many are afflicted with apathy and are merely a dog and pony show of dogma or they are fire and brimstone passion but would rather spend their time fixated on the evils of homosexuality than the evils of the murderous wars. They will rant about the killing of the unborn, while staying silent about the killing of the living children in Syria and Yemen. Thank you so much for refocusing people to the truth of Jesus life. Take care, Michele

Submitted on Wednesday, Apr 17, 2019 at 1:28:48 PM

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Janet Supriano

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Reply to Michele Goddard:   New Content

Absolutely wonderful comment, Michele. You made so many points in one paragraph. I remember that Jesus had particular disdain for hypocrisy. And the only violence recorded was against usurers 'working the temple' for profit. I like most of the teachings attributed to this man, although the admonitions to be so meek might not be appropriate given the battle we're currently in.

IMO, religion is a sad consequence of this notable life.

Submitted on Wednesday, Apr 17, 2019 at 9:13:34 PM

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David Watts

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Michele, I know Janet will not mind me posting this song. I have never been religious. Janet was the one who helped me to understand the meaning and gravity of this song by Phil Ochs.

"The Canons of Christianity"


Cannons of Christianity - Phil Ochs Phil Ochs (1940-1976) was an American folk/protest singer known for his sharp wit and sardonic sense of humor. A movie recently came out about him called ...
(Image by YouTube, Channel: onlyjohnrulz)
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"Canons Of Christianity"

Christian cannons have fired at my days
With the warning beneath the holy blaze
And bow to our authority
Say the cannons of christianity

Oh the children will be sent to schools
Minds of clay are molded to their rules
Learn to fear all of eternity
Warn the cannons of christianity

Holy hands will count the money raised
Like a king the lord is richly praised
On a cross of diamond majesty
Say the cannons of christianity

Missionaries will travel on crusades
The word is given, the heathen souls are saved
Conversions to our morality
Sigh the cannons of christianity

Come the wars and turn the rules around
To bend your soul on the battle ground
And the lord will march beside me
Drone the cannons of christianity

Cathedral walls will glitter with their gold
And the sermons speak through silver robes
Building castles amidst the poverty
Say the cannons of christianity

Worship now and wash your sins away
Drop the coins, fall to your knees and pray
Cleanse the world of all hypocrisy
Smile the cannons of christianity

Christian cannons have fired at my days
With the warning beneath the holy blaze
And bow to our authority
Say the cannons of christianity

...

Submitted on Wednesday, Apr 17, 2019 at 10:08:40 PM

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David Watts

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Joan Baez - With God On Our Side (1965)
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Submitted on Wednesday, Apr 17, 2019 at 10:54:35 PM

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Reply to David Watts:   New Content

Thank you, David Watts.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 18, 2019 at 4:53:38 AM

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Reply to Janet Supriano:   New Content

Thought I would save some time and give you a 'thumbs up' dopamine hit in this comment vs spending the time to click on the 'thumbs up' in your comment. :)

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 18, 2019 at 8:02:56 AM

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