Readings for the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: I Kings 19: 16b, 19-21; Psalm 16: 1-11; Galatians 5: 1, 13-18; Luke 9: 51-62
I'm taking this Sunday's readings quite personally. They're about prophets leaving behind family and tribe for the sake of the divine order Yeshua called the "kingdom of God." In the Master's parlance, that referred to a world with room and abundance for everyone.
The readings are personal for me, because lately I've been feeling abandoned by my tribe - the people in the world I hold dearest - my own family. Especially in the context of the Ukraine war and my refusal to accept our culture's official story about it, most in my tribe has decided that I've gone off the deep end.
I wonder how many readers here are experiencing similar rejection.
More specifically, my tribe's abandoned me because I refuse to parrot the simplistic narrative: "Russia bad; NATO good." Instead, as I've written here, here, here, here, here, and here, I find the truth to be much more complex.
NATO, I've concluded, started the war. Putin is only acting according to the same logic of self-defense and sphere of influence that the United States has used repeatedly to justify its illegal wars of aggression for more than 200 years.
Moreover, Putin is even more justified in using that tired logic because he's responding to threats on Russia's very border - not to those represented by Vietnam, Iraq, or Afghanistan thousands of miles away.
In fact, Russia's experience is even closer to home than the Soviet menace "we" perceived during the Cuban missile crisis. In that case, the U.S. government was prepared to incinerate the world itself - to end it all - rather than allow communists to install weapons of mass destruction on an island 90 miles distant from Florida.
But my family doesn't get all of that. For most of them it's still "Russia bad; NATO good." It leads some of them to ask me the pointed question, "Why do you hate America?"
Of course, I don't hate America, although I do sometimes find myself saying that our planet would be much better off without the United States. At the same time I dearly love the American places where I've spent so much time studying our nation's crimes -- Cuba, Brazil, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Honduras, and Panama.
But anyway, here's what I tell my folks.
Hating the U.S.
It's all very simple, I say. The United States has 4.6% of the world's population. Yet, it consumes something like 40% of its product. As George Kennan noted years ago, it wants to keep things that way by occupying the very position of world domination to which Adolf Hitler aspired in the 1930s and 40s.
As cited repeatedly by Noam Chomsky, here's what Kennan said:
(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).