Dedicated to Bobbie L.
In the sermon just minutes before his death, Archbishop Oscar Romero (a man who truly practiced the teachings of Christ) reminded his congregation of the parable of the wheat. “Those who surrender to the service of the poor through love of Christ, will live like the grains of wheat that dies. It only apparently dies. If it were not to die, it would remain a solitary grain. The harvest comes because of the grain that dies We know that every effort to improve society, above all when society is so full of injustice and sin, is an effort that God blesses; that God wants; that God demands of us. I am bound, as a pastor, by divine command to give my life for those whom I love, and that is all Salvadoreans, even those who are going to kill me.”
—These words appeared in a newspaper just two weeks before Archbishop Romero was shot (by a filthy Right Wing Death Squad supported by the US) while celebrating Holy Communion in the hospital which had been his home since his enthronement in 1977.
“You could piss off Jesus Christ himself!”
In 1947 Harry Truman wrote to Pope Pius XII that the United States “is a Christian nation.” This proclamation came from the man responsible for the “Christian act” of annihilating over 200,000 Japanese civilians by unleashing nuclear hell.
George W. Bush, who has perpetrated war crimes for which he should be hanged and whose entire being is drenched with the blood of over a million Iraqis and 4,000 US soldiers, has often spoken openly about his “Christian faith.” Imagine that. Our “Christian nation” is led by a craven, mean-spirited, remorseless, conscienceless mass murderer.
Unfortunately for those who truly embrace Christ’s undeniably moral teachings and yearn to identify the United States as collectively Christian, as a nation we have much more in common with imperial Rome, an empire that persecuted its Christian populace to varying degrees for about 300 years (until Constantine I made it legal to practice Christianity in 313).
How could it be otherwise? The United States is the chief apologist and defender for the global cancer known as the “American Way,” which includes American capitalism, industrial civilization, imperialism, cultural genocide, consumerism, and the myriad ills plaguing our planet and its inhabitants thanks to these grotesqueries. In fact, as exploitative and brutal as they were, Pontius Pilate and the empire he served paled in comparison to the Unites States. Like the Romans, we dominate the world and siphon off its riches so we can wallow in hedonistic delights and creature comforts. Yet the American Empire has added a whole new dimension to lordship of the planet. With our technology run amok, we are simultaneously exploiting and destroying the planet.
The “American Way of Life,” which George H.W. Bush proclaimed to be “non-negotiable,” is a system based on greed, narcissism, selfishness, mean-spiritedness, economic subjugation, belligerence, and militarism. How could a person in their right mind truly believe that the Christian God, and Christ in particular, would embrace, condone, or bless a means of existence premised on such contemptible elements?
Romans 13:8 reads, “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.”
We US Americans loved our neighbors in Vietnam so much that we slaughtered 3 million of them. And surely the millions of Iraqis we have murdered through our slow motion genocide (beginning with the Gulf War, progressing by way of the draconian economic sanctions under Clinton that resulted in the deaths of over 500,000 Iraqi children, and continuing to this very day via the war crimes of the Bush Regime) recognized our deep adoration as they died. Throughout our history, we have committed a multitude of “loving acts” that have resulted in torment, suffering and death for millions upon millions of people. (For a detailed analysis of the history of our deeply malevolent foreign policy, visit http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Foreign_Policy/US_ForeignPolicy.html)
Matthew 6:24 reminds us that, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
Sorry, God. You can’t have our souls. We owe them to the company store. Under our glorious free market system, which is nominally constrained by a government infested with crony capitalists, wage and debt slavery are virtually inevitable for a majority of the population. A tiny percentage of the population in the US owns and controls nearly all the wealth and means of production, leaving the rest of us to fight over crumbs and to bend to their powerful economic will (though one can successfully argue that we can defy them by choosing to exercise our “God-given” right to sleep under a bridge). So devout is our faith in mammon and so strong is our desire for wealth that many of us actually continue to believe the idiotic myth (which our opulent masters love to perpetuate) that we live in a meritocracy where “anyone can get rich if they just work hard enough.”