We Are NOT Passing Through The Eye Of That Needle, America….
By Jason Miller
10 April, 2008
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
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.”
Luke 14:33 delivers the message that, “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.”
Forsaketh all that we hath? Are you kidding? We are the most avaricious creatures the world has ever known. Comprising only 5% of the world’s population, we greedily consume over a fourth of the world’s resources. Gluttony be thy name, America. And to ensure that our repulsive parasitism isn’t interrupted, we feed the military industrial complex (http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_1241.shtml/) around 700 billion of our tax dollars each year to maintain our imperial killing machine. We spend nearly as much on war as the rest of the world combined. Bearing in mind that only five out of a hundred human beings on the Earth are US Americans, think how absurd it is to argue that we need that much firepower to “defend ourselves.” The truth is that we hath far more than our share and we are not planning on forsaking that which we hath anytime soon.
Matthew 6:20 cautions people to, “….store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;”
Perhaps we need to worry more about the worms devouring our rotting souls than the moths and rust attacking the multitude of worldly treasures that have become our raison de’etre. Acquiring more, more and still more is the American obsession. When is enough enough, Donald Trump, Bill Gates, Pete Coors, Richard Mellon-Scaife, Michael Dell, Helen Walton and the rest of your despicable ilk?
And many of the rest of us pursue the American Dream of fame and fortune with the ferocity of a pack of starving wolves devouring a fresh kill. Television, which rivals mammon for dominance in the pantheon of the perverse gods many US Americans truly worship, is rife with programs (they don’t call it “programming” for nothing) which glorify our sick fascination with the status, power, and (at least temporary) satiation of greed that comes with material prosperity. Yes indeed, The Apprentice, Deal or No Deal, The Moment of Truth, and a veritable smorgasbord of similarly inane, shallow and narcissistic vulgarities are essential building blocks for those who are determined to achieve the spiritual perversion so characteristic of the quintessential “American.”
“And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves.”
Few decent human beings (save those still suffering the mental disease of allegiance to capitalism–which is inculcated into us from birth and constantly perpetuated by the filthy whores of the corporate media) could imagine Jesus Christ walking onto the floor of the New York Stock Exchange without a whip in hand to drive out our rotten-to-the-core modern day money changers.
“Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?”
”I tell you the truth,” Jesus said, “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me….”
”Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.”
—Matthew 25: 37-43
Given the above, as a rational and moral person, dear reader, what do you suppose Christ would think of a feculent, cynical system such as ours that values wealth and fame over people, pours buckets of money into wars that generate buckets of blood, maintains a “justice” system used to maintain the deep class divisions (in our allegedly “classless society”) by coddling and protecting privileged contemptible criminals (i.e. Bush and Cheney) while condemning many non-violent impoverished offenders to the hell of the prison industrial complex (http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/199812/prisons), and rains money upon the opulent when they are “needy” while offering tooth and nail resistance to nearly any attempt to aid the poor (witness the rapid-fire $30 billion bailout of Bear Stearns and the criminally slow and inadequate response to the Katrina crisis in New Orleans)?
The day we empty our prisons of non-violent petty criminals and fill them with the likes of Clinton, O’Reilly, Scalia, Koch, and Condi Rice (the power elite and their enablers), bring our imperial legions home, down-size our military to a modest defensive-sized force, cut all “aid” to the murderous state of Israel, utilize our nation’s wealth to eliminate homelessness and hunger AND to provide universal healthcare and higher education, eliminate corporate person-hood, nationalize industries vital to human survival (i.e. health care, oil, utilities, food), criminalize factory farming, permanently shut down Wall Street and Madison Avenue, and sweep away the last vestiges of the virulent planetary affliction known as consumerism….that will be the day that we will begin to even resemble a nation that wouldn’t leave Christ retching in disgust.
Meanwhile, as a nation premised on savage capitalism, we are the antithesis of a Christian nation. Collectively we are an abomination. May God and the rest of the world have mercy on us all as our precious empire crumbles.
Jason Miller is a recovering US American middle class suburbanite who strives to remain intellectually free. He is Cyrano’s Journal Online’s associate editor (http://www.bestcyrano.org/) and publishes Thomas Paine’s Corner within Cyrano’s at http://www.bestcyrano.org/THOMASPAINE/. You can reach him at JMiller@bestcyrano.com