It seems that no matter where one looks nowadays, there is a preponderance of friends and neighbors who call themselves ‘ Good Christians’ and then act the opposite. They need to read what their hero said in his Sermon on the Mount for starters. Or his powerful response to a wealthy follower of his: ” Easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to get into heaven.’ The man many worship as ‘ The Son of God’ laid it all out throughout the New Testament. He challenged the scribes and Pharisees , so called leaders of the Jewish people: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.”
How many times has this writer been in contact via the phone with customers who end their voicemail greetings with ‘ Have a blessed day’? When I took time to converse with said people on issues like the ( illegal and immoral) invasion and occupation of Iraq, or the obscene polarization of wealth in this country, they defend this empire. ” Well, we had to defend ourselves against the terrorists” or ” Everyone has the opportunity to better themselves… we have a free market”. People with middle class incomes rail about the high taxes, not realizing that it is the super rich who benefited from all those tax cuts by Reagan, the Bush Sr., Bush Jr. and Trump. Do they think that Jesus would remain silent as the government failed to offer better Medicaid and Medicare coverage to us working stiffs and the poor? On the subject of Medicaid, what will happen to millions of ‘ Devout followers’ when they or their parents or grandparents need to get into a nursing home or assisted living facility… and there is no more Medicaid money to subsidize them? Do they think that their churches will be able to afford financial help for myriads of them?
The scribes and the Pharisees of Jesus’ time are today’s politicians, public servants and religious leaders. It would have been better Karma for the aforementioned if they or their close relatives had to march in the arid sun when we destroyed and then occupied Iraq in 2003. As with the Vietnam debacle, men like Dick Cheney, Bush Jr, Rush Limbaugh and Donald Trump made sure to get out of ‘ The Shit’ as the GIs called it then. Chicken hawk was the appropriate term for those phony patriots. Do the pious folks really believe that one of my heroes, Jesus of Nazareth, would have blessed the bombs and missiles that evaporated so many Iraqis AKA Collateral Damage? I still have that bridge in Brooklyn up for sale! My 81 year old neighbor, a Vietnam vet, lies in bed for years now with the effects of Agent Orange.
This American Military Industrial Empire , replete with the corporate greed and selfish public, is strengthened by the very elements that should be standing up to them. Those who profess to ‘ Follow Jesus’ should take off their blindfolds and speak truth to power!
Late August 2022