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anti-war / imperialism |
Friday October 26, 2012 22:11 by Emmanuel Charles McCarthy - Centre for Christian Nonviolence
Why I can smile and murder while I smile.
“You assist an evil system most efficiently by obeying its order and decrees. An evil system never deserves such an allegiance. Allegiance to it means partaking of the evil. A good person will resist an evil system with his or her whole soul.” Mohandas Gandhi
"We do not seek for Church authority that type of prestige which is proper to civic and political authority, and we are happy when Church authority does not have that type of prestige. We are concerned if [Church] authority seeks civic and political prestige; we are more concerned if authority seeks this type of prestige and fails to attain it; and we are most deeply concerned if it seeks this type of prestige and gets it." -Rev. John L. McKenzie, AUTHORITY IN THE CHURCH, p.109, (Imprimatur,1966)
How unfunny are the attached photographs when viewed through the teachings of the Jesus of the Gospels! Pictured are the military-industrial-ecclesiastical complex's premier puppets on gaudy public display, attending at the Waldorf-Astoria the moral equivalent of a Chanel-Vuitton "charity" fashion show for the destitute. Note, because it could be easily missed: the two photos above are two different photos, taken at two different times in two different locations in the Waldorf-Astoria. Yet precisely the same visage of marvelous jocularity appears in both photos with all three men. The two picture are identical, except for their location and the particular man of deception and murder who sits at the right hand of the Cardinal. The two photos of the three heartily laughing sophisticates outfitted in sartorial elegance are like a scene from Fellini's La Dolce Vita, a film which is an exposure of the moral obliviousness of the over-civilized* of society living in a state of spiritual disintegration.
But in the above photos, there is nothing spiritually or morally new concerning the consciousness and conscience of the U.S. hierarchical-military-industrial complex. It is just more inbreeding of an ever more deformed and deforming U.S. Constantinian Catholic Church. Consider this 'Happy Birthday' picture taken at the White House while the U.S. was destroying the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and maiming for life millions of other sons and daughters of the Father of all in Iraq. The military-industrial-ecclesiastical complex rules in the U.S. Catholic Church. Next up: The Annual U.S. Hierarchy-U.S. Military Officers Soirée at the Baltimore Marriott during the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops meeting this November 12-15, 2012.
Eventually a U.S. Catholic has to ask himself or herself if there is any level of human destruction of life in which the U.S. Military-Industrial-Ecclesiastical Complex can engage that would move U.S. Catholic bishops to renounce in the name of Jesus, their participation in, support of and membership in this spiritual and moral plague. After all, last year  according to the Congressional Research Service, "Overseas weapons sales by the United States totaled $66.3 billion last year, or more than three-quarters of the global arms market, valued at $85.3 billion in 2011. Russia was a distant second, with $4.8 billion in deals. The American weapons sales total was an extraordinary increase” over the $21.4 billion in deals for 2010." Way back in 1965 the Fathers of the Second Vatican Counsel made one of their most forceful moral statements and dire predictions precisely in this area: "Therefore it must be said again: the arms race is a virulent plague (gravissimam plagam) for humanity, and one which injures the poor to an intolerable degree." The Council then went on to say, It is much to be feared, that if this arms race persists, it will eventually spawn all the lethal ruin whose path it is now making ready" (Gaudium et Spes, #81). Yet, since this 30% raise in one year in arms sales by the country that already sells more weapons to the world than all other nations combined was made public, not one of the laughing men above condemned it or even made a minor fuss over it. And, there is absolutely nothing on the agenda of the upcoming November Bishops’ meeting in Baltimore that even raises it as something to be discussed, let alone condemned.
Well, the manufacturing and distribution of weapons for lavish profits has persisted in spades and has spawn all the lethal ruin envisioned, and infinitely more. It has persisted with the United States' military-industrial-ecclesiastical complex supporting it, participating in it and living-large off of it. Where is the Catholic University in the U.S. today that is not up to its prefrontal cortex in obeisant fawning over the U.S. military an the money it has to spend on human destruction in one form or another? Where is the Catholic University today that is not running hat-in-hand to get a piece of the profits from that $66.3 billion bonanza raked in by the current U.S. “merchants of death”—as the U.S. arms dealers were at one time accurately called. In the U.S. where is the Catholic Diocese that would not express eternal gratitude for money received from one of these “merchants of death” to supposedly aid it in proclaiming the Gospel of Life?
In the United States the single largest religion is Christianity and the single largest Christian Church is the Catholic Church. This means that there are more U. S. Christians participating in, supporting and making their living from the arms race and from active paid-participation in the U.S. Military than any other religion. It also means that within Christianity, Catholics are today the primary agents for contaminating the world with this gravissimam plagam— Catholics led by the example, calculated silence and indifference of their bishops and priests, silence even when hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians are being slaughtered, silence even when bishops and priests are in the very presence of the plague-profiteers.
“We must have the courage to dare to say: Man must seek the truth; he is capable of truth,” states Benedict XVI. “It goes without saying that truth requires criteria for verification and falsification. But the truth comes to rule, not through violence, but rather through its own power; this is the central theme of John's Gospel: When brought before Pilate, Jesus professes that he himself is The Truth and the witness to the truth. He does not defend the truth with legions but rather makes it visible through his Passion and thereby also implements it.”
I would ask the three Christian happy warriors pictured above at the Al Smith Dinner in the Waldorf-Astoria—as well as their ecclesiastical and civil Christian comrades in arms—to tell the truth for once. Is there a syllable presented as Truth in the Passion of Jesus of anything other than the Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies being the Way of Jesus? Is it not the Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies that is made visible, lived and implemented in the Passion of Jesus? Truth requires criteria for verification and falsification. Fair enough. My criteria for verification that the truth of the Gospel is that Jesus is Nonviolent and teaches a Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies, unto death if necessary, is the same as Pope’s criteria: Jesus professes that he himself is The Truth and the witness to the truth. He does not defend the truth with legions but rather makes it visible through his Passion and thereby also implements it. What is your criteria for saying that The Truth that Jesus Himself is and the Truth to which He witnesses is a Way of righteous and justified violence and enmity? Truth requires criteria for verification—and falsification.
—Emmanuel Charles McCarthy
*For further elucidation of the “morality” of the over-civilized and its dependence on the arms race and monstrous human bloodletting see John L. McKenzie’s, THE CIVILIZATION OF CHRISTIANITY
A death like His—Jesus did not simply "suffer and die," just as Abel did
not simply "suffer and die." Jesus was "tortured and murdered," and He
responded to His torturers and murderers with a Nonviolent Merciful Love.
"Suffered and died" are minimizing, obscuring, evasive, amnesia-inducing,
all-purpose, generalizing words. They do not convey properly the Gospel
history of what took place on Golgotha. They do not convey properly the
revelation and glory of God in Jesus during His final hours on earth, nor
do they convey properly the revelation of the redeeming and redemptive Way
of God through Jesus. The raw animal pain of suffering and death is not
what saves. Identification with Jesus being tortured and murdered is
identification with Jesus loving—loving the Father and doing the Father's
will by loving those responsible for His torture and murder. Communion with
the tortured and murdered and risen Jesus Christ is communion with a love
that conquers any evil and is stronger than death.*
-Emmanuel Charles McCarthy