ANNUAL FORTY DAY FAST, 2011

ANNUAL FORTY DAY FAST, 2011
JULY1-AUGUST 9,
FOR THE TRUTH OF GOSPEL NONVIOLENCE

— FAST FOOD: First Helping

There is something unfathomably tragic taking place in and through the institutional Churches of Christianity as the leadership and membership of these Churches obstinately insist that they have the right to teach and to live, as consistent with what Jesus taught and lived, that which is contradictory to what Jesus taught and lived. Institutionalized Constantinian Christianity is short-circuiting the grace, and the merciful love, and the truth, and the power, and the wisdom that the Father desires to release into the human situation for the good of human beings through Jesus Christ and through those Jesus chooses to follow Him.

“How odd of God/To choose the Jews,” goes the witty, profound or anti-Semitic verse from England from about a hundred years ago. But then, “God’s ways are not our ways.” When God chooses Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Jeremiah, Jonah, the Suffering Servant, Miriam of Nazareth, and when God incarnate, Jesus, chooses His disciples, it is to be remembered why the God of all chooses as He does. Within the humanly incomprehensible mystery of existence, God desires to release His grace, truth, power, wisdom, merciful love and life into the human condition for the purpose of forever conquering evil and death in all their manifestations—for all human beings, for all His beloved sons and daughters. This is the reason God chooses. This is the reason why, if a person is among the chosen, it is a spiritual and human catastrophe for him or her and for others if they lie to themselves, deceive themselves about the truth and purpose for which God elected them to be the servant, instrument, agent, ambassador, disciple of His healing and saving Word.

If a Jew honestly searches for truth and then rejects the Word of God, which is Truth, when it comes to him or her, it is more than a personal sin. It is a person who was chosen refusing to obey the Word of God that was given to him or her so that he or she could participate in the redemption of all humanity from its furnace of evil and agony. It is a betrayal of Divinity that is perpetuating rather than remedying the reign of evil, suffering and death for all God’s people. When a Christian teaches by word and deed something as God’s will that Jesus, the Word of God incarnate, rejects by word and deed as God’s will, he or she approach doing Edenic evil, evil which will reverberate throughout humanity for generations. In both instances it amounts to the chosen ones trashing a Divine Gift of infinite and unimaginable worth to all humanity through their obstinate, “I have eyes but I will not see,” I have ears but I will not hear,” “I have a mind but I will not understand,” “I will not teach them to obey all that You have commanded,” “I will not obey.”

-ECM
Restore us, O Lord, that we may be restored. Renew our days as of old.

FAST FOOD: Second Helping

The self-deceiver, the person who lies to himself or herself, is one for whom there is nothing to be seen, because he or she knows very well there is something unbearably distressing to be seen.

Restore us, O Lord, that we may be restored. Renew our days as of old.
FAST FOOD: Third Helping

The self-deceiver persuades himself or herself to believe contrary to the evidence in order to evade somehow unpleasant and unwanted truth. He or she has already seen the truth to which the evidence points. It is a way of attempting to avoid distress or cling to satisfaction.

Restore us, O Lord, that we may be restored. Renew our days as of old.
FAST FOOD: Fourth Helping

Self-deception is intentionally persuading oneself to believe what one knows is not the truth. It is making oneself believe, ignore or forget something of critical importance which points overwhelmingly to a conclusion opposite to the one adopted by the self deceiver. The self-deceiver, then, is a person who lies with sincerity, who convinces himself or herself of what he or she knows cannot be true. He or she resolutely refuse to look at his or her professed “truth” because they know very well that they won’t see what they want to see.

The adage, “Birds of a feather flock together,” is particularly pertinent where self-deception is concerned. For while self-deception is always at root a personal choice to accept the patently false as patently true, the support system of a community of similar self-deceivers is of crucial importance in maintaining a steadfast obliviousness to the gargantuan discrepancy between what a person(s) is purporting to be true and the Mt. Everest of proof to the contrary. Regardless of how extravagant it may be, the illusion, the untruth, the falsehood, the lie that holds together a community of self-deceivers is more dear to each and to all of its members than ten thousand truths.The hardest truth to see is the glaring truth everyone has decided not to see.

Restore us, O Lord, that we may be restored. Renew our days as of old.
FAST FOOD: Fifth Helping

All human beings desire to know, and truth is the proper object of this desire. Although each individual has a right to be respected in his or her own journey in search of the truth, there exists a prior moral obligation [i.e. a moral obligation that precedes all other moral obligations], and a grave one at that, to seek the truth and to adhere to it once it is known. People cannot be genuinely indifferent to the question of whether what they know is true or not.The thirst for truth is so rooted in the human heart that to be obliged to ignore it would cast our existence into jeopardy. -John Paul II

Self deception, lying to oneself about what is the truth, contains within it the capacity to cast our existence into jeopardy. By self-deception a person commits his or her life to an existence in a whirlpool of illusion: illusion about God, about reality, about human beings, their value and purpose, about good and evil, about what is important and how to use time, etc. Even those morally valid truths that a person honestly holds will be contaminated, if not rendered false, by self-deception, as the self deceiver is forced to “validate” the lies and illusions of self-deception by misusing, manipulating, misinterpreting and misapplying authentically held truth.

-ECM

Restore us, O Lord, that we may be restored. Renew our days as of old.
FAST FOOD: Sixth Helping

What happens in a community of similar self-deceivers when there is no one who can see and/or no one who is willing to point out that, “There is an elephant in the room”?

How difficult is it for a human being born and brought up in a cannibal society, to see that cannibalism is evil, when the entire secular and religious society of cannibals in millions of microscopic ways, implants from birth onward, and daily reinforces, the ideas and emotions of the “the good and noble cannibal”? How nearly impossible is it for him or her to grasp and to accept that the understanding of God and of reality on which “good and noble cannibalism” is based is a brutal fairy tale, a delusion concocted out of untruth?

How hard is it for a Christian—whether he or she be a bishop, butcher, banker, or baker, who from the cradle to the casket has been incessantly and subtly, explicitly and subliminally, cunningly and relentlessly bombarded, through every instrument of communication that a Church possesses, with the deception that the acts which comprise the mass slaughter of war are acts that are somehow in moral, spiritual and theological conformity with the Way and the Truth taught and lived by Jesus—to find the clarity of mind and the courage of spirit to breakthrough such communal hardwiring in untruth?

It is not hard at all. Just read the Gospels—and stop the nonsense of kidding yourself! No sane and literate person could reasonably conclude from such a reading that Jesus would do or would permit His disciples to do the acts that all wars, whether considered just or unjust by some philosophical theory, absolutely and always require, e.g, sticking a bayonet in another human being’s liver with the intent to destroy him or her.

-ECM

Restore us, O Lord, that we may be restored. Renew our days as of old.

FAST FOOD: Seventh Helping

Again, what happens in a community of similar self-deceivers when there is no one who can see and/or who is willing to point out that “There is an elephant in the room”?

Consider the words below of Four Star General and life-long practicing Christian George S. Patton, for whom there is a large memorial, shrine, inside Christ Episcopal Church in Hamilton, Massachusetts, containing many second and third class relic of him. For whom also there is in the Episcopal Church of Our Savior in San Gabriel, California, a stained glass window depicting Patton as a version of St. George. There he is shown in a tank fighting a dragon festooned with swastikas. The lettering on the stained glass window reads, “He fought the good fight.” This is a direct reference to St. Paul’s saying, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith” (2Tm 4:7). Are Jesus, Paul and Patton, all fighting the same fight, all finishing the same course, all keeping the same faith. Must be. How else could the singling out and glorifying of George Patton within a Christian Church be explained, except that somehow Patton’s fight, course, faith and way are logically and theologically compatible with the fight, course, faith and way of Jesus and St. Paul?

Patton Quotes:

“May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won’t.”

“We are not just going to shoot the bastards, we are going to cut out their living guts and use them to grease the treads of our tanks.”

“A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan next week.”

“We are going to murder those lousy Hun bastards by the bushel.”

“Now I want you soldiers to remember that no dumb bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. You win by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country.”

“I have no particular desire to understand them [Russians, Chinese and Japanese] except to ascertain how much lead or iron it takes to kill them. In addition to his other amiable characteristics, the Russian has no regard for human life, and they are all sons-of- bitches, barbarians, and chronic drunks.”

“When we land against the enemy, don’t forget to hit him and hit him hard. When we meet the enemy we will kill him. We will show him no mercy. That bastard will die! You will kill him. Stick him between the third and fourth ribs. You will tell your men that they must have the killer instinct. Tell them to stick him. Stick him in the liver.”

Who engages in such deceitful interpretations and expressions of Jesus and His Way as exists in those two churches mentioned above? Episcopalians? Yes, but also about 95% of all bishops, priests, ministers, pastors and laity, whether they be conservative or liberal, in the overwhelming majority of the Churches of Christianity. Talk about self deception and the deception of others!

Is such ignoring of truth of a level that, to use the words of John Paul II, it cast a life into jeopardy?

-ECM

Restore us, O Lord, that we may be restored. Renew our days as of old.
FAST FOOD: Eight Helping

Which is the greater expression of self-deception and deception of others: To say that General Patton was nonviolent and taught a way of nonviolent love of friends and enemies, or to say that Jesus was violent and taught a way of justified enmity and homicidal violence?

Or, is it even a greater expression of self-deception and deception of others to say that General Patton’s way and Jesus’ way are not the same, but are logically, theologically, morally and psychologically compatible with each other, and therefore in following Patton’s commands we are also following Jesus’ commands?

Or, is the supreme expression of self-deception and deception of others to say that Christian Just War Theory, whether in its conservative or liberal formulation, is logically, theologically, morally and psychologically compatible with the teachings of Jesus, the Word (Logos) of God incarnate, and therefore Christians can engage in the acts that war demands and still be faithfully following Jesus?

Who engages such perfidious interpretations and expressions of Jesus and His Way? Again, about 95% of all bishops, priests, ministers, and pastors, whether they be conservative or liberal, male or female, in the overwhelming majority of the Churches of Christianity do. Is such an ignoring of the truth of the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels and His Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies of such a level, that, to again use the words of John Paul II, it cast a life into jeopardy? If it is not, what manner or area of self-deception or deception of others is?

-ECM

Restore us, O Lord, that we may be restored. Renew our days as of old.
FAST FOOD: Ninth Helping

Of course, memorials glorifying local Christian war-celebrities and/or battles, that is, mass slaughter events in which Christians played a large role, are commemorated not only in Episcopal Churches but also in innumerable legions of Christian churches, cathedrals and basilicas, Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox and Evangelical, around the globe—to say nothing of explicitly Christian schools.

To those Christians who have heard or read the Gospels, do such Church displays, whether via stain glass windows, statues, memorial shrines, plaques, religious education curricula, etc. amount to self deception and deception of others? Are such Christianized artifacts on Church property tantamount to radical false witness? If such symbolic testimonials are initiated, supported or maintained by a Christian or a Christian community on Church property do they constitute that ignoring of truth which cast our existence into jeopardy? Or, is Christianity, and by extension Jesus, the Baptized Christian and the Church, of such minor significance in history and in eternity, that it really makes no essential difference whether they teach in the name of Jesus the opposite of what He taught?

Almost nothing gets placed in a church or on church property without the approval of the bishop, priest, minister or pastor. One can therefore reasonably surmise that such adamant stances by bishops, priests, ministers and pastors as “I will not teach what Jesus taught,” “I will not obey all that He has commanded,” or “I will teach as His teaching the opposite of what Jesus taught” are some of the sources of the post-Constantinian saying used in one form or another by many Fathers of the Church, but usually attributed initially to St. John Chrysostom: “The road to hell is paved with the skulls of erring priests, with bishops as their signpost.”

-ECM

Restore us, O Lord, that we may be restored. Renew our days as of old.
FAST FOOD: Tenth Helping

Which is worse to be sheep without a shepherd, or to be sheep with a shepherd who is deceiving himself and his flock about the right Way to go? Is a good Christian shepherd—bishop, priest, minister, pastor— one who leads his flock down the primrose path of the patently delusional Christian Just War Theory, in which every form of evil and every form of destruction of mind, body, souls and spirit known to humanity awaits the Christian’s wholehearted and “justified” participation?

If a Christian shepherd, pastor, leads his or her flock into the way of the destructive illusion of the Christian Just War Theory, does it not worsen the gravity of what this Church leader is doing, if he or she adorns this sordid way of madness and mayhem with beautiful liturgies, eloquent sermons, magnificent icons, ambrosial incense, high quality schools, etc., all of which reinforce the original lie. The original lie being the existence jeopardizing untruth that Christian Just War Theory and the acts that it teaches that a Christian can engage in and still be faithfully following the Way of Jesus, e.g., sticking a dagger in a human being’s liver, gouging a human being’s eyes out, are compatible with the Way Jesus taught in the Gospels?

Talk about exploiting the Holy in order to give the impression that a form of evil is under Divine patronage! Talk about sacrilege! Talk about extreme false witness! Talk about Christian self-deception!

If the sheep are lost because the shepherd has deceived them and led them down the wrong way, can the shepherd be saved? Maybe it was a, “No,” answer to this question that moved St. Athanasius, another Fourth Century Father of the Church, to warn his fellow bishops, “The floor of hell is paved with the skulls of bishops.”

-ECM

Restore us ,O Lord, that we may be restored.
Renew our days as of old.
FAST FOOD: Eleventh Helping

Correct analysis of a problem must precede a correct solution to a problem. Where something exists, it is preceded by its cause. Wherein is the cause of the institutional Churches refusal to teach what Jesus taught about violence and enmity, when the explicit commission the Church has received from Jesus was to Baptize and to “teach them to obey all the I have commanded you” (Mt 28:20)? Wherein lies the cause of most of the institutional Churches teaching the opposite of what Jesus taught, and then teaching that it is compatible with what Jesus taught? Wherein lies the control of the machinery that keeps this existence jeopardizing self-deception and deception of others flowing vigorously and uninterruptedly through the minds and hearts, the bloodstream and organs of the Churches of Christianity?

For gaining clarity on this issue, it could be asked wherein lies the cause the acutely effective communication of the Roman Catholic Church’s universally taught, and universally known, passionate and absolute opposition to and denunciation of abortion? Likewise, wherein is the cause of the Roman Catholic Church’s relative “overnight,” universal revision of the Mass and the quick implementation of that revision on a planetary scale? Why cannot the same competence be brought to communicating and implementing the teachings of Jesus in the Gospels in relation to violence and enmity? Wherein is the cause of it not operating on behalf of what Jesus’ teaches?

Perhaps an even more precise way of putting this issue and thereby getting to a correct analysis and understanding of this problem is to ask “who is the cause…” instead of asking “wherein is the cause…” which brought about and maintains this situation of all but suppressing an explicit teaching of the Lord?

The power exists within the Churches to teach the truth of the Nonviolent Jesus and His Nonviolent Way, and to teach it universally and well. That it is not being employed in relation to Jesus’ explicit teaching of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies, but is being employed to religiously validate, indeed ennoble, the opposite of His teachings, requires a correct analysis as to the who determines how the teaching channels and instruments of the Churches are utilized.

A search for a cause is a search for answers to the question, “Why?”. Why can a new translation of the Mass be presented and explained to Catholics around the world and then implemented globally in a short time, but Jesus’ own explicit teaching of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies remain all but unknown, unexplained and unimplemented in the institutional Churches for the last 1700 years up to today? Why? There is an answer.

But make no mistake, what is at stake in all this is not a battle of humanly manufactured ideologies, but rather teaching the truth and nothing but the truth of the Word (Logos) of God incarnate, so that “all nations” may know the Father through Jesus and know His Way to eternal life for all human beings.

Correct analysis of a problem must precede a correct solution to a problem, or else, for example, a person or group will spend their life swatting at ever new, ever multiplying and ever mutating malaria carrying mosquitoes one by one, rather than eliminating their breading place and thereby solving the entire problem.

-ECM

Restore us, O Lord, that we may be restored. Renew our days as of old.
FAST FOOD: Eleventh Helping

Correct analysis of a problem must precede a correct solution to a problem. Where something exists, it is preceded by its cause. Wherein is the cause of the institutional Churches refusal to teach what Jesus taught about violence and enmity, when the explicit commission the Church has received from Jesus was to Baptize and to “teach them to obey all the I have commanded you” (Mt 28:20)? Wherein lies the cause of most of the institutional Churches teaching the opposite of what Jesus taught, and then teaching that it is compatible with what Jesus taught? Wherein lies the control of the machinery that keeps this existence jeopardizing self-deception and deception of others flowing vigorously and uninterruptedly through the minds and hearts, the bloodstream and organs of the Churches of Christianity?

For gaining clarity on this issue, it could be asked wherein lies the cause the acutely effective communication of the Roman Catholic Church’s universally taught, and universally known, passionate and absolute opposition to and denunciation of abortion? Likewise, wherein is the cause of the Roman Catholic Church’s relative “overnight,” universal revision of the Mass and the quick implementation of that revision on a planetary scale? Why cannot the same competence be brought to communicating and implementing the teachings of Jesus in the Gospels in relation to violence and enmity? Wherein is the cause of it not operating on behalf of what Jesus’ teaches?

Perhaps an even more precise way of putting this issue and thereby getting to a correct analysis and understanding of this problem is to ask “who is the cause…” instead of asking “wherein is the cause…” which brought about and maintains this situation of all but suppressing an explicit teaching of the Lord?

The power exists within the Churches to teach the truth of the Nonviolent Jesus and His Nonviolent Way, and to teach it universally and well. That it is not being employed in relation to Jesus’ explicit teaching of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies, but is being employed to religiously validate, indeed ennoble, the opposite of His teachings, requires a correct analysis as to the who determines how the teaching channels and instruments of the Churches are utilized.

A search for a cause is a search for answers to the question, “Why?”. Why can a new translation of the Mass be presented and explained to Catholics around the world and then implemented globally in a short time, but Jesus’ own explicit teaching of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies remain all but unknown, unexplained and unimplemented in the institutional Churches for the last 1700 years up to today? Why? There is an answer.

But make no mistake, what is at stake in all this is not a battle of humanly manufactured ideologies, but rather teaching the truth and nothing but the truth of the Word (Logos) of God incarnate, so that “all nations” may know the Father through Jesus and know His Way to eternal life for all human beings.

Correct analysis of a problem must precede a correct solution to a problem, or else, for example, a person or group will spend their life swatting at ever new, ever multiplying and ever mutating malaria carrying mosquitoes one by one, rather than eliminating their breading place and thereby solving the entire problem.

-ECM

Restore us, O Lord, that we may be restored. Renew our days as of old.
FAST FOOD: Twelfth Helping

Binding the Strawman

Pope Innocent II, AD 1130 to 1143:
Condemned and forbade the use of the crossbow by Christians in AD 1139 saying,
“It is deadly and hateful to God and unfit to be used among Christians.”

Eugene McCarthy, U.S. Senator from Wisconsin:
I once heard of a no-nonsense bandleader who enforced his absolute rule against band members chewing tobacco by threatening to fire on the spot anyone who did. However, he was not really as tough on tobacco chewing as people thought him to be. You see, he was the conductor of an all girls band!

Rev. John L. McKenzie, Catholic Biblical scholar:
I believe that both here and elsewhere the Church can avoid persecution by surviving as it has so far, that is by being the lackey of the establishment of wealth and power, that is by not being the Church. If the Roman Catholic Church were to decide to join the Mennonites in refusing violence, I doubt whether our harmonious relations with the government would endure the day after the decision. Popes and Bishops must proclaim the entire reality of Jesus Christ. They must proclaim that Western man will escape the ultimate horror only by attending to the person and words of Jesus Christ. Like Paul, that is all they have to say; so for Christ’s sake let us say it. (emphasis added)
-The Civilization of Christianity

Rev. Bernard Haring, Catholic moral theologian:
The Pro-Life movement is weakened to the extent that any of its members will not free themselves radically from complicity with the system of violent deterrence and all the evils it implies…A considerable part of the increasing Peace Movement all over the world remains in narrow protest against nuclear armaments instead of giving full attention to the Gospel of peace and nonviolence…Even more shocking than the stubborn resistance of the ruling religious class to Christ’s message and witness of nonviolence and peace is the hardness of heart on this central and indicative truth that seeps through even among Christ’s chosen disciples. (emphasis added)
-The Healing Power of Nonviolence

Rev. George Zabelka, Catholic Chaplain Hiroshima/Nagasaki Atomic Bomb crews:
The issue for the Church today is not nuclear war, but the total and unequivocal rejection in theory and in practice of all war and all mass slaughter. There is nothing in the life or teaching of Jesus that would suggest that while it is illegitimate to incinerate people by nuclear war head, it is legitimate to incinerate people by napalm or flamethrower. Condemning nuclear war exclusively, a Christian can thereby give implied moral approval to other forms of mass slaughter. (emphasis added)
-Pax Christi National Conference 1985, Erie, PA
-ECM

Restore us, O Lord, that we may be restored. Renew our days as of old.
FAST FOOD: Thirteenth Helping

The renowned Biblical scholar, Rev. John L. McKenzie, often makes the point that the Gospels are easy to understand. They may be difficult to live, but the ordinary human being can understand what is being said and taught.They are written, he says, at the level of a literate twelve year old, the same level at which the average newspaper is written.

As a small example of what McKenzie is saying, consider this excerpt from a syndicated Texas newspaper column, Joe Bob’s America, written by a Joe Bob Briggs, a few years ago:

“When men in war councils start invoking the name of God thrice daily, every corpuscle of my cigar-wracked body groans like an infidel on the inquisitor’s rack. I have nothing against the Almighty. I think the Big Guy knows what he’s doing. But I’m not sure he’s inclined to delegate this much work to men who have been checked out on M-16s…In my unspeakably Baptist hometown, there are children who are indoctrinated by being forced to wear T-shirts that proudly state, “What would Jesus do?” (This can result in unforeseen parental dilemmas. Some six-year-old will take it as license to feed the family’s veal cutlets to the neighborhood drunk.) But since President Bush happens to come from this selfsame Christian Texas world that I know so well, why shouldn’t we simply cut through all the theological windsurfing and resort instead to this simple question? The president is, after all, a Christian. He does, after all, routinely participate in prayer circles in the Oval Office. If we truly want God in the White House, and the Congress, and the Pentagon, why don’t we simply ask the question, what would Christ have done?

Well, we know two things Jesus did NOT believe in: offense and defense. So you can neither attack nor defend and remain Christian. Jesus not only preached nonviolence; he preached non-resistance to the violence of others. He preached not only forgiveness of the original affront, but forgiveness seven times seven times when the affront is repeated. He preached simplicity, poverty, and the willingness to suffer. He compared himself and all who believed in him to lambs, led to the slaughter.

It will be objected… (that this) is not practical. I didn’t say it was practical. I said it’s what the man said.”

Whether Jesus is the incarnation of God or the Messiah or just another guy, what the man said is what the man said. As the cliche du jour goes , knowing what Jesus taught “ain’t rocket science!” Gandhi once noted, “The only people who do not see Jesus as nonviolent are Christians.” Is it possible that in the byzantine operations of the mystery of iniquity, Christians are the ones who know Jesus the least? How could such a perverted situation happen? Maybe it occurs because Christians are the only human beings systematically nurtured from the cradle to the casket into a fundamental, self- evident, but socially reinforced, deception about Jesus’ person and way. Albeit, a deception that is thought to be practically need to operate propertied institution with His name on them.

-ECM

Restore us, O Lord, that we may be restored. Renew our days as of old.
FAST FOOD: Fourteenth Helping:

Rev. John Meier universally is considered to be in the highest echelon of contemporary Biblical scholarship. His four volume scholarly series on the New Testament, The Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus—from which the quotation below is taken—is his magnum opus. It has been twenty years in the writing with another volume still to be completed. For those so interested in such matters, each volume carries an Imprimatur, the official Catholic Church designation that nothing in the book is contrary to the Catholic Christian faith.

Nowhere in the written Torah is the brutally terse command “love your enemies,” (agapate tous echthrous hymon) contained. We have in the command to love enemies no citation or allusion to Old Testament text. The blunt, laconic “love your enemies,” stands alone. The one thing that cannot be found anywhere in the ancient Mediterranean world prior to Jesus is the terribly terse, totally unexplained, in-your-face demand “love your enemies”…Jesus is not so foolish to command emotions. He is rather commanding his disciples to will the good and to do the good to their enemies, no matter how the disciples may feel about them, and no matter if the enemies remain enemies despite the goodness shown them. (emphasis in the original). Jesus is brusquely commanding his disciples to will good and to do good to their enemies, not to have warm, loving feelings towards their enemies.
-Rev. John Meier, The Marginal Jew: Volume IV, Law and Love

ECM
Restore us, O Lord, that we may be restored.
Renew our days as of old.
FAST FOOD: Fourteenth Helping:

Rev. John Meier universally is considered to be in the highest echelon of contemporary Biblical scholarship. His four volume scholarly series on the New Testament, The Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus—from which the quotation below is taken—is his magnum opus. It has been twenty years in the writing with another volume still to be completed. For those so interested in such matters, each volume carries an Imprimatur, the official Catholic Church designation that nothing in the book is contrary to the Catholic Christian faith.

Nowhere in the written Torah is the brutally terse command “love your enemies,” (agapate tous echthrous hymon) contained. We have in the command to love enemies no citation or allusion to Old Testament text. The blunt, laconic “love your enemies,” stands alone. The one thing that cannot be found anywhere in the ancient Mediterranean world prior to Jesus is the terribly terse, totally unexplained, in-your-face demand “love your enemies”…Jesus is not so foolish to command emotions. He is rather commanding his disciples to will the good and to do the good to their enemies, no matter how the disciples may feel about them, and no matter if the enemies remain enemies despite the goodness shown them. (emphasis in the original). Jesus is brusquely commanding his disciples to will good and to do good to their enemies, not to have warm, loving feelings towards their enemies.
-Rev. John Meier, The Marginal Jew: Volume IV, Law and Love

ECM
Restore us, O Lord, that we may be restored.
Renew our days as of old.
FAST FOOD: Fifteenth Helping:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.
(US Constitution, Article III, section 3.)

“Ah! There’s the rub.” What an ordinary person, Joe Bob Briggs, and an extraordinary scholar, John Meier, understand that Jesus unambiguously commands, “Love your enemies,” is the capital crime of treason in the United States. Jesus teaches by word and deed right up to His murder on the cross of Golgotha, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Lk 6 27ff; Mt 5: 43ff). Giving aid and comfort to the enemy will put you in prison in the US and in just about all nation-states. In the US and in many other nations it can put you in the electric chair or some other such state killing-gadget.

For the Christian there is a universal, intrinsic, direct, immediate–but totally unacknowledged– conflict of allegiances on a planetary scale here. Every Christian lives within some nation-state, that is, within a geographical latitude and longitude that a few people control, with violence, fear and enmity being their bottom line options. So, which master is the Christian going to serve when there arises a direct and immediate conflict between what Jesus teaches as His Way and as the Will of the Father that is to “be done on earth as it is in heaven,” and what those who run the show on this particular plot of land demand? To which is the Christian and his or her Church called to be obedient? Which should they, which must they disobey?

The answer depends on which one actually and operationally, as opposed to merely verbally, has priority in the Christian’s life and the life of his or her Church? Neither Christian nor Church can serve two masters here. They will either be faithful to the one and betray the other, or betray the one and be faithful to the other.They will choose either to love the enemy as Jesus loved His enemies, or they will kill, maim and hate the enemy as the bosses of the local geography dictate. To choose the one and his way is to abdicate allegiance to the other and his way.

We know what the choice has been that all but a few Christians and a few Christian Church leaders and a few Christian Churches have made since what is called the Constantinian alteration of Christianity took place in the Fourth Century. Christians, Christian leaders and Christian Churches have abandoned the Way of Jesus wholesale in this matter. That is not opinion; that is fact. The history of Christian hatred and violence matches or out does the history of hatred and violence of any other group on earth during this same time period. But this history of hatred and violence is the history of the one to whom allegiance was given. It is the history of the master who was served–and of the master who was not served. It is also the history of personal and systemic false witness (pseudomartyria), and the history of teaching that a most grotesque form of evil is good, as good is revealed by Jesus.

ECM

Restore us, O Lord, that we may be restored. Renew our days as of old.
FAST FOOD: Sixteenth Helping

SO WHY?

When circumstances make it necessary, it is not prelates alone who have to watch over the Faith. – Pope Leo XII

When there is imminent danger for Faith, prelates must be questioned, even publicly, by their subjects. – St Thomas Aquinas

“According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which [the laity] possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful.” Code of Canon Law, 212 §3) [emphasis added]

Christian faithful either as lay persons alone or in an association with clerics, may organize in a “common endeavor to foster a more perfect life, to promote public worship or Christian doctrine, or to exercise other works of the apostolate.” (Code of Canon Law, 298 §1)

Such associations may be in light of the events of the historical moment a necessary step for participating in “the common priesthood of the faithful” and thus “in the one priesthood of Christ.” (The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, #10)

So why are there so few, instead of an uncountable multitude of Catholic associations–or Protestant, Orthodox or Evangelical associations–in existence insisting that the Church return to teaching what Jesus taught, Love your enemies, and stop teaching its opposite as fidelity to Jesus and His Way? Why is there not a profusion of denominational and ecumenical organizations persistently and emphatically calling on their Churches to cease and desist from the Orwellian charade of saying and teaching that killing, maiming, tormenting and destroying enemies under the auspices of one philosophical theory or another, e.g., some just war theory, is in accordance with faithful discipleship and primary allegiance to Jesus as Lord?

Is being truthful about what the teaching of Jesus is of such little consequence to the Christian and to the Churches, to the individual human being and to humanity as a whole, that its extreme opposite can be proclaimed as being in conformity with it? Is truth itself so inconsequential?

Could it be that so few associations as mentioned above exist in the Churches because the bishops, priests, ministers, pastors and prelates are giving the laity, whether conservative or liberal, exactly what they want, namely, a Christianity and Churches that do not teach what Jesus taught about violence and enmity? Is the problem that the laity, along with their bishops, priests, ministers, pastors and prelates, wholeheartedly do not want a Church that teaches and lives “Love your enemies” as the will of God as revealed by Jesus? Rather, laity and leadership wholeheartedly want a Church that teaches and lives “Love your enemies” as treason?

Of course if such were the case, the Churches of Christianity would then themselves ultimately be engaged in treason–High Treason, the highest form of treason, betrayal of the Lord Jesus, God incarnate.

If a bishop, priest, minister or pastor gives his or her Christian community exactly what it wants, a Jesus without “Love your enemies” or its moral equivalent, an Orwellian interpretation of Jesus’ “Love your enemies,” if indeed he or she would not have gotten their position unless they had at least implicitly agreed to do this and would lose their job if they dare do otherwise, is such an institutional Church “an extension of Christ in time and space” or is it an extension of the heinous in time and space? If a layperson or prelate is part of such an institutional Church, one that chronically and systematically engages in High Treason, and he or she does not expose and challenge it, is his or her silence sinful, that is, cooperation in High Treason?

Ignore the anthropomorphic symbolism by which the radical seriousness of the sin of treason is portrayed in one of the masterpieces of world literature, Dante’s Inferno, but note that the lowest place in hell is reserved for those who commit treason. Jesus knows the seriousness of betraying of one’s master, God. The U.S. Constitution and governments in general are well aware of the gravity of treason. But the Constantinian Churches, conservative and liberal, see no real problem, or if they do, it does not rise in them to such a level that it takes priority over improving the translations of liturgical text and other such important matters.

– ECM

Restore us, O Lord, that we may be restored. Renew our days as of old.
FAST FOOD: Seventeenth Helping

Non Serviam

Before we can honestly pray for the grace that ”Thy Kingdom come,” we must be sincerely willing to pray for the grace that, “My kingdom go.” Different kingdoms have different kings. And, a person cannot faithfully serve two masters. He or she cannot have two kings, both will ultimate authority, ruling his or her life. One will be obeyed and the other will be disobeyed when the conflict of each kingdom’s different desires, interests, means and ends arises.

The Kingdom of God can be established and sustained only by the means of the Kingdom of God. Those means are made known by Jesus in the Gospels. To the best of my knowledge no kingdom of this world, whether Rome, Russia, China, England, the United States, the Vatican City State, etc., has ever established or sustained itself by the means Jesus teaches as the means of the Kingdom of God.

Of course there have been legions who have proclaimed, “My kingdom is God’s Kingdom. We are a Christian nation. Gott mit uns.” To engage in such puerile poppycock one must believe that a nation is Christian because its rulers are baptized and/or most of its population is baptized. This is tantamount to professing, “We are a Christian brothel because all the madams, johns and staff are baptized.”

The reason Christians universally are repulsed by the idea of a Christian brothel is not only that they have they been clearly taught that lust and the spirit of lust are rejected by Jesus as part of His Way, but also that they have been accurately taught what a brothel is, how it operates, for what purpose it exists and the means that are employed to accomplish that purpose. Whereas the vast majority of Christians have not been clearly taught that violence and enmity are not part of Jesus’ Way, and have not been taught accurately what a state is and how it operates.

If a person has hammered into his or her brain from the cradle onward the local, glorious and benign, mythology about the local state and it rulers–and of course its great and noble adventures in mass slaughter (war)–and if this is coupled with no knowledge that Jesus teaches by word and deed a Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies, then I suppose it is possible to believe, even zealously believe, God’s Kingdom and my kingdom are one, or at least pretty darn close. If arsenic is propagandized as being no more dangerous than M&Ms, then there is no problem selling arsenic to children. But who in the world and in the Church is in charge of the process of selling arsenic–or worst than arsenic, violence, enmity and war–to children and adults as M&Ms?

Whoever it is they are about the business of manipulating people to say to God and His Kingdom, “Non serviam,” “I will not serve.” And, to simultaneously pledge allegiance to “my kingdom,” whatever “my kingdom” is, and to its ruler, whoever that may be.

“Non serviam,” in Christian theology and spirituality is a general expression of the basic manner of rejecting God, and thus has been attributed to Lucifer’s rejection of serving God and His Kingdom. For example, in Milton’s Paradise Lost, Lucifer’s sin is characterized by the fallen angel–whose name is interestingly, Mammon–obstinately stating that it is “Better to reign in hell, than serve in heaven.”

“Non serviam” has been the unspoken motto and incarnational choice of the Constantinian war, violence and enmity-justifying Churches since the Fourth Century. In a nutshell their incarnational choice has been to this day, “My kingdom come,” Thy Kingdom go.” Their operational theology has been that, “My kingdom come” and “Thy Kingdom come” are mutually complementary realities–and hence by serving my kingdom, I am serving Thy Kingdom. This is just, “Non serviam,” garnished in Orwellian doublespeak, in order to make it palatable and digestible to Christian consciousnesses and consciences that recite the “Our Father” and proclaim to themselves and to the world, “Jesus is Lord and God.”

The “Non serviam” of the Constantinian Churches, Church leaders and Church members is the greatest and most destructive tragedy to ever befall Christianity. If there is one greater, I would be happy to hear of it.

– ECM

Restore us, O Lord, that we may be restored. Renew our days as of old.
FAST FOOD: Eighteenth Helping

The defiant “Non serviam” of the war-violence-enmity justifying nationalistic Constantinian Churches, Church leaders and Church members is the greatest and most destructive tragedy to ever befall Christianity. – ECM

“Long ago I broke the yoke that oppressed you and tore away the chains of your slavery, but still you said, ‘I will not serve you.’ On every hill and under every green tree, you lay down as a prostitute by bowing down to idols.” – Jeremiah 2:20

Idolatry not only refers to false pagan worship. It remains a constant temptation to faith. Idolatry consists in divinizing what is not God. Man commits idolatry whenever he honors and reveres a creature in place of God, whether this be gods or demons (for example, satanism), power, pleasure, race, ancestors, the state, money, etc. Jesus says, “You cannot serve God and mammon.” Many martyrs died for not adoring “the Beast” refusing even to simulate such worship. Idolatry rejects the unique Lordship of God; it is therefore incompatible with communion with God.
– Catechism of the Catholic Church # 2113

The art of government is the organization of idolatry.
– George Bernard Shaw

It is the diabolical quality of the state that it wishes to be God.
– Rev. John L. McKenzie

– ECM

Restore us, O Lord, that we may be restored. Renew our days as of old.
FAST FOOD: Nineteenth Helping

Pro Deo* et Patria, or Non Deus* sed Patria,
or Contra Deus* et Patria?
(*If Jesus is the incarnation of God)

– ECM

Restore us, O Lord, that we may be restored. Renew our days as of old.
FAST FOOD: Twentieth Helping

“Ahab summoned all Israel to Mount Carmel, as well as the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah who eat at Jezebel’s tables. Elijah then appealed to all the people and said,’How long will you straddle the issue, hopping from one foot to the other. If the LORD is God, follow him; if Baal, follow him.’ The people, however, did not answer him.”
1 Kg 18:19-21

-ECM

Restore us, O Lord, that we may be restored. Renew our days as of old.
FAST FOOD: Twenty-first Helping

MACBETH

Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
-Shakespeare (1607)

DENIAL OF DEATH

Why exactly is the world so terrible for the human animal? Creatureliness is terror, to know that one is a worm and food for worms. This is the terror: to have emerged from nothing, to have a name, consciousness of self, deep inner feelings, an excruciating yearning for life, for self expression—and with all this to die. It seems like a hoax. Man is an animal consciousness of his animal limitations. Dread is the result of the perception of the truth of one’s condition. What does it mean to be a self-consciousness animal? The idea is ludicrous, if it is not monstrous. To fall into self-consciousness from comfortable ignorance in nature, had one great penalty for man: it gave him dread. Man cannot live heedless of his fate, nor can he take control over that fate and triumphant over it. Kierkegaard’s whole understanding of man’s character is that it is a structure built up by self and others to avoid perception of the “terror, perdition or annihilation that dwells next door to every man.”

This is why, to employ the insight of Freud, people constantly “give what is unreal precedence over what is real.” The real world is simply to terrible to admit; it tells the person that he is a small trembling animal, who will decay and die, and he is powerless to stop the process. Illusion, giving precedence to what is unreal over the real, changes all this. The masses look to the leader to give them just the untruth that they need to live securely and serenely. Augustine as a master analyst of this saw that man could strut and boast all he wanted but he really drew his “courage to be” from a god—a string of sexual conquest, a Big Brother, a flag, the proletariat or the fetish of money.

-Ernest Becker (1973)

OZYMANDIAS
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: `Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear —
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.’
-Percy Bysshe Shelley (1818)

MAYBE? MAYBE NOT?

Every stance is a posture, every face a pose. We are all victims of mirrors and mothers’ hopes. There is no purpose in it all, there is no master plan. Alcoholism, like accountancy or medicine is only somebody to be. As is the priesthood, the military and the law. When it is over the Dark Diceman comes to visit us all. Death is at the end of every street, no matter how you hedge or how you scramble, the greatest effort and the least is rewarded with gravel in the face. You won’t be back, so don’t kid yourself and neither will I.
-George Frazier, (1974)

HAMLET
To die, to sleep,
And by sleep to say we end
The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to: ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep;
To sleep, perchance to dream – ay, there’s the rub:
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause – there’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life.
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
The pangs of disprized love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Shakespeare (1599)

-ECM

Restore us, O Lord, that we may be restored. Renew our days as of old.
FAST FOOD: Twenty-Second Helping

JESUS I TRUST IN YOU.
REALLY?

“Elijah then appealed to all the people and said,”How long will you straddle the issue, hopping from one foot to the other. If the LORD is God, follow him; if Baal, follow him.” The people, however, did not answer him” I Kg 18:21.

Who or what can I trust in face of the dread-full, all-pervading, universal, human experience of vulnerability, which is intrinsically part of our existence, our consciousness of our being?

“A being-vulnerable” is what a human being is, as in fact are all forms of things in a universe where every thing perishes. The human being, however, is aware of his or her vulnerability. He or she knows rationally and emotionally the possibility of total annihilation, as well as, the possibility of evil and pain for oneself and/or for those whom one loves beyond the final breath of time. As psychologist-philosopher-physician William James notes at the beginning of the Twentieth Century, “There is a worm at the core of all our usual springs of delight… Let sanguine healthy-mindedness do its best with the strange power of living in the moment and ignoring and forgetting, still the evil background is really there to be thought of, and the skull will grin in at the banquet.” To be a human being, then, is to be a “being-threatened” from unknown, indeed incomprehensible, anti-life and anti-existence forces which no human being, nor all human beings combined, have the power to overcome.

Therefore the question “Who or what can I trust in face of the dread-full, all-pervading, universal, human experience of vulnerability?” exists for everyone who exists. No person is required to voice his or her answer to it to the outside world, as the people confronted by Elijah over their irrational ‘hopping” did not answer him. But, every person must answer the question, indeed will answer the question, to himself or to herself. Each person—by an act of faith—will place his or her ultimate trust in some idea of reality—whether he or she be Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, agnostic or atheist. From this act of faith in an idea of reality that is considered ultimately trust-worthy, he or she will logically and emotionally construct in time a way of life by which to move into a rationally unknown and unknowable future in time and after time.

For those who have heard of the Jesus of the Gospels and his Way as a possible person and way to move into an unknown and unknowable future, one of the below answers to the question, “Who or what can I trust,” must be their answer:

1) “Jesus I trust in you and your Way.”

2) “Jesus I trust in you and your Way, as altered by me and my way.”

3) “Jesus I trust in you, but not your Way.”

4) “Jesus I do not trust in you, but I do trust your Way.”

5) “Jesus I do not trust you or your Way.”

Answer #1 above is reasonably possible if Jesus is believed to be the Messiah (Christ) and/or the incarnation of God.

Answer # 2 is not reasonably possible if Jesus is believed to be the Messiah and/or incarnation of God.

Answer # 3 is not reasonably possible if Jesus is believed to be the incarnation of God.

Answer # 4 is not reasonably possible if Jesus is believed to be the Messiah and/or the incarnation of God.

Answer # 5 is not reasonably possible if Jesus is believed to be the Messiah and/or the incarnation of God.

So, doing my best to avoid self-deception, that is not to lie to myself, what is my truthful answer to the question, “Who or what can I trust in face of this dread-full, all-pervading, universal, human experience of vulnerability?”

-ECM

Restore us, O Lord, that we may be restored. Renew our days as of old.
FAST FOOD: Twenty-Third Helping

“Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God” (Jn 6: 68-69).

Does this mean that Jesus’ words—”Love your enemies,” “Love one another as I have loved you,” “Put up your sword,” “Teach them to obey all that I have commanded you,” “Seek first the Kingdom of God and its righteousness and all else will be given unto you,” “I want mercy, not sacrifice,” “Whatever you did to the least of my brothers and sisters you did into me,” “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” “Abba”— are the words of eternal life, are the Way of eternal life, are the will of God unto eternal life for each and all—and me?

Jesus said, “Whoever believes in me believes not only in me but also in the one who sent me, and whoever sees me sees the one who sent me…I do not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and speak. And, I know that his commandment is eternal life. So what I say, I say as the Father told me” (Jn 12: 44-45, 49-50).

Who or what can I trust, who is worthy of my trust, in face of the dread-full, all-pervading, universal, human experience of radical vulnerability of self and of loved ones to forces and powers beyond human comprehension or control? Certainly no one is worthy of such supreme trust who does not have the words of eternal life.

Do Jesus and His words deserve this supreme trust? Why? If they do, do any words inconsistent with His words deserve any trust?

-ECM

Restore us, O Lord, that we may be restored. Renew our days as of old.
FAST FOOD: Twenty-Fourth Helping

“Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God” (Jn 6: 68-69).

“First of all, carefully excite in yourself an habitual, affectionate will in all things to imitate Christ.” St. John of the Cross

‘”Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden light’ (Mt 11:29-30). What is this yoke, which instead of weighing is light, and instead of crushing lifts? The yoke of Christ is the law of love, it is His new commandment [‘I give you a new commandment; as I have loved you, so also you should love one another’ (Jn13:34-35).], which He left to his disciples; the true remedy for the wounds of humanity…It is therefore necessary to abandon the path of arrogance and violence. In human, interpersonal and social relations, the rule of respect and of nonviolence, that is, the force of truth, that is what can ensure a future worthy of man. Benedict XVI, July, 2011.

One of the novelties introduced by the new commandment — perhaps justifying its designation as New — is that Jesus introduces himself as the standard for love. The usual criterion was “as you love yourself,” as in the Ethics of Reciprocity, whereas this precept commands “as I have loved you,” in which Jesus cites himself as the model.
Wikipedia, The New Commandment

The entire Law of the Gospel is contained in the “new commandment” of Jesus, to love one another as he has loved us [emphasis added] Catechism of the Catholic Church, sec.1970.

“Our Father ‘desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth…not wishing that any should perish.’ His commandment is that you ‘love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.’ This commandment summarizes all the others and expresses his entire will” [emphasis added].
Catechism of the Catholic Church: Thy Will be Done on Earth as it is in Heaven, sec. 2822.

“Following Christ is the essential and primordial foundation of Christian morality. The morality of the New Covenant is dominated by the fundamental call of Jesus to follow Him…Jesus asks us to follow Him and to imitate Him along the path of love: ‘This is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you.’ The word ‘as’ requires imitation of Jesus and of His love. The word ‘as’ also indicates the degree of Jesus love and of the love with which His disciples are called to love. To imitate the Son, ‘the image of the invisible God’ (Col 1:15) means to imitate the Father.”
-John Paul II, The Splendor of Truth

Are these words of the “new commandment,” the “words of eternal life?” Are these words the words that should govern all acts—thoughts, words and deeds—of all Christians? Are these the very best words a person can follow on his or her odyssey across this stormy sea of time with its tears and traps, Sirens and Cyclopes into an unknown and unknowable future? Are these words that a human being can place his or her supreme trust in?

If these are words from Someone who is supremely trustworthy, and hence they are supremely trustworthy words, then it makes no difference whether a person is on a picket line or on an assembly line or on a bread line or just on-line, his or her thoughts, words and deeds are to be governed at all times by the words: “Love one another as I have loved you.” Indeed, if Jesus is trustworthy, these words are “the hidden treasure, the pearl of great price” (Mt 13:44-46) for which a person was searching, and when finally found, gives all that he or she has—even unto the supreme sacrifice of his or her life in order to love their enemies as Jesus loved His enemies—in order to have this pearl, this treasure, these words as his or her own. They are, therefore, words that can be trusted without reservation to be the Way to and the Reality of the Kingdom of God; a realm where there is no pain, no tears, no sorrow, no sighing, no evil, no death, no vulnerability, only everlasting life in its fullness. They are not a mere good or noble idea. They are “the words of eternal life,” yesterday, today and tomorrow, now and always and forever and ever.
-ECM
Restore us, O Lord, that we may be restored. Renew our days as of old.
FAST FOOD: Twenty-Fifth Helping

“There is a way that seems right to men and women, but in the end leads to death.”
(Prv14:12)

Who or what can be trusted without reservation to know the Way to the Kingdom of God, a realm where there is no pain, no tears, no sorrow, no sighing, no evil, no death, no vulnerability, only everlasting life in its fullness for me, for my loved ones and for all? Can God be trusted in this matter? Maybe not!

“It” is an indefinite pronoun signifying nothing by itself. “God” is an indefinite noun signifying nothing by itself. Of themselves they are rather useless sounds or scripts. They must somehow be given a content or at least a direction to look in for a content, before they can become instruments or symbols for human communication.

Since “God” is an indefinite noun signifying nothing by itself, it is a word ready-made for being filled up with whatever content a person or group wishes to bestow on it.

For example, but only one example, the “God” of the dollar bill’s “In God We Trust.”

Now, there on the dollar bill is the word “God” with a content. The dollar bill is a Federal Reserve Note used as a medium of exchange for goods and service. Its printing, value and use are back up by the military/police power of the US Government. As a piece of paper it has no more value than a bubble gum wrapper. But, as backed up by the organized violence of a government as a medium of exchange, it can procure anything this world has to offer. So, the word “God” in the phrase “In God We Trust” on a dollar bill means a God that supports what a dollar bill is, what it needs to exist and what it represents as a way of life. Since only nation-states mint money, God here signifies a God who can be trusted to support what a state is and does to be and to remain a state. In this particular instance it proclaims a God who can be trusted to supports what this particular state is and does to be a state. The thought that “In God We Trust” could means that we trust in a God who wants our state to perish, or to love its enemies, or to put up its sword does not enter into the content given the word “God” as the word is employed on the dollar bill.

Since “God” is a word with a wide open content, it is an avenue easily traveled by hucksters and con-artists to riches, power and prestige. It could reasonably be asked by what authority does anyone give such a content to the word “God”? Is the content of the word “God” decided by majority vote? By self interests? By cultural nurturing? By its longevity in a social unit? By having the power to impose a content on “God” through the threat of suffering and death? Does might make the right content of “God”? From whence do those giving this content to “God” derive their authority to do so, or validate the content they have given to “God” as actually being the content of God?

Think what a tragedy it would be to give one’s life over to trusting in some guy’s or gal’s ideas about the content of “God” that had no more basis in fact, no more validity, then their ideas on the anatomy of unicorns.

The God of the dollar bill may be exactly what God is. He or she or it maybe the God to trust to show each and all the way to be all that they can be and the Way to security and peace. But I cannot locate the source of this God’s divine bona fides—except that “In God We Trust,” was declared to be the motto of the USA by an act of Congress in 1956 and first put on a dollar bill in 1957. That a bunch of upper echelon politicians bestow on this content of God their imprimatur does not do much to convince me of the validity of their God-content or to move me to trust it or to give my life’s time over to it. I just cannot find the Shekinah dwelling in the dollar bill or in the content of the God behind the dollar bill. Therefore, I cannot trust the God proclaimed on the almighty dollar to have the words of eternal life, to know the Way to eternal life.

So, don’t trust “God” to show you the Way into a future of Shalom, until you find out what kind of God is the God that you are trusting, what this God views people and what is expected of people, and how this content of God was established and validated.

– ECM

Restore us, O Lord, that we may be restored. Renew our days as of old.
FAST FOOD: Twenty-Sixth Helping

“Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock it shall be open unto you” (Mt 7:7, Lk 11:9).

However, when you knock, you should ask to see Jesus, not His servants, friends, helpers or administrator, regardless of how much they insist they know Him, are close friends of His or that He is not available so you will just have to settle for them.

Something strange happens to people when they get to close to the throne, or even think they are close to the throne. Jesus anticipated that this could become a problem with those He had chosen. He addresses it directly in the story of the sons of Zebedee, James and John, who wanted the two places next to Him in His Kingdom (Mk 10:35ff; Mt 20:20ff).

People close to the throne, or who think they are, begin to think and act and even emote as if they were the king, the ruler, the lord. Unless someone keeps a tight rein on them, they will almost inevitably begin to issue decrees and directives on their own in the throne’s name. As we know Jesus is very, very big on giving people all the freedom they want. Because of this, such a problem could easily show itself, and even get completely out of hand, in the House of the Lord. Here are three examples of what I am speaking about:

Now the problem represented in these pictures is not an exclusively American Christian problem. It is a world-wide problem of those close to the throne, or those who think they are, issuing directives and communications in the name of the Nonviolent Christ the King who teaches a Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies—issuing directives and communications that in no way owe anything to what the King directed, lived and communicated as the Will of the Father of all or as the Way of peace.

Violence, enmity and deception are the mother’s milk of nation-states. They run on it. So how wrong, ugly, deceitful, dreadful and full of death is it when Christian leaders and Christians wrap a Christ-symbol in a nationalistic flag or drape a Christ-symbol with a nationalistic flag. The kingdoms of the world live by and must live by doing the opposite of what the Jesus of the Gospels teaches is the Way and Will of God. They live on doing what Jesus teaches is evil.

As Carl J. Friedrich, a close friend and colleague of Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski, and Eaton Professor of Government at Harvard University, writes on the last page of his book, The Pathology of Power, “Our analysis has, I hope, shown that politics needs all these dubious practices; it cannot be managed without violence, betrayal, corruption, secrecy and propaganda” (emphasis added). Unlike the state and unlike those who are near the throne, Jesus’ teaching is not “If you have enough fire power who needs martyrs.” Nor, is His teaching, “Martyrdom can wait until after the ammo runs out.” Likewise His teaching is not, “You are not here to die for your country you are here to make the other dumb SOB dies for his country.” He did not say, “Peter, get the other ear! Finish him off while he is down!”

These lyrics from a Tom Wolf song sum up what Nonviolent Jesus does not teach and what the present day Churches—Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Evangelical, liberal and conservative—do teach, even though they all teach, “Jesus is Lord.”

The Lord is my Shepherd,
I shall not want.
But just in case not,
I’m gonna get me a bomb.

How are those picture above, and what they represent, not false witness, images of deceit, religiously legitimatizing violence and enmity, indeed legitimatizing continuous and systematic violence and enmity, in the name of the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels? Of what profit are they to any soul, Christian or otherwise? They are the work of those near the throne, or of those who think they are near the throne. They are not the work of “the Lord of lords, the King of kings” (Rev 17:14)

“Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God” (Jn 6:68-69).

– ECM

Restore us, O Lord, that we may be restored. Renew our days as of old.
FAST FOOD: Twenty-Seventh Helping

“Purity of heart,” writes Kierkegaard, “is to will one thing.” Salvation then can be described as leaving behind the attempt to live by two thought systems which can never co-exist.

But, how do we know which thought system is to be lived by and which is to be left behind?

The litmus test for making the correct decision is “which thought system has ‘the words of eternal life.'” To choose the perishable over the imperishable would be irrational. It would be contrary to the intrinsic nature of being and being human. To understand this takes no great theological or philosophical skill. Wanting to be rather than not to be comes naturally with being a human being. As the philosopher Alfred North Whitehead phrased it, “Apart from God [the imperishable] activity is merely a passing whiff of insignificance.” An act—a freely chosen thought, word or deed—either has eternal significance or no significance. Since only God is eternal an act is either a choice in conformity with the activity of God or it is, to re-employ the words of Shakespeare from FAST FOOD Helping Twenty-One:

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

St. Paul knows well the dread, indeed the nausea, of activity that is a passing whiff of insignificance. He explicitly mentions, as examples, several such activities. They are activities that most people would conclude are full of significance, e.g., exquisite religious oratory, prophecy, social service in the extreme, martyrdom, faith enough to move mountains and knowledge. But, St. Paul says they are nothing and ultimately going nowhere in and of themselves.

However, Paul has also made his choice regarding which thought system(s) he is going to leave behind, and which he is going to live by because it contains the words of eternal life. And, this is exactly what he communicates in his famous passage on Christlike love (agape) in 1 Corinthian 13. Imbued by a choice made in freedom with this love, but only if so imbued with this love, acts such as exquisite religious oratory, prophecy, social service in the extreme, martyrdom, faith enough to move mountains and knowledge have eternal significance. Paul even audaciously proclaims that this Christlike love “never fails.” Those Christians who think and say Christlike love is effete, impractical and not realistic in the “real” world and therefore choose systems of thought contradictory to it, should perhaps take heed: “never fails.”

If the eternal “God is love/agape” (1Jn 4:8) and if Jesus is “the image of the invisible God” (Col 1:15), then it is the act of “loving as Jesus loves” (Jn 13:34-35) that has eternal significance, that is “the power and the wisdom of God” (1Cor 1:24) for the eternal salvation of one and all.

Needless to say, if Jesus lives and teaches a Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies, as He does, then the idea that there is some kind of violence and/or enmity that is Christlike love, redemptive, salvific, eternally significant or of God, e.g., violence ordered by a president, a general, a parliament, or an “angel of light” (2 Cor 11:14), is glaringly fallacious.

There are, of course, thought systems from which to choose other than the one Jesus presents—many others—that serve various ends. But, do those other thought systems contain the words of eternal life? Avoidance of self-deception is crucial in this discernment. A person, choosing what he or she knows in his or her heart of hearts are sham directions to eternal life for self and for all, is a person choosing a form of human and spiritual ruination of the highest order.

“Purity of heart is to will one thing.” Salvation, seeing God in an eternal face to face, can then be described as leaving behind the attempt to live by two thought systems—one that contains the words of eternal life and one that does not. Leaving behind two thought systems which can never co-exist.

“Blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see God” (Mt 5:8). The purity of heart of which Jesus speaks in the Sermon on the Mount is as far removed from thought systems and acts of violence and enmity as heaven is from hell.

– ECM

Restore us, O Lord, that we may be restored. Renew our days as of old.
FAST FOOD: Twenty-Eight Helping

The Christian leaves behind hopping between Gods
and between thought systems that can never co-exist.

In the Christian Faith God is of no importance unless God is of supreme importance. Likewise, since Jesus is the incarnation of God, Jesus is of no importance unless Jesus is of supreme importance. This means that faith in Jesus is a deep certainty that it is better to be a loser with Jesus than a winner without Jesus; that it is better to be a failure with Jesus than a success without Jesus; that it is better to be dead with Jesus than alive without Jesus. Therefore the Christian strives to follow Jesus and love as He loves (Jn 13: 34, 51:12) in his or her thoughts, words and deeds. If need be he or she is more than willing to accept, defeat, failure and death on a small scale or large scale rather than do otherwise. For he or she knows that God is love and where love is God is (1Jn 4), and that nothing more is needed (1 Cor 1:23-24). Indeed he or she is certain that without love all is just so much more of the sound and the fury signifying nothing (1 Cor 13).

“So long as any secular safeguard is retained, so long as any residual prudential secular guarantee is clung to, so long as the surrender is incomplete, fear still stands sentinel, and mistrust of the divine obtains.”
-William James

-ECM

Restore us, O Lord, that we may be restored.
Renew our days as of old.
FAST FOOD: Twenty-Ninth Helping

Between two or three Christian Mafia gangs, and the Mafia is 100% Baptized Christian, what should a Church’s and a Christian’s stance and position be? Support the Mafia gang of the local neighborhood? Support the Mafia outfit that will give the best deal to the neighborhood the Church is located in? Support the “family” whose godfather and dons have been most generous to the Church? Support the one that is more democratically operated than the other? Evaluate which Mafia group has more justice on its side in this particular murderous clash between groups and support that one? Let each Mafia gang decide the justice of its own cause and tell the Christians in its jurisdiction that they can follow Jesus by participating in or supporting a Mafia gangs violence as long as the group or the leader of the group has decide that the group’s cause is just? Supply priests and ministers to each group on every side, but with specific instructions not to say a word about the Mafia’s modus operandi: violence, enmity, deceitfulness, mercilessness, lust for power, greed, total unconcern about following Jesus and loving as Jesus loves? Try to be an arbitrator between the Mafia gangs so that life can get back to “normal,” doing “our thing” in peace in our territory? (Cosa nostra means “our thing” in Italian.) “Normal,” “our thing,” here means that they get back to their violence, enmity, deceitfulness, mercilessness, lust for power, greed and total unconcern about following Jesus and loving as Jesus loves?

The tenth of the “Ten Commandments of the Cosa Nostra” is this:
10. Anyone who has a close relative in the police, anyone who behaves badly and does not hold to moral values cannot belong to Cosa Nostra.

So again, between two or three Christian Mafia gangs, and the Mafia is 100% Baptized Christian, what should a Church’s and a Christian’s stance and position be? To help the Mafiosi in each gang not “behave badly” by Mafia standards? To help each Mafiosa while doing “our thing” “hold to moral values” that are some hybrid, illogical, cacophonous, conglomeration of ideas about good and evil that are the Way of the Beast under the cult and verbiage of the Way of Jesus?

I would suggest that the difference between God the Father and the Godfather is the difference between Christ and Caesar, Jesus and Cain, heaven and hell. “And never the twain shall meet”—regardless of what Constantinian prelates of distinction, milieu theologians and propagandists for “God and Country” erroneously trumpet as the truth of Jesus and His Way.

-ECM

P.S. From St. Augustine’s,THE CITY OF GOD, bk. IV, ch. 4:

“Without justice, what are kingdoms but great gangs of robbers? For what are gangs of brigands, but little kingdoms? The band of bandits itself is made up of men; it is ruled by the authority of a prince, it is knit together by the pact of the confederacy; the booty is divided by the law agreed on. If, by the admittance to it of desperate men, this evil increases to such a degree that it holds territory, fixes abodes, takes possession of cities, and subdues peoples, it assumes the name of a kingdom, because that reality is now manifestly conferred on it, not by the removal of avariciousness, but by the addition of impunity. Indeed, that was an apt and true reply which was given to Alexander the Great by a pirate who had been seized. For when that king had asked the man what he meant by keeping by armed hostilities possession of this part of the sea, the pirate answered with bold pride, “What do you mean by seizing the whole earth? Because I do it with a petty ship, I am called a robber, while you, who do it with a great fleet, are called emperor.”

Restore us, O lord, that we may be restored.
Renew our days as of old.
FAST FOOD: Twenty-Ninth Helping

Between two or three Christian Mafia gangs, and the Mafia is 100% Baptized Christian, what should a Church’s and a Christian’s stance and position be? Support the Mafia gang of the local neighborhood? Support the Mafia outfit that will give the best deal to the neighborhood the Church is located in? Support the “family” whose godfather and dons have been most generous to the Church? Support the one that is more democratically operated than the other? Evaluate which Mafia group has more justice on its side in this particular murderous clash between groups and support that one? Let each Mafia gang decide the justice of its own cause and tell the Christians in its jurisdiction that they can follow Jesus by participating in or supporting a Mafia gangs violence as long as the group or the leader of the group has decide that the group’s cause is just? Supply priests and ministers to each group on every side, but with specific instructions not to say a word about the Mafia’s modus operandi: violence, enmity, deceitfulness, mercilessness, lust for power, greed, total unconcern about following Jesus and loving as Jesus loves? Try to be an arbitrator between the Mafia gangs so that life can get back to “normal,” doing “our thing” in peace in our territory? (Cosa nostra means “our thing” in Italian.) “Normal,” “our thing,” here means that they get back to their violence, enmity, deceitfulness, mercilessness, lust for power, greed and total unconcern about following Jesus and loving as Jesus loves?

The tenth of the “Ten Commandments of the Cosa Nostra” is this:
10. Anyone who has a close relative in the police, anyone who behaves badly and does not hold to moral values cannot belong to Cosa Nostra.

So again, between two or three Christian Mafia gangs, and the Mafia is 100% Baptized Christian, what should a Church’s and a Christian’s stance and position be? To help the Mafiosi in each gang not “behave badly” by Mafia standards? To help each Mafiosa while doing “our thing” “hold to moral values” that are some hybrid, illogical, cacophonous, conglomeration of ideas about good and evil that are the Way of the Beast under the cult and verbiage of the Way of Jesus?

I would suggest that the difference between God the Father and the Godfather is the difference between Christ and Caesar, Jesus and Cain, heaven and hell. “And never the twain shall meet”—regardless of what Constantinian prelates of distinction, milieu theologians and propagandists for “God and Country” erroneously trumpet as the truth of Jesus and His Way.

-ECM

P.S. From St. Augustine’s,THE CITY OF GOD, bk. IV, ch. 4:

“Without justice, what are kingdoms but great gangs of robbers? For what are gangs of brigands, but little kingdoms? The band of bandits itself is made up of men; it is ruled by the authority of a prince, it is knit together by the pact of the confederacy; the booty is divided by the law agreed on. If, by the admittance to it of desperate men, this evil increases to such a degree that it holds territory, fixes abodes, takes possession of cities, and subdues peoples, it assumes the name of a kingdom, because that reality is now manifestly conferred on it, not by the removal of avariciousness, but by the addition of impunity. Indeed, that was an apt and true reply which was given to Alexander the Great by a pirate who had been seized. For when that king had asked the man what he meant by keeping by armed hostilities possession of this part of the sea, the pirate answered with bold pride, “What do you mean by seizing the whole earth? Because I do it with a petty ship, I am called a robber, while you, who do it with a great fleet, are called emperor.”

Restore us, O lord, that we may be restored.
Renew our days as of old.
FAST FOOD: Thirtieth Helping

God’s revelation of Himself in Jesus is a terrifying things, because we can no longer plead ignorance. A soldier is not trained to go out and die for his enemies. There is no redemptive purpose in soldiering, and there is no analogy in it with the incarnation or crucifixion. There is a headstone in Mississippi that reads: “Here lies J.H.S. In his life time he killed 99 Indians and lived in the blessed hope of making it 100 until he fell asleep in the arms of the Jesus.” Now you could kill 99 Indians in Mississippi and fall asleep in the arms of Jesus and be buried in a Baptist cemetery. But if you kill one white man in Mississippi, you fell asleep in the noose. It’s all right to drop a bomb on Hiroshima and on Nagasaki and obliterate 250,00 people of color, but kill just one American and you don’t get a medal like the fellow who dropped the atomic bomb—you get the electric chair. We have learned to limit our love to our race, to our own people, and we have been told killing is not murder beyond that. But Jesus takes us beyond.
-**Rev. Clarence Jordan (1912-1969)

It is not just a headstone in Mississippi that proclaims this hideous form of Christianity. This is the basic incarnational and pastoral theology operating in all the Constantinian War Churches. Change “Indians” to “rag-heads” or “gooks” or whatever the derogatory term is that a society and its military create for those they designate “enemy,” and the rest of the proclamation remains in place and acceptable for any Constantinian Church—including the part that reads: “until he fell asleep in the arms of Jesus.” It would not be an inaccuracy to rename the Constantinian War Churches, The Mississippi Headstone Churches.

“But our Christian boys and girls in our military don’t think and talk like that,” the local Christian Just Warist will protest. Please, let us not be infantile in our understanding of what the military and war are and what they do to human beings, whether they be Christians, Jews, Muslims or atheists. As the mother of a Vietnam veteran famously said to the reporter Seymour Hersh referring to the military: “I gave them a good boy and they sent me back a murderer.”

The propaganda from each state, and the War Churches within each state’s territorial jurisdiction, is that our boy and girls, our Christian boys and girls in the military, act differently in war than other boys and girls.They bring the higher morality of Christianity into war. What ignorance! What deceitfulness! What nonsense! In the actual moment of lethal combat in war, everyone plays by the same rules, whether Christian, Jew, Muslim or atheist. They play by the rules of the cornered rat with its claws bared. The cornered rat with its claws bared cannot under any rational interpretation of the life and teaching of Jesus be considered a valid symbol of Jesus, His Way and His Spirit. Death in the process of trying kill a soldier before he kills you is not the death of a nonviolent Person on the cross loving His lethal enemies. It is sorrowful state of affairs in the extreme in Jesus’ Churches, and a telling aspect of the dreadful cunning of the mystery of evil, that bishops, priests, ministers and pastors of the Christian War Churches systematically deceive their people on this matter. This is why Clarence Jordan wrote, “There is no redemptive purpose in soldiering, and there is no analogy in it with the incarnation or crucifixion.”

-ECM

Restore us, O Lord, that we may be restored. Renew our days as of old.

**(Clarence Jordan was a Baptist minister with a Bachelors Degree in Agriculture and a PhD in Greek, founder in 1942 of Koinonia Farm in Americus, GA, and co-founder of Habitat for Humanity, author of the Cotton Patch Gospel, and proclaimer—in season and out—of the Nonviolent Jesus and His Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies as the Way of Jesus and the Will of the Father of all.)
FAST FOOD: Thirty-First Helping

Since Christian Just War Theory cannot be found in Jesus teachings, the question is “Why didn’t Jesus include a just war theory or even a justified violence theory as part of His Way?” Did He not know about war? Or, did He not know that people made a distinction between justifies and unjustified violence? Perhaps, He knew it but just forgot to include it in His teaching? Maybe Jews at Jesus time did not know about or participate in wars and/or violent revolutions and/or lethal enmities, so Jesus would have been oblivious to these realities or the need to address them? If Jesus visibly returned to earth at this moment would He clear up the omission He made the first time around and teach a just war theory to His followers today?

If He did return and if He would teach a just war theory for His disciples, it could be called the Sermon on Capitol Hill. It would have to go something like this, if it were not to be in contradiction with the just war theory His Churches have been teaching since about three hundred years after He rose from the dead:

Blessed are they who engage in the mass slaughter of war only after the war is officially declared by their government.

Blessed are they who destroy sons and daughters of the “Father of all” only after calculating by some method that the hypothetical good results from a war outweigh the hypothetical evil results from a war.

Blessed are they who only maim and kill others for a just cause.

Blessed are they who use only just means to kill their fellow Christians and others in war.

Blessed are they who train to maim and kill others for their country or tribe.

Blessed are they who believe and teach, “If you want peace prepare for war.”

Blessed are they who ignore My teaching of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies when their country calls.

Blessed are they who kill only out of love.

Blessed are they who do not kill children and civilians except under the auspices of collateral damage.

Blessed are they who lay down their lives for their friends while trying to destroy the lives of others and their friends.

Blessed are they who know the way of peace is not what I previously taught.

Blessed are the Peacemakers: the Colt #45 Peacemaker, the Convair B-36 Peacemaker Bomber, the ICBM, LGM-118A, MX Peacemaker Missile, the 12 inch (300 mm) Naval Gun, Peacemaker.

Of course, this is all nuts! If one condemns lust as not being of God, then it automatically and logically follows that one equally rejects operating a brothel as being contrary to the will of God. If one reject violence, enmity, revenge, retaliation and mercilessness as part of His Way, then one must automatically and logically renounce war as part of that Way, because such acts are intrinsic and irremovable substance of war. Jesus would no more be teaching a just war theory to His apostles and disciples today, than He did two thousand years ago.

So then, how is it that those who have been explicitly commissioned by Jesus to “Teach them to obey all that I have commanded you” (Mt 28:20)—bishops, priests, ministers, pastors—can be teaching such a contradictory morality in His name, thereby becoming part of the process that sends Christian boys and girls off to kill people in wars believing it is what Jesus approves of, justifies and teaches?

There is only one answer left for how bishops, priests, ministers and pastor can logically teach in the name of Jesus not only what Jesus never taught and never would teach, but also what is contradictory to what He did teach to His disciples: They think they know better than Jesus. And, if like the children of Hamelin, practically the entire Christian community follows the tune of these clerical pied pipers, that must mean that most Christians also think that they or the pastors of their institutional Churches know better than Jesus.

What a marvelous witness this stance is to Jesus being the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of the living God, the Word (Logos) of God incarnate, the Savior of the world, Lord! How impressive, and magnetically attracting to Christianity, it must be for non-Christians (82% of humanity) to observe practically all the leaders and all the people, who say they believe that Jesus is Lord, God and Savior of the world, not following a clear and unambiguous teaching of His because they think they know a better way!

Is it possible that the so-called “new evangelization” that the Church and humanity are in dire need of has absolutely nothing to do with pumping tens of millions of dollars into the coffers of public-relation firms, media consultants, logo designers, etc., so that they can sell Jesus, His Way and His Church like they sell soap or toothpaste?

Is it possible that the most powerful evangelization means available to the Church is fidelity to the obvious. Fidelity to the obvious at exactly the point where infidelity to the obvious has made Christianity another one of the bloody butcher religions of the world, and has made Jesus, the Messiah, the Word (Logos) of God “made flesh,” the Way, the Truth and the Life, unbelievable to most of humanity.

-ECM

Restore us, O Lord, that we may be restored. Renew our days as of old
FAST FOOD: Thirty-Second Helping

The Church has no commission and no particular competence to tell any state how many and what kind of rocks it can morally possess to throw at other states. Not that states pay the slightest bit of attention, or should pay the slightest bit of attention, to bishops or Church statements concerning the “quality” and quantity of weapons a state may possess and employ. States give about as much credence to how bishops or Churches say they should develop, maintain and use their arsenal of weapons in order to be victorious over their opponents as a professional baseball team gives credence to how a bishop or a Church says it should develop, maintain and use its arsenal of hitters to be victorious over its opponents.

Everyone knows that Jesus did not teach a Way where people could have rocks to throw at each other for the purpose of either actually throwing them or threatening to throw them if provoked.Therefore He could not have taught a Way that includes and designates how many and what kind of rocks nation-states can morally have to throw at other states.

There are those who would say that Christian Just War Theory (CJWT) is better than nothing. It is not! First, because there is in fact something that Christ-God said His Apostles and Church should be teaching and living that contradicts what CJWT requires that Christians teach and live. Second, because CJWT gives moral consent to all forms and acts of war which it does not condemn but which are equally opposed to what Jesus taught as His Way and the Will of the Father, that is to be done on earth as it is in heaven. Third, substituting CJWT for Jesus’ teaching of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies is false witness (pseudomartyria) and therefore anti-evangelical in the extreme because it proclaims loud and clear, “Jesus, I do not trust you. I know better than you.”

Christian Just War Theory (CJWT) is a theological theory for determining when and under what conditions Christians can start throwing rocks at each other or at non-Christians, and still be doing what Jesus wants them to do. It is the biggest and most ruinous boondoggle ever foisted by the ecclesiastical and secular powers-that-be on those who have been called to “love as Jesus loves” and to follow Him as their Lord, God and Savior. It is a recruiting ruse conjured up by institutional Church CEOs and secular CEOs in bed with each other. It is a ploy by which that vast pool of young Christian boys and girls, who have placed their trust in the Church’s pastors to properly teach them about Jesus and His Way, can be suckered into doing what Jesus would never do—the acts required of those who engage in war.

Never-ending CJWT academic discussions over the Christian morality of this or that weapon or weapons’ system, as well as, the occasional “strong stance” against this weapon or that weapons’ system are just part of the choreographed theatre of the ploy. Nation-states and their rulers in practice pay no attention to these discussions or stances, but go along with the process to keep the charade in place whereby they can have unfettered access to young Christians for purposes of recruiting them into their mass slaughter schemes with the blessing of the Church and under the auspices that they are following in the Way of the Lord.

The Church and its bishops and pastors are explicitly,and imperatively commissioned by Jesus to teach what Jesus taught and to teach the Baptized to obey all He taught (Mt 28:20). When they start telling the manager of the Red Sox which hitters he can use and cannot use and when he can use them to beat the other team, the Church and the bishops are out of their league, and possess no more competence than any other Red Sox fan. Of course pontificating on that which they have no particular competence, keeps bishops and pastors from having to face the difficult task of speaking from the commission and competence they do possess, and teaching those in their Christian community who do not want to hear it, that Jesus taught a Way of Nonviolent love of friends and enemies by word and deed—unto being murdered by crucifixion at the hands of His enemies, the religious and secular CEOs of His time and place.

ECM

Restore us, O Lord, that we may be restored. Renew our days as of old.
FAST FOOD: Thirty-Second Helping

The Church has no commission and no particular competence to tell any state how many and what kind of rocks it can morally possess to throw at other states. Not that states pay the slightest bit of attention, or should pay the slightest bit of attention, to bishops or Church statements concerning the “quality” and quantity of weapons a state may possess and employ. States give about as much credence to how bishops or Churches say they should develop, maintain and use their arsenal of weapons in order to be victorious over their opponents as a professional baseball team gives credence to how a bishop or a Church says it should develop, maintain and use its arsenal of hitters to be victorious over its opponents.

Everyone knows that Jesus did not teach a Way where people could have rocks to throw at each other for the purpose of either actually throwing them or threatening to throw them if provoked.Therefore He could not have taught a Way that includes and designates how many and what kind of rocks nation-states can morally have to throw at other states.

There are those who would say that Christian Just War Theory (CJWT) is better than nothing. It is not! First, because there is in fact something that Christ-God said His Apostles and Church should be teaching and living that contradicts what CJWT requires that Christians teach and live. Second, because CJWT gives moral consent to all forms and acts of war which it does not condemn but which are equally opposed to what Jesus taught as His Way and the Will of the Father, that is to be done on earth as it is in heaven. Third, substituting CJWT for Jesus’ teaching of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies is false witness (pseudomartyria) and therefore anti-evangelical in the extreme because it proclaims loud and clear, “Jesus, I do not trust you. I know better than you.”

Christian Just War Theory (CJWT) is a theological theory for determining when and under what conditions Christians can start throwing rocks at each other or at non-Christians, and still be doing what Jesus wants them to do. It is the biggest and most ruinous boondoggle ever foisted by the ecclesiastical and secular powers-that-be on those who have been called to “love as Jesus loves” and to follow Him as their Lord, God and Savior. It is a recruiting ruse conjured up by institutional Church CEOs and secular CEOs in bed with each other. It is a ploy by which that vast pool of young Christian boys and girls, who have placed their trust in the Church’s pastors to properly teach them about Jesus and His Way, can be suckered into doing what Jesus would never do—the acts required of those who engage in war.

Never-ending CJWT academic discussions over the Christian morality of this or that weapon or weapons’ system, as well as, the occasional “strong stance” against this weapon or that weapons’ system are just part of the choreographed theatre of the ploy. Nation-states and their rulers in practice pay no attention to these discussions or stances, but go along with the process to keep the charade in place whereby they can have unfettered access to young Christians for purposes of recruiting them into their mass slaughter schemes with the blessing of the Church and under the auspices that they are following in the Way of the Lord.

The Church and its bishops and pastors are explicitly,and imperatively commissioned by Jesus to teach what Jesus taught and to teach the Baptized to obey all He taught (Mt 28:20). When they start telling the manager of the Red Sox which hitters he can use and cannot use and when he can use them to beat the other team, the Church and the bishops are out of their league, and possess no more competence than any other Red Sox fan. Of course pontificating on that which they have no particular competence, keeps bishops and pastors from having to face the difficult task of speaking from the commission and competence they do possess, and teaching those in their Christian community who do not want to hear it, that Jesus taught a Way of Nonviolent love of friends and enemies by word and deed—unto being murdered by crucifixion at the hands of His enemies, the religious and secular CEOs of His time and place.

ECM

Restore us, O Lord, that we may be restored. Renew our days as of old.
FAST FOOD: Thirty-Third Helping

“In the beginning was the Word (Logos), and the Word (Logos) was with God, and the Word (Logos) was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through Him and without Him nothing came to be…and the Word (Logos) became flesh and dwelt among us.”
-John 1:1ff

Modifying the first verse of the Book of Genesis, John began the
prologue of his Gospel with the words: “In the beginning was the
logos.” God acts with logos. Logos means both reason and word — a
reason which is creative and capable of self-communication, precisely
as reason. John thus spoke the final word on the biblical concept of God. “In the beginning was the logos, and the logos is God,” says the Evangelist. Not to act reasonably (with logos) is contrary to the nature of God…The will to be obedient to the truth reflects one of the basic tenets of Christianity.
-Benedict XVI, September 12, 2006

Can the Logos be illogical? No! Can the Logos present and/or embody and/or command logically incompatible statements or acts as the truth? No! Can the Logos defy or abandon the primal logical principle, the principle of non-contradiction, which states, “Between two logical and meaningful propositions “X” and “not X” there is no middle ground. If one is true the other is false” ? No! Why? Because, as John Paul II points out in Fides et Ratio “The unity of truth is a fundamental premise of human reasoning, as the principle of non-contradiction makes clear.” He continues, “Revelation renders this unity certain, showing that the God of creation is also the God of salvation history. This unity of truth, natural and revealed, is embodied in a living and personal way in Christ, as the Apostle reminds us: ‘Truth is Jesus’ (cf. Eph 4:21; Col 1:15-20). He is the eternal Word (Logos) in whom all things were created, and He is the incarnate Word (Logos) who in his entire person reveals the Father (cf. Jn 1:14,18).” This means that the Word that is the Source from which issued the universe is the Word that is the Source from which issued the Sermon on the Mount.

If Jesus, the Word of God, the Logos, the definitive communication of God and God’s will to humanity, teaches “ X” is God’s will,” then “not X” cannot be God’s will. It is either “Love your enemies” or “Kill and maim your enemies;” “Follow me” or “Follow General Patton;” “Love one another as I have loved you” or “Do not love one another as I have loved you;” “Peter, put up your sword” or “Peter, cut off the other ear.” There is no and/both logically available here. Again, between two logical and meaningful propositions “X” and “not X” there is no middle ground. If one is true the other is false. The Logos does not traffic in the logically contradictory. If God says, “X is good,” on Monday, God cannot and does not ever say, “X is evil,” on Tuesday—or vice versa.

So, doing my best to avoid self-deception, that is not to lie to myself, what is my truthful answer to the question: “What is the teaching of Jesus regarding His Way and the Will of the Father that is to be done on earth as it is in heaven: The Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies or Christian Just War Theory? The Word (Logos) of God incarnate, Jesus, cannot have taught both as His Way and the Will of the Father of all.

-ECM

Restore us, O Lord, that we may be restored. Renew our days as of old.
FAST FOOD: Thirty-Fourth Helping

Natural Law Christian Just War Theory Is Oxymoronic

The Source (God) of the order of nature and the Source of humanity is also the Source of the order of moral conduct—natural law morality. In human beings natural law then is the eternal law implanted by the One “through whom all things are made” in beings endowed with reason and free will. Human beings, to the extent they are free, may participate or refuse to participate in this Divinely sourced order of existence. Different consequences—temporal and eternal—follow for self and community depending upon which choice is made.

St. Thomas Aquinas teaches that, “Natural Law is nothing other than the eternal law in rational creatures.” St. Augustine defines natural law as “the reason or the will of God who commands us to respect the natural order and forbids us to disturb it.”

On the surface it would seem it would be self-evident to all Christians that if Jesus is the Word (Logos) of God Incarnate, “by whom all things are made” (Jn 1:3), then there can be no contradiction between what Jesus, the Word (Logos) of God, taught is the Will of God when on earth and the “natural law or eternal law in rational creatures” which was brought into time from eternity by this same Word (Logos). It would also seem that it should be self-evident to the Christian that if he or she—regardless of his or her ministry or rank in the Church—“discovered” natural law principles and/or practices that were contradictory to Jesus’ teachings, he or she, as creature before the Creator, would bow to the wisdom of the Word (Logos) of God Incarnate, accept that his or her reasoning process was flawed and follow the teaching of Jesus.

For example, if by some interpretation of natural law morality a Christian were to arrive at the conclusion that those acts that are irremovably intrinsic to war, e.g., sticking a dagger in a person’s throat, burning a human being to death, are morally justified and permissible for a Christian—they could not but know as Christians who have read or heard the Gospels—that these are acts that it is logically impossible to see Jesus ever engaging in or teaching His followers to engage in. That to even think one could “love as Jesus loves” doing such things is ludicrous. That such acts are in direct contradiction of the Way He taught His disciples to live cannot be missed by the simplest souls, Christian or non-Christian.

If the Christian nevertheless went forward in the name of natural law to justify these acts as morally consistent with the Will of God, rather than accepting that his or her reasoning was somehow flawed, he or she would practically be denying the Incarnation, that “the Word (Logos) became flesh” in the person of Jesus. For such a stance would be saying that the Logos can be and can function illogically by teaching “between two logical and meaningful propositions “X” and “not X” both are true, instead of one being true and the other being fallacious. “X” and “not X” here being the Will of the Father. This, of course, would mean that they are justifying some interpretation of natural law morality, whose Source is the Word (Logos) of God, the opposite—namely killing and maiming enemies—of what the Word (Logos) of God did, justified and taught when He “dwelt among us.”

Yet, didn’t we hear Benedict XVI say, “Not to act reasonably (syn logos) is contrary to the nature of God.” And, did we not hear his predecessor, John Paul II, point out in Fides et Ratio, “The unity of truth is a fundamental premise of human reasoning, as the principle of non-contradiction makes clear. Revelation renders this unity certain, showing that the God of creation is also the God of salvation history. This unity of truth, natural and revealed, is embodied in a living and personal way in Christ, as the Apostle reminds us: ‘Truth is Jesus’ (cf. Eph 4:21; Col 1:15-20). He is the eternal Word (Logos) in whom all things were created, and He is the incarnate Word (Logos) who in his entire person reveals the Father (cf. Jn 1:14,18).”

This means that the Word (Logos), that is the Source from which issues natural law, the laws of nature and the universe itself, is the same Word (Logos), that is the Source from which issues the Sermon on the Mount. Now, am I as a Christian going to choose my concupiscence-riddled interpretation of the Will of God based on my interpretation of natural law over what the Source of natural law, indeed, we could say, Natural Law Incarnate, said is the Will of God, when He walked and talked and lived and died among us as a human being, “like us in all things but sin.”

Such a choice—choosing the creature’s interpretation of natural law over the interpretation of natural law explicitly given by the Word (Logos) of God, the Author of natural law— is madness in reason’s mask. And, what it has always led to for the last 1700 years of Christianity has been madness in reason’s mask being enfleshed as the holy and justified human slaughter and degradation of other human beings by those who call Jesus, the Word (Logos) of God and their Lord.

The Sermon on the Mount, with its teaching of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies, is the authoritative and normative interpretation of natural law morality because both the Sermon and the natural law are authored by the same Person, the Word (Logos) of God, Nonviolent Jesus of Nazareth. Natural Law Christian Just War Theory is an essentially erroneous interpretation of natural law for any Christian who believe Jesus is the Word (Logos) of God who became a human being. “Let there be light” and “Love you enemies” were spoke by the same Person, “the Light that shines in the darkness.”

– ECM

Restore us, O Lord, that we may be restored. Renew our days as of old.
FAST FOOD: Thirty-Fifth Helping

“The mind is below truth, not above it, and is bound, not to descant upon it, but to venerate it. Truth and falsehood are set before us for the trial of our hearts.” -John Henry Cardinal Newman

Past untruth now known to be untruth—whether it was the product of ignorance, error, malice or some combination thereof—cannot serve as the standard for a morally permissible choice by the Christian in the present. The fact that Catholics and other Christians in the past taught and practiced the moral permissibility, indeed the spiritual salubriousness, of burning Jews, heretics, witches and homosexual at the stake for six hundred years does not make, cannot make, such homicidal acts morally, logically, spiritually or theologically consistent with the Way of Jesus and the Will of the Father of all as revealed by Jesus, the Word (Logos) of God, in the Gospels or in Natural Law.

The Dogmatic Constitution on Revelation of Vatican II, Sections 18 and19, teaches: “The Gospels are the principle witness of the life and teaching of the incarnate Word, our Savior. They are of Apostolic origin. For what the Apostles preached in fulfillment of the commission of Christ [Mt 28:20], they themselves and the apostolic men under the inspiration of the divine Spirit, handed on to us in writing: the foundation of faith, namely, the fourfold Gospel, according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. These four Gospels just named faithfully hand on what Jesus Christ, while living among men, really did and taught for their eternal salvation.”

This means that before the Gospels were written down they existed as the original Holy Tradition of the Church that faithfully passed on Jesus’ teaching. And, that once written they were equally the authentic, truthful carriers of that Tradition and the truth that Jesus taught and lived. Therefore no tradition—whether it be cognitive, emotional or incarnational— logically inconsistent with the Gospels can be Holy Tradition, capital “T.” Such a tradition, small “t” may exist in some places at some times in the Church as custom and practice, but it cannot be Holy Tradition. It cannot be Holy Tradition not only because what it teaches as the truth of Jesus is contrary to Jesus’ teaching in the Gospels, but also, because the Gospels are the authentic written presentation of the original Holy Tradition that preceded their composition. To make a tradition, that is logically incompatible with the original Apostolic Tradition a Holy Tradition, would be to create a tradition of truth that contradicted itself, that violates the logical principle of non-contradiction.

The fact of past practice and acceptance, or the length of time that a particular activity has been accepted as a moral truth that a Christian could adhere to, has some pertinence in determining if the accepted truth is in fact Gospel truth. But neither past practice nor the longevity of acceptance of an idea or activity as morally consistent with the Way of Jesus and the Will of the Father can override the principle of non-contradiction—the Word of God is Logos. Or, in the words of Benedict XVI, “Not to act reasonably (with logos) is contrary to the nature of God.” This means it is contrary to what is genuinely Holy.

Once the Christian sees that burning human beings at the stake—or anything else—is logically contradictory to what Jesus taught by word and deed as His Way and the Will of the Father in the Gospels, then the follower of Jesus must immediately cease and desist from such acts. And, this is so regardless of how many Christians in the past engaged in and justified such activity, regardless for how long they engaged in it, regardless of the stature of those inside or outside the Church who justified it and regardless of whether the activity still prevails in the Church.

“If a truth is known today, then today begin to live it.” -St. Edith Stein

“There exist a prior moral obligation and a grave one at that, to seek the truth and to adhere to it once it is found…The human being may be defined as the one who seeks truth. The thirst for truth is so rooted in the human heart that to be obliged to ignore it would cast our existence into jeopardy.”
-John Paul II

“Truth and falsehood are set before us for the trial of our hearts.”
-John Henry Cardinal Newman

-ECM

Restore us, O Lord, that we may be restored. Renew our days as of old.”
FAST FOOD: Thirty-Sixth Helping

When a person who is honestly mistaken hears the truth, he or she will either quit being mistaken, or cease to be honest.

This pie-chart gives us a limited amount of factual information from the U.S. census but explains quite a few matters, and opens up many, many questions for those with eyes to see and a mind to understand.

One of the matters it explains is why the state-military-corporate complex invests so heavily in doing all they possibly can do to poison the minds of Christians toward the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels and His Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies. If 75% of the people that are needed to do your killing and to pay for it were faithful followers of the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospel and His Way of Nonviolent Love unto death, where would the human and monetary resources come from to maintain and to enhance the present operations of these three institutions in the manner to which they have become accustomed to?

The military does not pour hundreds of millions of dollars yearly into Christian universities, colleges, high schools and even elementary schools because it really believes what Jesus taught and wants it known. It does not purchase advertising space in Christian magazines, journals, sporting events, newspapers, children’s publications, etc., because it wants Christians to be attracted to Sermon on the Mount. Au contraire. Its purpose is to cloud, minimize and distort the interpretation, meaning and seriousness the actual teaching of the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels.

Of course the military does not openly say this or crudely implement it. The process of effectively doing this today is as well researched and as sophisticated as money can buy. But, even just one military recruiting advertisement in a formal Christian setting that shows the picture of a combat soldier ready for battle with the words “Be all you can be” emblazoned on the ad, communicates to any Christian who sees it that this must be okay for a follower of Jesus to do. After all, they do not recruit for working in an abortion clinic or a brothel in Christian media or at Christian educational institutions. The advertisements, the puff pieces in school magazines about the military or someone in it, ROTCs, Jr. ROTCs, taking military money for this, that and the other thing, honoring military big shots, military Masses, etc., are each more effective in telling Christians that Jesus’ Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies is not the truth of Jesus that Christians are called to faithfully adhere to, than are a thousands sermons and essays that communicate that Jesus meant what He said.

Question: If you are a top honcho in the government, the military or the corporate world (or all three) and three quarters of the people you needed, to kill and maim people in order to protect you, the status quo that serves you so well and your agenda, were Christians, would you not try to kill any consciousness of the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels and his Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies in them?

But, major corporations match the military stride-for-stride in working like the devil to keep the truth of the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels and his Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies out of consciousness or out of serious consideration. If a Christian university or college or publication or Church institutionally and systematically supports denying, dismissing, diminishing, denigrating or distorting the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels and His Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies, and in its place propagates a violence-justifying and war-justifying Jesus and Gospel, it will be lavished with corporate largess, e.g. Notre Dame, Georgetown, Boston College, etc., etc., etc.

The demographics and examples employed here are from the United States. But this is a worldwide Christian phenomena and tragedy. Anglican England, Orthodox Russia are as deeply in the belly of this anaconda from hell as is Catholic America or Protestant America. In all such cases the bishops and leaders of the various Churches have sold out to the snake, those whom they have been explicitly commissioned by the Nonviolent Jesus “to teach them to obey all that I have commanded you” (Mt 28:20). They have in the past wholeheartedly cooperated with the poisoning of the minds of their own Christian people toward the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels and toward His Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies—and they eagerly and enthusiastically continue to do so on a grand scale down to this very day.

But, as long as the state-military-corporate complex continues to dole out billions of dollars a year to keep the Nonviolent Jesus and His Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies out of the Churches, as well as, out of sight and out of mind of the average Christian, bishops and other Church leaders will continue to stifle, and stamp out if possible, in every institutional manner they can, all but the most hackneyed references to the Nonviolent Jesus and His Way of Nonviolent Love.

The battle is for the minds and hearts of the Christian people. It is over the truths and loves to which they will commit their lives, which in turn will determine what they will think, say, do and become as individuals and as communities, as well as, what they will not think, say, do and become as individuals and as communities. It is on this that the state-military-corporate complex is spending billions of dollars a year bribing Church leaders to squelch any and all talk about the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels and His Way of Nonviolent love of friends and enemies.

– ECM

Restore us, O Lord, that we may be restored. Renew our days as of old.
FAST FOOD: Thirty-Seventh Helping

Remember:
August 6

Throughout the world August 6 is rightfully remembered as the day that humanity entered into a never-before-seen form of homicidal violence—the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Unlike the Fourth of July in the United States, Independence Day, or the Fourteenth of July in France, Bastille Day, August 6 is a planetary day of remembrance. What is done on that day in 1945 is utterly new in human history—death finds a new doorway into life. So we remember.

But, we forget. We forget that on August 6, 1890 another never-before-seen form of homicidal violence entered human history—death by the electric chair. On that day William Kemmler, age 30, an illiterate alcoholic from the slums of Buffalo, NY, and a convicted murderer is executed by electricity at Auburn State Prison in New York. Something utterly new enters human history—death finds a new doorway into life. But, we do not remember. Why?

Certainly the first use of the “killing chair,” as it was then called, is as much a story of horrifying violence and deceit, of giant intellects operating through moral dwarfs, of money, and the callousness of big-time government officials and businessmen as is the first use of the atomic bomb. In 1890 Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse are in the middle of an economic-political fight that became known as the “War of the Currents.” Edison wants the country to adopt his system for electricity distribution, which is termed direct current (DC). Westinghouse sees that his interests require that the country adopt alternating current (AC). As the benefits of AC become apparent, e.g., easier and cheaper to transmit over long distances, Edison decides to discredit AC on the basis that it is extremely dangerous to use. To showcase this danger he electrocutes dogs, horses and calves in public with AC. Then he tells his audience how effective AC would be for a killing chair. He lobbies politicians and prison officials of the State of New York to use AC in order to produce “instantaneous death” in an electrified chair.

Westinghouse sees exactly what Edison is up to and refuses to sell his AC generators to New York State. Edison helps the State of New York procure a used Westinghouse AC generator from Brazil. Westinghouse counters by hiring a high-priced lawyer, W. Bourke Cockran, to appeal William Kemmler’s case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The ground for this appeal is that the electric chair violates the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits the infliction of “cruel and unusual punishments.” However the highly learned members of the Court decide that there is nothing cruel about this type of execution. They also decide it is not unusual—although it has never been done before. William Kemmler is sent off to be killed.

On the morning of August 6, 1890 a lamp on a panel lights up on the Westinghouse generator at Auburn State Prison indicating that it has reached two thousand volts—which has been scientifically determined to be the optimal voltage for executing a human being. The switch is pulled by a man named Edwin Davis and electricity courses through William Kemmler for 17 seconds. When it is over Albert Southwick, a leader in the killing chair movement, exclaims, “There is the culmination of ten years work and study.” The electric chair is a mini-Manhattan Project brought to successful completion!

However, a problem exists. William Kemmler is not dead. Government officials in a panic try to turn the Westinghouse generator back on, but cannot. It requires time to recharge to 2000 volts. Meanwhile, William Kemmler, who has turned bright red during his “electrocution,” is in agony, groaning and frantically gasping for breath. He has of course urinated and defecated all over himself, since it is not known at this time that those to be executed in this manner must wear diapers. The New York Herald describing this scene reports that “strong men fainted and fell on the floor.” When turned back on, the current is kept rushing through Kemmler’s body for over a minute. The next day newspaper stories tell how smoke rose from Kemmler’s head, the smell of burning flesh permeated the room, a curious crackling sound was heard by all witnesses and flames shot from his mouth. Although there is considerable public outcry, it does not move the legislature to repeal the electrocution law nor does it move the Supreme Court to see anything cruel and unusual in it.

Edison now has a ghoulish public relations field day warning people of the clear and scientifically proven dangers of Westinghouse’s alternating current, which has proved itself only good for “electricide.” He cleverly embellishes his negative public relations campaign against AC by suggesting that criminals condemned to death by electrocution should be said to be “westinghoused” or “condemned to the westinghouse.”

In the War of the Currents Edison wins the battle of August 6, 1890 but Westinghouse wins the war. AC becomes the household standard. However, this is morally irrelevant. What is morally relevant is that Edison, like his counterparts 55 years later, on August 6, 1945, chooses to place a great gift of intellect at the service of homicidal violence. He has, in the self-excoriating words of Robert Oppenheimer, The Father of the Atomic Bomb, “become death, the destroyer of worlds.”

Perhaps on each August 6 it would be appropriate, along with remembering the victims and executioners of August 6, 1945, to remember the victim and executioners of August 6, 1890. Perhaps it would be good to remember on each August 6 that the executioners of that day are not just the crew of the Enola Gay or the switch-puller Edwin Davis, but all—including some of the brightest people the world has ever produced—who freely participated in the long chain of choices without which August 6, 1945 and August 6, 1890 could not have entered history as they did. Finally, it may be spiritually sound and humanly helpful to specifically remember the individual human being, William Kemmler, on that day when two utterly new forms of high-intelligence, high-tech homicidal violence tear into the human community.

William Kemmler about to be agonizingly electrocuted, August 6, 1890.

I make this last observation because in the end homicidal violence cuts into life one unique, fragile, pain-absorbing person at a time—even when hundreds of thousands are killed on a battlefield. As the observation attributed to Stalin says, “One death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.” True enough, “just statistics,” because of the mechanisms that society and its institutions—including religious institutions—employ to nurture psychic numbing and indifference to the mass killing of human beings by governments and successful violent revolutions. But, whether on the blood-drenched fields of Gettysburg, or in the vermin infested trenches on the Somme, or inside a burning tank or home in Baghdad, each unique person dies his or her own private death, every bit as much as did William Kemmler. It should be a human imperative of truth and morality to always and everywhere acknowledge and emphasize this fact, and thereby foster that level of empathy whose fruit will be an ever-growing moral certainty regarding the intrinsic perniciousness and perversion of all forms of homicidal violence—legal or illegal, romantic or sordid.

If the spirit of homicidal violence had but one victim in human history, it would be no less monstrous, grotesque and perverted. The satanic is not fundamentally discerned by statistics. Indeed, statistics can dull empathic sensibilities that expose critical truths. Exclusive focus on quantity can be a decoy of the demonic, whereby the actual concrete reality of an irreplaceable person being mutilated or burned to death is rendered all but invisible by fixating on the numerical abstractions of competing body counts. And of course, once a reality can no longer be seen, it is no longer subject to accurate moral evaluation. Once the screams of the individual person are silenced beneath the clatter and chatter of statistics and justifying philosophies or theologies, then homicide ceases to be experienced as the phenomena it in fact is. Homicidal violence without a unique and irreplaceable face as its victim does not exist in reality—and hence, part of the significance of William Kemmler to August 6.

Each person who dies on August 6, 1945, dies as William Kemmler dies on August 6, 1890. Each dies his or her own, very personal, death at the hands of other human beings. The common denominator between the two August 6-events is that both are the enfleshment of exactly the same wicked spirit. The spirit that kills William Kemmler on August 6, 1890 and the spirit that kills tens of thousands of human beings on August 6, 1945 is precisely the same spirit that possesses Cain, kills Jesus and is acting through every person who has ever intentionally destroyed the life of another—or played at destroying the life of another. August 6 should be the day when the human community community examines its conscience and consciousness, and unequivocally commits or re-commits to exorcising this spirit from its children, from its adults, from its entertainment, from its presence.

To this end a practical step might be to employ the reality and the symbol of August 6 to honestly view what that putrid spirit subjects humanity to, once a human being allows his or her body to be its instrument on earth. “Knowledge is in the detail,” as the saying goes. Certainly there is a knowledge of the repulsiveness of the spirit of homicidal violence in awareness of the quantitative extent of its destructive power. But, there is an equally important knowledge to be acquired by seeing this spirit at the very instant of its actual entrance into human life. This is the knowledge which governments, militaries, violent revolutionaries and their propagandists systematically keep from the public. This is the knowledge that corporate mass media and university and think tank scholarship refuse to access, study and communicate, as only they can. William Kemmler offers an opening onto this avenue of perception, not only in terms of himself but also on behalf of every person broken and destroyed when this unholy spirit has been given flesh by human choice.

Yearly, August 6 holds out the opportunity to view homicidal violence fully—in all its macro and micro viperous ugliness. August 6 presents to planetary humanity a universally recognizable symbol—rooted indelibly in that day’s history—by which to examine not only its conscience regarding homicidal violence, but also its consciousness of homicidal violence. There are powerful and well-financed forces throughout the world who have a vested interest in hiding from humanity the realities of homicidal violence, of promoting a consciousness of faceless homicide. They forever want to have at their disposal the humanly created situation of which the 19th Century robber baron, Jay Gould, spoke when he bragged, “I can hire half the poor to kill the other half.” Such hiring would be made as socially and as personally noxious as incest if the poor—and the middle class—really knew what the spirit of homicidal violence looks like and unleashes, at the moment it actually enters human existence and does its thing.

August 6 is a day for planetary enlightenment. It is a day for transfiguring consciousness by stripping away all the theologies, all the philosophies, all the rituals and all the medals, all the religious paraphernalia that camouflage the truth about what the spirit of homicidal violence does to both victim and executioner at the hour of its incarnational eruption—and for untold time thereafter. August 6, like Good Friday, is a day pregnant with remembrance, with sorrow, with truths and with lessons for all human beings today and for all tomorrows. Remembered accurately, August 6 can be an essential ingredient of the glue that re-members a humanity that has torn itself to pieces, physically, morally and spiritually by giving legitimacy—even Christian legitimacy—to that spirit that spawned the accursed events of that day in 1890 and 1945.

– ECM

Restore us, O Lord, that we may be restored. Renew our days as of old.
FAST FOOD: Thirty-Eighth Helping

Please view the two short videos below before reading the text below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bs5bnVoZK4Q&NR=1

“It is true that emotion can distort. But emotion can also enhance. If one of the functions of knowledge is accuracy, then it is impossible to describe a war both unemotionally and accurately at the same time. And if the special competence of the mind is in enabling us to perceive what is outside our own limited experience, that competence is furthered, that perception is sharpened by emotion. A large dose of emotionalism in the description of slavery would merely begin to convey accurately to white college students what slavery was like for the black man and woman.

Thus, exactly from the standpoint of what intellect is supposed to do for us—extend the boundaries of our understanding— a cool, rational, unemotional approach fails. War and violence divested of their brutality by the prosaic quality of the printed page become tolerable. Reason to be accurate must be supplemented by emotion. Intellectuals and scholars are generally taken aback by emotional display. It appears to them as an attack on reason. “Dispassionate” is their favorite term of praise.

We are uneasy with the emotional, I would suggest, because of a failure to recognize that emotionalism is a morally neutral instrument; that it serves a positive purpose when linked to laudable goals; that it is not irrational but “nonrational”, because being merely an instrument, its rationality is derived only from the goal toward which it is directed. Indeed emotion can be used to make decisions more rational, if we mean decisions based on greater knowledge.” —Howard Zinn, The Politics of History

What is your emotional, as well as, cognitive reaction to the following photographs? Knowing whatever it is you know cognitively, what is your emotional experience regarding yesterday and today as you ponder them?

I would add but one note to Howard Zinn’s thoughts. Emotions can reveal to a person and to a group, perhaps more powerfully than any other faculty, when it is that they are in a lamentable state of self-deception; when it is that they are teaching, defending and/or living as truth what they know is not the truth. For protection from having to change one’s mind and/or one’s life, therefore, emotions must be discounted, a priori, as a serious conveyor of truth in the human condition. Because they have the power of exposing the hideous, the heinous and the madness behind the mask of cool, dispassionate reason, because they have the to power to force to the front of consciousness and of conscience unwanted truth, what they communicate must be dismissed beforehand as “mere emotionalism,” or else the self-deception will be impossible to sustain.

– ECM

*Attached are the two YouTube addresses in case they break up in transmission.

Restore us, O Lord, that we may be restored. Renew our days as of old.

FAST FOOD: Thirty-Ninth Helping

Here I am Lord. Is it I Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.

“If today you hear the voice of the Lord,
harden not your hearts”
(Ps 95:7-8; Heb 3:15)

“Historical awareness always has some effect on us. In May 1968 I heard a Catholic priest [Jim Harney], on trial in Milwaukee for burning the records of a draft board, tell how he came to the act:

I was trained in Rome. I was quite conservative, never broke a rule in seminary. Then I read a book by Gordon Zahn, called German Catholics in Hitler’s Wars. It told how the Catholic Church carried on its normal activities while Hitler carried on his. It told how SS men went to Mass, then went out to round up Jews. That book changed my life. I decided that the Church must never behave again as it did in the past; and that I must not.

Neutrality is a fiction in an unneutral world. There are victims, there are executioners and there are bystanders. In the dynamism of our times—when heads roll into a basket every hour—what is “true” varies with what happens to your own head—and the dispassionate objectivity of the bystander calls for inaction while other heads fall.

In Camus’ The Plague, Dr. Rieux says: “All I maintain is that on this earth there are pestilences, and there are victims, and it is up to us, as far as possible, not to join forces with the pestilences.” Not to act is to join forces with the spreading plague.”
—Howard Zinn, The Politics of History

History, secular or Church, is studied by the Christian not just to abstractly know about the past. History is examined in order to understand why the present is as it is, and how to bring it and the future more in conformity with the will of the Father as revealed by Jesus. While the Christian study of history should engender empathy for the dead, its primary purpose is to arouse empathy for the living. The, personal and structural mercilessness, evil and unChristlikeness of the past is found and analyzed in order to rid the present and the future of its residue and of those ways and means that created it.

A Lamentation on the Great Deceit: Just War Theory
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbOgfHKubpk

-ECM

Restore us, O Lord, that we may be restored.
Renew our days as of old.

NB:
* Please click on the URL above, then for the best sight and sound reception when it comes up, click at the bottom right of the video screen to watch on full screen.
** Note for Gmail users: please use the URL link above and not the thumbnail icon that appears for you at the bottom of this email message.
FAST FOOD: Fortieth Helping

‬‎תשעה באב & August 9

The following is the homily delivered by Rev. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy at the close of the Forty-Day Fast for the Truth of Gospel Nonviolence at the Church of Dominus Flevit, Mount of Olives, Jerusalem, August 9, 1989.
“Gott mit uns” was the inscription that was stamped on the belt buckles of the soldiers of Hitler’s army. It was thought proper that these words be about the waist of Hitler’s legions because for the majority of German Christians, World War II was not only a fight for Fuhrer and the Fatherland, it was also a fight for God’s cause. Bishops in Germany, Catholic and Lutherans, were quite insistent that it was one’s Christian duty to join Hitler’s military machine. Hence, “Gott mit uns” was a precise expression of the majority German religious mind under Hitler: “Gott mit uns” means “God with us.”

A Catholic layman, Franz Jägerstätter, stood firm and told Hitler, the German military, the German Church and the German society that what they were about was not of God and that God was not approvingly with them in their homicide. Because of his fidelity to his Christian Faith, other Christians, with “Gott mit uns” as their belt buckle executed him forty-six [sixty eight] years ago today on August 9, 1943.

“Gott mit uns” was the insignia strapped around the waist of the German soldiers that loaded Edith Stein, Sister [Saint] Teresia Benedicta of the Cross, onto a train for a concentration camp. “Gott mit uns” was what girded the German military that took her off that train at Auschwitz. “Gott mit uns” was what made it psychologically and spiritually possible for her fellow Christians to exterminated her forty-seven [sixty nine] years ago today on August 9, 1942.

“Gott mit uns!” “The whole structure of secular, religious and military society told me clearly that it was all right to let the Japs have it. God was on the side of my country.’” So spoke Fr. George Zabelka, Catholic Chaplain to the Hiroshima- Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Crews that evaporated the oldest, largest and original Christian city in Japan forty-four [sixty six] years ago today on August 9, 1945.

As they rush to battle to puncture the skin, to burn the flesh and to torture the minds of their fellow human beings, Christians self-assuredly proclaim, “Gott mit uns”; Hindus self-assuredly proclaim, “Gott mit uns”; Jews self-assuredly proclaim, “Gott mit uns;” Muslims self-assuredly proclaim “Gott mit uns.” In practically every war fought in known history, the battle cry has included “Gott mit uns.” But is it so? Is it true?

If Jesus, who is called Emmanuel, i.e., “God with us,” in the Gospel, is correct, “Gott mit uns” is an untruth, the work of the “Father of lies who is a murderer from the beginning.” If Jesus knows what He is talking about, the Divine Presence never resides in the barrel of a gun. If Jesus understands the nature of God and the nature of the human being, the spirit that plunges the dagger into the bowels or swings the halberd that decapitates is never the Spirit of the Holy.

Only a minuscule number of spiritual leaders in the history of the world have agreed with Jesus. Since leaders by definition lead, only a minuscule number of people in any of the world’s spiritual traditions have agreed with Jesus. The overwhelming majority of major and minor religious personages and their followers, regardless of continent, century, culture or cult, have taught and do teach that “Gott mit uns” includes divinely endorsed homicidal violence, enmity and cruelty.

Now as it happens in this year, 1989 [2011], August 9 is not only the day of remembrance of the destruction of Edith Stein, Franz Jägerstätter and the people of Nagasaki by their fellow Christians, but it is also the most sorrowful day in the Jewish liturgical year – Tisha b’Av, ‬‎תשעה באב. Av is the Jewish month that overlaps July and August in various ways depending on the year. Tisha, the ninth, of Av is a full day of prayer and of complete fasting, sunset to sunset, in remembrance of the destruction of the First Temple (587 B.C.) and the Second Temple (70 A.D.) which took place on this day.

Jewish sages say this is a day that was designated for affliction. All Jews are mourners on the 9 of Av. No pleasure is to be taken in anything. Even the last meal before sunset on the 8th of Av (the Jewish day extends from sunset to sunset) is to be only cold boiled eggs and bread with some of the bread dipped in ashes. Upon entering the Synagogue at sunset all lamps are extinguished except those dimly necessary to chant the Book of Lamentations and the kinot (dirges). The people sit on the floor or low stool. Nothing that gives happiness is permitted on the day appointed for the tragic, on the day of eternal weeping – the 9 of Av.

One need look no further than the Scripture that is pondered this day, the Book of Lamentations, to see that what is being anguished over is not simply the destruction of the Temple twice over. The agony of the day is that the Temple is where the Shekinah, the Divine Presence, dwelt, and hence with the destruction of the Temple, the Shekinah departed. At the remains of the ancient western wall of the Temple Mount it is the absence of this Presence that is bewailed on the 9 of Av.

The destruction of the Temple, however, was but the visible expression of what had already taken place: the Spirit of the Holy no longer abided among the people. As the Liturgy of the 9 of Av makes clear, the Shekinah did not arbitrarily leave. The Divine Presence departed the Temple because the Divine Presence had ceased to be brought to the world by the deeds of the people who came to the Temple to worship in that Presence.

It is an incontrovertible spiritual truth that even the Holy Temple is degraded and becomes but an example of only ostentatious architecture when Godliness is no longer in the deeds of the people who pray there. The misdeeds of a nation are the seeds from which its enemies grow. The more Godless the misdeeds, the more Godless the means necessary to keep the growing enemies at bay. The longer repentance and reconciliation are ignored, the weaker the Presence of the Holy in the land – although cult and theology could be at an all time high as they were in the heyday of Nazi Germany and are today in Jerusalem. Jewish spiritual masters teach not only that the Shekinah left the Temple before the enemies destroyed it but that the Temple could only be destroyed because the Shekinah departed from it. It is a self-evident truth that the world’s most powerful army is but a basket of toy soldiers to the Holy One:

“If Yahweh does not build a house

In vain do its builders toil.

If Yahweh does not guard a city

In vain does its guard keep watch.”
Psalm 127
The Holy builds and guards by deeds in conformity with the Holy. God protects by means consistent with who God is—and God is love (agape), the infinitely loving Father of all.

The spiritual power of the 9 of Av is threefold: it is broken-heartedness over what it is proper to be brokenhearted over; it makes no excuses; it explicitly recognizes the supremacy and mercy of God. In the morning service the people pray, “O return in mercy to Jerusalem Thy city and dwell therein.” The most repeated refrain of the day is “Restore us to thee, O Lord, that we may be restored! Renew our days as of old.” The recognition is that while repentant sorrow is real and essential, only God’s merciful love can restore – but God can restore.

In fact, faith in God’s supremacy and mercy on this, the most sorrowful day of the year, reaches galactic proportions, because Jewish tradition believes that it is on the 9 of Av that the Messiah will be born or come—that Emmanuel will be with us again.

The spiritual reasoning behind this is that mediocrity is not dangerous to evil. Evil seeks where there is the greatest potential for good and latches on to it with the full fiendish fury of hell. Evil knows the goodness ordained for the 9 of Av and therefore wildly orchestrates its resources to shred it to pieces, to cause loss of hope, to sow untruth. But in Jewish spiritual tradition, behind all the lamentations and dirges, there is a ceaseless silent note of confidence and trust in God that sings of the 9 of Av as one day being the most joyful feast of Israel, when the Messiah will come bringing back the Shekinah and with it Shalom.

In old city Jerusalem prior to the 9 of Av, Jewish woman often wash walls, scrub floors and anoint themselves with fragrant oils thereby making all ready for the arrival of the Messiah through the Gate of Mercy, the Golden Gate, in the wall of Jerusalem through which the Shekinah left when deed no longer matched prayer, when prayer became the justification for misdeed. (The Gate of Mercy or the Golden Gate is presently cemented shut for security reasons.) The washing, scrubbing, anointing are the simple yet sublime faith efforts that symbolize what must be done—namely the cleansing of the House of Israel of the spiritual filth that has accumulated via its people’s choice of evil—for the Messiah to bring the Shekinah and Shalom back through the open Gate of Mercy to Jerusalem.

How the 9 of Av spiritually coordinates with the 9 of August is as clear as the waters of Baptism. In the New Testament Jesus shows profound respect for the Temple and calls it “His Father’s house” (Jn 2:16) and “a house of prayer for all people” (Mk 11:17). But He goes beyond this and identifies His Body with the Temple (Jn 2:16). His Body in turn is identified with the Church which is seen as the new Temple (1 Co 3:9, 16; 2 Co 6:16; Eph 2:19). By Baptism into the Body of Christ, the Church, the person becomes the Temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Co 6:19).

Therefore what in reality happened on August 9, 1942 was that the Temple of God, Edith Stein, was desecrated and destroyed. On August 9, 1943 the Temple of God, Franz Jägerstätter, was desecrated and destroyed. On August 9, 1945 the Temple of God, the Chrsaitian Community of Nagasaki, was desecrated and destroyed.

Yet, the 9 of August is not a day of mourning in the Christian Church for the premeditated destruction of these precious Temples of God. Unlike the 9 of Av, there are endless mountain ranges of excuses offered to justify the evil of the 9 of August. Unlike the 9 of Av, there is no sense of the loss of the presence of the Holy among the people because of these Temple desecrations. Unlike the 9 of Av, there is no brokenhearted plea to God to “Restore us, O Lord, that we may be restored,” and to untie the diabolical knot of enmity and violence generating self-deception, nationalism and militarism in which so much of the Body of Christ remains comfortably strait-jacketed. Unlike the 9 of Av, on the 9 of August there is no washing and scrubbing away of unChristlike deeds and desires. In short, the indifference of the Church to the destruction of its own by its own on this day is clear, convincing and convicting evidence that homicidal violence and enmity in the Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant and Evangelical Churches is no longer experienced as a primeval desecration and sacrilege.

By all this I do not mean to imply that Christianity has been any worse than the other major religions of the world when it has decided to kill people rather than love people as Jesus loved them. Homicidal “Gott mit uns” is the universal idolatry, blasphemy, and sacrilege of the world’s major religions. Each of their records of human butchery with God as their co-pilot deserves unequivocal and unceasing condemnation.

But, I do mean to single out Christianity for special attention because, unlike so many of the other religions of the world, Christian were and are explicitly told by their Church’s Founder to keep “hands off” homicide. It was Christianity’s Founder who first singled out His followers “You have not chosen me, but rather I have chosen you” (Jn 15:16) and in no uncertain terms commissioned them to go out to all people and “Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit and teach them to obey all that I have commanded you” (Mt 28:20). Among the things that He designated that were to be taught and obeyed were “Love one another as I have loved you” (Jn 15:12), “Love your enemies” (Lk 6:27), “Do good to those who hate you” (Lk 6:28), “Turn your other cheek” (Mt 5:39), “Forgive seventy times seven times” (Mt 18:22), and “Put up your sword” (Mt 26:51).

Christianity must therefore be pinpointed for specific attention because it is in radical conflict with a basic dynamic of the moral universe. No one can be expected to teach or to live other than his or her truth. But everyone is expected to teach and to struggle to live his or her truth. Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies is not what Vishnu, Moses, Mohammed or many other spiritual leaders taught as Gods’ Will and Way. Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies, however, is what Jesus taught as God’s Will and Way, and Christians believe Jesus to be not only an infallible moral teacher, but also the incarnation of the Shekinah, Emmanuel, “God with us.” Hence Christians who alter, dismiss or ignore Jesus’ teachings of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies are not only not fulfilling their obligation to the One who chose them to be His disciples, but also are not fulfilling their primordial moral human obligation to speak and to try to live their truth.

Failure on the part of the institutional Church to teach and to struggle to live that truth entrusted to it by the Holy One is an abdication of its responsibility before God and before humanity. Truth given must be lived and taught so that it may enter, as God wants it to enter, into the mystery of the history of salvation. What is neither taught nor lived has no place in history. If it is a person’s or group’s God-ordained mission to place a truth in history and they do not do it, then who will do it? And when will they do it? And how much devastation via untruth will occur before compensation can be made for such a person’s or group’s historic irresponsibility, and betrayal of self, humanity and God.

It is Christianity that has the commission in history from God of “asking” by word and by deed the other religions of the world – all nations – if “Gott mit uns” as a spiritual validation of personal or group homicidal violence is the truth of the God of heaven abnd earth. But Christianity has paralyzed its ability to ask this critical spiritual question by its own unrepentant 1700-year-old history of fraudulently conflating the “Gott mit uns” on the Nazi belt buckle with the Nonviolent Emmanuel of the Gospel. Therefore, this hard question is not put into history and violent monotheism, a violent “Gott mit uns,” goes on unimpeded into the next eruption of “holy,” ugly homicide.

So on this August 9, 1989 [2011] and on this Tisha b’Av here at the Church of Dominus Flevit on the Mount of Olives where “the Lord wept” (“Dominus flevit”) over Jerusalem and the coming second destruction of the Temple on Tisha b’Av, and where he lamented, “If you had only recognized on this day the way to peace” (Lk 19:41), let us offer this six-fold prayer:

That God, the Father of all and the Father of mercies, will do something to restore the Christian Church, so that She may again be true to her Lord, true to herself, true to her Apostolic commission and true to her mission to humanity by once again proclaiming by word and deed what the Nonviolent Jesus, the Nonviolent Emmanuel, proclaimed by word and deed, that Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies is the Way and the Will of the Holy One;

Let us pray to the Lord.

That God, the Father of all and the Father of mercies, will do something to open the eyes and minds and the hearts of everyone, most especially the leaders of the various religions of the world, so that all will see and understand that to proclaim and to teach and to propagate to children and adults “Gott mit uns”—when human beings are tearing the lives of other human beings to bloody bits and/or are throwing them into existences of intractable misery—is a savage and vile self-deceiving sacrilege;

Let us pray to the Lord.

That God, the Father of all and the Father of mercies, will do something to open the eyes and minds and the hearts of all Jews, Christians and Muslims so they will realize that Jerusalem without the Shekinah is just another ugly, ichabod city of violence, hate, enmity and bloodletting from which “the glory of God has departed” (ichabod);

Let us pray to the Lord.

That God, the Father of all and the Father of mercies, will open the eyes and minds and hearts of all who pray and wish for the Peace of Jerusalem, so that with the grace of intelligence that God has bestowed on them, they will grasp the truth that an ichabod Jerusalem is just another piece of dirt on the longitude-latitude grid, where a city and its inhabitants have been destroyed eighteen times to date;

Let us pray to the Lord.

That an ichabod Jerusalem has no hope that it will not be destroyed a nineteenth time if it continues in the folly that it can be a secure City of Salaam, Shalom, Peace without the Shekinah dwelling there in. That is the Shekinah, the Holy, in Whom there is no darkness, ugliness, violence or cruelty;

Let us pray to the Lord.

That the people of Jerusalem and all people recognize that there is no Holier place on earth, no place where the Shekinah more fully dwells and is known, than that place where enemies have been reconciled and now live in Shalom, Salaam, Peace, Caring for each other;

Let us pray to the Lord.

-ECM
Restore us, O Lord, that we may be restored. Renew our days as of old.

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