FAST FOOD (2014): Twenty-Third Helping
Again, “We adore God Who is love, Who in Jesus Christ gave Himself for us, Who offered Himself on the Cross to expiate our sins, and through the power of this love, rose from the dead and lives in His Church. We have no God other than Him.” (Pope Francis, 6/21/14)
Gospel Nonviolence is the Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies in the Spirit and in the model of the Nonviolent Jesus of the primitive Church and of the Gospels. It can genuinely be manifest by an act of civil disobedience aimed at converting people’s minds and hearts so that they freely choose to stop doing evil, to stop engaging in wickedness, and to begin to do good. This is not, of course, the only way Gospel Nonviolence can or should be manifest. But, it is most definitely a way.
Corporate mass media is systematically hostile to Gospel Nonviolence. It expresses its hostility by not giving it a microphone and by presenting it as something it is not. This is so because corporate mass media and those who control it need violence to operate as they do and in order to protect corporate and personal interests, e.g., luxury wealth. Regarding Gospel nonviolence and its depiction to people by the mass media, Thomas Merton writes in his little gem of a book, FAITH AND VIOLENCE, the following:
One of the most widely read American news magazines has this to say about the [Kennedy] assassination. “Oswald was a lone wolf whose background showed that he was inclined to nonviolence up to the point where his mind apparently snapped.”
Here a great deal is implied and it is all understood by the public because mass media can assume in the reader a particular mode of self-understanding, which is a myth which mass media itself has created in people and nourishes on a diet of brutal hallucinations. Any other way of self-understanding is dismissed as heretical. Nonviolence is based on radically different principles, which bring it into head-on collision with this mode of self-understanding.
However, because of the gross spiritual and pastoral negligence or the calculated omission of most leaders in most of the Christian Churches, the understanding of Gospel Nonviolence even in the minds and hearts of most Christians worldwide is the understanding given to them by mass media, which is no understanding at all. They have never been seriously and accurately informed of its true nature or of its teleological temporal and eternal purposes, that is, of the ends which Gospel Nonviolence and Gospel Nonviolence alone can—by cooperation with the grace of God mediated through Jesus Christ—accomplish.
So, the Christian Churches and their leaders, like the mass media—and out of the same motivations as the mass media—have chosen to leave Gospel Nonviolence as an exotic, confused, confusing and free-floating vagary in the minds of those placed in their spiritual care.
Worse yet, these Churches and their leaders use time, talent, treasure, ministry and office to help nourish explicitly, or implicitly by silent indifference, the brutal mythologies and hallucinations that pagan mass media is burning into the minds of Christian children and Christian adults. The Churches and their leadership could be using all they have been given to help their children and adults throw off, break away from, the violent, enmity-laced mythologies propagated by the head honchos that control mass media. But they don’t and don’t have any intention to do so. They could share the faith of the primitive Church and its authentic presentation in the Gospels, which would necessarily include the Nonviolent Jesus and His Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies with the children and adults in their congregations, and also with those engaged in chronic public evil and wickedness. But, they don’t and don’t have any intention to do so.
Certainly, all these Churches and their leaders are in the business of proclaiming, “Jesus saves!” But again, how?
-Emmanuel Charles McCarthy (To be continued)