FAST FOOD (AD 2019): Sixth Helping
The power and wisdom, the love and resurrection of Jesus enables Christians, if they so desire, to see, to name and to disassociate themselves from the evils that the rulers of nation engage in on a regular basis. Unfortunately, the sacrifices of the historical Jesus, which have made such awareness possible, are being sacrificed and squandered by Christians, their Churches and their Church leaders who have cozied up to power and wealth in one-hand-washes-the-other, and ‘you take care of my earthly business and I will take care of your earthly business’ deals.
“As a theologian, I, Leonardo Boff, am filled with sorrow, I ask myself: why the great majority of those dominant elites here in Brazil are Christians and Catholics. How can they reconcile their perverse practices with the message of Jesus? What do the many Catholic Universities and hundreds of Christian schools teach, that allows such a blasphemous movement to grow, because it touches the very God who is love and compassion and who took the side of those who cry for life and for righteousness? But I understand, because to the Catholic and Christian dominant elites the Spanish saying, “Dios y el dinero, lo segundo es lo primero,” is most apt. “Between God and money, the second always comes first.” How sad.”
Luxury wealth, whether held and controlled by secular political and economic elites who rule society or held and controlled by the ecclesiastical political and economic elites who rule the institutional Church, can only be defended by violence from those who do not have enough to live. (815 million people go to bed hungry each day and 25,000 children die of hunger each day according to UN statistics). Luxury wealth and violence are the opposite sides of the same evil coin. The late Rev. John L.McKenzie, a world renown Catholic Biblical scholar writes, “The single greatest impediment to the attainment of the Kingdom of God listed by Jesus is wealth.” I might paraphrase this statement by saying that the single greatest impediment to the institutional Church proclaiming the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels and His Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies is wealth.
Any thought that an institutional Church with gargantuan planetary wealth is going to seriously teach and proclaim by word and deed what Jesus in the Gospels teaches and proclaims by word and deed about violence is fanciful. Any time the institutional Church uses the word nonviolence, it means a nonviolence that publicly carries a halberd as its default position. Its wealth requires that the institutional Church, at most, proclaim by word and deed a halberd based nonviolence—which is not nonviolence at all but is rather justified violence in the sheepskin verbiage of nonviolence. And for certain, it is most definitely not nonviolence as proclaimed by word and deed by the Nonviolent Jesus in the Gospels.
-Emmanuel Charles McCarthy