FAST FOOD (AD 2019): Thirty-Sixth Helping
The institutional Church is by structure an intrinsically violent institution. Therefore, it is in no position to proclaim or even desire to proclaim by word and deed the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels and His Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies. Violence is the default moral and operational position of all mainline institutional Churches, Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant.
Speak Christlike Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies to the congregation and the world but carry a big stick, speak nonviolence but live by the just war, speak nonviolence but pack a pistol, speak nonviolence but have an army at hand is not the teaching of Jesus in the Gospels nor is it an authentic and authoritative proclamation of Gospel Nonviolence. Nevertheless, it is the teaching by word and deed that is erroneously communicated by all the Churches as being in conformity with following Jesus and loving as Jesus loves.
A Christian institutional structure that requires the use and the justification of violence to survive is an institutional structure that can only permit itself to think superficially, if at all, about the meaning and the implication and the purpose of the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels and His Way of Nonviolent love of friends and enemies. If ever there was an unwanted truth lurking in the foundation of an institution, it is the fact that Jesus was nonviolent and taught a Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies as the Way His disciples should follow.
Outside of a “parting of the sea” level of miracle, there is no way a Christian institution structured around the use and justification of violence is going to let such an unwanted truth in all its power and wisdom and glory rise up before the eyes of the faithful. If it did, the faithful and all humanity would see the extreme seriousness of the dissonance between what Jesus taught His Church should be, teach and do, and what His Church is, teaches and does. It would become patently clear that all the institutional Churches have locked themselves into humanly designed institutional structures that require that they employ and morally justify what Jesus never employed and morally rejected for Himself and His disciples—violence. The institutional Churches of Christianity may give occasional token and unmethodical lip service to the Nonviolent Jesus and His way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies. They may even accept it as an evangelical counsel and an option open to a Christian whom God has given a special charism to follow that Way and witness. But, under no circumstances are any of the mainline Churches going to proclaim that Jesus’ teaching of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies as taught and lived by Jesus in the Gospels is morally obligatory Way that its membership accepts at the time of its total immersion, Baptism, into Jesus Christ.
The robber baron, Jay Gould, said, “I can hire half the poor to kill the other half.” However, since the time of Constantine, the institutional Christian Churches have made sure—and been compensated well for making sure by the 1%, the economic and political powers-that-be— that robber barons of every shape and size, every nation and ethnic group, have been able to truthfully say, “I can hire half the Christians to kill the other half.”
-Emmanuel Charles McCarthy