By Joe Howard Crews - Dec. 19, 2006
Soon we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace, Jesus, the Christ. America makes great pompous claims to be a Christian nation, yet does not follow the “Prince of Peace”. A nation ruled by war cannot legitimately call itself a Christian nation. So what are we then? Are we the antithesis of a peaceful nation? Who rules us, and are our rulers legitimate?
The truth is we are not a homogenous people. We are a nation divided, at war with itself. The Long Bush War is a proxy for the greater battle, our war with ourselves. Until we settle that conflict within ourselves, we will continue to plague the earth with proxy wars - in the Philippines, in Mexico, Vietnam, Guatemala, Nicaragua and even tiny Grenada. Now we are in a long war in Iraq, and for reasons we do not understand. We have created a hell for ourselves and we want out, but we cannot get out. We do not understand why we are losing and are beginning to understand we are destroying ourselves, our posterity and our hope for the future.
There is a very dark side to America. We celebrate the lowly birth of the Christ child in a horse trough, but disdain anchor children of Mexican mothers born in “our” hospitals. We preach that Christ died for our sins, but we kill others so that we can be safe. We borrow from our enemies so that we can give gifts to ourselves as our symbol of Christian generosity. We give extravagant gifts to the rich, but drive the working poor from their hovels at Christmas. We deplore poverty by attacking the poor.
But we are not all Scrooges. And we are not all Christian hypocrites - in fact we are not all Christians. Jesus had no love for religious institutions. His love was for the poor, the homeless, the humble and the contrite. His love was for those who loved, and there are many Americans who practice his love. And there are many Jews and Muslims who practice his kind of love also. Also many humanists and atheists and agnostics practice this love. This is the true meaning of this Holiday season as we come together at the end of the year.
America is at war with itself: There are those who love and have compassion, and there are those who hate and despise. We do not know why some are ruled by hate, fear and greed. We all feel the pull of these evil forces. We who feel love, compassion and faith do know our strength comes from each other and from the Universe.
Jesus said, “A new commandment give I unto you: That you love one another.” This Love is what sustains our souls. Let us who love peace and this Earth come together this holiday and enjoy the bounty of love. It is a boundless bounty.
For after this feast comes the storm and we must be strong and resolute in our loving support of each other. The battle for Peace is just beginning. We have felt the first rays of a new dawn for America, but the Great Battle for Peace must be fought first.
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