Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Jesus the Nazarene and America
Just the snip from TomPaine.com
"And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?" A good quote for your shield... or for your Christmas card, which is where Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne, decided to put it. I find myself wondering how the Cheneys’ pastor reacted to their Christmas card. This, of course, is not the first hijacking of "Him" for the needs of empire. In 312, before the great battle at the Milvian Bridge at Rome, Hijacker the Great—also known as Constantine—saw a cross in the sky with the words "In Hoc Signo Vinces" ("In This Sign You Will Conquer"). Constantine had a cross inscribed on his soldiers’ armor. The new "Christians" won the battle and lost Jesus’ message of nonviolence. Several centuries later, "Deus Vult" ("God wills it") was the inscription chosen by St. Peter’s successors as they dispatched crusaders to war in the Holy Land. And "Gott Mit Uns" decorated Nazi belt buckles. So "He" was hijacked long ago, with countless imperial and other brutalities carried out in "His" name.
It's enough to bum one out in "His" season.

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