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To a Thoughtful Holiday Season & Compassionate New Year: A Guest Post by Grant Marcus

December 23, 2010

I received the following as an email from my friend Grant Marcus, a peace activist and a poet. He agreed to let me publish it here with a few small changes. Look for more of Grant’s guest posts in 2011!

A FEW THOUGHTS FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON from Guest Blogger Grant Marcus (written Dec. 23; edited Dec. 27)

During the holiday’s Congressional session, President Obama worked out a “compromise:” Billions of dollars in tax breaks for the wealthiest people and a year’s extension of unemployment for those who can’t find work in a crisis economy. Hundreds of billions in giveaways for those who don’t need it, while congress doles out a few crumbs to those who do. So, our so-called democracy proves to be an aristocracy of inequality that would make our founding fathers ashamed.

The greatest slap in the face was not the selfish actions of the Senate, but the fraudulent faith behind it. You see, nearly every last senator claims to be a devoted Christian, which, by the way, means to be “Christ-like.”

So many senator millionaires (over half of them are) catering to the rich and making hostages of the poor–It sets my mind to wondering, what does it mean to be a “Christian,” or Christ-like?

Does it mean lavishing in greed, while making the poorest among us suffer? Didn’t Jesus have parables about that sort of thing, such as “the meek will inherit the earth;” and “it will be harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven than it will be for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle!” So close to Christmas, you’d think his “distinguished” devotees would remember.

Christ made some things very clear, particularly what he thought of war, a big reason for our country’s debt, recession, and joblessness in the civilian sector.

Healing a Roman soldier’s ear, who had come for him, Christ said, “Those who live by the sword, shall perish by it.” He pointed out that it was far easier to love our own kind, or those who think like us, which makes it even more imperative for us to “love thine enemies” and “pray for those who persecute you.” He also taught forgiveness (not retaliation) as the pathway to redemption. So why then are good Christians aggressively torturing and killing hundreds of thousands of people and wasting trillions of dollars doing it? And doing it in Christ’s name, the “prince of peace?”

And didn’t Christ ask us “to heal the sick?” He certainly didn’t ask us to kick them to the curb because they didn’t have money for companies to profit from them. When no one else would help the leper, who was there to heal him? Isn’t that why we revere Christ today, why we have a holiday in his honor, because his faith was equal to his acts and deeds? Because he healed the leper and made blind men see?

So why do “Christians” refuse to provide health care, and instead, kill 45,000 Americans every year for no other reason than they are poor and cannot afford insurance? As a nurse who practices his Hippocratic oath, “to above all else, do no harm,” I find this injustice to be no less than a medical holocaust and an abomination. Further, I find it a terroist act for profit.

Yet it is not just corporations, together with senators making our laws who are hypocrites. They all attained their power because Christian Americans voted them into power. They are there because of us, who passively accept what they do.

Maybe that’s why I haven’t seen or heard from one minister of Christian faith, among hundreds of churches in our county, thousands across the country, rise up to embrace Christ’s words and acts and declare our nation profoundly off course. The last minister to do that openly was Martin Luther King. Like Christ, he was assassinated. And like Christ, his acts were equal to his faith, and so we honor him.

When did we stop living by good example? What I have seen is a greater number of punitive Christians pointing fingers of blame at their helpless fellow Americans rather than to attack the real heretics, the greediest among us who are entrepreneurs ten times over, yet always wanting more.

Senator Bernie Sanders put it aptly. “We have millionaires who are now billionaires. And that is not enough…When will they ever be satisfied? When they have killed the entire middle class?… What then?” One brave independent senator, out of 100, who stood up in the desert of money and acknowledged what hypocrites his colleagues were.

So how did we Americans lose our moral compass? When did stock values and preemptive strikes replace praying for our persecutors and practicing “forgiveness times 70?” When did the golden rule, “Do onto others as you would have them do onto you” become, “Do onto others BEFORE they do onto you?”

When did an elected president become a corporate king? When did American citizens turn into the king’s subjects, to tread off to barbaric wars of rendition and torture, so we could return with the spoils of oil? And will all this vengeance and bloodshed be for God, or “we the people?” No, it will all go into the pockets of corporate kings and their “elected” henchmen to benefit the elite few, such as the Dick Cheney’s of HElliburton, or the George Bush’s of SaudE oil.

If Jesus were here today and entered their Washington temple, he might throw out these money-changers, these representatives of ill-repute, who usurp, siphon, and divert our taxes for wars and slave labor all over the world.

Ironically, these money-changers, these elite international corporations, who make corrupt loans and foreclose on Americans, who lead our children into needless slaughter, who outsource jobs to slavery, who do not pay their fair share of taxes and keep kingdoms in Kayman and Dubai, who are killing the sick and bringing down this great country–are the very same powers our legislators serve and protect.

It makes terms like “national security” and “national interest” a fraud, because it is not The People’s security or interest. It is international corporate interests worshiping the almighty dollar at all moral cost, which threatens all of us. This greed is effecting us both globally and nationally It is why today 2% of Americans get democracy and the rest of us struggle day-to-day without it.

So when did “of, by, and for the people” become for the elite few? When did right become wrong? When did love become hate? When did war become peace? When did phones get tapped for writing articles to voice freedom of speech? When did Christ become a vengeful crusader who refused to “turn the other cheek?” When did the good Samaritan become a mindless consumer? When did the Pharisees of yesterday become the Christians of today?

When? When? When? This holiday season finds me wondering–

But also wishing my fellow Americans, as well as those visiting our country, a thoughtful Christmas and a more compassionate new year.

grant marcus, grantpeacenurse726ATgmailDOTcom

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