I always felt that
my hometown was a microcosm of the world. With that said, I would like to
address this talk of separation of God and State.
I worry that the
sins of the father are handed down to the sons and daughters; I worry that
words don�t mean what they used to: words like principle, belief and right
Whether you�re a
party member or an Independent; whatever your race, ethnicity or sexual
preference, all of us have a sense of the tenets of our faith. Christians --
those who proclaim their adherence to the words and suggestions of Christ may
recall the Christ that spoke words of non-violence. (I�m speaking of the Jesus
Christ pre-Constantine, and certainly pre-Augustine -- Augustine, who penned, The
Just War, making God a partner in the crime of war. Modern-day
sensibilities could re-title his text as, War, Positive Preemptive Thinking
with Jesus� Blessing)
no Christian parents would offer up their children for a war nor allow them to
be sent off to kill or be killed, although they might pray the state would be
successful in its endeavor. Since Constantine, Jesus not only condones war, but
is expected to pick a side.
became a product of the State; before Christ was usurped from Christianity,
Christians were nonviolent. They did not and would not participate in
government actions that tested their faith. No man no state, whether secular or
theocratic, is given or receives in some fashion the moral authority over the
rest of us.
Pointing the barrel of a gun at our heads, destroying all of
our possessions, torturing us for a confession or information, or just because
they can, should not be the standard bearer for moral authority; nor should the
use of weapons of mass destruction that leaves the air, water and land tainted
with radioactivity. (Radioactivity or depleted uranium ((DU)) that will
eventually and lethally kill our soldiers and their families and our enemies
and their offspring forevermore.)
The only moral
authority We the People have given the State is defined by its social
contract. That contract is the Constitution and The Bill of Rights. It exists
only because we the people affirm its promise.
It�s been said the
world has changed since 9-11. That�s true for our government is indiscernible.
It�s unrecognizable. It no longer adheres to the principles of our founding
papers. It no longer accepts The Bill of Rights as the law of the land. No
longer does it recognize treaties, proclamations or conventions.
Our leader leads by
fiat. No longer does congress proclaim its responsibility to be both check and
balance. Signing statements have become the law of the land. We the people
look for justice. We look towards the courts that used to represent mankind�s
last resort against tyranny.
If we begin with
God�s basic premise, Thou Shall Not Kill and continue with the
rebellious and revolutionary teachings of Christ: Love one�s enemy; Do unto
others as you would have them do unto you, one has to question if these
teachings apply to modern times? Or are they quaint expressions?
one risks being deemed an enemy combatant or accused of treason if they
espouse such notions.
Today, Jesus would
find Himself confined to a maximum security prison as a radical and His
unpatriotic rantings of peace and non-violence censored. After all, He was a
simple man. A man of principle: The Prince of Peace.
We knew how His
story would end, even as children. We knew the State had to kill him; it was a
given. Just like we knew in our hearts and minds what would befall Gandhi and
Martin Luther King.
As we ponder our
existence, question our reason and purpose in life, is it not the right to
believe in nonviolence and the right to practice it? Is it not the responsibility
of those who govern to adhere to the social contract that we all agreed upon?
Or is it all for naught: null and void; is it all conjecture; is hope the false
prophet in a dismal world of chaos?
We need a new
vision. A new belief that is more inclusive -- so help us God.
� 2006 Philip J. Rappa
Philip J. Rappa is an award-winning writer, filmmaker,
documentarian, lecturer, and humanitarian.