Monday, October 12, 2015

The cross of the earth

With more than 30 million people dying of hunger every year (many more are unreported), and one billion living with hunger on a daily basis (not to mention another hundred social pathologies plaguing the planet), you would think we would have realized that humanity has gotten too big to rely on politicians to run the world and solve its problems.

Away with borders! Away with politicians! But until citizens do more than complain and fuss about why they have no power in their various countries to promote welfare and justice, nothing will change. There is only one human race and only one planet where we can live, so why do we entrust this complex yet fragile universe to a handful of self-interested, visionless functionaries?

Russia is no friend, especially not to Syria, and its Orthodoxy was so flimsy that it let godless Communism take over and rule the country for more than seventy years. If every Orthodox Christian had simply refused to comply, the Communists would have had a killing field so gigantic, they would have had to give up. Yes, millions might have died in Russia, but all of history would have been different.

Gandhi was right, because Thoreau was right, because Jesus is right, ‘Offer the evil man no resistance.’ Deprive the politicians of slaves that they can rule. Yes, they won't be afraid to kill a few million disobedient people who deny their power here and there, but they were not afraid to kill the Son of God either. Christ knows the cross of the earth because He hung on it, and He died on it, to show us the way.

Why do we desist? Why do we remain Hebrews at heart, grumbling in our camps, instead of sallying forth to take what God promises us, a ‘land where milk and honey flow’? There are many ways to do battle, but the most powerful, though the most costly, is simply to say ‘No’ to false authorities, to refuse to cooperate with them. Meanwhile, even as they are killing us, we are building a world that will last.

Khrushchev, addressing the United Nations in 1960, is said to have taken off his shoe and banged it on the podium, declaring ‘We will bury you!’ No, he didn’t mean that the Soviet Union would wipe out its enemies by nuclear war, but that Communism was the irresistible wave of the future, and would outlive (and hence, bury) its opponents. His boast flopped horribly. It had to, even without a formal surrender.

The Soviet Union did not collapse because of civil disobedience for the cause of right. It collapsed because the very politicians who ran the system saw the prosperity of the capitalist countries and were propelled by greed to betray the principles of ‘people’s revolution.’ We see an even clearer example in the evolution of the Chinese People’s Republic—people’s in name only, but a paradise for politicians.

America, that idea which gave birth to a nation on the continent that bears its name, is again preparing another revolution. Though a feeble counterpart of the prophetic populism I am advocating, we are in a position to possibly choose a non-politician for President. Two of the candidates could not be farther apart in every way, except their not being career politicians—Donald Trump, and Dr Ben Carson.

I wrote ‘feeble’ when I only meant ‘humble’ or ‘almost to be missed,’ the lack of recognition some event gets when it is actually happening, or some person when they are actually doing their work. Don’t kid yourself. When Jesus was performing His three year ministry, even when He was arrested, illegally judged and convicted, and punished with crucifixion, He was very nearly an unknown and largely unrecognized.

The three years He spent doing His work of teaching and healing, and the three days He suffered the ultimate degradation and death doing His work of redemption, passed practically unnoticed, though He Himself was hardly unremarkable. This is the law of prodigies, of people and events that are so far ahead of their time that they practically stand outside of it, and are not ‘discovered’ until the world catches up.

At the present moment, the planet has enough resources of every kind to satisfy the basic needs of every human being, but those who jockey the steed of civilization divide and conquer their spectators with the false thrill of the race, making people competitors and enemies of one another for gain, and wasting, even sentencing to death, whole populations of the helpless, without feeling even a hint of remorse.

‘The cross of the earth, the four winds point them, body to body, seas to anoint them… Rise up, Lazarus, sweet and salty. Brother soldiers, stop your gambling and talk to me. The thieves were stealers, but reason condemned Him, and the grave was empty where they had laid Him.’ Yes, the cross of the earth, the same as the Cross of Christ though the world know Him not, but we know, so what will be our next move?

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