For God's Sake
By Philip J. Rappa
Clearing House" -- -- 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 and wrong.
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 Pre-emptive Thinking with Jesus’ Blessing)
Before Constantine no Christian parent would offer up their
child 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.
Before Christ became a product of the State; before Christ was
usurped from Christianity, Christians were non-violent. 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 barer 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 911. 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 their
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?
Certainly, nowadays 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 censoring his unpatriotic rantings of peace
and non-violence. 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
As we ponder our existence, question our reason and purpose in
life, is it not the right to believe in non-violence 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.
Philip J. Rappa is an award-winning writer, filmmaker,
documentarian, lecturer, and humanitarian.
© Philip J. Rappa
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