Our Father, Who Art in Washington
Images can be powerful. We have all seen films of the Nuremburg rallies. The torchlight processions, the banners, the chanting crowds: all purposely staged to elevate one man to a status as something more than human, a benevolent leader who promised fairness and payback against the evil enemies of the people. All things were possible through him. The trains would run on time, the capitalists and bankers would pay for taking advantage of the people. Social justice would finally be achieved if only the people would pledge themselves to him.
Juxtapose those images with a 2008 party rally in a Denver stadium. The Greek columns, the giant television screens, the laser light show: all dedicated to elevate a man who promised the wars would end, the earth would heal, and the oceans would halt their rise. Peace and justice at last. He was the one we were waiting for. Goebbels would have been proud.
Il Duce's portrait was ubiquitous in 1930's Italy. The stolid face with the up thrust chin, looking down over the nose became symbolic of Mussolini's fascism. "All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state." "State intervention in economic production arises only when private initiative is lacking or insufficient, or when the political interests of the State are involved. This intervention may take the form of control, assistance or direct management." Does any of this look or sound familiar?
Some images are meant to be powerful. From the works of master painters, to stained glass, to the inexpensive, gilded frame picture in many homes, Christ is frequently depicted with a halo. From background lighting, to a campaign symbol, to the presidential seal, a certain public servant is also frequently depicted with the appearance of a halo. Can we guess what image the latter's halo is meant to convey?
Words can be powerful, too, either spoken or written on paper. "Endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights" "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" Some words are even carved in stone. "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." What were the Jesuits at Georgetown thinking?
Fascists, communists and other dictators discredited, if not outlawed, religion. The state was the ultimate authority, moral or otherwise. The state in many cases was personified by an individual from whom all things flowed. What did Christians do to keep them from power? The same as today, not enough. From the "feel good, rock and roll, light show" mega churches to the original Bride of Christ, only token, unorganized resistance has come forth. In fact, past devout Christians were better organized and more numerous than today and were still unsuccessful.
What happened to the Christians that faced lions for their faith? Real lions, not the talking cartoon characters. Were they co-opted by promises of government social welfare? Or were they cowed by the threat of the loss of their 501(c)3 status? Judging from the watered down socialism coming from today's pulpit, either is possible. Protest church funded abortion via the Affordable Health Care Act? Contact your congressman. Lobby for the government to provide forced charity? Sure. Deny Communion, let alone excommunicate those who promulgate mortal sin? Nah, too controversial. Pathetic. Don't think this administration doesn't know it, either. They think this a fight they can win.
Government is a necessary evil, but an evil nonetheless. The mistake that Christians, or any other religion for that matter, make when they accept and encourage government social justice is that all modern government is eventually at the point of a gun. Look at other formerly Christian countries. Preach what is in the Bible, go to jail for hate speech. Resist hard enough, meet the point of a gun. Remember, we're no longer a Christian country. The state said so. Oh, something else to think about. Refuse to pay taxes of which part go to the government charity programs that your church lobbied for and approved of? Meet the same end. That blood is on somebody's hands.
"But the Constitution protects our freedom of religion!" Really? We haven't seen the Constitution jump up out of its glass case and do anything. It's just a piece of paper. Its only power comes from citizens acting on its behalf. Don't think the administration doesn't know this, either.
Many have argued that the left is fighting for freedom from religion. No, there will always be religion. Fundamental change was promised; change from God given rights to state granted rights are being delivered. When the state eliminates God, the state becomes god. And the state is a jealous god, especially when it takes guidance from a book dedicated to Lucifer.