Now I know this column is going to upset many people. Well, I have upset many people before with my critiques and commentaries…. Why not now? I will focus on our Judea- Christian culture in my commentary today. As a preface, I must address some other areas of worship where hypocrisy reigns as well. Let us not forget the great Hindu traditions echoed by Yogananda and Ghandi…. That are now prostituted by this current Indian government and its economic system. Ghandi fought against both the colonial British rule and the caste system. Sadly, India still maintains a caste system, now under the guise of Free Market Global Capitalism. The fine film Slum Dog Millionaire captured this better than any muckraking book could. Next, we have the brutal Feudalism of many Middle Eastern Moslem nations. Sheiks, dangling mistresses and Western bankbooks, with fleets of limos and million dollar racehorses, jetting to and fro elite resorts….. While serfs garden their oasis. Or the jihadists who praise Allah while celebrating suicide bombings of civilians.
Getting back to America and Israel, how Jesus and Abraham must be grieved at what their current followers are all about. Inside those truly blessed temples, the altars remain silent as to the corruption, the greed, the devastation being done outside. We have a Catholic Pope, who, as Cardinal and right hand man to John Paul II, covered up the sexual abuses perpetrated by a myriad of priests, spanning decades! This Cardinal ( now Pope Benedict ) , also subverted the ‘ Liberation Theology ‘ principle that many Latin American bishops and priests subscribed to. This theology taught that the Church has a duty to lead the way for social and economic justice in the communities and countries it may be in. Instead, the Vatican, at that time ( and now ) would rather tolerate , thus condone, horrific dictatorships throughout Central and South America. The so called ‘ division of church and state ‘ should never include any government or society outside the church that rejects the teachings inside. Would Jesus have remained silent after viewing the film clip ( actual US government footage ) of US helicopter crews , after authorization by superiors , massacring innocent and unarmed Iraqi civilians….. Whose only crime was walking through the streets of their neighborhood? Would he not condemn those who torture, or order torture, or attempt to justify it? Would he not intercede when a priest asks his flock to ‘ pray for our brave troops ‘ , but never the civilians being killed by our troops, our stray bombs or IEDs? Would Jesus not question as to why our innocent soldiers were even sent to Iraq? Would Jesus remain silent as super rich CEOs earn mega millions while others in his flock cannot afford their rent, or medicine, or perhaps three good meals a day? What would Jesus say to the top executives of private nursing homes, who earn mega dollars, about those $ 9.00 and $ 10.00 an hour aides who wipe the **** from the old person’s rear end, give them showers, change their soiled clothes? Would he not repeat his ‘ Easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to get to heaven ‘ warning?
Abraham, what about his feelings? Do you think he would remain silent, if he ran the Saturday temple service, about what Israel is doing? The children and grandchildren of those poor Jewish souls who were ghettoized, terrorized, starved, beaten, worked to death or gassed to heaven…… Are they now deaf and dumb? Would Abraham stand by on that altar of the holiest of holy temples, and allow his people to do what they are doing to the Palestinians in Gaza? Do they not recall the ‘ Siege of Leningrad ‘ when millions were systematically starved to death by the Nazis? How many of those Israelis have relatives who were actually there in Leningrad? How many Israelis had relatives in Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Yugoslavia…. Throughout Europe, who had their valuables, homes, businesses, farms, livestock all taken from them to allow for Aryan settlers? What then would Abraham say to Bibi Netenyahu when he insists on forcing Palestinians from their homes so as to expand Israeli settlements in Arab East Jerusalem? Would Abraham not demand, from the temple altar, that this nonsense stop!
To worship our Creator and give thanks for this life, is that it? Or is the whole purpose of this life to bring a little touch of heaven to earth? In heaven do they torture? In heaven is there greed and corruption? In heaven is it ‘ Every man for himself ‘ ? The most important reason we are in these bodies, with minds and hearts etc. is to use our free will to make this a better place. To go to a house of worship and pray and sing is all well and good. Yet, if we just think that it is OK , in the eyes of God or the universe, to ignore injustice and suffering , so long as it is not affecting us….. Well, then what in the heck was Jesus and Mohammed , Buddha and Lord Krishna , Abraham and all the other holy men here for? If only we could follow the most basic of sayings: ‘ As ye do unto the least of mine you do unto me.’
Philip A. Farruggio is a sales rep, free lance columnist and activist. Since the 2003 invasion of Iraq he has been standing on the street corners of his town …. Once a week. Philip’s recent work can be seen on his blog at www.opensalon.com by searching his name. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org