God & Country: Love Letters from the Empire

“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you…

Unless the fear mongers and politicians tell you, ‘Be afraid; your enemies will kill you.’

Then, fearing for your life, pledge your allegiance to the beast over the Lamb,

collude with the empire,

support its military endeavors unquestioningly,

honor those whom the empire tells you to honor,

hate those the empire tells you to hate.

*                 *                 *                    *                  *                    *

Do what you must to preserve your temporal life,

no matter the body count,

no matter the innocent blood,

no matter if it costs your very soul.

Preserve the illusion of dual allegiance,

that ultimately,

you may be children,

not of your Heavenly Father,

But of the empire

Crucifying,

(Shooting, bombing…) your enemies

in the name of God…

just like 2000 years ago,

rather than taking up your cross,

Dying

for your enemies

like God in Christ did.

*               *               *               *               *

Ignore the contradictions if you can,

burry your head in the red white and blue sand

that our illusory promise of self preservation

may serve the best interests of a superpower nation.

“Under God” we’ll say,

whatever on earth means…

But apparently it’s good enough for you religious types to play on our team

Christian Nation?

Glorious empire on land seized from Native Americans, built on the broken, bleeding backs of African Americans…

(don’t trip over the bodies as we make another pass on our Star Spangled parade)

Certainly,

if it makes you feel better; give it that label if you wish.

Just replace King Jesus with Mr. President, settle for pointless culture wars, and trade real Kingdom politics,

Matthew 25

for bumper stickers in the shape of a fish.

*                 *                 *                   *                   *

We don’t care which side

Left or right,

of the aisle you sit on, but participation is the key to it all:

not representation,

indoctrination.

Just make sure your real treasure is found in

life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Your Teacher said ‘your heart will be there too’ and we’ve taken him seriously.

Apparently even more so than you do.

Just be sure that your passing interest in the politics of this so-called heavenly kingdom

(You make it sound so far away. Is it real?)

Doesn’t interfere with the politics of Caesar

and we can work together;

You with US.

This addictive, thrilling cocktail:

Called Christendom

We’ll mix it.

You drink it.

Repeat.

*                *                *                   *

It’s worked so well for us so far.

Don’t go taking Jesus’ words too seriously.

You can totally serve God

And mammon.

Look at you!

In the system, like a champ.

A patriot.

A godly patriot.

You’ve come so far.

Don’t spoil it now.

Your comfort, and security depend on it.

Don’t

Stir

The pot.

*                *                 *                  *                *

Nations rise

And fall.

They always have.

But we’re asking you to bet with us that this one will break the cycle.

Place your faith

Life

Wellbeing

Security

In the “last beast best hope of the world.”

You can even say ‘Jesus is Lord’ while you’re at it

a flag in one hand, a gun in the other.

The Kingdom comes through the death of a Jewish peasant?

Ha!

Please!

We know,

you know you really don’t believe that.

The kingdom comes by death, not of you,

but of others’

sisters, brothers, fathers, uncles, mothers…

When you thank God for your liberty

We know our guns, tanks, ships, and fighter jets

are the table where you really place your bets.

Keep your spirituality just that:

spiritual.

Don’t let it affect reality.

That could screw things up.

Royally.

Start a revolution.

Get you killed.

And you wouldn’t want that.

You know that’s why this Jesus guy was a threat.

One thing had to go.

The revolutionary or the status quo.

‘Better one man die

For a nation.’

That’s how we empires operate time and again.

Built on the system set up by Cain.

But forget about that.

Nothing to see here.

Only stacks of bodies,

Victims of the empire

Covered by monuments, flying flags, myths, and war anthems.

But don’t weary yourself with such troubling talk…

Turn on the news.

Listen to the talking heads.

They’ll tell you what you need to hear to exist safely,

Cause minimal damage.

Open the paper and absorb the satisfying propaganda.

‘We’re right, they’re wrong.’

‘A threat to national security.’

‘Protect our foreign interests.’

Set aside the church calendar.

Adopt the empire’s calendar;

Observe the national liturgies of consumerism and militarism.

Black Friday.

July 4th.

Memorial Day.

We’ve even redone the Christmas season for you.

You’ll fit right in.

You God people-

You make such good, loyal patriots with a bit of…

Shall we say…

healthy reconditioning.

We’ll make you a model citizen in no time.

Say it with us.

“God and country,

God and country,

Country and God

Country and…?

Country.”

 

Yours forever,

The Empire

Books influential to this piece:

“A Farewell to Mars,” Brian Zahnd
“Disarming Scripture,” Derek Flood

Advertisements