Onward Christian Soldiers
Thou Shalt NOT Kill
As I surfed the radio waves the other night I flicked by a so-called Christian radio station. For some reason these stations seem to get away with broadcasting on a quarter million watts. The moderator was using a caller in the usual sounding board way, lamenting that Christians everywhere were under attack, were the most hated group in the country. This was overstated, but fact remains that religious intolerance is despised by many people. Christ himself was the model of forgiveness, a thing called grace. I pondered the moderator's comments and, next day chanced upon an episode of the 700 Club on the CBN Channel which underscored the entire issue. Phony Christians often do deserve contempt - and by all means must be kept on a very short leash.
The 700 Club episode centered around teenage drug use. Of course, by a large margin, the most problematic drug use among teens is alcohol, left unsaid. The 700 Club focused their interview on a few of the more visually illustrative teens attending a rock concert. There was a pierced nose neo- nazi looking boy who's hair stood up like he'd put an appendage in a light socket and a girl dressed like Morticia Adams with purple lipstick. A small boa constrictor encircled her neck, just your average teen. The alleged Christians asked this colorful duo about their drug use and they responded in a surprisingly candid, articulate way. Essentially, they said the government was spewing road apples about the whole drug scene and they could pound sand, yet another D.A.R.E. failure.
The camera then switched back to the studio where Pat Robertson and an overstuffed woman had the most sanctimonious faces I've seen since I glanced at the prosecution after my guilty verdict. Pat then introduced a glare-eyed fellow who has written a book urging the government to sic the Navy Seals on all the drug lords and their operations in Mexico. The talk became animated-funny how it does that when someone rattles his saber-with the author crying that drug lords have declared chemical war on American children (the old child wedge) and that the sky was otherwise falling. I was reminded of James Madison's caveat about crisis being the rallying cry of the tyrant. Pat and the comfortably padded woman nodded their anointed heads eagerly as the writer spun the glories of a preemptive strike and military expeditions into Old Mexico. You might have believed it to be 1847. I had visions of Vera Cruz and Chapultepec. I flashed back to Viet Nam: helicopters, M-60's and AK-47's bratting; blood slickened ponchos and the stink of JP-4 exhaust: a most un-Christ like scenario. I did a tour there in 1967 with the Marines, the ones who took Chapultepec the first time.
But Jesus Christ said, "Love your neighbor as yourself." [Matthew 22:39]
We already provide squadrons of helicopters to Mexico, replete with mini guns and other lethal hardware, ostensibly to fight the drug war. Doubtless the Mexican government will use it against insurgents in Sinaloa and Jalisco. The American military largesse consigned to foreign countries to fight the drug war has often been used to do in dissenters in Bolivia, Venezuela and Colombia. Thousands of people in other countries have died violently for OUR war on drugs. Putting this expensive, high tech arsenal in the hands of the military in Mexico has an element of irony, too, for some of it will inevitably be used to move kilos from one place to the next on its way north to Gringoland. I say this with utter conviction, for the last Mexican drug czar was also a drug lord-a military general eventually arrested for being in league with some of that country's largest drug barons. Thirty-four other high ranking military officers were also subsequently charged, but, of course, their profiteering shoes were instantly filled, because every drug arrest creates a job opening.
Corruption is called La Mordida in Mexico, which literally means "the bite." La Mordida is endemic to Latin America, a virtual way of life. The U.S. has as much chance of changing it as it has of changing the weather over Montana. Because of the drug war, La Mordida is becoming as American as apple pie as well, and Barry McCaffrey, our drug czar, knows this, although he prevaricates when interviewed on the subject. As a matter of fact, the Mexican military has a long history of protecting contraband and transporting it. This unsurprising phenomenon has also unsurprisingly been observed in the U.S., and probably began when we took over from the French in Viet Nam. Our C.I.A. flew opium for Asian drug lords.
Pat Robertson's belligerent guest author blathered on about unleashing our special forces to make surgical strikes at the drug bosses and their armies, like that surgical strike we pulled off in Panama, a kind of kill 'em all and let God sort it out campaign. The 700 Club host's eyes glittered approvingly.
But Jesus said, "A new command I give you! Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." [John 13:34-35]
It was eerie watching these Christian charlatans weave their TV spell. Baron de Montesquieu summed it up when he said there is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice. Alleged Christians had their Crusades, their Inquisition, their violent conquest of Latin America (to name just a few). It is a dismal, bloody litany, the militarizing of Christianity. The 700 Club hosts tacitly placed their benediction on the idea of special ops in Mexico, a sovereign country. The entire program was a call to arms. A call to kill.
But Jesus also said, "So in everything, do unto others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets" [Matthew 7:12]
If we ever get so lunatic as to breach Mexican sovereignty with platoons of fire-eyed, trigger happy special ops troops, I sincerely hope that Pat Robertson is in the first chopper with a locked and cocked M-16 across his thighs. He apparently needs to see, hear and feel killing and he should personally be given the opportunity. I am, however, real sick and tired of these anti-Christ-spouting armchair heroes who send others out to kill and die for their beliefs. Pat Robertson, you anti-Christian shyster, lock and load, dude, and go to war. Or shut up about it, for you haven't a clue as to what horror it is, nor of what international law is. Certainly, you are not in Christ, who also said, "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the same measure you use, it will be measured to you. [Matthew 7:1-2]