Thursday, April 21, 2011

Resurrecting Jesus

[Spoiler alert:  this essay is not an example of my usual skill and élan.  For the past several weeks, the covert warfare directed at me has increased exponentially:  toxic solvent/gas assaults, several unceasing noise campaigns, electromagnetic warfare, and radiation – both of which deplete my energy (and the will to do anything, as well as the cognition to do it, which is doubtless the purpose of them).  In the case of the latter assault, I am left with total body burns on my skin which make me look jaundiced at times (think the type of sunburn you get if you’re extremely Caucasian, go to the beach for the first time in a season and forget to wear sunscreen).  You’ll still want to at least peruse the links, which are, hopefully, uncorrupted, to get the full zeitgeist.  Sorry.  It is what it is.]

When I started this blog two years ago I had intended it to be a more or less regular journal of my thoughts and experiences as an American bioslave and status-less person targeted by our military dictatorship for political reprisal.  But fighting person-to-army this third civil war is, at times, a great distraction from not only this blog, but also from the true work I feel called to do, which is to expose our military dictatorship and its fascist infrastructure for what they are and hold them accountable for the millions and millions of murders they have committed with their bioslavery programs.   That, no doubt, is the intention of the third civil war.  Our military dictatorship’s leaders well know that the person who stops rowing is the one who is free to rock the boat, and that once it has made normal, civil life impossible for its targets, it has to otherwise occupy those targets with as much fighting for sheer survival that it can in order to give them no chance to plan and carry out any type of strategic offense.  It has no qualms about terrorizing and torturing them until they are dead.  What else is there for a target to do once she understands this?  To blog, or not to blog – that is the question nowadays for this target.  There is, though, something to keeping a tradition alive – to embracing what is most fundamentally human – and so, herewith, my 2011 Easter blog.

Today is Maundy Thursday.  When I was a very little girl and my parents took me to church on this sacred day, I somehow got the idea that this day was actually Easter.  I don’t know why.  Certainly, in our evangelical Lutheran church, we never heard such a thing proclaimed, and I was no different than any other child looking forward to the upcoming early morning egg hunt and family supper after Sunday services in a few days’ time.  Intellectually, I knew Maundy Thursday came before Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and egg-hunt-bunny-chocolate-and-glazed-ham Sunday, but there seemed something so odd about marking the day before Jesus’ martyrdom as a Holy day that I almost instinctively knew this day – of all the days of Lent – was actually the most important day of all, the true day deserving of observance.

Developmental psychologists tell us that a person’s personality is set by the time he or she is five years-old, and since I haven’t changed my opinion of Maundy Thursday in the last 44 years, I guess there’s something to that theory.  I suppose I never will stop believing that what’s most important about Jesus’ martyrdom is the very fact that he chose to make it in the first place – that, instead of running away from his persecution as the outlaw that he had been branded by Roman and Jewish authorities, he chose to face them and take whatever persecution they had in store for him.  (“Why am I here, Judas?  I’ve done nothing illegal,” which he actually said before his crucifixion).  That is the central message of the story of Jesus’ martyrdom – that he could have avoided it but didn’t, and instead, chose to die to prove to us that we, too, could die standing up to corrupt authorities in order to create a more just society for everyone; that we could not just live but also die for the sake of others less fortunate than us. 

That’s a loaded message in an age when we’re told – and repeatedly shown – ‘terrorists’ who blow up others along with themselves to prove their devotion to one or another authority:  civil, terrorist, or allegedly other-worldly.  But that’s not the same type of martyrdom Jesus undertook.  Deeply confused and twisted by hate, these backpack-bus bombers and brainwashed hijackers represent for us the very most debased hearts-and-minds corrupted warrior partly because we’re told that’s what they are – brainwashed youth used as fodder by their diabolic handlers – and partly because we choose not to look at how our own military dictatorship works assiduously to promote that image while at the same time undermining the development of true moral conviction by sanctifying and supporting only cults that idolize the image of Jesus as Messiah, or some other equally insidious and destructive type of cult – all at the same time it is becoming the most notorious terrorist organization in the world.  Yet, the message of sacrificing one’s self for the benefit of others who are less fortunate than us - at the hands of those who are vastly more fortunate - is as fundamental to the notion of a justice-seeking community, wherever that community may be, and however anachronistic it may seem to the vast majority of others today, as it was 2011 years ago.  Sadly, it’s relevant.

I haven’t observed Maundy Thursday rituals in a church for many decades.  I usually spend the evening alone, listening to Dvořák’s Stabat Mater.  That’s out of the question tonight, with the noise campaigns in full swing. (You didn’t really think your military dictatorship’s leaders would let a person who understands the Christic concepts as well as I do contemplate and gain strength from them any further on this day, did you?  That’s not how these mass murdering, fascist, arch hypocrites work.)  So I’m not sure where I’ll be this evening, but I do know that wherever I am, I will be meditating on this recent realization:  Messiahs are for the disempowered.  People who have power don’t need to be saved from those with whom they have thrown in their lot, the ultra-powerful.  The rest of us whom they feel they can use and disposed of have to stand up for ourselves and for those less fortunate than us, or face the impotent future, waiting for a Messiah that never comes.  If we could ask Jesus what he would advise us in these circumstances, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t say, “Oh, don’t worry – I’ll be back sometime in the future to kick your oppressors’ asses.

It’s not up to anyone else to stand in our place before the persecuting mob today and take the hits our oppressors have devised for us.  Foreclosed and improperly housed or unhoused; uninsured or insured and without proper medical care; overworked and unable to make ends meet - no matter who we are, or how little we have, each of us is fighting some type of battle today, and each of us is not alone.  We may not know what the interest rate, the unemployment rate, the new home starts will be tomorrow, or what the NASDAQ  is doing, but you can be sure there are always those in similar circumstances and those less fortunate – especially here, in the most powerful military dictatorship in the world, which has the most encompassing technology to wage its declared covert war against its dissidents known to man.  The message that someone else can and will do for us what we are otherwise called to do for ourselves is pernicious in the extreme, promoting a helplessness that in no way comports with the kingdom of G_d.  That’s not the most noble manifestation of the gift of humanity that is given to us.  Thankfully, there are those who are willing to sacrifice everything for themselves and those of their less fortunate loved ones, who are, for example, suffering in the abominable slavery our fascist leaders have devised vis-à-vis the medicoresearch industry, also known as the ‘healthcare’ industry.

Kristen LaBrie is the Lawrence, Massachusetts, mother of the autistic boy from whom she withheld chemotherapy treatment because she felt it was those drugs and not her suffering son’s disease that were killing him.  Ms. LaBrie is now civilly dead.  She was convicted on April 12th of attempted murder, battery on a disabled person and child endangerment for failing to give these universally acknowledged poisonous, so-called drugs to her son for five months after he went into remission.  She faced this absurd kangaroo court – which apparently has once again granted to the state the right to force lethal medical treatments on citizens – after watching her beautiful, already compromised, beloved son die of diseases our military dictatorship has long had the ability to create and for which it has developed only a similarly lethal treatment to which it has, with this type of jurisimprudence, enslaved us.  Kristen LaBrie courageously said, ‘enough is enough.’  She took the responsibility to lovingly and compassionately care for her dying son – and for it she has been repudiated as a murderess by minions of our military dictatorship.  I don’t know what her religious beliefs are, but her moral convictions are no less Christic in the most roundly fundamental sense than those of others who have proved their faelty to the values of Jesus, such as Martin Luther King, Jr., and I applaud her for having the courage to act as ethically as she has.  This is precisely the type of state protest in which Jesus sacrificed himself; we would do well to remember that part of the reason Jesus became so irksome to authorities was because he was providing the healthcare to the poor and beleaguered that other social institutions were not, and his followers rightly began to trust him more than they trusted the state.  Ms. LaBrie’s act is precisely the type of act American churches have inexcusably failed to recognize as just such a sacrifice – to its eternal shame and to the detriment of their followers.  Health justice is a piteously under-served social mission by all churches, and so, this Maundy Thursday, as I contemplate the many reasons the life and death of the very human Jesus of Nazareth should be studied with reverence, I pay homage to Kristen LaBrie and her willingness to sacrifice, acknowledging it to be both too profound and deep for me to comprehend fully and yet fully within my grasp as a compassionate, morally convicted human being.  I ask my readers, no matter their religious beliefs, to perform the same compassionate act, and think about how you will bear up under the oppressive conditions with which you will be faced in the coming year.  From what examples of moral strength will you derive the courage to acknowledge your oppression and seek ways to overcome it?  What sacrifice will you be willing to make to create ‘the kingdom of G_d’ with the hands tbat Jesus told us we could create it?  How will you embrace the message of the ‘Messiah?’  Go ahead and dig into the story, deeply, and see if you can find correlations in it to your own experiences.  Are you, too, the persecuted, or are you the persecutor?  Are you the one who needs a Messiah, or are you the hypocrite that sees no purpose to self-sacrifice for those less fortunate than yourself (that’s not the United States military dictatorship, by the way).  What parallels between the class-stratified social constraints Jesus faced and those you are facing today can you draw?  Isn’t this type of contemplation the best way we can honor Jesus this week?

I don’t know how I shall be able to overcome the enormous challenges I am facing today, but I do know this:  when no one else steps forward to be the Messiah, it’s time to be your own, like Kristen LaBrie has been for her son and, by example, other mothers facing the horrible decisions she has faced.  The time to act with courage no matter what condemnation, torture and physical pain we may face is the time when we feel most disempowered, most confused and most threatened.  It is in those times we are called to assert our right to exist as human beings – as ‘children of G_d,’ if you so chose to view G_d as a fatherly figure – in community with our civilized brethren (however few in numbers though they may seem to be at times).  The kingdom of G_d Jesus assured us human beings is possible for us to create is not the social Darwinistic world envisioned and forced upon us by the leaders of our military dictatorship.  It is a reality in which peace is as actively waged for the benefit of each and every individual – and not for the benefit of any mob, such as the American Medical Association and its paymaster, the fascist alliance between the Pentagon and so-called healthcare industry players – by each and every member of the kingdom of G_d.  Resurrect the spirit of Jesus for yourselves.  You are your only hope; I hope that is what Jesus’ martyrdom teaches you this week.

Good Holy Week, everyone - and happy Passover to my Jewish readers, out of the midst of whose ancestors the sage, Jesus, came.