21 March 2005

Easter 2005

If Jesus Returns, Karl Rove Will Kill Him
"You killed the son of your God, then you worshipped him when he was dead, and now you kill those who choose not to follow him." - Tecumseh

If Jesus Returns, Karl Rove Will Kill Him
Harvey Wasserman
March 21, 2005

As we enter another Easter Season, it's become all too obvious that if Christ returns, those who hate in Jesus's name will have him killed.

Christ was a long-haired peace activist who would have hated the war in Iraq. "Blessed are the peacemakers" Jesus said in his defining Sermon on the Mount. "Turn the other cheek...Love thy neighbor."

Such hippie-radical ideals are the "Christian" right wing's worst nightmare. The GOP would never tolerate an upstart like Jesus gathering a following in the face of their corporate-fundamentalist crusade. These are Christians who love power but would despise the actual Christ, just as they love a Zionist Israel but can't tolerate actual Jews.

In the wake of Jesus's exemplary life of non-violent rebellion, a perverse liturgy weighted by twenty centuries of intolerant bloodthirsty bigotry has erupted in his name. Attacks on people of color, on nations with oil, on humans of the same gender who love each other, on youth who enjoy sex….all have become enemies of a new fundamentalist crusade doing in Christ's name things that would have left him sickened and horrified.

In large part through the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus came to be viewed as Divine because he spoke eloquently for a gracious, loving God.

Karl Rove, Tom DeLay and their ilk believe George Bush and his corporate-fundamentalist minions speak to and for a very different kind of God, one with characteristics at war with those described by Christ.

Bush-Rove's Divinity is a nasty dictator, defined by hate and greed, intolerance and hypocrisy.

Christ kicked the moneychangers out of the temple. Rove-DeLay's Republicans have enshrined them.

Christ spoke of a God of compassion and joy.

Today's so-called Christian fundamentalists worship one of greed-driven warmongering totalitarianism. The only way to salvation, they say is THEIR way, through a spiteful God that hates all Jesus preached.

As Tecumseh, the great Shawnee warrior, shouted at William Henry Harrison in the early 1800s, "You killed the son of your God, then you worshipped him when he was dead, and now you kill those who choose not to follow him."

If Christ came back today to resume preaching the Sermon on the Mount, Karl Rove would slime him in the media, then kill him outright, then turn his words into right wing hatespeak, then kill those who refuse to follow in his name.

If Christ came back to organize against Bush's war, Rove's pet bloviators would shriek about Mary Magdalene. Isn't that her seated next to Christ in DaVinci's "Last Supper"? Wasn't she unmarried, pregnant with Christ's bastard child, catching his blood dripping from the cross?

Rush Limbaugh would demand to know what right did the self-proclaimed "Son of God" had to a relationship out of wedlock? Who was he to feed those loaves and fishes to the undeserving poor, prolonging the existence of inferior racial stock? Who was he to attack those moneychangers who are the Elect of God and the sponsors of Rush's air time?

Then O'Reilly would slime the Easter thing. A self-anointed "peace prophet" rising from the tomb? Poppycock, he'd say. Just another pinko hippie terrorist conspiracy theory.

But if Christ persisted, and built a following like, say, Martin Luther King or Malcolm X, Cesar Chavez or Nelson Mandela…well….they'd kill him.

They'd set it up to blame someone else, like, say the Jews, or the terrorists, or the Willie Hortons. They'd find some patsy to take the fall for the assassination.

Rove would cloud his death in shadowy scandal. Stories would surface unconfirmed debts. Or tainted investments. Maybe something about hashish, no stranger to the region.

Hannity would feature some lovers he jilted. There'd be rumors he was gay. Talk of a love triangle. Ugly gossip about Mary and Judas. False leads about Jews wanting him dead. New doubts about that "virgin birth."

Whatever it would take to rub the sheen off an anti-war "Son of God" and to turn his death tawdry, Rove would do.

But would Jesus stand for the slaughter of 100,000 Iraqis in his name merely because of oil and dubious Biblical prophecy? How would Christ view a president in love with the gas chamber and electric chair? What would Jesus, who hated hypocrisy above all, say about a Bush who scampers back to prolong the life of a brain-dead woman who wanted to die, but who gleefully executes 150 people as governor and as many more as president as he can get his hands on? How would Jesus cope with a self-proclaimed Divinity demanding the death penalty for children?

What would Jesus think of the torture in American prisons, where much the same is being done to innocent inmates as was done to Christ himself? Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ" stands as a documentary of the daily torture and slaughter of too many of the 2.2 million prisoners held in the US military and civilian gulag, a barbaric prison system that makes the Romans' look benign by comparison.

Systematic sexual abuse by both prison guards and Catholic priests? The wholesale slaughter of Iraqi children? The debasement by corporate money of both church and state?

Christ would lead the non-violent charge against these cornerstones of GOP rule---until Rove killed him.

What would Jesus do about gay marriage? "Love they neighbor," he'd say.

What business is it of those who use his name, he would ask, to prolong bigotry and intolerance just as 50 years ago those same cynical haters claimed Biblical sanction for laws preventing people of color from marrying the white people they loved.

Christ would never stand for such a hate campaign. So Karl Rove would have him killed.

Hitler claimed Christ was an Aryan supremacist. Now Rove, DeLay & company use him to justify dictatorial, greed-approving, gay-hating, war loving, torture-is-fine bigotry.

Easter says otherwise. It should remind us that if Jesus returned to preach the Gandhian love-thy-neighbor subversion with which he challenged the Romans, Karl Rove would do what Pilate did.

But Rove would be better at the spin.

18 March 2005

Chum Hin Love

The Adventures of Chum Hin Love

via the always funny (and usually weird) - YaGottaLaugh

17 March 2005


Anyone Can Win It All This Year
So...I made my F-4 picks based on coaches:

Translation: Louisville, Duke, Arizona and Florida

Louisville to win it all.

07 March 2005

One last post (of hope) via Dave Eggers

is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write.

"Our services are structured around our belief that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention, and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success.

With this in mind, we provide drop-in tutoring, after-school workshops, in-schools tutoring, help for English language learners, and assistance with student publications.

All of our programs are challenging and enjoyable, and ultimately strengthen each student's power to express ideas effectively, creatively, confidently, and in his or her individual voice."

Read about 826LA in the Los Angeles Times.
Please also visit 826 Valencia and 826NYC.

06 March 2005

The 10-Day

No blogging for a while:
I'm off to the
IAF Ten-Day Training in San Antonio

"I tell people, the hell with charity; the only thing you'll get is what you're strong enough to get."
Saul Alinsky

Saul Alinksy

"Alinsky believed that democracy is for ordinary people...[this is] no small comfort admist the decay of democracy."
-Sanford Hozwitt (Alinsky Biographer)

"Democracy Matters"
.......................................-Cornel West

Almost 30 years after Saul D. Alinsky's death, his legacy still resonates across America. In urban neighborhoods, ordinary people are organizing for the right to determine their own destinies. These "citizen activists" are making dramatic improvements in the quality of their lives, methodically fighting for low-income housing, public education, toxic waste clean-up, living wage jobs and economic change. They are organizing with techniques first pioneered over 50 years ago by Alinsky, known as the father of democratic radicalism.

Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) - founded in 1940 - is now led by ex-seminarian Edward T. Chambers, who worked with Alinsky for 16 years. Now, with 60 organizations in more than 50 cities from East Brooklyn to East Los Angeles, IAF has taken Alinsky's vision and created a sophisticated national network of citizens' associations. Sanford D. Horwitt, Alinsky's biographer writes that today, the IAF is "steadily approaching Alinsky's unfulfilled dream of a large network of People's Organizations that would provide tens-of-thousands of ordinary working and modest-income Americans with a measure of power to shape decisions that affect their lives and communities."

The IAF's mission is to train people to organize themselves, take responsibility for solving the problems in their own communities and renew the interest of citizens in public life. Ecumenical, democratic, devoted to small-scale tackling of large problems, IAF groups mobilize mostly through religious institutions, bringing together people across demoninations. IAF activists learn how to work with people from other ethnic groups and backgrounds. Every action taken by an IAF group is carefully planned, in a process IAF founder Chambers describes as "deliberate, calculated and focused." As Michael Tomasky wrote in the Village Voice (04/04/95), "IAF groups don't set out to change the world; just a little patch of it. And in so doing, they do change the world."

IAF organizations are not based around single issues; they have broad agendas for change, based on local priorities. Among the church-based, interfaith and interracial IAF organizations are East Brooklyn Congregations, which fought to build 2,100 affordable housing units for low-income families and Dallas Area Interfaith, which successfully lobbied state legislators to increase funding for public education. In Baltimore, three IAF groups recently challenged Maryland governor Parris N. Glendening to invest $90 million in a program to create 5,000 public-sector jobs and in California, three IAF organizations teamed up to raise the state minimum wage.

Beyond the IAF, dozens of community organizing networks are actively practicing Alinsky's techniques. Here in Portland, it is
Metropolitan Alliance for Common Good. Among the other most prominent are: Pacific Institute for Community Organizing (Oakland, CA), the Catholic Church's Campaign for Human Development (Washington, D.C.), Citizen Action (Chicago, IL), Organizing Training Center (San Francisco), Direct Action and Research Training Center (Miami, FL), The Gamaliel Foundation (Chicago, IL) and National Organizers Alliance (Washington, D.C.)

03 March 2005

Here we go!

Baseball '05
My friend Jeff in D.C. reports, "You wouldn't believe how jazzed and genuinely informed I am about our yet-to-hit-town Nationals." . Every team is a hopeful contender in March, (yes, even an expansion team) which is one of the beautiful things about baseball. Just ask any Chicago Cubs fan and while you're at it, ask a Red Sox fan about last year.
Baseball annually breeds optimism.

Washington Nationals' manager Frank Robinson and pitcher Esteban
Loaiza before their first spring training game against the New York Mets
yesterday in Viera, Fla. (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson)

01 March 2005

From the What's Wrong With This Picture Dept.

via WRH
Support Our Troops?
U.S. Soldier Fights To Keep Home While In Iraq
Wife Says Bank Threatens To Foreclose On
Sergeant's House; Sell Belongings
$9 Billion Goes Missing In Iraq
Huge Sum Disappears Without A Trace
(by Helen Thomas, Hearst White House columnist)

Sgt. Steve Welter

Bush Administration war-profiteers earn & steal billions off of Iraq, while soldiers fighting there are losing their homes?

And just where is all of the "support our troops" polemic from the flag-waving dupes over this?

Let Wells Fargo know how you feel about their two-faced greed.