The bleating seems to be more or less incessant now, a steady natter that began sometime in the late 70s and has built constanty since then. It started with the Moral Majority (which is neither) and led to the posting of the Decalogue in public places and the insanity of “Intelligent Design”.
All over the US waves of bigotry surge. In many states it is now impossible for a same-gender couple to receive even the token benefits of marriage; gays and lesbians are still forbidden to serve in the military despite an undeniable need for soldiers; pre-op transgendered people are fired from positions they’ve served at successfully for years.
Right-wing book-fondlers push their hatred but refuse to acknowledge it as such; a woman may be refused abortion and may find it impossible to get help for her child. “Political analysts” constantly beat the drum of xenophobia — essentially a fear of Brown People — and the White House’s incessant belligerence sets the tone for a nation of troglodytes.
The stupid foray in Iraq has cost us half a trillion dollars so far, money that could have been spent on inoculation, farming programs and education both in the US and abroad — but instead it’s been spent on killing 60,000 civilians.
In Buddhism, there is a realm called the world of the Hungry Ghosts.
These are sad creatures, with tiny mouths and short arms, and they are seated at a banquet table laden with food.
They’d eat if they could, but they can’t, because they have only very long spoons. The handles are attached to their little arms and they can’t reach their mouths with the bowls. They scoop food, and try to sip it, and they can’t because the handles are too long, because their mouths can’t reach the food; they are starving and in sorrow and agony, and they don’t see a simple thing, an easy thing, such an obvious thing.
The spoons’ handles are too long to reach their own mouths, but they could reach the mouth of the riven spirit beside them.
If they fed one another with their spoons, everyone would be satisfied.
Still they writhe and shriek in their torment, still they suffer alone in their agony, not needing to, not having to; it is simply all they know and all they have ever known.
Our nation would have considerably less to fear from terrorism if we’d lose some of our arrogance — contrary to popular belief, not everyone else in the world envies or wants to live in the US. The US may not, after all, be “the greatest nation on earth”.
We’d go a lot farther toward spreading democracy and freedom if we’d ease the suffering of other nations first; people are more willing to listen to political theory after their bellies are full and their children are free from disease and poverty.
We’d have more genuine friends on the world stage if we’d drop our energy-hogging hubris and start giving a damn about the world we’re polluting, the world we all have to live in.
You’d think a nation of Christians would act like Christians. Instead we act like selfish, spoiled children, insisting on having our way, insisting that everyone else is wrong, ignoring the suffering we’re creating in a world which does not belong to us.
What does that say about this nation and the people whose voices are so shrill?
Precisely how Christian is this nation?
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