Herod, USA

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    • #3032
      Cold Mountain Trail
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      The real meaning of Christmas is not to be found in a manger, but in a massacre….rarely addressed in Christian Churches…   As the biblical story goes: wise men heard of the virgin birth of Jesus, and went looking for him…    Jesus’ heralded birth was enough to threaten the Roman powers who occupied Israel. Thus a reportedly “frightened”—and devious—King Herod arranged a secret meeting with the wise men, in which he encouraged them to “search diligently for the child,” and when they found him, let him know…  The wise men…were “warned in a dream” not to return and tell Herod…  (and) an “infuriated” Herod ordered the massacre of all the male Jewish children… to kill off any threat to his power prophesized by the birth of a Messiah…  Here is a very relevant meaning of Christmas: “Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.” (Matthew 2: 1-18)…   Other translations referenced herein end with: “Peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased,” and “on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests…”

      Who decides those whom God “favors” or those with whom God is “pleased”?  And who decides those God does not favor?  Those with whom God is displeased..?  Countless Rachels are “weeping” in Afghanistan and Iraq.  President Bush’s wars have not produced “freedom,” but widows and orphans… And with Donald Trump’s presidency, the sorrow continues.  In Yemen, “85,000 children under 5 years old” are reported to have died from malnutrition as a result of “Saudi Arabia’s “bombing and blockades…”    Then there is President Trump’s demonizing as dangerous “invaders” a caravan of poverty-and violence-fleeing Central American men, women and children…

      Ironically, belief in the Prince of Peace provides comfort to Christians who build walls and wage—and accommodate—war…   It is difficult to empathize with the rights and grievances of other people if one’s religion is believed to be superior and their religion is perceived to be displeasing to one’s white Christian God…an exceptionalism that undermines The Golden Rule of placing oneself, non-paternalistically, in other kinds of believers’ realities and treating them as one would want to be understood and treated.  Jesus provides the bottom line of birth and faith for Christians in the Sermon on the Mount:

      “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5: 9)

      The manger reveals the common humanity everyone shares, and the right of Rachel’s children everywhere to be, and to belong, and to become.

      Herod, USA

       

       

       

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