Fast for Gospel Nonviolence 2014 – Thirtieth helping

FAST FOOD (2014): Thirtieth Helping

Again,

“We adore God Who is love, Who in Jesus Christ gave Himself for us, Who offered Himself on the Cross to expiate our sins, and through the power of this love, rose from the dead and lives in His Church. We have no God other than Him.”

Pope Francis, 6/21/14

There is a principle in Catholic moral theology that governs all moral decision making, which is to be followed when there is doubt whether a particular choice is good or evil, morally permissible or morally impermissible, according to God’s will or not according to God’s will. The preeminent Catholic moral theologian of the Twentieth Century, Rev. Bernard Haring, states it this way:

“The effort one is obliged to make, in order to acquire the needed moral certainty that a possible choice is morally permissible, is to be measured by the importance of the action itself and the consequences that can be reasonably anticipated.”

“Doubt can be concerned even with some moral principles. In the realm of revealed truth, many of the derived moral or subordinate moral principles are in some manner obscure to us”

(The Law of Christ, Imprimatur, 1960).

Now it has happened hundreds, if not thousands of times, over the nearly five decades I have been teaching on, directing retreats on, leading conferences on and giving lectures on the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels and His Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies, that after making a thorough presentation of the subject and painstakingly answering all related questions, e.g., What about the overturning of the tables in the Temple, what about Hitler, what about the Old Testament, etc., someone will stand up and say, “I don’t care what the Gospels say, I’m a Catholic (Lutheran, Anglican, Orthodox, etc.), and my Church says I can go to war and kill the enemy. And, that’s good enough for me. If my country goes to war and needs me, I’ll go.”

Exegesis, the length of a small book, would be required to completely untangle the interlocking degrees of untruths of such a statement.  Beyond, “I am a Catholic (Lutheran, etc.),” everything else is ignorance raised to the level of an infallible dogma, which the Christian then can, and probably will, bet his or her temporal and eternal life on. Untold tens of millions  (minimum estimation) of Catholics or other Christians live in this “holy” ignorance and live so almost never out of personal malice or by intentionally choosing evil.  They live there primarily because of the gross misdeeds of malfeasance and misfeasance by bishops, priests, ministers and pastors, who intentionally refuse to communicate not only the truth about the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels and His Nonviolent Way of Love, but also the truth about their own substitute for the teaching of Jesus, the Catholic (Christian) Just War Theory (CJWT).

The person mentioned about is in fact the prototypical Just War Christian. What he says is how the majority of everyday Christian just warists think across all longitudes and latitudes. Said another way, the Christian just warists in the pews have been intentionally misinformed, under-informed and non-informed about CJWT from the Christian just warists in the pulpits. What CJWT is and is not, how it is related to and exist within the rest of Christian moral theology, what its content is, and when, where and how it is to be applied in order to avoid being part of the evil of murder or mass murder, that is, the evil of the intentional unjust taking of a human life in utero or extra-utero, before and during a war is all kept out of explicit consciousness and therefore out of a conscience concern by those who are responsible for teaching it. If they exists in the consciousness of the average Christian just warists at all, they languish there as a foggy non-concern that in no way can undermine the moral absurdities within the statement, “I’m a Catholic (Lutheran, Anglican, Orthodox, etc.) and my Church says I can go to war and kill the enemy. And, that’s good enough for me. If my country goes to war and needs me, I’ll go.”

Without the support of hierarchical, clerical, ministerial and pastoral calculated indifference to their own truth and to making it known to those to whom they have a responsibility to communicate it, at least 99% of the wars that Christians have participated in would have been boycotted en masse by just war Christians, as well as, by those following Jesus’ teaching of Nonviolent love of all always.

This reflection began with a statement of one of the cornerstones of CJWT, without which CJWT becomes a “holy” carte blanche for murder: “The effort one is obliged to make, in order to acquire the needed moral certainty that a possible choice is morally permissible, is to be measured by the importance of the action itself and the consequences that can be reasonably anticipated.” Christian moral theology and that dimension of it called CJWT provide the tools, the moral and pastoral wherewithal, by which to make that mandated effort. If the tools, the means, are withheld or only cursorily presented to the Christians in the pews by the Christians in the pulpits, then little to no effort to truthfully discern whether a Just War Christian can morally participate in a war can be made or even begun. The consequence will be that Christians at every latitude and longitude, of every race, color, gender and nationality, will throw themselves into the mass slaughter of other human beings that is war. They will do this believing they are following Jesus and have Jesus’ support, and believing also that they will receive the reward for their works of war and their faithfulness to Jesus in the Kingdom of Heaven.

And, their witness and their Church’s witness to the world in answer to the question, “How does Jesus save?” is what?

- ECM

Fast for Gospel Nonviolence 2014 – Twenty ninth helping

FAST FOOD (2014): Twenty-Ninth Helping
 
Again,

“We adore God Who is love, Who in Jesus Christ gave Himself for us, Who offered Himself on the Cross to expiate our sins, and through the power of this love, rose from the dead and lives in His Church. We have no God other than Him.”

Pope Francis, 6/21/14

Literate Constantinian Christians cannot deny that the words they read on the pages of the Gospels say “Love your enemies,” “Do good to those who hate you,” “Love one another as I have loved you,” “Follow me,” etc. The problem lies not in their inability to read but rather in the groundless and untenable interpretations they claim are included in the content expressed by those word. They maintain that a Christian can love his or her enemies by torturing and killing them, a Christian can love as Jesus loves by burning someone’s face off with a flamethrower, a Christian can do good to those who hate him or her by putting a bullet through the other person’s head, destroying his house and leaving his wife and children psychologically maimed for the rest of their lives and financially destitute. Such aberrant, fatuous, inane interpretations of Jesus’ words are the bread and butter of Constantinian Christianity.

The issue lies not in literate Christians’ competency at reading. They can read well, “See Jack run. See Jill run.” The issue is the farcical interpretation of Jesus’ words, analogous to interpreting “See Jack run” and “See Jill run,” as meaning Jack and Jill are standing at attention, when nothing in the text or context even remotely suggest that is a possible interpretation.

If the method of interpretation—employed to reach the conclusion that the content of the saving love that Jesus teaches allows for violence and enmity, including the mass slaughter and enmity of war—were employed to interpret other documents, what would be the result? Take, for example, documents quoting the words of General George Patton, words such as “No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country,” or  “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week,” or  “Before he finds out where my flanks are, I’ll be cutting the bastard’s throat,” or “I have no particular desire to understand the Russians, except to ascertain how much lead or iron it takes to kill them,” or “In the second place, Harrison and his ilk believe that the Displaced Person is a human being, which he is not, and this applies particularly to the Jews, who are lower than animals” If the same method of interpretation were used to interpret Patton’s words as is used to interpret Jesus’ words by the Constantinian Churches, then Patton would be understood as nonviolent and what he taught would be interpreted as a way of nonviolent love of friends and enemies!

Christian just war theories owe nothing to anything the Jesus of the primitive Church or the Gospels ever said or did. They owe everything to literate Christians who have spewed a continuous, ever changing, ever escalating stream of outlandish, farcical and bizarre interpretations of what Jesus said and did into the minds of those who have come within their scope of influence. The toll of human misery in time that has issued from these preposterous interpretations is well documented. The toll in eternity for persuading people to go down a Way of salvation that is not the Way of salvations is incalculable. But this is known from the Gospels, neither war nor enmity is needed by Jesus to accomplish all He intended to accomplish. Nor, are war and enmity part of the saving love Jesus gives us to share in and live by, and of which He Himself is the incarnation.

It would seem that deceptively toying with one’s own eternal salvation and the salvation of other people would be a permanent non-option, forever off the table for any human being. The risk and possible consequences involved would infinitely override any possible earthly gain that could be envisioned as resulting from such behavior.

- ECM

Fast for Gospel Nonviolence 2014 – Twenty Eighth helping

FAST FOOD (2014): Twenty-Eighth Helping

Again,

“We adore God Who is love, Who in Jesus Christ gave Himself for us, Who offered Himself on the Cross to expiate our sins, and through the power of this love, rose from the dead and lives in His Church. We have no God other than Him.”

Pope Francis, 6/21/14

What about literate Christians? How is it possible for Christians who can read not to see the Nonviolent Jesus and His Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies on the pages of the Gospels? Certainly it does not require the fifty years of high academic Biblical study put in by Rev. John L. McKenzie to see there the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospel and His Way of Nonviolent Love toward all under all conditions and circumstances. As McKenzie states,

“No reader of the New Testament, simple or sophisticated, can retain any doubt of Jesus’ position toward violence directed to persons, individual or collective, organized or free enterprise, he rejected it totally…If Jesus did not reject any type of violence for any purpose, then we know nothing of him.”

I suppose in considering the issue of the literate Christian who thinks that Jesus justifies the use of violence against enemies, it first must be remembered that everyone, before he or she is literate, is illiterate. Human beings are raised within a society and a culture. They mimic, absorb and have embedded in their brains its values, attitudes and beliefs long before they are able to read, “See Jack run. See Jill run.”

A language is not the personal creation of the person but rather is a communal, cultural phenomenon into which a human being is born. It carries in its agreed upon signs and symbols what a particular culture finds good and evil, what it likes and dislikes, what it embraces and fears, etc. The child learns these with every new word he or she learns. The language with its spiritual, moral, psychological, emotional and cognitive content creates the interpretation of the world in which the child lives and moves. The language creates the child’s nomos, his or her “unquestioned taken for granted knowledge” about everything from God, to good and evil, to whether the earth is flat, round or oval, to whether people of Irish decent should always be unwelcome or should always be “as welcome as the flowers in May.” Literacy exists within the context of language and culture, not independent of it.

If language as received by a child is used as a medium for hardwiring the brain of a child into what is untrue, that untruth is simultaneously hardwired into a child’s self-understanding, reality-understanding and God-understanding as truth. Then regardless of how self-evident and blatant an untruth is to everyone outside the particular culture, that untruth will be beyond reproach as truth within the culture and a person of that culture. Indeed, the higher that incontestable evidence mounts invalidating the hardwired untruth masquerading as truth, personal and culture, the more stiff necked the person will become in his or her insistence that the self-evident truth or provable truth is not the truth, but that his or her deeply nurtured untruth is the truth. When a well-packaged untruth has been sold gradually to a particular group of people over generations, the presentation of a truth that directly contradicts the cherished hardwired untruth will seem utterly preposterous. This is the root of Gandhi’s reflection, “The only people in the world who do not see Jesus as nonviolent are Christians.”

Literacy and incontestable evidence, e.g., that the Jesus presented in black and white in writing in the Gospels is Nonviolent and teaches a Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies, are not an absolute bulwark against accepting untruth as truth, against not being able to see a truth that is staring one in the face. Constantinian Christianity knows well, that to acknowledge as true what is written unambiguously on the pages of the Gospels, simultaneously means that its opposite is a glaringly absurd.

But, it is hard to affirm a truth, even if it is right there in black and white, when its opposite is what a person wants to hear, indeed, needs to hear to protect a big investment—spiritual or physical, psychological or financial, personal or institutional. But truth does not become untrue because there is a cost involved in acknowledging it. And, that is the case in every area of life, including the truth of Jesus as recorded in the Gospels. A person can logically and with integrity maintain that what Jesus teaches is not the truth. But he or she cannot logically maintain with integrity that the Gospels do not present Jesus as nonviolent or do not present Him as teaching as the will and way of God unto eternal salvation the Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies in imitation of Him. 

The problem of not acknowledging a clearly communicated incontestable truth and with clinging obstinately to a previously hardwired but now proven untruth is exacerbated to infinite dimension in the case at hand because it directly involves the truthful answer to the question, “How does Jesus save?” Or, more pointedly, the question, “Can the love by which Jesus saves in the Gospels and which He communicates to His disciples as the love they should share in and live as part of the process of salvation ever have violence or enmity as part of its content or expression?” Church history for the last 1700 years overwhelming says, “Yes,”—but not infallibly. The Jesus of the Gospels and of the primitive Church says, “No.” Which one is telling the truth in answer to the question, “How does Jesus save?” To choose one is to renounce the other. What is at stake is of infinite consequence for the each Christian and for all humanity.

- ECM

Fast for Gospel Nonviolence 2014 – Twenty Seventh helping

FAST FOOD (2014): Twenty-Seventh Helping
 
Again,

“We adore God Who is love, Who in Jesus Christ gave Himself for us, Who offered Himself on the Cross to expiate our sins, and through the power of this love, rose from the dead and lives in His Church. We have no God other than Him.”

Pope Francis, 6/21/14

Perhaps, there are matters of such consequence in the lives of Christians that they must be “successfully” addressed even if they seemingly must be dealt with by not doing God’s will as revealed by Jesus in a particular situation. Said another way, such matters are so urgent, vital and momentous that they take priority over the eternal salvation of each and all, e.g., continuing life on earth for a while longer for oneself or one’s loved ones, keeping the institutional Church financially solvent at the level to which it has become accustomed, kicking Bush, Clinton, Bush or Obama out of office, passing a piece of legislation, stopping the great evils of war or abortion, freeing slaves, protecting king and country, protecting a god or a god’s residence(s), standing up for a god’s good name, converting people to a god who want nothing to do with the god, etc. Therefore a hiatus must be taken from choosing and participating in the saving act of Divine love as revealed by God Incarnate, Jesus—the only act that can vanquish evil, sin and death forever from every life of every person who has ever lived or will live.

Perhaps, there are also matters of such consequence in the lives of Christians that Christians can justify lying by proclaiming that what is the direct opposite of God’s will as revealed by Jesus is God’s will as revealed by Jesus. Hence, doing what Jesus explicitly said not to do is an act of Christlike love and is participation in the process of salvation.

In Churches where large numbers of Christians are illiterate—remembering that for most of the history of Christianity illiteracy was normal in the everyday world of Christians—Church leaders could easily ignore Jesus’ nonviolence and His teaching of “Love your enemies.” As an alternative, Church leaders would have little difficulty convincing their illiterate flocks that Jesus’ teaching of “Love your enemies,” did not mean that a Christian could not torture, maim and kill his or her enemies, if it were decided by Church leaders that a cause, as measured by some standard of importance, was important enough to kill for. On what basis, with what evidence, could an illiterate Christian counter such an interpretation of the Gospel by Church leaders?

If as noted in the prior FAST FOOD Helping via the words of Rev. John L. McKenzie, “Identity with Jesus means in the first place that the Christian shares in the saving act of love of the type He recommends in the Gospels,” then what does it say about the leaders of the Churches when tens upon tens of millions of illiterate Christians, who truly believed in Jesus Christ as their Lord, God and Savior, have had to live their lives subject to deceitful Church leaders on the matter of the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels and His teaching of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies, on the matter of what is the  content of the saving act that they have been chosen by Jesus Himself to share in? Bishops, priests, ministers and pastors of every vintage and variety have told these trusting illiterate folks for century upon century that the saving act of love in which they should share includes holy homicide, that the saving process includes slaughtering enemies of God and country, for God and country and for everlasting glory.

Church leaders have chronically lied about how Jesus saves as salvation relates to the phenomena of violence and enmity. When G.K. Chesterton wrote, “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried,” he did not follow up with an inquiry on who first fostered the idea and who continues to foster the idea that Christianity is too difficult to try. During his visit to England Mahatma Gandhi asked an Anglican bishop why he did not teach his people about the nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels and His nonviolent way. The bishop responded, “The people are not ready for it.” Gandhi further inquired, “Are you sure it is ‘the people’ who are not ready?

What urgent, vital and essential investment or responsibility does a bishop have, that would tempt him or her to take a hiatus from choosing and participating in the saving act of Divine love as revealed by God Incarnate, Jesus, and instead use violence against other infinitely loved sons and daughters of the Father of all? And, what sense of values would ever entice him to then to go even further and teach that his or her infidelity to Jesus and to the process of salvation established by God through Jesus was justified?

To say that there are situations in the Christian life where Christians cannot follow Jesus is to say there are situation in life where Jesus could not be Himself if He were in them? Or, that He would change His mind about His teaching if He was in such situations? Is one of those situations where Jesus could not be Jesus, the office of bishop in an institutional Constantinian Christian Church?

- ECM

Fast for Gospel Nonviolence 2014 – Twenty Sixth helping

FAST FOOD (2014): Twenty-Sixth Helping

Again,

“We adore God Who is love, Who in Jesus Christ gave Himself for us, Who offered Himself on the Cross to expiate our sins, and through the power of this love, rose from the dead and lives in His Church. We have no God other than Him.”

Pope Francis, 6/21/14

Simply said, but not more simply said than the Gospel says it, the process that completes the salvation brought by Jesus Christ is to “love one another as I have loved you.” Obviously this love that is in imitation of Jesus, this love that saves, is not the same as the love taught and lived by Aristotle, Plato, Cicero, Caesar, Constantine, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Rush Limbaugh, Chris Matthews or Hugh Hefner. It is not the same, first of all, because it is a love that is modeled on a unique life, Jesus of Nazareth. Second, it is not the same because as stated by the esteemed Catholic Biblical scholar, Rev. John L. McKenzie,

“The saving act of Jesus is an act of love. Theologians distinguish the God-ward and the man-ward aspect of the saving act. The New Testament does not use such a distinction. The saving act of love is all God-ward and all man-ward; it moves to God by moving toward man as Jesus tells his disciples they must do. He leaves no room for man to move to God except through his fellow man.

There is a subtle Christian logic to the ‘new commandmen’ in John 13:34: ‘A new commandment I give you, that you love one another as I have loved you;’ and in 1 John 11: ‘If God so loved us we also ought to love one another.’ A more reasonable logic would conclude: ‘…that you love me as I have loved you,’ and ‘If God so loved us we also ought to love him.’ And this we would conclude, were not the New Testament so insistent on its own logic…God revealed in Jesus that he loves man and will deliver him through love and through nothing else”

(The Power and The Wisdom, Imprimatur 1965).

So when St. Paul states in 1 Corinthians 13 that Billy Sunday, Billy Graham or Fulton Sheen quality religious oratory amounts to nothing more than the boom of a gong if its motivation arises from other than Christlike love, or when he says that spectacular healings and faith (or science) that can produce wonders are meaningless if Christlike love is not their source and purpose, or when he says that social service in the extreme and civil disobedience unto death are worthless without Christlike love as their spirit and means, Paul knoweth of what he speaks. Those Christians, regardless of rank, who speak to the contrary do not knoweth of what they speak They may be reasonable ideologues of one ilk or another, but for some reason and out of some motivation they are prevaricating concerning the power, the only power, that Jesus reveals that saves and the process the only process that saves one and all. Nonviolent Love of all, friends and enemies, as taught and lived unto death and resurrection by Jesus is not a philosophical or ideological truth reaches by the use of reason. It is the saving love of God in Jesus in which we are called to share.

-ECM

Fast for Gospel Nonviolence 2014 – Twenty Fifth helping

FAST FOOD (2014): Twenty-fifth helping

Again,

“We adore God Who is love, Who in Jesus Christ gave Himself for us, Who offered Himself on the Cross to expiate our sins, and through the power of this love, rose from the dead and lives in His Church. We have no God other than Him.”

Pope Francis, 6/21/14

Jesus comes to save. On this all Churches would agree. That Jesus comes to save humanity from evil, sin and death in all their manifestations, and to save humanity from nothing short of evil, sin and death, most Churches would agree. But as we have been noting throughout these FAST FOOD Helpings, how He is to do this, “There’s the rub.” Writing on the topic of salvation in his Dictionary of the Bible (Imprimatur, 1965), Rev. John L. McKenzie states,

“One of the recurring heresies of Christian history has been the belief that salvation could be finally and completely achieved by a single act, whether that act be conceived as the predestination of God, the saving death of Jesus, or the reception of faith and baptism. There is in the text of the New Testament a massive witness to the teaching that the salvation conferred by the death of Jesus and accepted by faith and baptism and membership in the Church the body of Christ is real and genuine, but inchoate. It demands growth and is finally achieved in the eschatological event which marks the term of human history… The reception of salvation by the saved is conceived as a process rather than a single act.”

What is this process by which salvation is completed? Jesus says it is a process that requires metanoia, a change of mind that repudiates the old self, the old self-understanding and the old master who is being served. This involves choosing to freely enter into the moment-to-moment struggle of putting on a new mind, a new self, a new self-understanding and of accepting to follow a new Master of one’s consciousness and conscience, and mutatis mutandis of one’s behavior.

So what is the content of this change of mind and of this process by which salvation is completed? It is love (agape) of the type that the Nonviolent Jesus teaches by His words and deeds in the Gospels, where it is presented in its most vivid and efficacious manifestation in His response to His torturers and murderers, that is, in His passion and death—and by the fruit of that response, namely, His resurrection.

It is God Who is love (agape), the Father of all, to whom Jesus says in Gethsemane, “Your will be done, not mine.” The will of the God, Who is love, for any human being and all human beings, including His Son, must be to love in all circumstances and under all conditions in which a person finds himself or herself. Identity with the suffering and death of Jesus is identity with Jesus loving as God loves out of love for and obedience to God. A Christian shares in the saving act of Jesus’ death and resurrection by loving as Jesus loves, not by merely suffering and dying like any other mammal. This is the content of the process that completes the salvation process.

Only God can save, but God is love and hence wills to save out of love and by love. Jesus freely chose to obey the loving will of God in every second of every moral act of His life up to and including His torture and murder. Union with Jesus and sharing in His saving act of love is ever more deeply entered into by the process of the Christian’s obedience to that same loving will, that God made visible in Jesus, during every second of every act in every circumstance in which the Christian finds himself or herself. Simply said, but not more simply said than the Gospels say it, the process that completes the salvation brought by Jesus Christ is to “love one another as I have loved you.”

-ECM

Fast for Gospel Nonviolence 2014 – Twenty Fourth helping

FAST FOOD (2014): Twenty-Fourth Helping

 Again,

“We adore God Who is love, Who in Jesus Christ gave Himself for us, Who offered Himself on the Cross to expiate our sins, and through the power of this love, rose from the dead and lives in His Church. We have no God other than Him.”

Pope Francis, 6/21/14

It is not a secret of one religion or one culture that as others feed the brain of a human being from the outside, the personality of the individual is generated. The language, the hopes, the fears, the values, the perceptions, the desires all are embedded and maintained largely by input from outside the person. Buddha knows this, Gandhi knows this, the composers of the UNESCO Charter know this, every public relations corporation on the planet knows this, the military knows this, every mass media executive knows this and Jesus knows this. Indeed the first word out of Jesus’ mouth in His public ministry in the Gospel of Matthew is metanoia, which means, “change your mind,” often translated “repent.” Jesus then goes onto tell His people in what direction their minds should be changed and by extension in what direction their behavior should change, if they which to do God’s will and eventually enter into the Kingdom of God.

Change, like death, is universal and inevitable. The issue is in what direction a person should change and why. There are legions of people out there who for some reason or another want to change other’s minds in one direction or another. Jesus is one of them. The Church is instituted by Christ to be “an extension of Him in time or space.” The Church then must be an assembly of disciples of Christ committed to putting on the mind of Christ and calling others to the same metanoia, change of mind, repentance to which Jesus people.  The Church is not established for nor does it have a commission from Christ to struggle on behalf, to promote or to support or to call people to any other change of mind in any other direction.

The spiritual battlefield is the mind,” says Gandhi. There is no question about that. But, there is also no question of the mind being a battlefield.  Spiritual warfare is an apt metaphor for what takes place there. Ideas, values desires and hopes put in the Christian’s mind by others war within his or her mind with idea, values, desires and hopes placed in that person’s mind by Jesus. The conflict that results from having to choose between the two is constant, fierce and deadly. From moment to moment a person must do all he or she can to die to one’s old self and self-understanding in order to live into a new self and a new self-understanding. “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it” (Mk 8:35).

Considering all this, how is it possible for any Christian leader in any institutional or domestic Christian Church—from hierarchs to clerics, from Popes to Patriarchs, from theologians to religious education teachers, from mothers to fathers—to maintain with any intellectual and moral integrity before God that nourishing the minds of those Christians in their spiritual care, and themselves, on the mass media diet of brutal hallucinations is a process that will help a person put on the mind of Christ? How can anyone not know that continuously feeding into their own mind and the minds of those in their spiritual care the principles, the understanding of others, the understanding of God and the self-understanding of the savage mythologies of mass media is choosing to make oneself and to make others into the radical opposite of what the Jesus of the primitive Church and the Gospels asks, indeed, commands? Could any ordinary, reasonable atheist or agnostic even believe that such a process is a process that would nurtured the mind of Christ in a person and motivate him or her to love as Jesus loved?

(As regards bishops and cleric and Christian fathers and mothers spiritually approving of those in their spiritual care entering into “the abomination that maketh desolation,” military training, as a way of putting on, nurturing and enhancing the mind of Christ in a person, this is so outrageous as not to deserve even a comment.)

The only rational explanation that I can see why those Christian leaders, Catholic Protestant or Orthodox, would sit on their duffs while those in their spiritual care are spiritually and morally raised on a lifetime diet which is the moral equivalent of an endless stream of pornographic movies, is that they believe that the metanoia of which Jesus spoke requires only one change to be saved—either saying one has a cognitive faith in Jesus as Savior, with or without emotional content, or submitting to the rite of Baptism. However, the belief that a person can make one moral decision that will relieve him or her from making any other moral decisions is not the teaching of Jesus.

- ECM