Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christma...

Many commentators are pointing out the hypocrisy of a "Christian" nation spending hundreds of millions of (inflated) dollars on commercial items to celebrate the birth of a man who advocated poverty and charity as first principals. Least we forget, it was not so long ago that Christians celebrated the Prince of Peace in quite a different fashion. Mere crass commercialism is something of a relief.

According to historians, while on their nine Crusades, Christians slaughtered well over a million people, perhaps as high as five million. During the first capture of Jerusalem alone, an estimated 40,000 men, women, and children were murdered -- basically for sport. There are chronicles written by the Crusaders themselves boasting of ankle deep blood in some areas of Jerusalem.

Most of history's victims of Christianity were Muslim, gays, indigenous peoples, or uppity women who refused to be taken as property, but also many were Jews. Many also were simply too young to conceptualize religion at all. The number of children slaughtered in the Jerusalem massacre alone would have been over 10,000. And yes, slaughtering the "Christ Killers" has been a popular Christian sport throughout the centuries -- one that only, sorta, ended during the lifetime of your parents or grandparents.

The Crusaders killed an estimated 8,000 Jews in the Rineland before they even left Europe, which was probably a bigger percent of the European Jewish population at the time than Christians would slaughter in another few centuries after they changed their attire from cross-ed tunics to swastika-ed brown shirts. Between the two events, the incidence of Jewish massacres at the hands of Christians throughout Europe and western Asia are too numerous to list. Even the incidence of synagogue burning, with the worshipers still inside, is too frequent to recount.

So, was 9/11 really blowback for CIA involvement in the Middle East since the 1950s? Or due to U.S. military bases in Saudi Arabia since the 1980s? Hardly. The blowback originated centuries earlier. It continues to originate today as the "Christian" president of the "Christian" nation with the support of the nation's pulpits continues to attacks a Muslim country that had no connection to 9/11, no weapons of mass destruction, or indeed any provable connections to terrorism on our shores.

So, on this bright, sunny Christmas day, as Americans greedily open the millions of gifts they give to each other, the death count in Iraq continues to climb. Given the millions of dead throughout history, a mere 100,000 non-combatent men, women, and children killed in the name of Christiani.., (oops) I mean, Democracy, doesn't seem likely to produce any moral pause on the way to the wrapping and the bows.

So, Merry Christma, (oops) I mean, Happy Holidays.

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