CURRENT POLITICAL BEEFS -- FROM HELN UNDER GUISES --
FROM A MOUTHPIECE FOR JESUS TO LADY LIBERTY
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ANTI- THE GOSPEL OF THE ANTI-CHRIST CONSERVATIVES
by Helen Argers*
It is recently evident through the words of the conservatives running for president and those in charge of the congress that they are revamping or even flip-flopping Jesus Christ’s words to fit their philosophy that the rich deserve it all and the poor should give it all.
They have taken the words of Jesus Christ and given them a political makeover until somehow Jesus becomes the supporter of millionaires. He espouses the philosophy that the more gains for the richest in the world means more gains for the poor. Somehow I didn’t get that in my reading of the Bible. There, his words always revealed him as supporter of the poor. But since then I’ve heard the conservative gospel that he was pro-business and pro-rich despite what was erroneously reported in the New Testament.
Let’s start out with “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”
On the surface it sounds like the old Jesus who cared for the poor. But, listen to how that can easily be switched to facilely explain that Jesus used the term ‘least of these’ as a numerical ‘least.’ So in this country that would be the 1% millionaires that he identifies with rather than the 99% rest. However, if the theory that Jesus was speaking mathematically can’t be sold, then it becomes necessary to switch the statement completely (explaining that the disciples obviously misheard him.) What he said, or meant to say was: “As you give it to the richest of mine, you give it to me and my millionaire supporters who may then be willing to drop some crumbs. Warning: if you take away the plenty from them, there will be no crumbs for the rest!”
You say, “Oh, come on. No one today, certainly not a religious person would so misunderstand what Jesus said.” Yet how else to explain the conservatives wanting to cut Food Stamps for the hungry poor? Or eliminate the Child Labor Laws? That, in fact, they want to balance the budget on the backs of the poor and the middle class and give more tax cuts to the rich who are paying less than they did ten years ago, and yet they still demand government subsidies. How else can we understand their claim that only the rich have the power to create jobs--not recollecting the jobs they are creating are no longer in the United States but outsourced to foreign countries for more profit. What’s really meant is: “Government is too large. Let’s cut it into oblivion, so the rich can completely run the country. Or a Plutocracy.”
And yet, they hide under Jesus’ mantle, using that to appeal to the Christian Coalitions. To successfully give all to the rich, it is essential to denigrate the poor. As the Conservatives running for president have been doing, telling them, “if you don’t work, don’t eat.” Easy message to spread, for who will speak for the voiceless? Except if you’ll recollect, Jesus did. He, who could not bear to see the poor go hungry created the miracle of the loaves and the fishes. But hey, he was probably just doing a PR gimmick to get the people to buy more fish from a fish corporation of the time. So, we’ll forgive him—since his goal was profit and not compassion for the hungry.
If the poor and middle class held up placards with just some of Jesus’ words, they might remind the wealthy and their toadies what he really meant. Such as: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eyes of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” That one is pretty precise. How can that be rewritten with a conservative bent?
Got it! “It is easier for the poor to use too many needles to dope themselves into thinking they‘ve passed through that needle’s eye into Heaven.” Anyway, we don’t have camels riding about in this era, so the whole statement can be discounted, for the rich ride in limousines and in those they can easily pass ahead to heavenly profits.
How else can the words of Christ conveniently be forgotten? How about “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” That’s elementary for the conservative rewriters who’ll read there a justification for repeal of food stamps, so the poor, spiritless meek can quickly die of hunger and thus have a fast track to Heaven. For certainly he didn’t mean Heaven on Earth which is clearly reserved for the rich.
Jesus must be weeping at all the changes in his message. But, hey, no one will point out their twisting of his words, for the Rich have all the sounding boards. Yet, if somehow the message does reach the people, and even, by Jesus’ and God’s help, reach even some of the conservatives revisionist, then maybe after having once more celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ, we can all get together in his name and care for the least of us. And thus bring blessings to those ill and needy and, yes, poor.
Let’s celebrate the New Year in the true spirit of Jesus’ words.
*Helen Argers is an award-winning poet, novelist and humor columnist for seventeen newspapers in New Jersey. Her recent novel about the split reaction to 9/11 is currently being bidden on by major publishers. Contact her at her website: www: helenargers.com
*Helen Argers will be speaking up on current events some in her own words, some through Lady Liberty.
I, LADY LIBERTY SPEAK UP
FOR THE POOR, ELDERLY AND AMERICA’S CARING VALUES
(as whispered to Helen Argers *)
Greetings all. In case you do not immediately recognize my voice, I am the spirit of the Statue of Liberty or as I am more commonly called, “Lady Liberty.”
For some time I have been attempting to be heard above the din of voices demanding more privileges for the privileged. That is not the America I represent. I was set up to bring light to this country. I hold my lamp for all to see and in order for them to conti
that Emma Lazarus stood before me and wondered what to write down to proclaim my purpose. I spoke to her then. And she wrote down my thoughts. All of you who visit me have seen those thoughts inscribed.
"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door."
If I have for so long represented this version of America to the world, and this country from its inception exists to further its people's life, liberty and pursuit of happiness for all, why would there suddenly be a demand to ask those promises be only for a few? Why would there be a group rising and their promoters attempt to change the very basis of America's glorious democracy? Why would a minor representative demand and his leader echo that their voices carry more weight than mine? I represent not one state, or one thought, or one group. I represent the very heart and soul of the real America. I represent an America that proudly and mightily cares for not only the poor and aged, but for the majority of the people of this great land, for whom I have carried this light to assure they would not be cast into darkness by any minor voice who wishes to balance this country's financial ledgers by dumping all the weight on the backs of the many in order to enrich the few.
Nay, that is not the America for which I have stood so proudly at its shore. Nor is that the America its people would want to see their country become. Americans established the United States to break away from a country that honored only the titled and wealthy. And we have spread this glorious democracy to other nations who have emulated us. It was this noble caring country that put me here to proclaim that we would give succor to other nation's huddled masses, yearning to breathe free -- to the homeless, tempest-tossed. It was this noble caring country that again and again sent our soldiers to defend other people in Europe and now in the middle east. Why then would we now allow the many of our own country to fall into such need, to be pushed down into hardship merely to add to the pleasure of the few for whom these representatives and their band of merry billionaires have for the last years sat back on their golden chairs and watched the people lose much of their general welfare, lose income, lose homes, lose jobs, while they continue to profiteer?
Nay, I do not lift my lamp to show them the way for more enrichment. I ask all the people in this greatest of great countries to stand by me as I hve stood by them and lift their lamps to protect those in need, and say 'Nay' to them who would humble them further.
I shall be silent now. But you all must speak for me. Lift your lamps to return the light to this country. Lift your lamps to lead this country back to protecting the many not profiting the few. Join me in bringing back the light. Lift your lamps. Light more lamps! Be lamplighters--in my name and to continue the glory of the United States of Amrica.