I’ve shared before that in my earlier life I was puzzled by Christian killing in war despite the apparent nonviolent teachings and practice of Jesus in the gospels. A decisive turning point in my life for a whole multitude of reasons was meeting Fr Charles Emmanuel McCarthy whilst in seminary. If you would like to listen to his talks on this issue but more specifically ‘thinking outside the box’ of our cultural Christianity, visit this link and listen to the BEHOLD THE LAMB audio talks http://www.centerforchristiannonviolence.org/audio-files/.
On this issue he explained that in the early Church, Jesus’ teachings on nonviolence were accepted in the same light as his teachings on adultery, stealing, lying, etc. When however Christianity became the state religion of the Roman Empire in the early fourth century, facilitating exceptions were introduced to Jesus’ nonviolence teachings. Since then Christians have done more killing than any other sociologically identifiable group in this period. The biggest example of this amnesia with regard to Jesus’ teachings was World War I which was so emphatically condemned by the pope of the time Benedict XV.
If the kingdom of God comes in the measure that God’s will is done on earth as it is in heaven, then this amnesia is a fundamental impediment to its arrival – perhaps even more than all the sexual sins, stealing and lying that have taken place in history, not to mention the “globalization of indifference” (Pope Francis) to the plight of the poor.
Fr McCarthy does an annual 40 day fast in the period leading up to August 9th, the date when the FAT MAN atomic bomb was dropped by Christians on the city of Nagasaki. Ground zero was the Catholic cathedral built by the Japanese catacomb community that had earlier existed undetected for over 100 years and which was founded by St Francis Xavier.
During his fast, he issues ‘Fast Food’ thoughts for the day. This is yesterday’s reflection on the difficulty of ‘thinking outside our boxes”.
“Most people cannot accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.”
— Leo Tolstoy