going through it all, to Tao

David Budbill navigates a few of the world's religions to see how we got to where we are today and where we might go from here, in his latest notes, "Christians and the War on Terror."

When I was a student at Union Seminary in New York in the early 1960s, I had to take a church history course. Our text was called THE HISTORY OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH, a huge tome, which I retitled THE CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST. What I learned from that course is that the carnage wreaked upon the world by the Christian Church down through the ages makes the Taliban look like bad guys from a skit on Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood.

There's a strong desire in the United States these days to return to those golden days of yesteryear and mount again a Holy Crusade against the heathen infidel, a desire to return to the idea that if conversion of the heathen by introduction to The Book--The Bible--doesn't do the trick, then conversion by the sword is not only necessary but sanctified and Godly.

But both the message and the weaponry has changed since the last age of colonialism.
Here at the beginning of the 21st Century it's not so much The Bible that is "The Book" as it is the book of Capitalist Materialism and today the sword is not literally a sword, but rather more likely a laser guided bomb delivered from a plane so high up in the sky it is invisible. These differences not withstanding, a new Crusade has begun.

Whether it is in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Venezuela, North Korea, The Philippines, Georgia, Palestine, Cuba, Libya, Syria or WhoKnowsWhereElse--the list of those included in The Axis of Evil gets longer every day--it is clear that this new Crusade, this Pax Americana, with which we now attempt to blanket the entire world, is a Holy War.

But hold, we can still visualize an alternative, if still only a dream, to the current horrible reality, which should have remained only a nightmare.

[the last few lines of Chapter 80 of Lao Tzu's Tao Teh Ching]

Their food is plain and good, and they enjoy eating it. Their clothes are simple and beautiful. Their homes secure. They are happy in their ways. Though they live within sight of their neighbors, and their chickens and dogs call back and forth, they leave each other in peace as they all grow old and die.
Budbill's regular "Cyberzine" itself assumes the very gentle, but indomitable, presence of the individual in the natural world of which it is an integral part.