December 25, 2009

Holy Days and holidays

It is five o'clock on Christmas morning and I am not feeling very merry. I pray Christmas is being enjoyed in your house, wherever that might be.

About 2500 years ago the Great King of Assyria, Sumer, and Akkad released two groups of people six months apart with orders to return to their homeland and rebuild their national temple. The first group drove off native herdsman who had begun using the ruined temple site as summer pasture, retrieved the corner stones and lintel blocks, and laid the foundation for the most southern wall. The native herdsman, helped by the soldiers of a local king, raided the building site and suffered a humiliating defeat. Shortly after the battle the second group arrived.

The local king sent a emissary to the Great King of Assyria, Sumer, and Akkad claiming the people rebuilding the temple where in fact, fortifying the site with the intention of rebelling against their patron king and re-establishing an ancient, evil kingdom that had wrecked great havoc in the land, forcing the father of the current Great King to launch the original invasion that had destroyed the temple in the first place.

In response, the Great King of Assyria, Sumer, and Akkad sent more money, additional building materials, and a third group of people.

And so it was that the Second Temple was built and the Kingdom of Israel re-established in the area of Jerusalem. The stories of Ezekiel and Nehemiah both preserved this event for two thousand years after the rest of the world had forgotten it ever took place. It was not until the discovery of the palace of Cyrus in the mid-nineteenth century that the biblical "myth" was proven to have been a real, genuine, verifiable historic fact. Which is ironic when you consider that for Jews and Christians alike there was never any doubt about how the Temple of Jesus' time had come to built upon the ruins of the much larger, much grander temple originally built by Solomon.

Christmas is much more than a religious holiday. True, down through the years it has taken on the trappings of paganism, commercialism, and fictional speculation, but none of that changes the simple reality of Christmas. This holy day is the celebration of God, the Creator of the Universe, taking on the limitations of humanity in order to speak to us directly. He was forced to take this step because for three thousand years our civilizations had grown less and less humane until we had reached a point where civil liberties were the privilege of a small wealthy elite while the majority of people spent their entire lives producing the food, buildings, furnishings, and other luxuries this wealthy elite "needed" to survive.

It took three hundred years for his message to be heard. And once it was heard, once the wealthy elite accepted the message of the carpenter's son, it took less than a generation for the message to become so perverted that it became the justification for the existence of the wealthy elite rather than the condemnation of their privileged status.

God Almighty walked among us. He did not walk as a king, prince, general, or merchant. He wore coarse wool and linen and surrounded himself with prostitutes, tax collectors, and poor fisherman. He did this intentionally. He chose his mother, chose his father, chose the city of his birth, announced everything well ahead of time, and appeared right on schedule.

In response we tortured him, nailed him to a wooden cross, and left him to die in the heat of the Judean high desert.

Our need to preserve the status quo was so strong that we ignored him for another three hundred years, but the poor people of the world remembered. His story was preserved by farmers, soldiers, fisherman, craftspeople, housewives, prostitutes, and wandering beggers.

And now, once again, we find ourselves in a world driven by greed and ambition. For a little while, from 1776 to about 1910, a ray of sunshine as strong as the Jewish people rebuilding their temple shone upon the world and reminded it that there was a higher calling. The United States of America, a country founded by merchants, farmers, craftspeople, and wild mountainmen, grew to be a stong guiding light of moral and ethical certainty. We demonstrated with the undeniable strength of economic and political success that a nation can be built on the foundation of common people who are allowed to keep the rewards of their labor. We became the wealth that drove the entire global economy, the ethics that dictated global ideals, and the military power that kept the machine rolling.

Communism nearly destroyed us but we proved the superiority of honest, free-market capitalism by driving the communists into bankruptcy.

Now, once again, the world sits at a crisis point. Those who believe in a single economic elite piloting a world ship dedicated to the preservation of an economic underclass that they can exploit for labor, food, and sexual favors have once again risen to the helm. This did not happen overnight, nor did it happen in a complete vacuum. It took a full century for the elitists and collectivists to regain economic and political control of the world. Sadly, the rest of us helped them along in countless ways. By insisting on cheap products instead of products made by ethical companies, by voting for politicians who passed out government funds to their friends and families, and by preferring a self-indulgent lifestyle of endless parties to a life of hard work and honest toil, we gave these people our stamp of approval and put them back in power.

The bills have come due. Our failure to practice good oversight of local and national politicians, our greed, our assuming that government tills were bottomless and open to all, has brought us to the cliff edge of national collapse. It is too late to stop the party now. We are headed over the edge. We are in a state of full ruination. Next year, perhaps the year after, the United States of America will die. Whatever replaces it might use the same name, but it will not be the same nation.

Remember, The Great King of Assyria, Sumer, and Akkad ruled none of those nations. He ruled everything from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean, but his servants chose his daily clothes, his wives dictated who came to his chambers seeking pregnancy, his cabinet told him how to run his country, and his generals decided which battles to fight and which to ignore. The one thing he could do, he did do. He gained permission from his local priesthood to send captured peoples from a dozen surrounding countries back to their native lands to rebuild their home temples and shrines. One of those people were the ancient Jews. Even in this, he was almost denied. It was only after he convinced the local priests that having additional gods and goddesses looking out for the welfare of the nation would not reduce their political power that the local priests agreed to his request.

This is the kind of society the elitists want to build. They crave a captive prince with absolute power who they can control, and through that control, exploit the people and resources of the entire world. The next two years is our last chance to prevent them. This Christmas, like the Jews who accompanied Ezekiel and Nehemiah during the first Passover back in their parent's homeland, I am keeping my weapons close at hand and celebrating with one eye on the horizon.

My "weapons" are not guns and knives, and the "horizon" extends all the way around the globe. I am not saying that civil war is upon us. The war has already been lost. The economic elite have placed their puppets in power and over the next two years those puppets will cobble together a global political system that will enslave you and I. They will do this by promising peace, prosperity, and freedom. Their Christmas present to you is a gilded cage. My Christmas present to you is a key to unlock it.

Will you take the key or will you accept the cage?