God Talk and Burning Children
By LARRY KEARNEY
If you think God is talking to you and the result is a burned or crushed child, you're wrong. If you find yourself taking revenge in your head on everyone who ever insulted you, however slightly, you are not one of God's messengers. If the substance of the information you get from your God is that he requires you to kill in his name, the information is garbage.
If your word from God recommends punishing the innocent in any way, for any reason, your God is not God at all but a drifting sediment of resentment, greed and the ugliness that needs a dream of power.
Is this hard for us to grasp?
If the man on the screen, or at the podium, is telling us that other human beings have to be killed or tortured to make our God happy, he's lying. If the woman says that we need to make others, on pain of death, renounce their God and accept ours, the woman is evil.
If the subject is other than love, we are not hearing the word of God.
And if we act to the misery of children, it were better a millstone--no reprieve, no debate--to damage a child is beyond the pale. To damage a child for money is the dead center of evil.
Let's talk about damage.
A man in a stone room in Afghanistan has his three children on a table. He's half-bent and his hands are at odd angles, useless, unable to touch because they'd flame with the pain of it. Someone has taken a picture of him with his children who are all dead, from the smallest with the rosebud hands to the oldest, ten maybe.
Why are they dead?
Because there are forms to be followed and the only thing that it is not acceptable to invoke in a holy war is the real God, who brings clarity. When the flames are unleashed and the lies are trotted out, the only discourse that's beyond the pale is the discourse of the heart because the heart will say unerringly that this is what we did before and it didn't work. It not only didn't work, it brought us here again, on the great plain of the torn, burning children.
The same actions produce the same reactions. If you burn children, their parents are likely to burn yours. Is this a secret?
But oh, they say, we'll win this time and then our children will be safe.
Is that the way it's been? Any examples? Any positive experience out there of the killing of blameless children? The infliction of terror and hideous physical pain on the helpless? The long-term positive benefits for humankind of creating a class of people who writhe in their heads with the memory of their dead loves?
Look at your own children. Do they deserve what's being done to the Others, the ones with the wrong parents? No, they don't.
And if we know they don't, and know that what's being done right now, at this instant, will guarantee that the inflictions will come to them as surely as the world turns, what the hell are we doing when we stick on our flag pins and lurch out to kick the asses of the peacemakers, those worthless bastards who don't want to set fire to our kids?
Don't we get it, at last? Men who will set fire to children at a distance, for money and a sickly dream of power, will set fire to our kids for a little more money, a little more power. These men have contempt for us, and every bloody lie we're willing to swallow perpetuates their contempt and willingness to kill everything we love, whether by taking our money, deadening our souls with lies, or breaking our children to pieces in the street.
I watch this fool's parade of lying Neo Con fascists, vengeful bureaucrats, small-time think-tank illiterateurs, screeching harpies and shameless thugs, all led by our shallow, vapid, secret, ignorant and purely evil frat boy sergeant-at-arms, and my head hurts so terribly I can think of nothing but my children and how it will be for them left to the tender mercies of these despoilers of God--these evil, self-satisfied, cowardly lords of a great Dream State of comfort for the right guys and a crushing iron wheel for the rest of us--slow, crushing death, you know? the kind they like. The kind that brings a secret sexual charge with it--a queasy tremor in their hidden genitalia.
But we kill because we're fighting a war on terror, they say.
You can't fight a war on terror, because terror is the weapon of those who have nothing to lose. You can't defeat a man who has nothing to lose and has been so brutalized himself by his own need for vengeance and respite that there is nothing he won't do--such as setting fire to your children.
So we have two antagonists--one is immensely powerful, though cumbersome, and the other is immensely weak, though swift and cunning. What do they have in common?
Either will happily burn your children in pursuit of the dream of holy power.
Again and again and again.
If the subject is other than love, you are not hearing the word of God.
How do you fight terrorism?
You simply stop doing the things that make it a preferred weapon, and that begins with ceasing to brutalize poor people, here or there.
What do we do in the Middle East? Well, we make it clear to the Arab emirates that it would be a wonderful thing if Palestine had money and a viable economy of its own; we contribute to Israel only the money it will need to help it detach itself from the Palestinian state; we cease flooding the area with high-tech weapons; we develop technologies which will ease us away from oil dependency; we speak to the downtrodden directly, as if they were people, and say that the guilt of centuries belongs to all of us and that it's time to stop doing the same things in the hope that just this once the outcome will be different.
We shun the minor demons of greed and brutality and the unspeakable monsters who would tell us that both are of God.
And in my rage and utter despair of the ugliness of the killing and lying and scheming and sheer, stinking hypocrisy that blankets America like a refinery cloud, I have to say, too, that these rotten, lying sons-of-bitches need not be killed, or have their children killed.
Because there is nothing in that direction but more of the same.
Larry Kearney is an eloquent, pissed-off American author. His internet presence of choice is counterpunch.org., which I whole-heartedly recommend you bookmark. His books, including Whiskey's Children, A Bar on Every Corner, and "a bunch of poetry," can be found in better bookshops everywhere, and this is posted here totally with his permission.
Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.