Monday, May 3, 2010

Mary Ann Vecchio gestures and screams as she kneels
by the body of a dead student, Jeffrey Miller, lying face down
on the campus of Kent State University, in Kent, Ohio, 1970

Brian’s Reflection: Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Four students were killed, nine wounded. By our military, firing real bullets, on the orders of our then president Richard Nixon – later disgraced as one of the most heinous creatures in American history. Even now, the remembrance of the Kent State massacre makes my stomach heave. I was 24 years old, a new American. I thought I was living in a Nazi state.

Why do I feel this way after 40 years? Because of our present political situation. Nothing has changed. We are supposed to live in a democracy, albeit a representative one. We are supposed to live in a country in which the government is elected by us and exists to hear and meet our needs and our vision of a just and caring America. All I can say, after 40 years and more, is, What a Farce.

But here is the question as far as these Reflections go: is this a “spiritual” issue. Oh yes, it is.

When I look at America today, I see nothing that relates to the great principles of the founding of our nation - many of which principles were based on a liberal understanding of the Judean-Christian tradition and on ancient philosophical concepts of fairness, justice, equality, compassion.

No longer. No longer. Not even under the present administration. Millions live in poverty and hunger and illness, as we pander to the greedy, the rich, the powerful. ALL of our legislators are rich, relatively speaking, or enslaved to the rich and powerful, and they cater to their kind. Money is the not-so-new American God.

You remember what Jesus said about “God” and Mammon.

I am glad I probably won’t be alive when the chaos and collapse descends. But at least the “hit bottom” of all twelve-step programs holds hope for new Life.


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