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FATTENING WALL STREET — Mike Whitney reports on the rapid metamorphosis of new Fed Chair Janet Yallin into a lackey for the bankers, bond traders and brokers. The New Religious Wars Over the Environment: Joyce Nelson charts the looming confrontation between the Catholic Church and fundamentalists over climate change, extinction and GMOs; A People’s History of Mexican Constitutions: Andrew Smolski on the 200 year-long struggle of Mexico’s peasants, indigenous people and workers to secure legal rights and liberties; Spying on Black Writers: Ron Jacobs uncovers the FBI’s 50 year-long obsession with black poets, novelists and essayists; O Elephant! JoAnn Wypijewski on the grim history of circus elephants; PLUS: Jeffrey St. Clair on birds and climate change; Chris Floyd on the US as nuclear bully; Seth Sandronsky on Van Jones’s blind spot; Lee Ballinger on musicians and the State Department; and Kim Nicolini on the films of JC Chandor.
"Every Criminal Was Once an Infant Love"

The Christmas Christ

by DIANE CHRISTIAN

The face of Christ at Christmas is a baby face­sweet, vulnerable, silent. The face of Christ at Christmas is about beginning human time, a needy present. It’s not the bloody Christ of suffering and death thirty-three years ahead of that baby and almost two thousand years behind us, nor is it the judging Christ at the end of the world and time.

The face of Christ at Christmas is one we all have worn. ‘Every criminal was once an infant love’ Blake wrote, reminding us of our common innocence and vulnerability before all our experience and cruelty. The story says the heavens marked Christ’s birth with a star which rich men followed to pay tribute. But the birth was humble and animal.

What does it mean to see God in a baby? It’s a mistake and confusion to fellow monotheist Jews and Muslims. It’s a familiar story to sophisticated Hindus. It’s a myth to many and a silliness to some. It’s a wise story whatever one’s belief. It looks to present, vulnerable time and sees a human need for love, a baby’s face, as God’s own story.

DIANE CHRISTIAN is SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor at University at Buffalo and author of the new book Blood Sacrifice. She can be reached at: engdc@acsu.buffalo.edu