FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Sole of Christmas

by Rev. WILLIAM E. ALBERTS

Christians believe that Jesus is the “Prince of Peace” and that a central message of  Christmas is “on earth peace, good will toward men.”  (Luke 2:14).  In fact, belief in “Peace” permeates the Christian’s New Testament: “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9); “For the Kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.  Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding” (Romans 14: 17, 19); “It is to peace that God has called you” (I Corinthians 7:15b); “For God is a God not of disorder but of peace” (I Corinthians 14:33); “Live in peace and the God of love and peace will be with you.” (II Corinthians 13:11); “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruit, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy” (James 3:17); “As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace[italics added].” (Ephesians 6:15)

Iraqi television reporter and journalist Muntader al-Zaidi was ready with the shoes on his feet at a Baghdad news conference: he “proclaim[ed] the gospel of peace” by throwing them at President Bush.  He was painfully aware of Bush’s hypocrisy.  The “I pray for peace” president hell bent for a falsely based, unjust, illegal, pre-emptive war of choice.  As “commander in chief” responsible for the deaths of over one million Iraqi civilians, over four million Iraqi refugees, and for the devastation of the country’s life-sustaining infrastructure.  A “war president” who lauds how his administration’s criminal “Operation Iraqi Freedom” has brought “democracy” to Iraq.  Yet his “unannounced” visits to Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, including his latest legacy-refurbishing trip, reveal his own keen awareness that he would not be able to duck far more lethal weapons than “size 10 shoes” if he showed his face in public.

Journalist al-Zaidi had the courage to throw the truth at President Bush.  First he threw the one shoe with the words, “This is a gift from the Iraqis; this is the farewell kiss, you dog!”  Then he hurled his other shoe while speaking more truth: “This is for the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq.” (The New York Times, Dec. 15, 2008).  Finally a reporter who dared to speak truth to a murderous tyrant who repeatedly mouths “God” and “freedom” and “democracy.”

Journalist Muntader al-Zaidi leads us to the “sole” of Christmas.  Christmas is about throwing truth at falsehood and hyprocrisy  in the name of peace and love and justice.  That is what Jesus was about.  He was much more than a sweet, little, innocent, non-threatening baby in a manger calling for a seasonal adoration.  His birth is not a once-a-year sentimental flight into fantasy (however precious fantasy is) but the thrusting into our society’s midst every human being’s right to his and her and their place, identity, belief, fulfillment.  His mission was to liberate his Jewish people from Roman occupation, which is why he was crucified.  His calling was “to set at liberty those who are oppressed (Luke 4: 18b), not use their oppression as a pretext for coveting their oil and empire-building and self-aggrandizement.

It is time for political and religious leaders and journalists to follow in Muntader al-Zaidi’s footsteps and throw the book of justice at President Bush and torture-authorizing Vice President Cheney.  “Peace on earth” depends on justice and justice depends on love and love does whatever justice and peace take. “As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace.”

Journalist Muntader al-Zaidi is Christmas’s peace person of the year.  He is to be modeled not mocked.  He is to be praised not prosecuted.

Rev. WILLIAM E. ALBERTS, Ph.D. is a hospital chaplain, and a diplomate in the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy.  Both a Unitarian Universalist and a United Methodist minister, he has written research reports, essays and articles on racism, war, politics and religion.  He can be reached at william.alberts@bmc.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rev. William E. Alberts, Ph.D., a former hospital chaplain at Boston Medical Center, is both a Unitarian Universalist and United Methodist minister. His new book, The Counterpunching Minister (who couldn’t be “preyed” away) is now published and available on Amazon.com. The book’s Foreword, Drawing the Line, is written by Counterpunch editor, Jeffrey St. Clair. Alberts is also author of A Hospital Chaplain at the Crossroads of Humanity, which “demonstrates what top-notch pastoral care looks like, feels like, maybe even smells like,” states the review in the Journal of Pastoral Care & Counseling. His e-mail address is wm.alberts@gmail.com.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

Weekend Edition
August 26, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Louisa Willcox
The Unbearable Killing of Yellowstone’s Grizzlies: 2015 Shatters Records for Bear Deaths
Paul Buhle
In the Shadow of the CIA: Liberalism’s Big Embarrassing Moment
Rob Urie
Crisis and Opportunity
Charles Pierson
Wedding Crashers Who Kill
Richard Moser
What is the Inside/Outside Strategy?
Dirk Bezemer – Michael Hudson
Finance is Not the Economy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Bernie’s Used Cars
Margaret Kimberley
Hillary and Colin: the War Criminal Charade
Patrick Cockburn
Turkey’s Foray into Syria: a Gamble in a Very Dangerous Game
Ishmael Reed
Birther Tries to Flim Flam Blacks  
Brian Terrell
What Makes a Hate Group?
Andrew Levine
How Donald Trump Can Still be a Hero: Force the Guardians of the Duopoly to Open Up the Debates
Howard Lisnoff
Trouble in Political Paradise
Terry Tempest Williams
Will Our National Parks Survive the Next 100 Years?
Ben Debney
The Swimsuit that Overthrew the State
Ashley Smith
Anti-imperialism and the Syrian Revolution
Andrew Stewart
Did Gore Throw the 2000 Election?
Vincent Navarro
Is the Nation State and Its Welfare State Dead? a Critique of Varoufakis
John Wight
Syria’s Kurds and the Wages of Treachery
Lawrence Davidson
The New Anti-Semitism: the Case of Joy Karega
Mateo Pimentel
The Affordable Care Act: A Litmus Test for American Capitalism?
Roger Annis
In Northern Syria, Turkey Opens New Front in its War Against the Kurds
David Swanson
ABC Shifts Blame from US Wars to Doctors Without Borders
Norman Pollack
American Exceptionalism: A Pernicious Doctrine
Ralph Nader
Readers Think, Thinkers Read
Julia Morris
The Mythologies of the Nauruan Refugee Nation
George Wuerthner
Caving to Ranchers: the Misguided Decision to Kill the Profanity Wolf Pack
Ann Garrison
Unworthy Victims: Houthis and Hutus
Julian Vigo
Britain’s Slavery Legacy
John Stanton
Brzezinski Vision for a Power Sharing World Stymied by Ignorant Americans Leaders, Citizens
Philip Doe
Colorado: 300 Days of Sunshine Annually, Yet There’s No Sunny Side of the Street
Joseph White
Homage to EP Thompson
Dan Bacher
The Big Corporate Money Behind Jerry Brown
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
DNC Playing Dirty Tricks on WikiLeaks
Ron Jacobs
Education for Liberation
Jim Smith
Socialism Revived: In Spite of Bernie, Donald and Hillary
David Macaray
Organized Labor’s Inferiority Complex
David Cortright
Alternatives to Military Intervention in Syria
Binoy Kampmark
The Terrors of Free Speech: Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act
Cesar Chelala
Guantánamo’s Quagmire
Nyla Ali Khan
Hoping Against Hope in Kashmir
William Hughes
From Sam Spade to the Red Scare: Dashiell Hammett’s War Against Rightwing Creeps
Raouf Halaby
Dear Barack Obama, Please Keep it at 3 for 3
Charles R. Larson
Review: Paulina Chiziane’s “The First Wife: a Tale of Polygamy”
David Yearsley
The Widow Bach: Anna Magdalena Rediscovered
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail