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

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
January 20, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Divide and Rule: Class, Hate, and the 2016 Election
Andrew Levine
When Was America Great?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: This Ain’t a Dream No More, It’s the Real Thing
Yoav Litvin
Making Israel Greater Again: Justice for Palestinians in the Age of Trump
Linda Pentz Gunter
Nuclear Fiddling While the Planet Burns
Ruth Fowler
Standing With Standing Rock: Of Pipelines and Protests
David Green
Why Trump Won: the 50 Percenters Have Spoken
Dave Lindorff
Imagining a Sanders Presidency Beginning on Jan. 20
Pete Dolack
Eight People Own as Much as Half the World
Roger Harris
Too Many People in the World: Names Named
Steve Horn
Under Tillerson, Exxon Maintained Ties with Saudi Arabia, Despite Dismal Human Rights Record
John Berger
The Nature of Mass Demonstrations
Stephen Zielinski
It’s the End of the World as We Know It
David Swanson
Six Things We Should Do Better As Everything Gets Worse
Alci Rengifo
Trump Rex: Ancient Rome’s Shadow Over the Oval Office
Brian Cloughley
What Money Can Buy: the Quiet British-Israeli Scandal
Mel Gurtov
Donald Trump’s Lies And Team Trump’s Headaches
Kent Paterson
Mexico’s Great Winter of Discontent
Norman Solomon
Trump, the Democrats and the Logan Act
David Macaray
Attention, Feminists
Yves Engler
Demanding More From Our Media
James A Haught
Religious Madness in Ulster
Dean Baker
The Economics of the Affordable Care Act
Patrick Bond
Tripping Up Trumpism Through Global Boycott Divestment Sanctions
Robert Fisk
How a Trump Presidency Could Have Been Avoided
Robert Fantina
Trump: What Changes and What Remains the Same
David Rosen
Globalization vs. Empire: Can Trump Contain the Growing Split?
Elliot Sperber
Dystopia
Dan Bacher
New CA Carbon Trading Legislation Answers Big Oil’s Call to Continue Business As Usual
Wayne Clark
A Reset Button for Political America
Chris Welzenbach
“The Death Ship:” An Allegory for Today’s World
Uri Avnery
Being There
Peter Lee
The Deep State and the Sex Tape: Martin Luther King, J. Edgar Hoover, and Thurgood Marshall
Patrick Hiller
Guns Against Grizzlies at Schools or Peace Education as Resistance?
Randy Shields
The Devil’s Real Estate Dictionary
Ron Jacobs
Singing the Body Electric Across Time
Ann Garrison
Fifty-five Years After Lumumba’s Assassination, Congolese See No Relief
Christopher Brauchli
Swing Low Alabama
Dr. Juan Gómez-Quiñones
La Realidad: the Realities of Anti-Mexicanism
Jon Hochschartner
The Five Least Animal-Friendly Senate Democrats
Pauline Murphy
Fighting Fascism: the Irish at the Battle of Cordoba
Susan Block
#GoBonobos in 2017: Happy Year of the Cock!
Louis Proyect
Is Our Future That of “Sense8” or “Mr. Robot”?
Charles R. Larson
Review: Robert Coover’s “Huck out West”
David Yearsley
Manchester-by-the-Sea and the Present Catastrophe
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail