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      Gonna Stick My Sword in the Golden Sand: A Vietnam Soldier's Story has just been released. The title comes from a stanza of the gospel traditional, Down by the Riverside, with its refrain--"Ain't gonna study war no more." Golden Sand is a bold, dark, and intense retelling of the Vietnam experience through the eyes of an army scout that is […]
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      . . . help us sing the story of our land.Recently my friend Pete and I watched Terrence Malick's 2005 film The New World. It's a beautifully rendered historical drama depicting the founding of the Jamestown settlement in Virginia and inspired by the historical figures Captain John Smith (played by Colin Farrell), Pocahontas (Q'orianka Kilcher) […]
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      And two more Thanksgiving videos for you this morning (with greetings and a statement of appreciation for readers outside the U.S., who aren't celebrating this American national holiday): the video at the head of the posting, featuring Appalachian singer Sam Gleaves reminding us that we're brothers and sisters under the skin despite our incidental […]
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An Election Year Passion Play starring the USCCB

I watched a video with scenes from the war in Iraq which the Bush administration did not want us to see. Children, women, non-combatants, U.S. soldiers – ripped to pieces by bombs, blood, guts and body parts blown everywhere. The horribly maimed in hospitals, knowing that even if they survived they would suffer as mental and physical cripples for the rest of their lives. Hundreds of thousands of doomed and desperate Iraqis in refugee camps or left in cities with no food, running water, electricity, employment. 

My revulsion at our government quickly turned to rage that this is precisely what our Catholic bishops in their incessant drumbeat for the Republican Party continue to support. 

How could men who claimed to be the sole interpreters of God’s will on earth do this? Well, why not. Wasn’t it the chief priests who had delivered Jesus to the secular government to be tortured and crucified? 

So I would like to suggest that every October during an election year, progressive Catholics hold our own passion play with a dark-skinned child cast as Jesus and Judas played by a Bill Donohue impersonator. (Personally, I’d prefer the slippery and supercilious George Weigel.) 

The child would be arrested and brought to appear before the Sanhedrin dressed as our bishops. Annas and Caiaphas could be portrayed as the easily-identifiable cardinals Dolan and Burke. 

They would hand Jesus over to Pilate, a man with a Bush mask in front and a Romney mask in back since Bush’s foreign advisors are now part of the Romney team – although that’s probably a disservice to the morally-conflicted Roman governor. But this is showbiz. 

The crowd shouting “Crucify him!” was directed and encouraged by the bishops/chief priests so I cast men in suits with high and tight haircuts and women with mantillas. 

I would end the play with the last exchange between the chief priests and Pilate in the last (John’s) Gospel: “Pilate said to them, ‘Shall I crucify your king?’ The chief priests answered, ‘We have no king but Caesar.’ Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.”

3 Responses

  1. Betty I can get with your anger. I have told more than one pro lifer who brought up the ‘answering to aborted fetuses’ when I die meme, that it was just as valid for me to believe they would see those same dead fetuses who would ask them why they insisted on hiding the pre meditated murder of the born behind pro life rhetoric.

    • Thanks, Colleen. I actually understand why abortions in the second and third trimesters should be restricted, but these “pro-lifers” lose me completely when they claim a zygote has the same value as a human being, much less the mass destruction, suffering and misery of humans by the plutocrats with the bishops cheering them on.

  2. This is a wonderful proposal, Betty. I intend to blog about it tomorrow (if I can find internet access as I take a little trip).

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