The Passion and Secession

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I
must be one perverted sicko. Not only did I love Mel Gibson's Passion,
I could probably see it again and again and again. I did not think
the violence was obsessive or pornographic. Maybe it was because
I viewed it with a sense of detachment. I watched it first and foremost
as a movie, not as a depiction of my faith. Instead of pondering
what Christ did for me and my own sins, I viewed it as an adventure
story of epic, supernatural proportions.

Think
Lord
of the Rings
encapsulated in one event and one man. From
the opening scenes, it was clear that this is about a battle. And
the movie's physical "battle" reminds me of Rocky,
except this Rocky knows that the only way he'll win is if he doesn't
throw a single punch.

Jesus,
the ultimate underdog. One man vs. the world.

Its
the ultimate indictment of human instruments of power. Human-made
Civilization went to war with God's far freer, more productive,
and happier Civilization, embodied in the most civilized man who
ever walked the earth – Jesus of Nazareth. No matter if this
human power is imperial power, or a cozy and compromised relationship
with that power by the indigenous religious authorities. The Roman
imperial government killed Christ at the behest of the Jewish authorities
with which they had created a relationship; the Romans wouldn't
have killed him otherwise – not then, at least. But they did
crucify many other innocent people all by themselves.

The
social vision of the book of Deuteronomy indicates, to me, nothing
of the sort of compromise with a foreign civil government, that
Jerusalem's Sanhedrin had with Rome. Instead, it points to a radically
decentralized and free-market vision. There would be no centralized
authority, no King and no national Republic.

The
struggle for the independence of Israel from foreign empires had
always been a theme throughout the Old Testament. Israel sins, then
is conquered, then repents, then regains freedom. But Jewish authorities
seemed content with their relationship with corrupt, pagan Rome,
thus destroying Israel's own witness of Godly righteousness and
justice to the nations. Jesus came with a new example of justice
and righteousness. That was a threat, and he had to die. Israel's
righteousness was no longer an example to the world, and Jesus's
teaching was the correction.

A
new sect, and ultimately, a new civilization, followed the crucifixion
and resurrection of Jesus. And every subsequent Christian nation
that sought centralized government and imperialism has found its
own formerly Christian culture wallowing in apostasy, unbelief,
and social decline.

Christians
– and modern Jews – would do ourselves and the supposed
"Culture War" good if we followed the promise to Abraham
and became righteous, God-fearing and neighbor-loving secessionists.
Even if secession is impractical through the political Statist process,
secession can happen in each and every one of us if we want it.
There are three things to consider:

  1. Do you
    think the federal government follows its own rules – that
    is – are most of the policies and programs of the federal
    government constitutional?
  2. Are these
    federal government programs and policies even moral?
  3. Are there
    realistic means in the political process to "fix" these
    Constitutional and moral problems?

If
the answer is "no" to all three questions, it might be
time to give up and become a secessionist. That doesn't mean to
take up arms against the government, but just to spiritually, emotionally,
and intellectually divorce yourself from the federal government.
No longer say the Pledge of Allegiance or sing along to the Star-Spangled
Banner, for instance.

For
whether we see it through the lens of Jesus Christ, or from the
book of Deuteronomy, the principle is the same: we weren't made
for oppression. We weren't made for tyranny. Jesus was killed by
a foreign tyranny that had compromised and corrupted the local powers-that-be.

Let's
be better than that, and refuse to compromise with centralist States
and other forms of tyranny and imperialism.

Jesus,
according to my faith, didn't just forgive me for my sins. He restored
creation and re-started civilization. That's why I love the depiction
of his struggle in The Passion. The reason the process of
renewal has seemed so slow is that so many people are not really
following Christ's teachings but rather merging them with American
ideology to create something totally confusing and often depressing.
So let's secede from Statism and follow God alone.

March
5, 2004

James
Leroy Wilson [send him mail]
lives and works in Chicago and is a columnist for the Partial
Observer
.


        
        

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