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November 11, 2023 – I’ve been lax. Today is Veterans Day, and I just checked the Search box at the upper right to see what I’ve posted about that holiday. Nothing. Nothing at all, which means it’s time to correct that omission. And talk about how a strong military can keep all of us free to practice our religion as we see fit. And at the same time to welcome the competition that comes from our ongoing dialectic, a process that tends to strengthen everyone’s Faith.
Like the Blind men and the elephant – pictured above – if they had excluded “subjective elements such as emotional appeal and rhetoric” – and not argued so much – they might have come up with a far better understanding of just what an “elephant” is. But back to Veteran’s Day and how a strong military can keep all of us free to begin that process of “comparing notes.”
Some of which ties into last year’s post about this time, Between Halloween and Thanksgiving – [November 15,] 2022. That post said the one major the Feast Day “between” Halloween and Thanksgiving is Christ the King Sunday. Which was true last year, when we celebrated that day on November 20. But this year it comes on November 26, three days after Thanksgiving.
That 2022 post harked back to the 2015 post, Hitler and Mussolini help create Christ the King Sunday. It came in 1925, a year that started – on January 3 – with Benito Mussolini promising “to take charge of restoring order to Italy within forty-eight hours.” In Russia things were moving toward the creation of the NKVD, which later became the KGB. (Of Vladimir Putin fame.) In July 1925 Adolf Hitler published Volume 1 of his manifesto, Mein Kampf. Also, in the United States, July 1925 featured a show of strength by the Ku Klux Klan. Thus the Pope’s reaction:
Pope Pius XI instituted The Feast of Christ the King in 1925 [after] the rise of non-Christian dictatorships in Europe… These dictators often attempted to assert authority over the Church [and] the Feast of Christ the King was instituted during a time when respect for Christ and the Church was waning… (Emphasis added.)
Which brings up the need for Veterans – past, present and future – and the need to honor them. (And not just on November 11.) Defined as “a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service,” a Veteran has put the interest of our country above “their” own self-interest, and often put their lives on the line as well. And as such they are the surest guarantee against all foreign would-be dictators like Hitler and Mussolini. (While keeping in mind Lincoln’s warning that “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we lose our freedoms it will be because we have destroyed ourselves from within.”)
Which brings up Christian nationalism. As noted in Between, from 2022, such “nationalists” tend to become “authoritarian and oppressive.” Which makes that term an oxymoron, a self-contradiction. “Christianity is grounded in Christian scriptures where Jesus teaches love, peace, unity and truth. Christian nationalism preaches hatred, violence, separation, and disinformation.”
See the Between post from 2022 for more detail, but it also pointed out another problem. Today’s Christian Nationalists get political power from the fact that their political opponents don’t know that much about the Bible. They can’t tell when the Bible is being misquoted, misused or abused. “But that ‘problem’ is also the Achilles’ heel of Christian nationalism. Mostly because Jesus opposed all such ‘Nationalism.’” See for example, Romans 5:6, “Christ died for the ungodly.” So if you think a political opponent is “ungodly,” that’s exactly who Jesus died for.
So we need a strong military – our Veterans, past, present and future – to protect us against foreign powers. But we also need more people more familiar with what the Bible and Jesus really say, to protect us against “nationalists” who would distort the Bible to advance their own political agenda. In sum, have a Happy Veteran’s Day and a happy Christ the King Sunday, even though this year it doesn’t come between Halloween and Thanksgiving.
And work toward getting more people to understand the real message of Jesus. Especially among those “ungodly” Jesus expressly died for. (“The harvest is plentiful…”)
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The upper image is courtesy of Blind Men And The Elephant – Image Results. See also Blind men and an elephant – Wikipedia, for more on the parable. For another “between” post see Psalm 137, “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem” – 2021, from November 12, two years ago.
The Book of Common Prayer reference. The “corporate-mystical” prayer is on page 339, the post-communion prayer for Holy Eucharist, Rite I.
The full link to this year’s Christ the King Sunday is When is Christ the King 2023? – CalendarZ. As such it is “considered one of the latest incorporations to the Western Liturgical calendar,” as noted above.
Note: A Veteran is fully defined as one who has been discharged “other than dishonorably.”
Re: The Lincoln quote. See Fact check: Abraham Lincoln quote is fabricated – USA TODAY. It said there was “no record of Lincoln actually uttering that statement,” but that he did “speak to the spirit of the quote well before he ran for president in 1860, and well before he served his one term in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1847-49.” See the link for more details.
Luke 10:2: “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
The lower image is courtesy of the Wikipedia article on Veterans Day.
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