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August 09, 2016

FAST FOOD (2016) Fortieth Helping

FAST FOOD: Fortieth Helping (2016)


“On all arable soil in the world we grow grain over tombs. The dead outnumber the living in a ratio of approximately 14 to 1. The estimate of the total number of persons ever born is about 85 billion. 78 billion of them are dead. 7 billion, a segment of which we are part, currently alive for a time. The dead will always outnumber the living.” 

—Annie Dillard 

Does Jesus’ teaching by word and deed of Nonviolent Love of all in all situations have any relation to the above facts? Does it have any relation to the dead and soon to be dead?

Maybe an avenue to go down to search for an answer to this question is to ask whether the way of nonviolent love of friends and enemies that Jesus lived and taught has any relation to His resurrection? I would offer that it most certainly does. I would say that the relation between the two is intrinsic and essential. Without the struggle to faithfully live according to the Way of Nonviolent Love of all under all circumstances there is no resurrection. It is this Way, that Jesus knew was the Way of the Father in heaven—His Father and our Father—and therefore in the face of all temptations to go another way, to this Way He had to be obedient without reservation. 

Jesus knew that only the Father can truthfully say, “IAM.” Only the Father has absolute existence. The Father and the Father alone is absolute life. All other forms of existence and life can only say, “I am,” because IAM exists. Therefore, it is the Father who knows what life is, what makes for life, what is the Way of life to life. Obedience to, choosing to follow, His Way, His Will, His Word, is the Way, the only Way that results in reaching life in all its fullness in Life with All Its Fullness. The Father’s Way is the only Way to the Father.

So that every human being can eternally have the fullness of life within the Eternal Fullness of Life, the Father, “who is love (agapé),” sends His Word, His Only-Begotten Son, to become a human being so as to reveal to humanity by His words and deeds the Way to the Father, to the fullness of life within the Eternal Fullness of Life. Rev. John L. McKenzie, the renowned Catholic Biblical scholar, writes in his book on the New Testament, The Power and The Wisdom (Imprimatur),

The power which destroys all other powers is the power of love, the love of God revealed and active in Jesus Christ [Emphasis added]. God revealed in Jesus that He loves man and will deliver him through love and through nothing else…The power of love is seen in the death of Jesus; it is seen more fully in His resurrection.

Since there is no violence in Jesus in the Gospels, there can be no violence in the love He reveals as the Way to the Father, which means there can be no violence in the love that leads to resurrection, to the fullness of life in Life with All Its Fullness, God. This is so because “violence and cruelty can have no part with God” (The Roman Missal, 1985, with Imprimatur, Mass for Peace and Justice). Jesus, the Word of God Incarnate is Nonviolent because IAM, God, the Father is Nonviolent, that is—the Holy Trinity is Nonviolent—or more precisely is Nonviolent Love.

Outside of the “Father of all” there is no salvation, no conquering of death, no vanquishing of evil, no eternal banishment of suffering. With and within God, who is Nonviolent Love itself, death, evil and suffering are no more, only life in all its fullness.

It is through and to this Life, the Life of IAM, that Jesus rises from the tomb. It is to this Life that 78 billion “dry bones” long to be resurrected—as well as 7 billion currently “wet bones.” Jesus teaches and promises that this can happen because the power of Nonviolent Love as revealed by Him—but only the power of love as revealed by Him—destroys all powers averse to human beings being delivered from wickedness and its consequences and from all that short-circuits entering into the Fullness of Life for all eternity.

Christlike love is the power of God, which as said above, means it is almighty. Jesus does not explain how—within the immense depth and breath, complexity and incomprehensibility of existence it works—He simply shows in His life and death, cross and resurrection that it does work and works in ways beyond all conceptions of the human mind. Because Nonviolent Love of all under all circumstances is the power of God, it is ultimately as far beyond human comprehension in its operation as God himself. As God qua God is a fathomless mystery and so also is the intrinsic power of His Nonviolent Love. What we do know by way of His Incarnate Word, Jesus, is “that nothing is impossible” for God’s Nonviolent Love.

The near total rejection in the Christian Churches and in the world at large of Jesus’ teaching of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies is, as noted before in these Fast Food Helpings, a manifestation of non-belief in Jesus as the Messiah, the Christ, the Word of God made flesh, Lord, God, and Savior, as well as, in Jesus as the Way, the Truth and the Life. For to believe in Jesus as any or all of these necessitate believing Him. God and God’s Word do not lie about God’s will. But the refusal to believe Jesus has terrible negative consequences.

John L. McKenzie writes in his The Power and The Wisdom, “The Christian knows that his love is the active presence of God in the world; if he lacks it, he takes away God’s presence from the only place where he can put it. He has come between his neighbor and the saving love of Jesus Christ.” 

The spiritual and moral gravity of a Christian refusing to choose to follow Jesus’ Way of Nonviolent Love in a situation is severe for the person to whom he or she is relating, as well as, to the refuser. The Christian is specifically chosen by Jesus and Baptized to release Christlike Nonviolent Love, which is the active presence of God, in this place at this time for this neighbor, and for other purposes and people within the mystery of human existence that are infinitely beyond his or her comprehension. As Jesus does not explain evil and death, He only tells us how to conquer them by love as He lived it and taught it, so also He does not explain how love as He incarnates it conquers evil and death.

I have often heard Christians in both justified violence and nonviolent peace and justice groups say, “I don’t care about that ‘pie in the sky after you die’ stuff. I want Clinton elected or I want Trump elected or I don’t want Bush elected or I do want Obama elected or I want this or that injustice corrected, and if that requires using means not consistent with the teaching of Jesus in the Gospels, e.g., violence, then that is what I will use to get the job done.”

This unconcern about the 78 billion of brothers and sisters in the human family who have died and the 7 billion who will die in a short time seems self-evidently superficial and merciless. Not to ask the question, “Is there any way I can be of help to the dead,” and not seriously seek an answer to that question, manifests an indifference to a possible intrinsic obligation a human being may have to other people just by being a human being. Either a human life is always and in all circumstances sacred, or it is intrinsically of no account.  It is all 78 billion, plus another 7 billion, which includes you and me, who are sacred or are just junk in the universe. It is inconceivable that it should be in some cases the one, and in some the other. Jesus teaches all are sacred because all are sons and daughters of the “Father of all.” Because of this understanding of God as Abba, Jesus extends the idea of the “neighbor” who is to be loved as He loves to all God’s sons and daughters, not just the people of Israel. The Divine Love (agapé) of which He is the Incarnation is universal; no one is outside of it. That includes the 78 billion who have died.

Jesus saves. But how does Jesus save? By merely the snap of the Divine finger? Obviously not. How does He save you and me and the other 7 billion people who are alive at the moment along with the 78 billion who have died? And, do you and I have a part to play in the salvation process? The answer is, “Yes.” We play our roll and meet our obligation to our fellow sons and daughters of God by placing Christlike love, which is the power of God to conquer evil and death and the only power that can conquer evil and death, in the places only we can put it, namely, in the multiplicity of places we, moment to moment occupy, as we traverse through time and space. The moment may be a moment of protesting an injustice or a moment of washing the dishes, but if it is done with Christlike love it has the power of God to save within it. Its salvific ripple will spread out and touch all God wants them to affect.

The two images of the Resurrection of Jesus at the beginning of this Fast Food Helping are equally valid understandings of the same event. The one on the left is the typical image of the Resurrection one sees in Western Christianity. The one on the right is universally the image or icon of the Resurrection one sees in Eastern Christianity. The Western image magnifies the physical resurrection of Jesus from the tomb with power and glory that render irrelevant the power and glory of this world, the soldiers of the kingdoms of the world powerless in the presence of the triumph of the Christ Jesus of Nonviolent Love. The Eastern image magnifies the power and wisdom and mercy of the glory of God made visible in Christ Jesus the Lord of heaven and earth reaching back in time and space to lift Adam and Eve from their tombs and deliver them and 78 billion plus from the bondage of Hades. Note the black space below the cross on which Jesus stands with its broken chains and bars and keys and evil itself, bound so it can never contaminate human existence again. And emanating from and through both the Western and Eastern images of the Resurrections this great truth: The Nonviolent Love of all in all situations in history in imitation of the Jesus of the Gospels saves, if given a chance to save.

I would ask Christians, their Churches and Churches leaders, and Christian peace and justice groups and programs to stop presenting Jesus’ Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies as if it were some secular or philosophical idea with a prayer or two attaches to it. Nonviolence in Christianity is a clarifying adjective, not a noun. To be clear, in term of Jesus’ teaching by word and deed nonviolence devoid of intentionally chosen Christlike love as its Spirit and motive is of no more ultimate and salvific use to humanity than violence masquerading as Christic love. If it is not the Nonviolent Love of all that is God that one wishes to be about then say it and then do whatever you wish. But don’t tag something other than Gospel Nonviolent Love as Gospel Nonviolence. There is too much at stake for all people, past and present, to engage in such intentional falsehood and obfuscation.

—Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

Today’s and all prior 2016 Fast Food Helpings are available at this URL: 

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August 08, 2016

FAST FOOD (2016) Thirty-Ninth Helping

FAST FOOD: Thirty-Ninth Helping (2016)

Giovanni Bugatti
Pope’s Executioner, 1796-1865
Carried out 516 Executions

The last execution by a Pope was by Blessed Pope Pius IX on July 9, 1870. However, the Vatican had a law permitting capital punishment until 1969. The Catholic Church today still holds that capital punishment is consistent with the teaching of Jesus. It is against capital punishment today, except in rare cases, because it believes it is not needed today.

The grotesque and blasphemous picture of the Blessed Mother above was published in the summer 2016 edition of the Notre Dame Magazine. The picture accompanies an article titled, For the Children I Would, by a woman working on a master’s degree in English at Notre Dame, while teaching at a Catholic school in South Bend, IN. The article is basically a first-person narrative where the author asks herself and her class in an exercise in casebook morality the question “what I would do if,” by presenting some short vignettes of scenarios of life threatening situations to herself and others and possible responses. She reaches this conclusion: “I would kill the guy or die trying. I would grab for the most damaging weapon within my reach, the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, fair skinned, blue-sashed, hands clasped in prayer, eyes turned to God, flowers at her feet, and twenty-four inches of heavy, club-shaped plaster, and I would beat his brains out with a statue of the Mother of God.”

“Later, with my class gone to PE and the room quiet,” the author writes, “I looked at Mary so serenely poised there on her limestone pedestal. I imagined that Mary could have had that fighting thing within her. How could a mother not allow that protective beast within her to act? Maybe she did try to fight [to save her Son], and the scribes didn’t write it down for us to read these thousands of years since. Mary has been a spiritual help to me throughout my life. If run and hide won’t work, she will give me more strength in the fight.” With all the bright people at Notre Dame and all the subjects that could be written about, this is what is published! Why?

This same issue of the Notre Dame Magazine also contained information on this year’s Commencement Speaker, recently retired Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, and on two powerhouse Washington politicians who were given a medal for being “Outstanding Catholics.” Both, since 2003 have voted for every appropriations bill funding the human slaughter in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria. One is even publicly pro-abortion.
Out of 65 million Catholics in the U.S. this is the best that the richest and most well-known Catholic University in the U.S. can do? Why?

Perhaps it is fortunate Bugatti is dead or he, upon retirement from his prestigious position, would have been given an “Outstanding Catholic” medal or invited to give the Commencement address. But maybe not, for he only participated in killing 516 human beings.

—Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

Today’s and all prior 2016 Fast Food Helpings are available at this URL,, and on these websites or

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August 07, 2016

FAST FOOD (2016) Thirty-Eighth Helping

FAST FOOD: Thirty—Eighth Helping (2016)

To sate the lust for power more horrid still,
The foulest stain and scandal of our nature, murder,
Becomes its boast.
One murder makes a villain, millions a Hero.
Princes are privileg’d
To kill, and numbers sanctified their crime.

            —Beilby Porteus (1759)

Murder does not become other than murder because it is mass murder.

—Thomas Merton

Wars, conflict, it’s all business. One murder makes a murderer, a million murders make a hero.

—Charles Chaplin (1947)

If you shoot one person you are a murderer. If you kill a couple of persons you are a gangster. If you are a crazy statesman and send millions to their deaths you are a hero.

—Watertown Daily News, (1939)

Christians have not realized yet that what men may not do as individuals they may not do when enough of them are
gathered in large numbers to form a political society…
A Christian cannot do in a crowd what he cannot do alone.

—Rev. John L. McKenzie, Biblical Scholar

Normalized wickedness, culturally accepted wickedness, glorified wickedness, societally honored wickedness, statistically sanctified wickedness is still wickedness in the mind of Christ—God and must also be understood as wickedness in the minds of His disciples. If it is not identified as wickedness at least in one’s own mind, it will become part of the person and perpetuate itself through him or her in ways beyond anticipation or control. There is much money to be made, many laughs to be gotten, enormous power to be grabbed and prestige and privilege to be had by turning a blind eye to normalized wickedness and treating it as acceptable because “that’s just how thing are.” There is even more money to be made in leading others to do the same. To morally justify a manifestation of wickedness is to become part of the process of promoting that wickedness and thereby unleashing ever more wickedness into the human condition. If for the Christian, the ultimate and defining norm of good and evil is the Person and the teaching of the Jesus of the Gospels (and if He is not who or what is), then war is raw wickedness and so is military training, as well as, capital punishment and abortion—regardless of how normal they are in a society or in the institutional Churches.

The Christian obligation of loving one’s enemies—and by implication the sinner—does not require that we cease to recognize the wickedness a person has chosen as wicked and hateful. No higher model of Christian love can be found than Jesus Christ, whose love was not the affirmation of the goodness of men, but a desire to confer on them a goodness that they lacked. There is a world of difference between Christian love toward the sinner and a sentimental sympathy for him. Christian love will spare nothing in order that the one doing evil be redeemed from his condition. Sickly sympathy with the wicked, however, is not true compassion, even for the wicked.

—Rev. John L. McKenzie, Catholic Biblical Scholar
The Two-Edged Sword (Imprimatur)

To see and listen to the wicked is already the beginning of wickedness.


It is a fact that cannot be denied: the wickedness of others becomes our own
wickedness because it kindles something evil in our own hearts and minds.

—Carl Jung

If anyone tries to tell you, or tries to convince you, or tries to make you believe that a faithful follower of the Jesus of the Gospels can participate in the wickedness of mass human slaughter in war, say to him or her with your whole soul, whole mind and whole strength, what Jesus said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.” For, if you as a Christian, regardless of your position in the institutional Church, do not wholeheartedly reject the untruth—that Jesus approves of participation in the mass slaughter in war—you will become that untruth.

—Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

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August 06, 2016

FAST FOOD (2016) Thirty-Seventh Helping

FAST FOOD: Thirty-Seventh Helping (2016)

Thomas Merton writes, “People may spend their whole lives climbing some ladder of success only to find, once they reach the top, that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.” Are the mainline and evangelical Christian Churches and many Christian Peace and Justice groups scaling the wrong wall? They seem to be trying to be “successful” at scaling the wall of wickedness that is governmental politics. But what if that is the wrong wall? What if the heart of the Gospel is opposed to entering into any process or organization, whether it be the Mafia, the government, the military, etc., that operates and that must operate on “violence, deceit, betrayal and corruption” (see Fast Food Fourth Helping)?

What if the wall the Christian and his or her Church should be ambitious to scale is the wall St. Paul presents in 1 Cor 13: “Be ambitious for the greatest spiritual gift,” which he says is “agapé” (love), as defined by “Christ Jesus who is the visible image of the invisible God” (Col 1:15)? What if faithfulness to God for a Christian and for an institutional Christian Church means struggling to live out of the Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies as taught by word and deed by Jesus and St. Paul? Indeed, what if faithfulness means rising daily to live our very lives each day to do precisely that—above all else—as many times as possible daily?

However, a Christlike deed in one moral moment does not ratify doing evil in another situation. A Mafioso giving some money for food or fuel to a poor person in his neighborhood does not validate his being a participant in an institution of systemic violence, enmity and evil. The works of mercy are not works of violence. But, neither do the works of mercy at one time morally validate the works of violence at another time. Constantine (d.337) abolished crucifixion in the Roman Empire. Does this mean that Christians should seek to be politicians, kings, dictators, prime ministers or presidents in order to get their hands on the levers of dominative, coercive, violent power of the state so they can force people by the threat of violence to do good and avoid evil?

Is Jesus’ solution to the problem of violence in the human situation to get all the instruments and agencies of violence into the hands of the good guys, the good politicians of the kingdoms of this world? Or, is Jesus’ solution to the problem of violence to designate other people to do violence for Him?

If two Mafia gangs go to war against each other how should the Christian respond, if he or she desires to follow the teaching of Jesus? What should his or her Bishop inform that person is morally right Christian choice to make? Should the person join in with the gang that rules the territory he lives in? Should she join the gang that runs the protection racket in her area? Should he make a determination which gang is killing for a just cause or using just means to kill and join it? Should she join the gang that has been most helpful to her in peacetime, the time between internecine Mafia wars for territorial control, power over people and greater wealth? Or, should the Christian’s moral stance when confronted with two Mafiaesque gangs going to war be, “I am a follower of Jesus. I’ll take a pass on both of your offers to sign up for duty in your intrinsically violent organizations.” And a Christian Bishop’s public teaching and direction to those in his spiritual and moral care should be what? “Do what you want. Join up or don’t join up; it’s up to you. I am washing my hands from having any moral obligation to my flock in this matter?” Or should it be, “It is your Christian duty to join the violent organization that is your local protector?” Or should it be, “You are a follower of Jesus, stay away from the wickedness of homicidal violence regardless of who is engaged in it or why. It is better to die by choosing the Way of Christ than to live for a few more seconds by choosing the way of Satan?”

Which wall must a faithful disciple of Jesus put his or her ladder against? Christlike nonviolent agapé or the wall of “violence, deceit, betrayal and corruption” that is the politics in any of the kingdoms of this world?

—Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

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August 05, 2016

FAST FOOD (2016) Thirty-Sixth Helping

FAST FOOD: Thirty-Sixth Helping (2016)

Captain Philip S. Mumford was a former officer in Iraq. He gave a speech about why he was against what the British were doing in Iraq. He asked, “What is the difference between throwing 500 babies into a fire and throwing fire from an airplane on 500 babies?” “There is none,” he answered. The date of his speech was January 5,1937.

Either the Bishops individually and/or as a group are ignorant of the politics and realities of war, or else they are chronically and systematically engaged in an extreme form of heinousness in order to keep the institutional Church in the good graces of the government and financially prosperous. This is done by participating, as Christian moral validators and teachers, in the process of sending those Christians—whom they were ordained to nurture in Holiness as revealed by Jesus in the Gospels and whom they were to lead to eternal salvation—into the hellacious spiritual and moral environment of lethal combat with all the evils that necessarily entails. The extremity of heinousness is found in this: these Christians are human beings who had entrusted the care of their immortal souls to the Bishop(s) and he (or they) betrayed that trust with catastrophic spiritual, moral and psychological consequences to them. They were betrayed by the Bishop(s) because his allegiance to the institutional Church is a higher priority for him than his allegiance to caring for the immortal souls of the “little ones” who trusted he would never lead them into spiritual or moral harm. But, there is nothing new here. The big-time executives of any multi-national corporation will throw anybody and everybody—except themselves—“under the bus” for the good of the institution. But the loss to the “little ones” in a secular multi-national corporation who are betrayed by the executives is only a loss of those things that affect the body, whereas in the Church the loss to the “little ones” affects both soul and body.

As said previously in Fast Food Helping Thirty: “Thirteen years since March 19, 2003, and tens of thousands of Catholics from the U.S. going 7,000 miles to kill Arab people in the Middle East, millions of Arabs killed and maimed including tens—perhaps hundreds, of thousands of children—and the U.S. Catholic Bishops as a unit (the USCCB), have not spoken a word to morally prohibit U.S. Catholics from taking part in this high-tech slaughter of defenseless and innocent persons post-utero.”

But, the institutions of the Church and the institutions of government remain as tightly as ever in a mutually pleasing erotic embrace, and the Catholic Bishops are more eager than ever to be in the Pentagon’s kennel of well-kept moral therapy pets.

—Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

P. S. Everything said here about the institutional Catholic Church and its Bishops applies to all other Just Warist Christian Churches and their leaders or rulers. The Catholic Church is simply the Church of which I have the most detailed awareness.

Today’s and all prior 2016 Fast Food Helpings are available at this URL:, and on these websites: or

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August 04, 2016

FAST FOOD (2016) Thirty-Fifth Helping

FAST FOOD: Thirty-Fifth Helping (2016)

Men of religious congregations do evil; ministers of God make the congregations feel good about doing it. Rather than guide them in the moral cultivation of their conscience, ministers, with moral nimbleness, blunt that conscience, covering it up with peace of mind.

If you, as Christian ministers do not specify and confront real issues, what you say will surely obscure them. If you do not alarm anyone morally, you will yourself remain morally asleep and inevitably drift to the coming hell. And in all this you will continue well the characteristic history of Christianity, for the Christian record is rather clear: from the time of Constantine to the time of global radiation and the uninterceptable missile, Christians have killed Christians and have been blessed for doing so by other Christians. The verbal Christian belief in the sanctity of each human life has not of course interfered with the impersonal barbarism of Christians in twentieth-century war.

A Pagan Sermon to the Christian Clergy (1958)
—C. Wright Mills

—Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

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August 03, 2016

FAST FOOD (2016) Thirty-Fourth Helping

FAST FOOD: Thirty-Fourth Helping (2016)

If the disciple of Christ is treated violently and gives his life for his conviction, this is not a defeat but rather a glorious victory, an eloquent witness to the power of Christianity, which is called to renew the face of the earth through love. Whoever acts in accord with this is a true hero.

—Johannes Ude

There always have been and always will be conscientious objectors, honorable human beings, witnesses with the Christian courage of martyrs, who emphatically preach the great commandment of love and nonviolence to a world fallen away from Christ. They alone are the true heroes because they have an unre­served trust in the ultimate triumph of these commandments which Christ made obligatory.

—Johannes Ude

Here we would like to point to an ancient custom in the Vatican that we believe should be discontinued, namely the Papal Guard which includes the Guard of Nobles, the Swiss Guard, the Palace Honor Guard, and the Papal Gendarmerie. During festive occasions these guards put on a military show. For example, when a pope declares a new saint, they march to St. Peter’s Basilica under military command and in colorful uniforms, with helmets and revolvers, spears and lances, rattling sabers and modern rifles. They are usually greeted by frenetic applause by the multitude of Italians and pilgrims from all over the world. It is impossible to imagine our Divine Lord in such a military procession.

The pope, who represents Christ on earth, should abolish all military pageantry which bring to mind killing and destruction, using Christ’s words, “Put your sword back, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.” (Matt 26:52) For no murder weapons are needed to make known the great message of love, including love of one’s enemy. On the contrary, wherever murder weapons are carried and armies raised and trained, it automatically brings to mind that these weapons are not merely toys but, if necessary, can be used to kill and destroy. As deputy of the Lord of love and trustee of His teaching, the Pope should avoid everything that in the eyes of the world has only the slight­est appearance that militarism with its brutal use of violence is sacred and pleasing to God and is necessary because it is approved of, tol­erated, and practiced by most Christians. We believe that Christ’s deputy never needs a sword in order to carry out the mission entrusted to him by Christ and to bring about the peace of Christ and His Kingdom

—Johannes Ude

Pax vobis—peace be with you—should always be on the lips of the Vicar of Christ. How peculiar to hear these words from a Pope, who is surrounded by military units with the latest killing equipment. On the one hand, nearly everyone who sees this display of weapons will automatically think of the slogan, “If you want peace, be armed.” On the other hand, if the Pope as Christ’s representative on earth advocates: “If you want peace, prepare peace by the works of peace,” why then have a military cohort and displays of murderous weapons?

—Johannes Ude

For no one—except for the defense industry, leaders of nations who are obsessed with the struggle for power, and other beneficiaries of war—will claim that the cunningly organized mass slaughter of both world wars (1914–18) and (1939–) was fortunate for the people of warring nations or paved the way for world peace.

—Johannes Ude

The Church does not object to the state’s para-military education of its youth. In war and preparing for war, the churches and the state work harmoniously hand-in-hand, and everything seems so clear and self-evident. The Church not only permits the swearing in of military recruits but also provides a festive setting for the ceremony during which they have to take an oath to follow blindly and unconditionally the orders of their superiors to commit mass murder and destroy cultures. The Church blesses the soldiers as they go into battle. Priests in military uniforms—field chaplains—inflame them to attack and admonish them to do their duty, which means to mow down the enemies, to gas them, to destroy them. In churches citizens of each nation pray for victory of their weapons; and when victory has been attained and hundreds of thousands of soldiers’ bodies are covering the battlefields, church bells are rung and Te Deum laudamus (“Holy God we praise Thy name”) is sung solemnly in thanksgiving. The citizens are grateful and rejoice that the bloody struggle resulting in the death and mutilation of thousands of soldiers has led to victory. The heroes are praised from the pulpits and, in recognition for special feats in killing and destruction, are decorated. Here state and Church are staunchly and harmoniously united as they have been since the time of Emperor Constantine.

—Johannes Ude

Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

Today’s and all prior 2016 Fast Food Helpings are available at this URL,, and on these websites or

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August 02, 2016

FAST FOOD (2016) Thirty-Third Helping

FAST FOOD: Thirty-Third Helping (2016)

     Johannes Ude

To avoid the slightest doubt, Christ and the apostles speaking in His name again and again emphasized love of the enemy. How can one reconcile these easily understandable commandments of Christ with the use of violence against an assailant? Who dares to claim that violence, armaments, and war are compatible with Christianity? I can only derive from Christ’s commandments that they are not compatible. To be armed for war means to be always prepared to meet the enemy with violence, to harm and possibly kill him. Is this the love which Christ demands of us? To wage war means to inflict as much harm, misery, and death as possible on the enemy while claiming to bring about peace. Is this the love which Christ demands of us?

How can the citizens of a warring nation say that they are obeying the great commandments to love the enemy and to repay evil with good if they stab him with a bayonet, throw hand grenades at him in order to dismember him, drop tons of bombs on him out of airplanes, and mercilessly fire cannons and machine guns into his ranks? And such people want to be called Christian and Catholic?

—Johannes Ude

My Church teaches me that every person, including the enemy, is my neighbor. Therefore, I am strictly obligated in conscience to conduct myself toward every person with love in my thoughts, words, and actions. The true disciple of Christ has to forego every form of violence; he has to be a conscientious objector, whatever the consequences.

—Johannes Ude

Renouncing the use of violence against an assailant is the essence of Christianity which makes love a duty for all hu­man beings. However, this is not cowardice. On the contrary, it takes heroic courage to stand up against a world bristling with weapons and to prefer to suffer humiliation and death instead of harming others by violence.

—Johannes Ude

If the disciple of Christ is treated violently and gives his life for his conviction, this is not a defeat but rather a glorious victory, an eloquent witness to the power of Christianity, which is called to renew the face of the earth through love. Whoever acts in accord with this is a true hero.

—Johannes Ude

In defiance of a world bristling with weapons, we have to be prepared to give our life, if necessary, in order to demonstrate the love, whose source is God, openly before the whole world, because to be a Christian means to be a witness and if need be, a martyr. Thanks be to God!

—Johannes Ude

—Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

Today’s and all prior 2016 Fast Food Helpings are available at this URL,, and on these websites or

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August 01, 2016

FAST FOOD (2016) Thirty-Second Helping

FAST FOOD: Thirty-Second Helping (2016)

    Johannes Ude

Whoever is a Christian, that is, who truly abides by Christ’s teaching, may not touch a murder weapon and does not need a rifle, a revolver, a cannon, or poison gas. His defense is nonviolence, and his weapons are love, goodness, compassion, patience, and gentleness.

—Johannes Ude

How do Catholic moral theologians, priests, and laymen justify the right of self-defense? Are they not violating the unambiguous words of Christ and His apostles when they declare arming and training for war to be acceptable and the “just defensive war” to be morally permissible? How can they, without contradicting themselves, teach that the great commandment to love includes all people, friend and foe, with no exceptions, and, on the other hand, judge the force of arms, preparations for war and self-defense—the killing of the enemy—to be morally permissible, justified, and even a duty?

—Johannes Ude

If our remarks are correct, and we are deeply convinced that they are, all churches, starting with the Catholic Church, instead of supporting the right of self-defense and the right to wage war, have to forbid their members to fight in wars and to defend themselves with weapons or any kind of vio­lence because these are incompatible with Christianity.

—Johannes Ude

Whoever believes that military preparations help the economy is like the man who wants to heat his stove with dynamite because he thinks it has greater heating power than coal. After a war the economy is like the dynamite heated oven: exploded and completely destroyed. We have to make a decision. Either we are for canons and renounce Christianity, or we are for Christianity and renounce canons, self-defense, military preparations, and war. Either we are for an “armed peace,” for military preparations, and the use of violence, but then we may not call ourselves Christians. Or we want to be true Christians, but then we have to profess nonviolence and forgo self-defense.

—Johannes Ude

However, if the supporters of war, in order to demonstrate how “Christian” they are, demand that war be waged “humanely” and form organizations which object to the various horrors of war, these people are playing a ludicrous, not to say, a childish role. Either one is for war or opposed to it. If one is for war, then one is for war fought with every, even the cruelest, methods in order to totally destroy the enemy as soon as possible, because that is real war. Every war is the opposite of love, and each war is brutal. If I support war, then I also support also the cruelties committed. However, as a Christian I may not commit even the smallest brutality. A Christian has to be a total conscientious objector.

—Johannes Ude

—Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

Today’s and all prior 2016 Fast Food Helpings are available at this URL,, and on these websites or

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July 31, 2016

FAST FOOD (2016) Thirty-First Helping

FAST FOOD: Thirty-First Helping (2016)

Those who control the writing and publication of church history as a matter of course, consign Christian pacifists to the threshold of oblivion. In twenty-one years of formal Catholic education I had never been taught a sentence about or even heard about such Christians. The sole exception to this was when snide remarks were made about Quakers’ refusal to fight for U.S. In every generation of Christianity, however, such Christians have in fact existed, remembered or not. They have proclaimed in their time, often at horrendous cost, the truth of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies as taught and lived by the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels. And, when the time was precisely right and their witness was needed for salvation of each and all—Christians and non-Christians—the Lord of history raised them from the oblivion to which the masters of this world thought they had confined them forever.

Yet, I am stunned that in 70 years of being an American English-speaking Christian and Catholic I never came across one word about Rev. Dr. Johannes Ude (1874-1965), a highly learned Austrian Catholic priest, theologian and sociologist, who was totally and publicly committed to the Nonviolent Jesus and His Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies, before, during and after Hitler’s Germany. Twice imprisoned for His views by the Nazis, he was nominated twenty-six times for the Nobel Peace Prize by such people as Albert Schweitzer.

How is it possible in the voluminous Catholic newspapers articles, books, journals, religious education materials, and works on Catholic peace and justice that I have read, and Catholic radio and television programs, lectures and sermons to which I have listened, no mention of this priest surfaced in the first 70 years of my Catholic life? More baffling, no mention was ever made of his Catholic theological masterpiece on Gospel Nonviolence, Du Sollst Nicht Toeten (Thou Shall Not Kill) which he completed in 1944, just before being taken off to a concentration camp. How is it possible in all these intervening years that no Catholic organization with publishing capabilities has been interested in translating his book into English and putting it before the English-speaking Church membership and before the English-speaking world in general?

But thanks to the persevering work of a solitary woman, Ingrid Leder, for translating Du Sollst Nicht Toeten into English and thanks to Wipf and Stock publishers who will be releasing it later this year (2016), the English speaking Christian world will have access to this extraordinary Christian and his thoughts on Gospel Nonviolence—thoughts that are presented in the relatively unknown traditional and formal categories Catholic moral theology, which those in power in the Church say validates their claim that there can legitimately be such a moral monstrosity as a war Christians can join in. Ude specifically holds that they do no such thing.

Three Reflections from the Writings of Johannes Ude (all prior to 1944):

  1. An irreconcilable contradiction exists between what is generally taught in the Catholic Church about self-defense, training and arming to fight, and the “just defensive war” and Jesus’ com­mands of love of neighbor and enemy, as we see in the Gospels, the letters of the apostles and in the lives of the early Christians who refused to go to war. We emphasize that a true Christian has no right to self-defense, to train for war, or to serve as a soldier because all of these are a flagrant contradiction of Christ’s teaching about love.
  2. Did the Catholic military vicar proclaim Christ’s teachings when, ac­cording to the Grazer Volksblatt of September 6, 1936, in an address he extolled the status of soldiers as a glorious and God pleasing profession and stated: “Military leaders are committed to the principle, ‘Our hearts beat for God. Our fist beat on the enemy.’”
  3. Every weapon and every violent defense are contrary to the teachings of Christ, which demand that we meet the assailant with goodness and love and allow him to attack us. The weapons of Christ are solely nonviolence, all-forgiving love and forbearance—which suffer even the greatest injustice—but never harm the enemy, never return evil for evil.

No wonder those with political, economic and canonical power in the U.S. institutional Church designated Priest Johannes’ book for oblivion along with its author name.

—Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

Today’s and all prior 2016 Fast Food Helpings are available at this URL,, and on these websites or

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July 30, 2016

FAST FOOD (2016) Thirtieth Helping

FAST FOOD: Thirtieth Helping (2016)

“Stone walls do not a prison make
Nor iron bars a cage.”

Psychologically, emotionally, financially, spiritually and socially Bishops are imprisoned in a cult. By choice each has entered into The Cult of Hierarchs. And, like all members of any cult, once chosen the cult is a total immersion in a closed, reinforcing instrument from which there is almost no possibility of one lone cult member breaking out of the cult cage. In the case of Bishops their cage is a gilded cage.

What chance does an isolated member of a cult have of perceiving the evil in which his or her cult is participating, especially when such awareness would make him or her a threat and persona non grata to the other members of the cult and would result in a loss of many or all of the positive reinforcements that a cult has to offer its compliant members and the imposition of the negative restraints that a cult possesses to keep the non-compliant in their place? The answer is near zero. Even if a cult member is out daily among ordinary people selling flowers at a traffic light or doing some other task the cult orders, there is little possibility of the cult member thinking about escaping. 

The reason for this is all cults know if they first imprison the brain of a person, they usually need not worry about how free the body is to interact with everyday people. Once a person enters a cult, especially after a long period of observation, evaluation and vetting by the cult in order to make sure he or she has the “right stuff,” what real chance is there that the person will see even the most bizarre irrationalities and glaring evils that the cult is engaged in? There is little chance! It is in the nature of cults that a person cannot see that he or she is imprisoned. The cage in which the person is locked is invisible to the person, because members are trained before and after entering not to see it. The life of a person life in a cult is then one of being unable to see, but imagining that he can see. Indeed, imagining he can see better than others and therefore is entitled to be an overseer of others.

Thirteen years of tens of thousands of Catholics from the U.S. going 7,000 miles to kill Arab people in the Middle East—millions killed and maimed including tens, perhaps hundreds, of thousands of children—and the U.S. Catholic Bishops as a unit, the USCCB, has not spoken a word to morally prohibit U.S. Catholics from taking part in this high-tech slaughter of the defenseless and innocent person post-utero. Thirteen years and not a peep out of the gilded episcopal cage. That is an achievement in cult single-mindedness, obsequiousness and submission that L. Ron Hubbard would have envied! Cult discipline is the only explanation for 278 highly educated Catholic Bishops—who are ordained to lead Christians placed by Jesus in their spiritual and moral care to live lives in conformity with the Gospel and to save souls—marching as one in lockstep silence for thirteen years, as tens upon tens of thousands of U.S. Catholics are enticed or forced into the wicked world of human slaughter.

A free bird leaps on the back of the wind
floats downstream till the current ends
and dips his wing in the orange rays of the sun and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks down its narrow cage
can seldom see through his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat and sings

The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
of things unknown but longed for still
and his tune is heard on a distant hill
for the caged bird sings of freedom.

                                                                           —Maya Angelou, Caged Bird

—Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

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July 29, 2016

FAST FOOD (2016) Twenty-Ninth Helping

FAST FOOD: Twenty-Ninth Helping (2016)

Jesus is the Eternal Word of God, “who is love,” “made flesh.” As the Word of God Incarnate, as the self-communication of God to human beings, He is Nonviolent and teaches to His disciples, by His choice of words and deeds, a Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies. But, “the Word of God is living and active and sharper than a two-edged sword, piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joint and marrow, and able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Heb 4:12). Such being the case, the Word of God Incarnate teaching and living Nonviolent Love of enemies even unto death must pierce the very being of a Just Warist Christian to his or her innermost depths, revealing, if in fact, he or she believes in and is committed to Jesus as his or her Lord, God and Savior, as her or his Way, Truth and Life—or not.

Receiving the Nonviolent Word of God is a personal communication from God, that is, it is a personal encounter with the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels and necessarily calls forth a decision of the will for or against the Nonviolent Person encountered. Aware that the Word of God knows all about human hardness of heart and any strategies of deceit going on in a human heart or mind in order to preserve what now must be cast off if one is to accept the Word of God, this moment of communication can be a stark moment. Indeed, it can be an either/or crisis moment. The Greek word κρίση (krisis) means judgment. It can be a moment of judgment affecting the course of one’s life and destiny. But it is not necessarily, or even usually, only a solitary moment of encounter.

The rejection of Jesus’ teaching in the Gospels of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies, regardless of the status of the Christian engaged in the rejection, is not the rejection of what one thinks is a lousy idea. It is the rejection of the infallible Word of God personally communicated to a unique person. It is the rejection by the creature of the known will of the Creator. Indifference or dismissal of Jesus’ teachings of Nonviolent Love of all under all circumstances is rejection of the Word of God “made flesh,” and not the rejection of a good tip from a good guy on a possible good way to live! The Eternal Word of God, and hence the Eternal Nonviolent Word of God Incarnate, is not just a piece of advice or a mere counsel, it is the Life of God gratuitously communicated to humanity and offered to human beings for the salvation of all people, for living in the Life of God forever.

The Nonviolent Jesus, who is one with His teaching of Nonviolent Love of enemies, is that two-edged sword that reveals the true thoughts and intentions, beliefs and deceits of the human heart. The vigor, indeed the great vigor, with which the mainline Christian Churches have gone about for centuries, and continue go about today—dismissing, demeaning, denouncing, bracketing-out, ignoring, rationalizing away and trying to operationally stamp out of Christian consciousness the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels and His Way of Nonviolent Love of enemies—is a sure sign of the Nonviolent Word of God piercing to the “division of soul and spirit, joint and marrow” of the mainline institutional Churches, revealing to them their “bad faith,” their willful and stiff-necked self-deception and their lax conscience. Revealing also the crisis they are in and the judgment they have made for themselves and will continue to make for themselves because they have become the “big lie” of violence and enmity as a way of following Jesus, which they perpetually propagate to others by every avenue of communication available to them.

“If today you hear the Word of God, harden not you hearts.”

—Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

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July 28, 2016

FAST FOOD (2016) Twenty-Eighth Helping

FAST FOOD: Twenty-Eighth Helping (2016)

“There is, indeed, no difference between war and murder apart from the fact that the one is on an immeasurably larger scale than the other, and claims an infinitely greater number of victims. That is true of all wars. And the only way to stop them is to say quite definitely that in no circumstances and upon no pretext will we allow ourselves to be dragged into war.

But that, gentlemen, is precisely what you won’t say. You can’t say it, because at heart you believe in violence. That is why, even when you make efforts to establish permanent peace, you can’t think of any means of realizing your aim apart from the threat of violence.”

—Hugh Richard Sheppard (1880-1937)

English Anglican priest, Dean of Canterbury Cathedral, Christian pacifist

If heaven were to do again,
And on the pasture bars,
I leaned to line the figures in
Between the dotted stars,
I should be tempted to forget,
I fear, the Crown of Rule,
The Scales of Trade, the Cross of Faith,
As hardly worth renewal.
For these have governed in our lives,
And see how men have warred.
The Cross, the Crown, the Scales may all
As well have been the Sword.

                                                —Robert Frost
                        The Peaceful Shepherd Poem

In every generation since Jesus there have been people, Christian and otherwise, who have seen clearly and denounced the Christianity of morally justified violence.

—Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

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July 27, 2016

FAST FOOD (2016) Twenty-Seventh Helping

FAST FOOD: Twenty-Seventh Helping (2016)

“The most commonplace example of the cognitive dimension in art is the reader’s recognition—sometimes the shock of recognition—the “verification” of a sector of reality that the reader had known but not known that he had known. You are telling the reader or the listener or the viewer something he already knows but which he doesn’t quite know that he knows, so that in the action of communication he experiences recognition, a feeling that he has been there before, a shock of recognition. And so what the artist does, or tries to do, is simply to validate the human experience and to tell people the deep human truths which they already unconsciously know.”

—Walker Percy

Gospel Nonviolence, which proclaims that the Jesus of the Gospels teaches a Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies for His disciples, does not tell Christian something they don’t know. It tells them something they know but is not yet recognized for some reason. Or else, it places before Christians something they know but obstinately refuse to admit they know for some reason rooted in fear.

Over the nearly fifty years that I have been directing retreats and workshops on the history, theology and spirituality of Gospel Nonviolence, that is, on the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels and His Way of Nonviolent Love of all under all circumstances without exception, or that Christians have been listening to my retreat, Behold the Lamb, on tapes or CDs, I have had untold numbers of people say to me after reflecting on the retreat’s content such words as, “I have known this is the Gospel in my heart for a long time but didn’t have the words to express it even to myself,” or “I have known this all my life but never heard anyone in Church say anything about it, so I pushed it off to some far-away place in my mind.”

When the “shock of recognition” arrives, the Jesus of the Gospels, the only Word of God there is, the only Jesus there is, proclaims a Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies and only a Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies with Himself as the exemplar and definition of that teaching—simply say a gentle, grateful and wholehearted, “Yes,” to this grace you have received. Then, let the ripples of your life lived in a new truth go out into time and into eternity according to God’s salvific Plan.

—Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

URL for all previous Fast Food Helpings: or

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July 26, 2016

FAST FOOD (2016) Twenty-Sixth Helping

FAST FOOD: Twenty-Sixth Helping (2016)

“There’s strong. Then there’s Army strong. Do your part to spiritually
strengthen our troops.” Be a Military Chaplain.

Satan uses patriotism to delude people into following him. He sends his deceiving spirit of patriotism to whip people into a flag-waving frenzy, which is nothing more than a ritual of pagan idolatry. Face up to the truth Christian just warists—Bishops, priests, ministers, military Chaplains laity; dropping 2000 pound bombs on sinners or slitting sinners throats cannot possibly be the will of God as revealed by Jesus. It is the devil’s work. Nothing discredits Jesus more than Christians, especially Bishops, priests and ministers, claiming to be doing God’s will by terrorizing people or by supporting the terrorizing of people—and war is now and always has been terrorism in military costumes

—Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

URL for all previous Fast Food Helpings: or

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July 25, 2016

FAST FOOD (2106) Twenty-Fifth Helping


The Christian Military Chaplaincy: An Orwellian Ministry
Part Three 
A Ministry of the Ministry of Peace


If you are having trouble play the entire video, 34 minutes, this URL is an alternative:


—Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

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July 24, 2016

FAST FOOD (2016) Twenty-Fourth Helping

FAST FOOD: Twenty-Fourth Helping (2016)

The Christian Military Chaplaincy:

An Orwellian Ministry.

Part Two

A Ministry of the Ministry of Truth

FAST FOOD: Twenty-Fourth Helping (2016)


—Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

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July 23, 2016

FAST FOOD (2016) Twenty-Third Helping

FAST FOOD: Twenty-Third Helping (2016)

The Christian Military Chaplaincy: An Orwellian Ministry.

Part One: A Ministry of the Ministry of Truth


July 29, 2016 is the anniversary of the U.S. Military Chaplaincy. There will be, indeed there already has been, a parade of kudos in the Catholic and Christian press legitimating and glorifying the Catholic and Christian U.S. Military Chaplaincy. A few months ago Catholic News Service asked me to speak on camera about the Catholic Military Chaplaincy as a piece of an eight-part series it was creating. What I had to say lasted for over an hour—a small segment of which was used in Part V of the series which I sent to you recently in Fast Food Helping Twenty-One. Since I knew extensive editing would be done to what I had to say, two days later in exactly the same location that the CNS interview took place, I restated my position on the Christian Military Chaplaincy almost verbatim on another camera. CNS, I guess, owns the original reflection I made for it. But if that presentation and the presentation I made two days later were placed side by side there would not be a jot of significant difference.

I have broken the hour plus presentation into three logically-ordered, consecutive parts under the general title The Christian Military Chaplaincy: An Orwellian Ministry. Part one is titled A Ministry of the Ministry of Truth. Part two: A Ministry of the Ministry of Love. And Part three: A Ministry of the Ministry of Peace. Over the next three days, one per day will be our Fast Food Helping. Since each segment is about thirty minutes in length, I am sending one per day in both video and audio format via Dropbox. This is the only way the video and audio files could be transmitted together and still be received on a normal computer. I am sending the audio (.mp3) along with the video (.m4v) because at a length of thirty minutes you may prefer to put the presentation on your iPhone, etc., and listen to it in some other place, e.g., bus, car, plane, walking, etc., rather than in front of a computer screen. To open the Dropbox and access both formats simultaneously, just click on the URL below. Then click on mp3 for audio only or mv4 for video only. If you have any problems with the Dropbox let me know.

I have also attached an exact written transcript of the presentation. The caveat here is that this is a transcript of a verbal presentation and will not read like an essay. But, it is totally accurate.

I hope this is helpful to you in some way for fathoming the depth of the false witness to the teaching of Jesus on violence and enmity in the Gospels, which the U.S. Military Chaplaincy presents to Christians and to the non-Christian public in general with the backing of tens of millions of dollars each year from the U.S. government.

Do send a video, audio or print copy—or all three—to your Bishop, priest, minister and to any military chaplain you may know.


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July 22, 2016

FAST FOOD (2016) Twenty-Second Helping

FAST FOOD: Twenty-Second Helping (2016)

“We don’t cut up when mad men are bred by the old legitimate, regular-stock, Established Church religions, but we can’t allow wildcat religions to indulge in such disastrous experiments.”

—Mark Twain

There is nothing that ISIS has done or is doing under the auspices of “God’s will” today that Christians, their Churches and their Church leaders have not first done or are not doing under the auspices of “Deus vult.”

The Telegraph, London, 19 July, 2016

“U.S. air strike killed more than 85 civilians, including children, in Syria on Tuesday. Pictures of the aftermath of the dawn strikes village of Tokhar near Manbij in northern Syria showed the bodies of children as young as three under piles of rubble.” 

America Magazine, 4/7/03

The head of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services, Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien, said in a letter to his priests on March 25 that members of the armed forces should carry out their duties in good conscience, because they can presume the integrity of the leaders who decided to go to war in Iraq.

[For the record, the specific people to whom O’Brien says a Catholic can give a presumption of integrity regarding the truthfulness of what they are saying, which then morally permits a Catholic to kill and maim designated enemies, are Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Wolfowitz, Perle, Libby, Feith, etc.]

Truth is universally understood to be the first casualty of war. The Greek poet Aeschylus (525–456 B.C.) wrote, “In war, truth is the first casualty.” The evidence of the historical record since 500 B.C. incontestably validates this statement. Those leading a country into war lie without limit or reservation. How then can a Bishop, any Bishop of any diocese, logically and in conformity with the extremely high and strict standard of moral certainty that must be met before engaging in killing people or causing people grave suffering hold and communicate to those in his moral care that the politicians leading a country into war can be presumed to be telling the truth? He can’t. That is fact, not opinion. This is why no Bishop ever even tries to lay out to his people in detail the Catholic moral principles and their logical application on which he is morally permitting them to go to Iraq etc. and kill and maim other people. So as regards Catholic Bishops, it seems, that neither the moral teaching of Jesus in the Gospels nor the moral teaching in Natural Law Catholic Just War Theory applies to them.

Their personal and collective silence gives moral consent—and they know this—to the Catholics of each of their respective dioceses, to go to the Middle East and continue killing and maiming people by the truck load daily. It is more than past time to stop mouthing the U.S. media mantra: “Why don’t moderate Muslim clerics speak out against ISIS terrorism?” Straighten out first your own house of God; war is terrorism. Ask why Catholic Bishops for the last thirteen years have not spoken out against American Catholic military terrorists roaming about and ravaging the Arab population and the Arab countries of the Middle East, thousands of times beyond what ISIS has done?

But then, “We don’t cut up when mad men are bred by the old legitimate, regular-stock, Established Church religions, but we can´t allow wildcat religions to indulge in such disastrous experiments.”

—Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

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July 21, 2016

FAST FOOD (2016) Twenty-First Helping

FAST FOOD: Twenty-First Helping (2016)

From: Catholic News Service

 (Length 5 minutes)

More videos on the Christian Military Chaplaincy are forthcoming.

—Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

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July 20, 2016

FAST FOOD (2106) Twentieth Helping

FAST FOOD: Twentieth Helping (2016)

The deceptive and destructive core of the Christian just war doctrine can be stated very simply. It is the claim that wars, or at least some wars, and all the killing and destruction they entail, are good and right, even virtuous and meritorious, pleasing in the sight of God. This calls for a new species or category of homicide: “killing” that is radically distinct from “murder,” a distinction that hadn’t previously existed in Christian ethics. “Murder” violates the will of God and darkens the soul of the murderer, but the other, “new” kind of killing doesn’t. The difference lies not in the level of violence, death, suffering, and destruction involved but in the “intention” of the killer. If the intention is to do the will of God, to do good, which the Christian tradition identifies as the will of God as enunciated by the Bishops of the Church and their ordained spokespersons, then there can be no moral injury to the killer because there has been no moral infraction, no sin. If the intention is to do the will of God, then all is well in heaven and so on earth. Yet, the telling truth is that combat veterans, having followed the Church’s teaching and having the right intention, are haunted by what they have done in war.

 —Robert Emmet Meagher, Killing from the Inside Out

Yet, neither the Just War Churches nor their Just Warist bishops, priests and ministers are willing to hear, see and take seriously this hideous mega-fact of the consequences to Christians of doing what their Bishops told them was the will of God, that is, engaging in violence, indeed homicidal violence, in a so-called Christian Just War. They followed the moral teaching presented to them as the will of God and then were catapulted into a spiritual, moral, psychological and emotional maelstrom of self-hate, horror, shame, guilt and despair.

Twenty-two U.S. veterans per day commit suicide, and in every major war since Korea more U.S. veterans have taken their own lives than have been killed in combat in wars that the Bishops and Church allowed to pass as just wars. When doing good by participating in a Church designated good Christian act, e.g., a Christian Just War, drives prodigious numbers of Christians to metal breakdown (PTSD) and/or to suicide, then there is something fallacious at best and heinous at worst with Bishops and their ordained subordinates proclaiming to those in their spiritual and moral care that Christian Just War Theories are in conformity with the will of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Ask your Bishop and your priest or minister about this. Ask them why this indisputable fact of the loathsome and large-scale spiritual, moral, psychological and emotional destruction that ensues from participating in a Christian just war has never even once been brought up as an issue for reflection and discussion at any of the U.S. national episcopal conferences. Ask them what matters are more important than this, especially since they are proclaiming daily with vigor—via all their avenues of communications—the goodness of Christian Just War Theory to the Christian adults and to the Christian children of the U.S. and around the world.

—Emmanuel Charles McCarthy 

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July 19, 2016

FAST FOOD (2016) Nineteenth Helping

FAST FOOD: Nineteenth Helping (2016)

Forgiveness, complete and total forgiveness of the sinner by God regardless of the heinousness of the sin, forgiveness dependent upon nothing other than a person’s desire to be forgiven, is a non-removable dimension of the Good News revealed by and in Jesus concerning the reality of God who is “Abba,” concerning the truth of “God who is love.” If this were not the case then the Good News would not be Good News, since all human beings sin and all are therefore in need of forgiveness.

But to reiterate for clarity’s sake what has been said in an earlier Fast Food Helping, evil and sin are not synonymous. Evil is what is contrary to the will of God as revealedx by Jesus, the Word of God. Sin is freely choosing by an act of the will to do something one knows or believes is evil. If a person, through no fault of their own, does not know that the choice he or she is making in the moment is a choice of evil, he or she has not sinned. They have participated in evil and the consequences of participating in evil will follow, but they have not sinned. An example of this would be the doctor who, through no fault of his own, administers a mislabeled lethal drug to a patient believing it is another drug. The consequences of administering a lethal drug will follow, i.e., death, but the person has not sinned. But if the doctor did know it was a lethal drug, or had reason to suspect it was, the choice to administer it would not only be evil, it would also be sinful.

Christians succumb to the temptation to sin, that is, to intentionally not follow the will of God as revealed by Jesus, to intentionally not love as Jesus loves, from a myriad of motivations. If a Christian chooses from one motivation or another to not follow Jesus’ Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies, when he or she knows that this is the will of God as revealed by Jesus in the Gospels, then he or she sins. God will forgive such a sin 7x70 times, if forgiveness is sought. 

It is the implicit understanding of the Gospel that a Christian may at times give in to temptation and intentionally refuse to follow one or more of Jesus’ teachings. Perfection in the Gospel is not perfectionism. Perfectionism is executing a rule or standard without a flaw or failure. Perfection in the Gospel is unending fidelity to the struggle to follow Jesus and His Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies, as well as, to unending fidelity to struggle to follow His other teachings. Struggle implies the possibility of failures in execution. Fidelity implies not giving-up the struggle because of failure in execution, rooted in belief in the Good News of God’s infinite forgiveness.

An appropriate example of what is being communicated here is from St. Basil, the founder of monasticism in Eastern Christianity, a hundred years before St. Benedict founded Western monasticism. Basil was asked, “What is the difference between a good monk and a bad monk?” He responded, “A good monk falls and gets up, falls and gets up, falls and gets up, falls and get up, falls and gets up, falls and gets up, until the end of time if necessary. A bad monk falls and calls it good or refuses to get up and continue the struggle.”

It is a cunning ruse of Just Warist Church leaders and Just Warist Christians to befog the distinctions between evil and sin, between perfection in the Gospel and perfectionism in philosophy, and thereby be able to fluff-off Jesus’ teaching of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies as a perfectionist creed for a spiritual elite, and to justify their choice of violence. Jesus’ teaching of Nonviolent Love of all under all circumstance is no more a perfectionist creed than Jesus’ teaching of non-adulterous love, or merciful love defined by His words and deeds, or forgiveness 7x70 times is a perfectionist creed. Don’t drink the perfectionists “Kool-Aid” being offered as an excuse to disobey Jesus’ teachings of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies.

—Emmanuel Charles McCarthy 

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July 18, 2016

FAST FOOD (2016) Eighteenth Helping

FAST FOOD: Eighteenth Helping (2016)

Jesus does not seek to defend the interests of the poor and the oppressed in Palestine by organizing armed resistance against the Romans or against the privileged Jewish collaborators with Roman authority. Armed defense is not the way of Jesus. There is no foundation whatever in the Gospels for the notion that violence in defense of a third party is justifiable.

—Richard Hays

Dean of Duke Divinity School and Ivey Professor of New Testament

However, all Christlike means to defend the poor, the oppressed and the third party, up to and including laying down one’s life, or some segment of it, are available for use by the Christian and the Christian community and ought to be utilized. The choice of Christlike means may, on some occasions, result in death in one form or another, but such is also the case with choosing non-Christlike means, e.g., violence. But, to reject the means of violence in defense of self or the other and risk death to oneself or the others rests squarely on a person’s answer to the question of authority with which Jesus confronts Peter, “Who do you say I am?” If a person responds as Peter did, “You are the Messiah, the Christ the Son of the living God...Where else can we go, you have the words of life,” then that person can live securely under the authority of Resurrected Jesus’ counter-intuitive wisdom, which rejects violence even in an earthly life-and-death moment.

—Emmanuel Charles McCarthy 

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July 17, 2016

FAST FOOD (2016) Seventeenth Helping

FAST FOOD: Seventeenth Helping (2016)

A major loophole that Christian Just Warists have manufactured to try to theologically legitimate their obstinate refusal to obey Jesus’ teaching in the Gospels of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies is to reduce this teaching to a private option rather than a universal obligation of discipleship. On the one hand since the nonviolence of Jesus in the Gospels cannot reasonably be denied, the Christian Just Warists have to say that the rejection of violence and enmity is an acceptable understanding of God’s Will and the Way of Jesus, and the Christian may follow this path. On the other hand the Christian Just Warists engaging in or supporting, as they do, massive homicidal violence, full throated enmity and self-evident disobedience to many of Jesus’ imperative teachings, such as, “love your enemies,” “put up your sword” and “love one another as I have loved you,” need and want moral cover, especially since so much of their human slaughter was and is on the direct orders of and/or on behalf of a Popes, a Christian emperor, a Christian ethnic groups and/or Christian states.

So Christian bishops and theologian came to the rescue and contrive a theological loophole to the explicit teaching of the Nonviolent Jesus so that Christian Just Warists could substitute homicidal violence for Christlike love with a clear conscience and with the blessing of the institutional Church, its bishops, priests and ministers and members. What they did was to tell people that contrary to Jesus’ very words, “and teach them to obey all that I have commanded you” (Mt 28:20), Jesus did not expect all of his disciples to be obedient to His teaching of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies, but only some of His disciples. That, He in fact chose most of His disciples to be killers and haters of enemies. The rejection of violence and enmity was morally equated with taking a vow of poverty or celibacy, acceptable for a certain type of Christian personality but was by no means meant for all whom Jesus choose for discipleship. One will look until Gabriel blows his first note and not find Jesus, explicitly or implicitly, making this exception to His Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies in the Gospels.

This ploy, which reduces Jesus rejection of violence and enmity to a mere optional “counsel of perfection,” is seldom employed in Protestant Churches or in Orthodox Churches, however, it is shot through Catholic moral theologies and pastoral practices. It is the ground that legitimatizes conjuring up Christian Just War Theories. From people at the highest levels of peace and justice work in the institutional Catholic Church I have heard it said more than once, “Nonviolence in the Catholic Church is just for a sect for perfectionists.” On all occasions when asked to validate that statement as Jesus’ understanding in the Gospels, the speaker has either quickly walked away “to a previously scheduled meeting,” or if stated in a lecture forum has always responded by pointing to someone else in the audience and saying, “Next question, please.”

—Emmanuel Charles McCarthy 

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July 16, 2016

FAST FOOD (2016) Sixteenth Helping

FAST FOOD: Sixteenth Helping (2016)

“Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his Mother, ‘Behold this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted, and you yourself a sword shall pierce, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.’” (Lk 2:34-35).

At 5:29:45 A.M. in the New Mexico desert on July 16, 1945 at an operation code-named ‘Trinity,’ a new weapon by which governments could kill people is introduced into human history—the Atomic Bomb.

What difference does it make to a mother whether the child of her womb is killed by a superbomb made by super smart people or by the dagger of an illiterate soldier thrust into her son's side?

Every mother, including the Mother of Jesus, says, “Whatever you do to my child you do to me.”

Jesus, the Incarnation of “God who is love,” says, “Whatever you do to the least  you do to me.”

The Christian Just Warist bishop, priest, minister and theologian says, “Whatever you do to the least you do to Jesus—except when killing and maiming enemies in war.” 

—Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

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July 16, 2016

FAST FOOD (2016) Fifteenth Helping

FAST FOOD: Fifteenth Helping (2016)

Some moments, in retrospect, decide everything. When the two most towering minds and influential thinkers in the history of Western Christianity, Augustine and Aquinas, neither of whom knew Greek the language of the New Testament, came to the conclusion that not all killing was murder and that not all wars were evil, they sealed away in silence one of the most profound and potentially transformative bits of Gospel truth at the core of that very faith to which they had confessedly dedicated their lives, namely, that love is more powerful than hate and that it is better to die than to kill. They and those who followed them came to see the pacifism of the early Church as mere “passivism,” as doing nothing, as unrealistic, naïve, and irresponsible. In arming Christians for righteous battle, they disarmed the radical challenge and alternative to war embodied in the early Christian community, whose own “heroes” gave their lives as willingly as any warriors, while refusing to take the lives of others. 

Killing from the Inside Out: Moral Injury and Just War 

—Robert Emmet Meagher  

What Jesus teaches by word and deed about violence and discipleship is the logical opposite of Augustine and Aquinas. Why does His authority carry less weight among most Christians of all ranks in the Church than that of Augustine and Aquinas? Or, why is their authority equated with that of God Incarnate, so that a Christian is permitted a choice between following the Way of the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels or following the way of the violent Augustine and Aquinas?

—Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

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July 14, 2016

FAST FOOD (2016) Fourteenth Helping

FAST FOOD: Fourteenth Helping (2016)

With regard to violence the New Testament bears a powerful witness that is both univocal and pervasive for it is integrally related to the heart of the kerygma and to God’s fundamental purpose…None of the New Testament witness makes any sense unless the nonviolent, enemy-loving community is to be vindicated by the resurrection of the dead. Death [by violence] does not have the final word. In the resurrection of Jesus, the power of God has triumphed over the power of violence and pre-figures the resurrection of all creation. The Church lives in the present time as a sign of the new order God has promised. All the New Testament text dealing with violence must therefore be read in this resurrection perspective.

Paul’s counsel that we should bless our persecutors, eschew vengeance, and give food and drink to our enemies makes sense if and only if it really is true that “night is far gone, the day is near” (Rom 13:12)—the day when all creation will be set free from bondage (Rom 8:18-25). To put this in theological shorthand, the New Testament’s ethical teaching must always be situated within the context of this hope. If we fail to read the New Testament texts on violence through the lens of this post-resurrection new creation, we will fall into one of two opposing errors: either we will fall into a foolish utopianism that expects an evil world to receive our nice gestures with friendly smiles, or we will despair of the possibility of living under the “unrealistic” standards exemplified by Jesus. But if we do read the texts through the lens of the new creation, we will see that the Church is called to stand as God’s sign of promise in a dark world. Once we see that, our way, however difficult, will be clear. “The King of kings, the Lord of lords is the Lamb who was slain.” The power of violence is the illusionary power of the Beast, which is unmasked by Jesus' cross and resurrection and by the faithful testimony of the saints.

—Richard B Hayes, The Moral Vision of the New Testament

Again, therefore the words of Jesus, e.g., “Love your enemies,” “Turn the other cheek,” “Put up your sword” (disarmament) etc., cannot be accurately interpreted and put into practice separated from His person—in this instance, His crucified and risen person.

—Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

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July 13, 2016

FAST FOOD (2016) Thirteenth Helping

FAST FOOD: Thirteenth Helping (2016)

Since Jesus cannot be detached from His teachings and still be the Jesus of the Gospels, can the teachings of Jesus be detached from Jesus and still be His teachings? Are Jesus’ statements “Love your enemies,” or “turn the other cheek” the same teachings that Jesus communicated, if detached from the person of Jesus? The answer is they are not! The words may be the same but the meaning of those words changes once they are disassociated from the person of Jesus.

For example, what Gandhi means by nonviolent love towards friends and enemies is not what Jesus means by those words. Gandhi allows for violence under some circumstances. No such allowance is made by Jesus. Nor, does the Catholic Church mean by nonviolent love towards friends and enemies what Jesus means by nonviolent love towards friends and enemies. It, like Gandhi—albeit with a different rationale than Gandhi’s—allows for violence in certain circumstances. The crossroads where interpreters of those words part company is at the point of the person of Jesus being the reality through whom those words are to be interpreted. The previously noted statement by Benedict XVI in the Fifth Fast Food Helping is pertinent here: “Jesus did not leave behind Him a body of teachings that could be separated or distinguished from His ‘I.’ ‘I’ and His words are indistinguishable.”

The love that Jesus proclaims in words is identical, is absolutely one, with the love He proclaims by His person in deeds. Therefore, all interpretations of the love, which Jesus announced is the love of “God who is love,” the love that is God’s will, the love that saves each and all, the love that is meant in “love you enemies,” the love that motivates a Christian to “turn the other cheek,” must be love in total identity and conformity with Jesus’ last and new commandment, “Love one another as I have loved you.” Any interpretation of anything Jesus said or commanded other than one that is focused through His “new commandment,” any understanding of His words other than through their total identity with His person is not an interpretation consistent with the meaning of His words in the Gospels.

“Follow me,” indeed, means follow in faith His teaching as well as His person, but it also means follow in faith His person as well as His teaching, because “word and ‘I’ are indistinguishable.”

Perhaps, at this point, we have hit upon the tragic flaw of contemporary Christians Peace and Justice groups, including Nonviolent Christian Peace and Justice groups, namely, the presenting of the words of Jesus as an ethical norm for Christians and/or non-Christians to follow without the proclamation of the person who is the incarnation of the definitive and infallible content of those words. This reduces the words of the Jesus of the Gospels to the moral equivalent of the “ideas of great thinkers whose word can be interpreted and evaluated without reference to the person.”

The Christ of faith cannot be separated from the Jesus of history and His teachings as the Constantinian Churches have done. But what is equally true is that the Jesus of history and His teachings cannot be separated from the Christ of faith. As the refrain from the old song says, “You can’t have one without the other.” The effeteness of both the Constantinian Christian Churches and Christian Peace and Justice groups, nonviolent or otherwise, can be significantly attributed to trying to proclaim “one without the other.”

—Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

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July 12, 2016

FAST FOOD (2106) Twelfth Helping

FAST FOOD: Twelfth Helping (2016)

As a mundane proverb “Turn the other cheek” is simply bad advice. Such action makes sense only if the God and Father of Jesus Christ actually is the ultimate judge of the world and if his will for his people is definitely revealed in Jesus. To use Matthew’s own language, turning the other cheek makes sense if and only if it really is true that the meek will inherit the earth, if and only if it really is true that those who act on Jesus’ words have built their house on a rock so that it will stand in the day of judgment. Turning the other cheek makes sense if and only if all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus.

—Richard B. Hayes, The Moral Vision of the New Testament

 Richard Hayes is Dean of Duke Divinity School and the Ivey Professor of New Testament.

—Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

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July 11, 2016

FAST FOOD (2016) Eleventh Helping

FAST FOOD: Eleventh Helping (2016)

Faith in the Jesus of the Gospels as “the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of the living God,” the Word of God “made flesh,” “Lord,” “God” and “Savior” is faith, it is not logically derived or empirically self-evident knowledge. Arguments over whether Jesus is who the Gospels say He is are fruitless. Jesus being the Messiah, etc., can never be proved true or false by reason, no more than the validity of His teachings can be proved true or false by reason alone. Faith in His teachings stands squarely on faith in Him. If in faith a person believes Jesus is Lord, God and Savior, then on this same rock of faith the truth-authority of His teachings stand. It is therefore important to recognize that minus faith in Jesus as the Messiah, etc., His teachings have no more or less truth-validity than the words of any other human being. And, as with the truth content of the words of any of us, Jesus’ words, e.g., on the Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies, are then open to dispute based on experience and/or logic. But if one’s faith is that Jesus of Nazareth is the Word “made flesh” etc., then the truth-content of His words, e.g., on the Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies, is 100% infallible. Saying, “I believe,” to the Jesus of the Gospels, cannot then be other than saying, “I believe,” to what He taught as good and evil, right and wrong, as God’s Will and Way in the Gospels—unless, one’s faith in the Jesus of the Gospels as “the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of the living God,” the Word of God “made flesh,” “Lord,” “God” and “Savior” is faith in a Jesus who is perceived as a liar or as ignorant of the Will of the Father.

—Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

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July 10, 2016

FAST FOOD (2016) Tenth Helping

FAST FOOD: Tenth Helping (2016)

John Dominic Crossan (b.1934) is an Irish-American New Testament scholar, historian of early Christianity and former Catholic priest, who has written twenty-eight books both scholarly and popular. Crossan is a major scholar in contemporary historical Jesus research. He earned his Doctor of Divinity in 1959 at St Patrick's College, Maynooth, the Irish national seminary. He then completed two more years of study in biblical languages at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. In 1965 Crossan began two additional years of study (in archaeology) at the Ecole Biblique in Jordanian East Jerusalem. In the fall of 1969 he joined the faculty of De Paul University, where he taught for twenty-six years until retiring in 1995. Crossan also served as president of the Chicago Society of Biblical Research in 1978–1979, and as president of the Society of Biblical Literature in 2012.

“Is the God of the Christian Bible violent or nonviolent? It is really the only question worth asking.”

—John Dominic Crossan (16 minutes)

—Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

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July 09, 2016

FAST FOOD (2016) Ninth Helping

A Pledge Every Bishop, Priest and Minister Should Make to Jesus

“I cannot and therefore will not use my ministry to bless, sanction or support any war.”

Composed by Rev. John Haynes Holmes (1879–1964)

It is admirable to denounce war in general, but it is not enough if denunciation of war in general can be changed into approval of a particular the very instant that this particular war is imminent? Somewhere there is a fundamental fallacy here. War, like slavery, cannot be wrong in one place and right in another place. War, like religious persecution, cannot be justifiable for Englishmen and unjustifiable for Germans. One and the same thing cannot be right and wrong, just and unjust, at one and the same time. Here in the fact of war do we have a perfectly simple and well-understood social phenomenon. It has presented the same general characteristics and followed the same processes of action from the ancient day of clubs and stones to the modern day of Zeppelins and super-dreadnoughts. Those who engage in it, on the one side or the other, engage in identically the same work of plunder, pillage, destruction, deceit and murder. Now is this thing called war right, or is it wrong? Study it—judge it on its own merits—put aside all the ambitions, prejudices, emotions, illusions and fears of nationalism—and what must the verdict be!

Rev. John Haynes Holmes

New Wars for Old, 1916 (13 editions)

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July 08, 2016

FAST FOOD (2016) Eighth Helping

FAST FOOD: Eighth Helping (2016)

“As I reviewed my past history, I perceived that I had drunk in this idea of the impracticability of Jesus’ teaching of non-resistance with my mother’s milk, and the rest of my life after only confirmed me in this strange error. How was it that believing or trying to believe the Jesus who taught this was God, I still maintained it was not to be obeyed? Well, from infancy to manhood, I learned to venerate what was in direct contradiction to Christ’s law. The whole organization of my life agreed in calling Christ’s teaching impracticable and visionary, and by word and deed taught me what was opposed to it. Thus my error rose…But now I understand. This commandment is like a key which opens everything, but only when it is thrust into the lock.”

—Leo Tolstoy, My Religion

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July 07, 2016

FAST FOOD (2016) Seventh Helping

Can you imagine the Apostles and disciples of Jesus joining with Jesus as a band of soldiers called a Roman Legion and going forth with Caesar to kill barbarians on the other side of the mountains? It is unthinkable. Why? Everyone knows why!

—Rev. Howard Goeringer, Haunts of Violence in the Church

What does a bishop, priest or minister think he or she is doing by creating a Church that does not teach by word and deed what Jesus taught by word and deed?

—Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

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July 06, 2016

FAST FOOD (2016) Sixth Helping

FAST FOOD: Sixth Helping (2016)

One thing the institutional Church must do, if it wants to be a Church that is an extension of Christ Jesus in time and space, is to rid itself of the illogical, groundless and erroneous idea that it can be the Church that Jesus desires it to be and continue to be a Church that acquiesces to and participates in the system, principles, practices and spirit that slew Jesus, which to this day dominate the state and secular society. If those who control the institutional Church cannot see with absolute moral clarity that the words, deeds and spirits of those on Golgotha killing Jesus—which are the same words, deeds and spirits of all who kill for a government, religion, ethic group or ideology—are diametrically the logical opposite of the words, deeds and spirit of the Man on the Cross being killed, and could never be what the Crucified One morally endorses—then such Church leaders must be converted or be replaced.

If the minimal spiritual clarity of perception needed to enable a bishop, priest or minister to see the infernal abyss between the words, deeds and spirits of Jesus’ killers and the words, deeds and spirit of the One being slaughtered, he or she should be dismissed from office for the temporal and eternal good of that particular Christian community and of all humanity—for he or she is self-evidently a blind guide blinding others to God’s Plan for the salvation of all through Jesus.

—Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

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July 05, 2016

FAST FOOD (2016) Fifth Helping

FAST FOOD: Fifth Helping (2016)

One cannot separate Jesus from the Christ or speak of a ‘Jesus of history’ who would differ from the ‘Christ of faith’…Christ is none other than Jesus of Nazareth.

—John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio

Jesus did not leave behind Him a body of teaching that could be separated from His “I”, as one can collect and evaluate the ideas of great thinkers without going into the personalities of the thinkers themselves. Jesus did not perform a work that could be distinguished from His “I.” On the contrary to understand Him as the Christ means to be convinced He has put Himself into His word. There is no “I” that utters words: He has identified Himself so closely with His word that “I” and word are indistinguishable.

—Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth Part II

Without the words and deeds of Jesus we have no Jesus; and if no Jesus, we have no Lord, no Savior, no Christ. A christ not fully identified with the Jesus of history, his words and deeds, is to that extent a humanly created substanceless myth. Regardless how much such a christ is adored, glorified and propagated such a christ is not Jesus, the Christ. Such a christ may generated great hype and hope, but it is objectively as hopeless as any other god or image of god made by human hands. The Christ Jesus of history encountered in the Gospels is a Nonviolent Christ, a Nonviolent Messiah, who teaches in history a Way of Nonviolent Love of all in all circumstances, including lethal enemies. It is in the Nonviolent Christ who is the Nonviolent Jesus of history—and to no other christ—that Christians are called to place their faith, hope and love. However, it is the dark genius of so many of the Churches who morally justify Christian participation in violence and enmity—and of the ecclesiastics who run these Churches and foster such moral perceptions—that they have successfully brainwashed untold numbers of people into placing their faith, life and hope in a christ other than the one whose “I” and word are indistinguishable in the Gospels. A christ of faith severed from the words of the Jesus of history is an unreality. A Jesus of history severed from His words is equally an unreality. Placing one’s hope in an unreality is hopeless—and it is irrational when one has the Real Deal right in front of him or her.

—Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

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July 04, 2016

FAST FOOD (2016) Fourth Helping

Dear Charlie,

We have a new pastor in our parish and a group of parishioners has approach him asking him to put the American flag and the Vatican flag back in the Church. Our previous pastor had removed them. When I heard about the group going to him, I went to see him myself and explained why I though the flag should not be in the Church, which was basically from what you wrote in your article Sacerdotal Flagism, which I got off your website. He did not agree to keep the flag out of the Church but said he would give consideration to what I said. Do you have any other thoughts I could share with him before he makes his decision?




The deeper and more gravely serious issue here is that Jesus is catholic. He came for and to save all people. He reveals that God is catholic, “Father of all.” Geographic, ethnic and national particularism has been the curse of religion in general, including operational Catholicism, Orthodoxy and Protestantism since at least the time of Constantine. By curse I mean it has significantly and chronically interfered with the revelation of the only true God there is, God the “Father of all” as revealed by and in Jesus, the Christ. Jesus reveals the true Face of God not made by human hands. The face of God that nationalism reveals is not the true Face of God and can never be because of its non-Catholic integral character. Pick the nationalism, any nationalism, and then list what it participates in, glorifies, justifies and normalizes which is radically inconsistent with the person and teaching of Jesus, and you would fill several pages in small print. I will apply here what I have applied to nationalistic state activity in general via a quotation from Carl. J. Friedrich, Eaton Professor of Government at Harvard University. On the final page in the final chapter of his 400-page book, The Pathology of Power, he writes, “Our analysis has, I hope, shown that politics needs all these dubious practices; it cannot be managed without violence, deceit, betrayal, corruption, and propaganda.” A flag, any flag, embodies and enables these practices and much more, which is contrary to the person and teaching of Jesus in the Gospels, e.g., the lust for power, the hatred of enemies, diminution of the capacity for empathy towards those sons and daughters of the Father who are outside the scope of the particular flag’s symbolic cognitive and emotional reference point, that is, outside a particular nation-state. 

Every Catholic man or woman, girl or boy has a right when he or she enters the sacred space of a Catholic Church to be in the presence of icons, symbols images, words and music that convey and make present the reality and Face of God as revealed by, through, in and with Jesus in the Gospels. Even if MacDonald’s or Walmart offered a Church an outrageous sum of money to put its symbol inside a Catholic Church, and even if a large percentage of the Church’s congregation worked for MacDonald’s or Walmart, for a bishop or priest or minister to do so would be a breach of a fiduciary spiritual relationship between himself or herself and Jesus, and himself or herself and the Christians he or she was called to serve by revealing to them via the person and teachings of the Jesus of the Gospels the true Face of the only true God—a Face that can never be revealed by way of a flag, including the Vatican State flag!

The cross, not the flag, reveals the true Face of God and fidelity to that God. To bring a flag into any Christian Church as a permanent ornament cacophonizes and compromises the entire symbol system and symbolic communication of the Church’s spiritual atmosphere. It is intrinsically anti-sacramental.


P.S. I think, Brian, it is probably spiritually permissible to bring a flag into a Church for a special day of prayer for a particular people—and not necessarily just for the people of the country in which one lives. For example, to bring the flag of a country or group that is the enemy of a country into a Church in order to pray for them would be clearly consistent with the person and teaching of Jesus, would clearly be living out of and witnessing to the Face of the true God. But as a permanent Church ornament, emphatically, “No flags of any ilk!”

P.P.S. Brian, I do not know how the regulations regarding the decoration of the interior environment of a Catholic Church have changed since I wrote that piece, Sacerdotal Flagism, a couple of decades ago (I think). I suspect that since today the Catholic Bishops and clergy are catering to the U.S. Military in an unprecedented manner and have militarized even primary and secondary Catholic school buildings in a way previously unknown, e.g., shrines in Catholic elementary and high school memorializing graduates who went into the military are now rampant across the U.S., I suspect the regulations on flags in a Church have been altered significantly. But, I am sure they have not been changed to the point where a pastor is mandated to display a flag in his Church. I assume that decision is left to the pastor’s conscience—so far.

—Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

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July 03, 2016

FAST FOOD (2016) Third Helping

If someone does not choose a particular means, it is because he or she sees no hope in it for achieving what they wish to achieve in the future. Let us say that a person or community desires to “obtain eternal life,” that is, to exist with their loved ones, and perhaps all people, beyond biological death in a state where there is no pain, no sorrow, no sin, no sighing but only peace and everlasting life. Then someone comes along, say Jesus, and says, “Follow me. I am the way, the truth and the life.” If a person does follow Him it would be because he or she has hope that His way, His truth and His life will bring him or her and their loved ones, and perhaps all people, to eternal life, to existence beyond biological death and into a state where there is no pain, no sorrow, no sin, no sighing but only peace and everlasting life. If a person or a community desiring to “obtain eternal life” does not follow Him, it would be because that person or community does not have any hope that His way, or perhaps any way, is the way to “obtain eternal life.” In any case—in such a person or in such a community—the hope that Jesus saves one or all from eternal death would be zero. His way to “obtain eternal life” would not be good news, but a hopeless use of one’s life and time.

—Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

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July 02, 2016

FAST FOOD (2016) Second Helping

“The natural flight of the human mind is not from pleasure to pleasure, but from hope to hope,” insightfully writes Samuel Johnson. Hope is not about the past or present, it is always about the future. The future is always a mystery that everyone who lives has to live into. Hope is about faring well—by some standard—when that mystery become a present for me or others. Faring well can traverse the spectrum from the smallest matters in the future, e.g., hoping to be on time to catch a bus, to the greatest, e.g., hoping that I, my loved ones and perhaps all people exist beyond biological death in a state where there is no pain, no sorrow, no evil but only peace and everlasting life. According to our hope—our desire for a certain reality to be in the future—we willfully choose our means in the present. If our hope is to be on time to catch a bus, we do not choose to rely on a clock on the wall that we know to be faulty. Likewise, if our hope is for the eternal salvation and life for each and all, we do not rely on the teachings—of one we see as our Savior—that have been expurgated and bowdlerized by some non-Saviors.

—Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

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July 01, 2016

FAST FOOD (2016) First Helping

If Jesus did not reject any type of violence for any purpose, then we know nothing of Him.

—Rev. John L. McKenzie, Catholic Biblical Scholar

There is no burden of proof laid upon those who proclaim, teach and struggle to live the Lamb of God's teaching of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies. The burden of proof rests solely on those who contend that Jesus taught an exception to this teaching, which morally permits Christians to participate in killing, enemies, even killing them en masse. Such a burden cannot be met via either the Gospels or reason.

There is no debate about what Jesus taught by word and deed on violence and enmity, and there is no place where Jesus teaches an exception to what He taught on these phenomena The only question for a pope, bishop, priest, minister or Christian is, “Do I choose to follow Jesus and His teaching?”

Most Christian leaders of all ranks in the Church have simply decided they do not choose to follow Jesus and His teaching on this matter, and have nurtured their Christian communities to follow their teaching instead of Jesus' teaching. And, most, not all, have abandoned all the tortuous and convoluted efforts to justify themselves by arguing on behalf of the absurdity that Jesus would not have followed Jesus, if He knew what they know or if He had to live in the sinful world they have to live in. Church leaders just say privately or publicly—usually privately, “I don't care who Jesus is, or what His authority is, or what He taught about violence and enmity, I will not follow Him. I shall not obey!”

So be attentive and be courageous. Do not let any wolf—whether he or she be pope, bishop, priest, minister or layperson—insert himself or herself into your Christian flock by putting on a sheep-costume and then pulling the wool over your eyes and over your heart, or over your community's eyes and your community's heart. Do not let the smallest untruth about the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospel and His Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies into your mind or heart or into your Christian community's mind or heart. Blow the whistle, gently but unequivocally, on every presentation of untruth about the teaching of Jesus on violence end enmity, regardless of the status of the wolf in sheep's clothing who is baa, baaing it.

—Emmanuel Charles McCarthy


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The Grand Betrayal in Microcosm
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Just War, As It Was, and Is
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Antonin Scalia’s Death and the Death Penalty: A Teachable Moment
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Mass on the Feast of Saint Stephen
(December 2015)

Homily at the Eucharist of the Resurrection
(November 2015)

Letter to Pope Francis
English & Spanish
(September 2015)

40 Day "Fast Food" Menu

Holy Week—The Triumph of the Spirit of Cain and Monday–Saturday Mediations
(April 2015)

Holy Week Meditations:

(April 2015)

Holy Week Meditations:

(April 2015)

Holy Week Meditations:

(April 2015)

Holy Week Meditations:

(April 2015)

Holy Week Meditations:
Monday and Tuesday

(April 2015)

Holy Week—A Dangerous Memory
(March 2015)

Holy Week—The Triumph of the Spirit of Cain
(March 2015)

Pastoral Letter for Great Lent 2015
(March 2015)

Pope Francis and Protecting People from “Unjust Aggression”
(September 2014)

40-Day "Fast Food" Menu

Christian Just War Theory: The Logic of Deceit, Second Edition
(May 2014)

Video: Bishop John Michael Botean on Jesus' Nonviolent Love of All and the War on Iraq
(May 2014)

Bishop John Michael Botean on Jesus' Nonviolent Love of All and the War on Iraq

A Christmas Present
(December 2013)

Serving Those Who Serve
(November 2013)

Inaugurating a Millennium of Mercy
(October 2013)

Litany of Christ the Prisoner (English)
(October 2013)

Letanía de Cristo el Prisionero (Spanish)
(October 2013)

A Cardinal Evil
(March 2013)

Pope Benedict XVI's Last Word to the Church, 2013
(March 2013)

Mother's Day Meditation, 2012
(May 2012)

Stations of the Cross of Nonviolent Love
(April 2012)

Thou Shall Not Kill
(January 2012)

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