Blood Sacrifice; Passover/Easter in the USA, 2013
The blood of lambs on lintels; the blood of a savior on the cross; the blood of our returning vets.
Always and everywhere, the blood of innocence is shed for the many.
We still celebrate the long-ago sacrifices of Passover and Easter; why not our own vets now?
See them come home; from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan.
Bodies, minds, spirits broken; many beyond repair.
They might yet become the paschal lambs, the agnos dei of our time. Or not. It depends. On us.
The blood of the Paschal Lamb produced milk and honey, forty years on;
The blood of the Christ became living bread, forty hours on;
Will the blood of our vets yet secure mercy and justice in the homeland? Seriously, will it?
For even now, the big green machine gears up again. The next war looms.
Iran, Syria, Mali? It really doesn’t matter.
We are a nation of war-junkies, on the howlin’ prowl for the next blood fix.
We’ve been continually at war since 1945, and haven’t won one since. That’s not an accident.
We never meant to win them. Joseph Schumpeter had it right:
Great powers don’t start wars to win them. And they’re too god damn profitable to wind down.
We squandered so much blood and treasure to secure our business interests abroad.
And left the homeland to rot out inside.
Bad enough we sacrificed pubic health, education, welfare and infrastructure. But the moral order, too?
Now we prepare to toss another generation of our young onto Mars’ pyre.
The war-as-profit-center publicity machine is busy spinning up the new ‘big lie.’
And ‘the Street,’ with its Midas touch, will continue spinning blood into gold.
Pause, in this week that celebrates sacrificial lambs, to reflect on Isaiah’s suffering servants.
They are among us still. And we forget them at our peril.
"Who would believe what we have seen?
They grew up like saplings before us, watching Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers,
So routine, we scarcely noticed them on the playgrounds and in the malls
"In boot camp they became accustomed to hardship and infirmity
They were those from whom we turned away when we saw them in airports:
Their lean bodies, their sandy uniforms. And those eyes: anxious on going; haunted on returning.
And we looked right through them, in search of a Jamba Juice.
"We have gone astray as a nation, like fattened lambs: complacent, smug, 'exceptional.'
And the Lord laid upon them the guilt of us all.
Tho they were harshly treated, they opened not their mouths
"Like lambs to the slaughter, like sheep to the shearers, they marched off in uniform.
And who gave a second thought to their destiny.
"They have been cut off from the land of the living,
And smitten for our comfort;
Struck down for our apathy.
Tho they had done no wrong, nor spoken any falsehood,
They paid for our indifference.
"If we forget their anguish, and their loved ones’ agony, we don’t deserve them.
If we continue refusing to learn from them, we make inevitable that which is bearing down on us."