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As Long as We Remember...

January 6, 2009

Kingdom of Jerusalem Redux

Roy Meachum

Once there was a Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem. The men who founded it wore a huge cross from their shoulders down to their knees. Many did not always do Christian things. They judged the natives as infidels. They killed many. Random cruelties were allowable on those worthless. That was anybody who did not bow to the cross. They moved right in.


Now some men with the huge crosses were not in Jerusalem for the holy places. The Holy Land was a real estate bonanza. Where they came from had long since been divided, re-divided and divided again. In that part of the world laws did not exist, none they knew or cared about. The laws that mattered were back there, where they came from.


For some 100 years they rarely met strangers who became their friends. They had foes all around. They made new enemies all the time and asked for more. They got them by the score.


One day there was a man whose name came from his religion. He had no trouble finding people who followed his lead, although he was from a small town, totally unlike Jerusalem. It didn't matter. The most important thing in his world was to ship the men with the huge crosses back to their homes. He did.


There was no more Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem.


In its place stands now a republic, not Christian. But these people believe their religion. They think faith brought them to Jerusalem where their fathers lived. That was long before the men with the huge crosses.


These new Jerusalemites learned few lessons from the past. They set about vengeance with a mighty will. Unfortunately their friends get hurt. They had few friends of their own. The friends of their friends suffer. Pretty soon, their friends had fewer friends. That's life, they said.


When the dawn dawned this morning Israel's war machine was already hard at work. The friends of their friends lose face with every bullet spent. Moderates are being polarized. There will be noting but radicals around.


This is not to question the justification of the move into Gaza again. But how many wars and battles will it take? Every story guarantees more enemies for the new Jerusalemites and those places that stand beside them. They don't seem to care.


Jesus wept, and so does anyone else who doesn't want the history of the Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem to be repeated.


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