“Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s…”
That stumped paraphrase there is the root of late America’s greed and inequality. Sure, Christianity has been and often is a source of Good. In fact, Jesus is credited for garnering the cooperation of the early Christian cult with all-powerful Rome. Memory of the figurehead is said to have preserved His followers through trials and tribulation severe as many faithful having been tossed to mad lions for the pleasure of sadistic pagans. The verse made those sorry folk meek and compliant. But modern readers must know, that particular gospel is a work of embellished fiction. It is no more real than the story of Noah’s deluge or even the quickness of all Creation.
The gospel of Matthew is not more than the original, predictive Jeffersonian version of the gospel of Mark – those two others, John and Luke, are also. Some long-dead Gnostic or band of exponents had added the magical components of a virgin birth and resurrection to the stories they had conveyed word-of-mouth. He, she or they had been forced to include fairytales in hopes of gathering and retaining an attentive audience.
Back in the Iron Age, Christianity had faced competition with hordes of other gods – Mithra, especially. Mithra was the Zoroastrian deity popular with the unparalleled Roman military. Stretching the comparison, he and Jesus Christ share similar origins, lifetimes and fates. Rumor suggests the mistaken sign of this Persian divinity had compelled Constantine to convert his Tuscan civilization wholesale to Christendom. And as had Rome, Western civilization followed his dictated model. Back then, it had been easy to impose upon barbarians whom lacked the advanced technology of the smithed sword. Christianity then kept them inert and at the mercy of a more advanced culture – one of who’s power grew with wealth.
For the curious, Constantine is said to have prayed and witnessed the ankh-like Chi Rho in a sunny sky during a critical episode of stress. His efficient and then-modern armies then prevailed in the Battle of the Milvian Bridge, 312 AD. Constantine then spontaneously converted to the blind worship of Christ. And like many signs and holidays, Christians later adopted the symbol of the Chi Rho into its own religion.
Yet the argument does not concern Mithra. Rather, the etymology of the Bible and Roman sentiment is responsible for America’s dire consequence. Another popular phrase corrupts the Biblical verse. That is “A Man’s Home is his Castle.” The perspective also dates back to the Roman era. Alas, colonial and industrial America had been obsessed with all things of the period and that phrase, too, perseveres.
Always the nature of the human male, every man considers himself a king of his household. His household includes everything he owns… his horse, his car, his business, etc. And yet again at risk of promoting Socialism, here is the incorrect perspective – the sin. The phrase promotes selfishness and, worst, righteous ego. The transgression is not so much suffered among the underclass, but the owners of the United States.
The richest Americans own ninety percent of American wealth. These people constitute no more than one percent of all citizens – of everyone living in the USA including those with no where else to go and without assets to take them no place. Expanding the vision of people considered wealthiest, the top twenty percent own forty percent of the assets once belonging to public of the Land of the Free. And each of these billionaires have grander visions.
Many of the uber-wealthy consider themselves greater than kings. Uncontested and unassailable, they believe themselves Roman emperors. This sliver of the one percent think themselves as gods and they demand tithing and the worship from mortal beings. Why? To compete with themselves. They need no more. But as gods do, they play games with each other so that one may claim monetary superiority within their omnipotent modern pantheon.
And as powerful mortals, they become as the Antichrist. They exploit scripture and quote to themselves “Render therefore unto Caesar all.” They say so because there simply isn’t much yet much available in this physical world. Here is the Hell they have humanity suffer at their whim. And theirs is the scripture the rest of us are expected to uphold. Law demands acquiescence. And if the Word is not enough, they have the assets to rain down upon us the impersonal wraith of military science. Here is where the fable of Christianity has brought us. And now we know, there is no God to save the masses of the human race.
As the Founding Fathers of America have given us, there is only Democracy. But unlike Justice, Democracy must not be blind. Knowledgeable application is crucial or our freedom, too, or that will also be corrupted by money. All humanity must see outside personal possessions. Raise up the underprivileged with education, food, shelter and medical care. Uphold the principles that truly make us great and not just guarded and afraid because the fact we ourselves still wield swords.