Letter to the President
May 8, 2002
By Rev. Rich Lang
When you were running for office you stated that Jesus Christ
was your favorite philosopher. You have made a point of proclaiming
your Christian faith. You have put time and energy in an attempt
to link Church mission with state social security. You have,
particularly since 9/11, continually preached God Bless
America on almost every public occasion. As a Pastor and
fellow United Methodist I need to ask you: "Do you know
what the values and vision of Jesus are?"
I ask the question because I am baffled and confused by your
behavior. You claim Christ but act like Caesar. There is blood
all over your hands with the promise of even more blood to
come. You sit atop the nations like the Biblical Whore of
Babylon openly fornicating with the military men of might,
their corporate sponsors, their nuclear madness, and their
insatiable hunger for global armament. Is this how you learned
You claim the benevolence of your Administration toward the
rest of the world. But the treaties you make continue to be
laced with a tightened rope around the neck of the poor. Is
this how you learned to "forgive our debtors"? Is
it really Christ-like to insist on cuts in life-supporting
infrastructure while increasing military budgets and allowing
the plunder of nations to accrue to a very small financial
elite? Have you not been taught that Jesus was crucified by
these same Principalities and Powers?
You practice a patriotic righteousness that visualizes never
ending war against enemies of great evil. You bombed Afghanistan
with both guns and butter to show the difference. But do you
really think the few crumbs of bread airlifted to Afghanistan
shield the reality that you have no intention of assisting
in building a sustainable society there? Is this how Christ
taught you to avenge the wrongs done unto you?
I am troubled by your spirit George. You claim you are of
the Sustainer of Life but you practice the terror of Death.
You are spreading the war. Afghanistan is only the beginning.
Military presence crops up worldwide. You bait us with Iraq
and shield what you are doing in Columbia. You lay the groundwork
for disrupting Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina. You allow
the dogs of capitalism to sink their teeth into the battered
body of a raped Central America. The buck stops on your desk
George: is this what Jesus would do?
The Spirit of Death rises and nations tremble. We the people
of the United States tremble. We discover how truly powerless
we have become. Our military budget grows to obscene levels
bankrupting the social infrastructure from which our security
and freedom rise. We see basic medical care costs increase
even as more and more Americans find themselves without health
care. We see environmental treaties subverted, ignored and
disappeared even as Mother Earth signals increasing distress.
Labor rights are made secondary to the rights of Corporations
resulting in wage reductions and growing financial insecurity.
Homelessness exposes itself through tented cities. Education
becomes the victim of budget knife cuts. A few benefit but
the groan of the masses is growing. Whose side are you on
Perhaps you think that God has chosen you for this hour.
Perhaps God has. So again I ask you, "is this how you
learned Christ?" If God has chosen you for this hour
then, in Christ's name, serve the values and vision of Jesus:
feed the hungry, clothe the naked, release the prisoners,
cancel the debt, forgive your enemies, practice Jubilee. Then,
through you, this nation and all nations will be blessed.
But beware George: the road of the sword will bring division
and much blood. Those who take it up will be devoured by it.
Many people, in the name of God, have taken up the sword.
And many have come to ruin. Thinking themselves capable of
naming evil they have become the very evil they name.
Seek Christ first,
Rev. Rich Lang
Trinity United Methodist Church