What Would Jesus Say?
As a result, I have, in the past, found myself receiving psychiatric treatment and psychological counselling from a government approved and funded treatment facility called St John Of God Hospital run by a tentacle of the Catholic church.
As a result of this past association, I receive, at about this time every year, an invitation to a gathering of veterans at said hospital. Here are excerpts from this year's invite:
"You are warmly invited" ( to their Vietnam Veterans Day) "Service of Celebration"
"We look forward to sharing this important celebration with you."
They requested I send them an RSVP email. So I did. This is what I said:
I would be pleased to attend, but alas, only in the role of guest reader of the sermon at your "Service of Celebration" on 2 August 2012.
Here is a summary of the sermon I would deliver:
Celebrating the killing of four million people, most of them civilians, in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, in what has rightly been called The American War.
Celebrating our erstwhile government's toadying up to the American Empire by sending our troops into that war.
Celebrating the Christian churches' tacit (and sometimes not so tacit) support for this war, their blessing of the troops, and their celebration of those poor sods' "service" (to a foreign power) every Anzac Day, Veterans Day, and Remembrance Day.
Celebrating the 500 dead Aussies.
Celebrating the thousands of Aussies wounded.
Celebrating the tens of thousands of Aussies psychologically scarred for the rest of their lives.
Meditating upon the teachings of Jesus. (A reading of the Sermon On The Mount would precede this.)
Meditating upon what Jesus might say about the evils of capitalism and the beauty of socialism.
Meditating upon what Jesus might say about all this celebrating and justifying and glorifying of war.
Meditating upon what Jesus might say to the Christian churches making millions (from the public coffers) from the treatment and care of veterans of wars the churches failed to adequately oppose.
The sermon would then be followed by a rousing rendition of Onward Christian Soldiers during which the veterans would be encouraged to jangle their war medals to simulate the sound of tambourine accompaniment.
Please let me know soonest regarding my offer of reading the sermon.
Happy celebrating, guys.
Vietnam veteran and peace activist.