Originally posted April 16, 2017
Today marks the anniversary of a particularly gruesome murder.
A ritualized killing that is still recalled after many centuries, it was a desperate attempt to destroy the ideas of one man, a man who dared to question the morality and authorities of his time. This man certainly committed no crime that any compassionate person today would put him to death for. His death was a human sacrifice to demonstrate the power of the State.
The crucifixion of this man was a particularly cruel method of death. It was targeted to anyone who dare challenge the State. The execution was slow and brutal, designed to demonstrate the strength of the Empire and its ability to snuff out human life at will.
Has much changed in the past two millennia? It certainly seems today that many still worship the State. What has undeniably changed is that the latest Empire wields a power unfathomable by the Romans. The new Empire encircles the globe with hundreds of army, air and naval bases, commanding an arsenal of thousands of nuclear warheads powerful enough to remove any trace that the Romans ever existed.
Yet, as powerful as it is, the Empire is cracking. Its current nominal leader is rudderless, without core beliefs or even a map to mark less treacherous roads. Is there any place safe from the beast as it flounders about, seemingly at random, blind to the consequences of its own reckless behavior? Are our own moral compasses strong enough to guide us through this storm?
Reporters of war crimes are reviled, jailed and even murdered while war criminals roam free, spreading fear and lies in the media and halls of power. How did things get so distorted? More importantly, how do we find the courage and strength to break through the walls of deceit? More on this topic can be found in the chapter Dead Ends in our free online book Beginner's Guide to Peace.