To listen to the national conversation today, especially to the right, you would think that Jesus’s most profound teachings would be about marriage, homosexuality, anti-abortion, contraception and the like, but really Jesus had little to say at all on these topics. He says nothing at all about contraception or homosexuality. He mentions lust and fornication a time or two among lists of sins, but they were hardly the main issues he dealt with. Marriage he does talk about, but he condemns not homosexual marriage, but divorce and adultery. Strange we don’t hear much about those anymore unless we are finger pointing. No it seems to me that we have largely missed the main teachings of Jesus, who we claim as our Lord and Savior. How can we read the Sermon on the Mount and the Beatitudes and not see the clear message against violence. Forgiveness and love of enemies, these are the core teachings of Jesus. Do we not emphasise them because they are hard? Partly perhaps. The problem, really, is very old. Back in 312 old Constantine thought he was doing us a favor when he made Christianity the state religion. However, the state was an empire. One with an army. Principles such as non-violence just don’t fit within the concept of empire and so where glossed over, and explained way, and rationalised. Surely God would want us to defend our families if they were attacked. Well isn’t our country an extention of our family? The wars in the Old Testement were used to justify more wars, and the teachings of Christ were sidelined. What if they hadn’t been? What if forgiveness and non violence were to main issues at hand? The world may indeed be a much different place, indeed history would be very different. We in America like to consider ourselves a Christian nation, what if we, even in recent history had put these teachings to use? What if President Bush had publicly forgiven the terrorists who had attacked us on 9/11? How different would the past decade have been? Ok, that’s out there, I know. Let’s at least start by meditating on the actual teachings of Christ: non violence, forgiveness, bias toward the poor and the marginalized, inclusiveness, and love of enemies and of neighbor. Then why don’t we start doing it little by little. St. Francis said that if you do what is possible soon you will be doing the impossible.