“Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.” – Miyamoto Musashi
Self absorbed leaders are nothing new in American history, hell in world history. Physiologist would agree that successful people typically have a healthy dose of ego, self-worth and confidence. But I would also suspect that successful people who are mentally healthy also have a larger view of the world and what surrounds them than someone who is unable to see beyond their own needs, wants and insecurities.
Thinking “lightly of yourself” in our current political, business and religious culture is viewed by most as a weakness. A “me first” mentality seems to be as prevalent today as I can ever remember in my 57 years of existence. Examples in both politics and business fill our newsfeed and honestly have been around for centuries. But what is most troubling to me is the rapid succession of the “me first” movement in religion.
Christians have a long history of proclaiming and acting on their greater than thou mindset. And the Christian churches latest attempt (moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem) to secure the Holy Land of Israel extends a conflict that dates back to 1095 when Pope Urban II called for the Crusaders to take back the Holy Land from Muslim rule.
In his book, Legacy of Hatred: Why Christians Must Not Forget the Holocaust, David Rausch notes that in Jerusalem the Crusaders “[circled] the screaming, flame-tortured humanity singing ‘Christ We Adore Thee!’ with their Crusader crosses held high”. Muslims were killed indiscriminately and Jews who had taken refuge in their Synagogue were killed when it was burnt to the ground by the Crusaders. 923 years later, Christians, Jews and Muslims are still dying and for what? A sandy piece of land?
Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations walked-out of the U.N. Security Council meeting yesterday when the Palestinian envoy began speaking but not before she had defended Trumps move of the embassy; “Moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem was the right thing to do. It reflects the will of the American people. It reflects our sovereign right to decide the location of our embassy — a right that everyone in this room claims for their own country. Importantly, moving our embassy to Jerusalem also reflects the reality that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. It has served as Israel’s capital since the founding of the state. It is the ancient capital of the Jewish people. There is no plausible peace agreement under which Jerusalem would no longer remain the capital of Israel. Recognizing this reality makes peace more achievable, not less.”
At this point in the Trump administration we are used to being lied too. We hear so many lies out of his mouth and the mouths of his minions we have become numb to the truth. But what Ms. Haley said yesterday, that moving the embassy “makes peace more achievable, not less” is certainly one lie whose impact will affect the lives of our children and our children’s children.
This conflict over Holy Land has been going on since the days of Christ and what Trump and the Evangelical world has guaranteed is that it will continue on for decades, possibly centuries more. We, Americans, are the root of the problem because we don’t take ourselves lightly. We don’t take a deep view of the world. We don’t accept the significance of this land to any other world religion other than our own. Sure, we allow the Jews at the table because they are willing to do our bidding, be the bad guy, but in the end the American occupancy of Jerusalem is about Jesus and nothing and no one else.