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War is Over! - If You Want It: Christmas Celebrates Nonviolence

War is Over! - If You Want It: Christmas Celebrates Nonviolence

Rev. John Dear

“And so this is Christmas, and what have you done?” That’s the question which John Lennon puts to us in his famous Christmas song. In the chorus, he gets right to the point, to the heart of Christmas: “War is over, if you want it.”

For some, that might seem like a leap of faith, but I think John Lennon’s theology was better than most. If you want to celebrate Christmas, he says, work for the end of war and the culture of war. Spend your life pursuing a new culture of peace for everyone.

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Confusing. God made nature dog eat dog yet He sends us his son Jesus to make peace. More confusing still when he added fear ridden, greed driven, criminal war making conservatives to the mix, seemingly to make sure things can’t change and blood and money will rule forever.

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Life is exciting, thrilling, fun, dangerous, heartwarming and heartbreaking… life is free will and what you make of it.

Many people ask why God didn’t make everybody puppets and everything unchallenging and non competitive and there were no wolves to hunt the deer so the deer would all be happy…

but people like wolves… don’t we?

What is confusing is just why would nature ever evolve life if there weren’t this seemingly harsh competition aspect? Evolution makes for original sin. Lust, greed, envy, jealousy, anger, aggression and all the rest of those bad things that chimps do.

Chimps have original sin too. Who knew?

We may not like the way things go in this short often brutish life but gee wiz how we do try our damnedest to keep at it as long as possible …don’t we? If it were all that bad then why do we hate the idea of leaving this life and try to live as long as possible?

In my opinion God did a pretty good job at creating life. We just do a lousy job at living it.

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Let’s just say that Jesus was definitely not a republican okay? Jesus was a progressive to be sure!!! lol

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Reverend Dear:
" To claim the name of Christian is to be a practitioner of Gospel nonviolence"

That is the problem Reverend Dear, where in Amerika are the true Christians? The majority are nothing but apostates and hypocrites and are Christians in name only. So many are not practitioners of Gospel nonviolence, but practitioners who condone wars of violence. Their sacerdotal allegiance is not to peace, but to the fascist, political elite and its war mongers.

Mr. Hedges spoke well of them when he called them: CHRISTIAN FASCISTS! But people like the Reverend Dear are the antidote to this hypocritical and insane church miasma, but there are not enough Reverend Dears.


Thank you for this. I wish CD would allow the photo with the article to share on FB, though. I don’t want to share it with just the CD logo–no one will click on it.

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I disagree that non-violence is at the heart of the patriarchal religions. They are about dominance and subjugation, pure and simple, over the earth and her inhabitants, and over women. Why do you think they have such wretched histories?

I think you misunderstand his intention behind those words. He wasn’t in my opinion asserting that all Christians who claim to be so practice nonviolence, but rather asserting that one who doesn’t practice nonviolence can not claim in truth to be Christian.

That intention is clear after having read the essay.


Once we can’t spread our genes, living revolves around watching out for genes we spread. Is that life in its simplest terms?

Thank you for this article. At this time in history, in our country, I yearned to read something just like this. The true teaching of Christ. As usual the prayer in church during our Christmas Eve service “prayed for our troops”, yet there were no prayers for the millions of dead victims, tens of millions of maimed victims, and tens of millions of refugees created by the thugs in the U.S. military. As someone so eloquently stated: “I like your Christ but can’t stand your Christians because your Christians are nothing like your Christ.” Thank you again for your beautiful article.


Good point.

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One has to distinguish between what Jesus said and taught as compared to what the respective “Church” did in his name when they used his teachings for their own prupose.

Yes the Church turned it into patriarchy used to oppress.


A potentially powerful phrase is “…If You Want it.”
Applies very pertinently to the power of corporations over our lives.
They are artificial constructs; we created them, we can dismantle them.
It is NOT more complicated than that. Any other interpretation is mere obfuscation from vested interests.

Essene.com will surely interest you

Vegetarian animals also fight