Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time when he had diligently inquired of the wise men.
Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy, the prophet, saying,
In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and she would not be comforted, because they are not.
– MATTHEW, Chapter 2, Verses 16-18
I think we Belizeans have to pay some attention to the world around us. It’s not as if we can do that much about anything really. We’re such a tiny country after all. I can’t really argue with those of you who feel that ignorance is bliss, and those of you who say that what you don’t know can’t hurt you. Maybe it’s better your way.
When I came of age, the aspect of Christmas that intrigued me was what happened right after the Christ Child was born. Remember, Joseph the carpenter and his pregnant wife, Mary, had to travel the rough road from their home village of Nazareth to the town of Bethlehem. Joseph and Mary were Jews, a people trampled and oppressed by the mighty Romans, and the Roman Emperor, one Caesar Augustus, was carrying out a census to see just how many subjects he ruled. Joseph and Mary couldn’t even get a room at an inn when they reached Bethlehem: they had to spend the night in a stable for animals, which is where the Son of God was born, in the Roman colony of Judea.
In Judea, the Jews had a King Herod whose power was under the jurisdiction of the Roman governor appointed by Caesar Augustus. Three Wise Men or Kings (The Magi) who, as the Bible tells us, came to Bethlehem from the east in search of the Christ Child whose birth had been prophesied, ran into Herod, who said to them, listen, when you find this new King come back and let me know where He is so that I can go and adore Him.
I guess an angel came to the Three Kings, after they had found and worshipped the Christ Child in the manger, to advise them to please take a different route back to their homes. For sure an angel came to Joseph and said, take your wife and child and get the hell out of here. Joseph fled into Egypt with Mary and Jesus, where they stayed for twelve years.
King Herod murdered thousands of newborn Jewish male children, hoping that amongst the slain would be this Messiah the Three Kings had told him about. He wanted to make sure no one threatened his power. He was megalomaniac about his power. Love of power turned Herod into a mass murderer.
The world is a very serious place. In King Herod’s case, the violence was all about what he considered self-preservation. But when you consider people like Adolf Hitler in Germany after World War I (1914-18), he began with a focus on revenge for the German people. The Germans had essentially been defeated by the British and the French in World War I, and in the Treaty of Versailles the terms of German surrender were humiliating.
A massively gifted people, the proud Germans bought into Hitler’s hype, and by the early 1930s they were rebuilding the German economy and war machine with incredible speed. Hitler’s Germany made their Jewish citizens into scapegoats for what had happened in World War I, and the Nazis decided to exterminate the Jews. Hitler’s Germany became strong enough to dream about taking over the whole world, which would have meant extermination for all Jews, and similar danger for blacks, gypsies, and so on.
In a month’s time, Donald Trump will become the 45th President of the United States. He will control the most powerful war machine in the world, but there are weaknesses in the American economy, such as unemployment and trade deficits. Trump campaigned on the promise to “Make America great again!” Skeptics say that what he really meant was, “Make America white again.”
The 44th President of the United States (2008-2016), Barack Obama, was a cool black man who brought a modicum of balance and reason to his office. Yes, his American war machine continued its murderous ways, but the vibes which Donald Trump, by contrast, will bring to the White House are absolutely confrontational. That is Trump’s style.
Nevertheless, some observers feel that Hillary Clinton would have been more dangerous to world peace than Trump had she been elected President of the United States. These thinkers present solid arguments to support their opinion. I really am not in a position to prove them wrong.
It does appear that the Russians preferred for Trump to win instead of Clinton. On Monday this week, an off-duty Turkish policeman assassinated the Russian ambassador to Turkey in a public place in Ankara, Turkey. About a year ago, Turkey and Russia were experiencing dangerously strained relations after the Turkish air force shot down a Russian fighter jet. Turkey is Russia’s neighbor to its immediate south. At the time the so-called Cuban Missile Crisis occurred in October of 1962, the United States had installed nuclear missiles in Turkey, aimed at Russia. When the Cuban Missile Crisis took place, the Russians argued that if the Americans had nuclear missiles next door to Russia in Turkey, then why shouldn’t they have nuclear missiles in Cuba?
This week Russia and Turkey (along with Iran) were about to hold talks at a diplomatic level to clarify each of their roles in the explosive Syria crisis. Russia and Turkey had been friendly lately, and there is now talk that the reason for the assassination of the Russian ambassador to Turkey was because someone very big wanted to fracture the friendly relations between the two countries.
In 1939, the Germans took the planet into a second world war in two decades because they had lost the first one and they wanted revenge. There are white supremacist Americans who felt ashamed that a black man had become their Commander-in-Chief. Well now, they have a Germanic white American Commander-in-Chief who promises to return them to glory, and, to repeat, they possess the most powerful war machine in the world. In 1939, the Germans wanted revenge for Versailles. In 2016, white Americans want revenge for Obama.
At the very highest levels, human lives don’t matter that much to the big boys, especially when those human lives are black, brown, red, and yellow ones. Perhaps it’s better not to know these things. Maybe it’s better to be ignorant. Maybe it’s better to be innocent. That’s the way it was in the Garden of Eden, they say. But there’s no going back to the Garden of Eden. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph had to flee from Bethlehem into Egypt. It’s for sure it’s a crazy world out there. It always was.
With that said, I wish you a blessed Christmas with loving family vibes. This is a special time of year when “all a wi da one.” Enjoy.