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Mars: The God of War

By Charles Rayner Kelly

   The red planet Mars can be seen in the sky these nights, nearer than usual to the earth. Mars is close in another way also. In Roman mythology, Mars was a human-like conceptualization of a power or force that exists and is very real in the world, though it is not visible, a 'god' if you will, deathless and deadly, with an insatiable appetite for victims.

   The Roman war-god personifies the rampant militarism we see in the world today.  Every biological weapon or hellfire missile or nuclear bomb, any weapon that kills indiscriminately, is a worship-offering to Mars. Every war victim helps to feed his unquenchable thirst for blood. Mars doesn't need calloused knees to be worshipped. Funding for armaments like these is all the war-god wants, knowing that sooner or later they will be used.

   The war-god breeds on ideology, defined as 'us against them', whether it poses as religion or politics. Although Apollo was the god of wisdom and knowledge, he could not counteract the actions of Mars, who could only be subdued by Venus, his lover. This was a subtle way of saying that knowledge alone can't resist militancy. Only the power of love can do that.

   We may think that we're a Judeo-Christian country, but our actions tell us that we worship at the altar of Mars. The Pentagon is a temple to the war-god. Deception and lies are part of its arsenal. And like the voracious 'war-god' thirsting for blood, it measures success by the number of dead bodies.

     Now the war-god has another arrow in his quiver. It's legal for a president to kill or imprison Americans without judicial process. As is clearly visible to those with eyes to see, our presidency can be bought outright by the mega-rich, which can only mean that they also can kill or imprison Americans without judicial process. We are going back to the time before George Washington, when the country was ruled by pampered aristocratic elites.

   This isn't democracy by a long shot. This is what our Founding Fathers rebelled against and fought a revolution over. No doubt, 99% or more of us don't want this situation for ourselves or our children. Fear is what makes us feel powerless, and those who control the levers of power are good at spreading fear. In simple terms, they don't play nice and should have been scolded in kindergarten to rid them of their unsociable behavior.

   But fear doesn't have to be the final word. It can be overcome. Love is stronger. But love is a rare commodity these days in an America that disdains compassion or equality. We've forgotten in our pursuit of consumer goods that we are all immortal spirits and are here to expand in love and consciousness. This requires freedom.

   The irony is that we aren't giving up our freedoms; they're being legislated away by elected office-holders corrupted by money, or as the bible calls it, Mammon. One cannot aspire to high political office any longer without tons of money. That's the government we have at present, and few of us like it.

   The 400 richest among us have more wealth than the bottom 150,000,000 people. If we must curtail some rights, let's begin with the right for anyone to own a billion dollars. That would give us lots of money for jobs to upgrade our schools and build suitable housing for the homeless among many other vital needs. And the beauty of the idea is that so many people would benefit, and only a few hundred would really be pissed.

   The true immorality in our country is allowing a few people to have more wealth than they could possibly use, while so many people and babies go homeless and our relief aides run dry. How offensive to our Creator who wants everyone to enjoy creation's glories! Read Jesus' own words and see how unlike him our American society has become. Democracy is being undermined as a result of an intolerable wealth inequity.

  We need to share more, as kindergarten should have taught us. Before they were almost annihilated, we had good role models in our native tribespeople and their teachings of the sacred pipe. We have an urgent need to expand our consciousness and awaken our sense of compassion in America, and nothing could be more fitting than this symbol for peace and straight talk.

Charles Rayner Kelly is a retired educator, a philosopher and a novelist. Among his books are LITTLE POOR MAN The Story of St. Francis of Assisi, and KEEPER OF THE SACRED PIPE.

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