In a world, where conscience is pursued by guilt and ethics is bludgeoned by politics, how might the Return of Christ influence humanity's darkening halo? How might He confront social and economic issues that have made faith and survival so distrustful of each other? How might He address communism and AIDS?
Would He view communism as the opium which never did get the common man off the ground? Would He brand AIDS as a patent- pending holocaust? Would He consider the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT), a proliferate farce in itself? Would He pick America to deliver his Sermon on the Mount, now that the Soviet Union is a democratic maze?
Indeed, the world has changed, two thousand times over since Christ was born. It has evolved to a stage where the Beatitudes are literally inaffordable, and the Ten Commandments a matter for recollection. Or one might add: The world has deteriorated to the point where it would take more than one crucifixion to absolve it!
Perhaps, on the other hand, nothing has terribly changed, and humanity is the same sanctimonious icon it was then as now. Only the material scope and potential has changed, from the constructive to the destructive. Two thousand years ago, we were about capable of killing one human being at a time. Today, we are capable of eliminating entire continents at the push of a button. Or blasting other planets off our galaxy with our nuclear and Star-War technology.
Therefore, if Christ were to return in our time, where might He begin his public role? Where might He survive without being politically accused, or socially evicted? Or were He to become the Secretary-General of the United Nations, would He have disbanded the nefarious power of the U.N. veto? Would U.N. resolutions have been an epistolary of bombs and missiles?
Would He have sanctioned additional bombs for the liberation of Tibet, the Golan Heights, Bosnia, Hercegovinia, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip. . . . while Iraq was expurgated with 85,000 tons of bombs for invading Kuwait? Or would He have advocated that franchising bombs to achieve freedom is no different than baptizing violence with deadlier violence?
Beyond bombs and invasions, is another incendiary issue: The Environment. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) escaping from refrigerators, air conditioners, plastic foam, solvents and spray cans, continue to alarmingly destroy the stratoscopic ozone that keeps the sun's harmful rays from penetrating to earth. Other chlorine-based chemicals similarly affecting the ozone are halons (used in fire fighting foam) and carbon-tetrachloride (used in dry cleaning). Would Christ, have taken up the environmental cause and lobby to phase out chlorofluorocarbons, halons and carbon-tetrachlorides by 1994, instead of the present 2000 target date?
And there's the ever abysmal dilemma of nuclear and industrial waste. Would Christ have become an activist, and taken superpowers to task for using developing countries as garbage dumps for their highly toxic industrial and nuclear waste? Would He have added methyl bromide -- the second-most widely used pesticide in the world -- to the list of chemicals that need to be banned? Would He have succeeded in convincing consumers that styrofoam is permanent pollution?
And of course, there's the widespread incineration of the rain forests. At one time, the earth's equator was bridled with between 4 billion to 5 billion acres of tropical forests. That equatorial acreage, was the Garden of Eden. Today, only about 2.5 billion acres remain. Each year, an estimated 50 million acres are destroyed or degraded. By the year 2034, it is estimated that half of the remaining rain forests will be destroyed. And by the year 2081, all could be gone! Would Christ have crusaded against the deforestation of Brazil, of Madagascar, in fact, the deforestation of the world?
- Perhaps, Christ would have been on the forefront of these catastrophic issues that are threatening humanity with extinction, and the universe with bereavement. And very sadly perhaps, He might have gotten assassinated by a bullet which the common man had neither invented, nor intended!
- This article appeared in the issue of the Navhind Times dated December 6, 1993.