7 Remember , OLORD, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said , Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof.
9 Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.
At the basis of Western culture is the biblical concept that it is alright to destroy other civilizations to take their gold and silver. One group after another took upon itself the right to destroy the “infidel” and enjoy the spoils of war. Which came first, the religion that legitimizes the government, or the government that enforces the religion and wages the wars that in turn enrich the priests? No one probably knows.
What we do know is that wars on a massive scale were unknown before 4,000 b.c.e. Up until then, religion was a way of life centered on the Great Goddess, women, and birth. Suddenly, probably as a result of an earthquake, flood or famine, somebody decided that instead of all starving together, the strongest tribe would take what they wanted from their neighbors and leave the rest to die. This was the advent of patriarchy and it sprouted up at about the same time a fanatical group of people who worshiped a minor Semitic war deity decided they needed a patrilineal system of inheritance. You can’t, after all, have a patriarchy if you don’t know who the daddies are. So now, it became essential to control women, who’d been free, respected and prosperous in the old days. Suddenly physical proof of virginity became a commodity and men started to treat their women as chattel to be bought and traded.
These warrior groups moved through the Middle East, up through Europe, into Scandinavia and back in waves of invaders willing to steal, rape and commit genocide on other civilizations in order to enrich themselves. They mixed their blood, their new father centered religions, and their cultures and gradually consolidated into a few large powerful countries with armies instead of many little peaceful ones that didn’t wage war. Goddesses were debased, or became gods. The gods of old religions became the devils of the new. There were Crusades, and Inquisitions and Reformations, to name a few waves of greed, piety and cruelty, and a few major players remained when the dust began to settle just a bit. The Abrahamites had split into Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Mormons, each newer group formed as they accepted the teachings of a new prophet, but they all continued to agree on their one father god, though people seem to forget that. (The Goddess worshipers were still around, driven off into the wilderness, but never completely gone. More about them another time.)
As the groups moved gradually north and west through Europe, the people, and their new religion, became whiter, more homogenized, but splintered into many smaller groups that agreed on the high points of the one story. Eventually, some of the whitest, most pious, and genocidal people Europe ever produced colonized and appropriated an entire new continent, killing the vast majority of the people already living here with war, starvation and disease.
Through all this time, and all this movement, and cultural mixing, the original Entitlement these people felt moved forward with them. The richest of the countries gradually became more cooperative and civilized through a progression of various revolutions and uprisings, and they became rich enough to care about things like civil rights, privacy, unreasonable searches and quartering troops, and now the whitest, most entitled country of them all, the United States of America, has more guns and more gun murders and more wars than almost anybody because at the foundation of this country is that idea that America, or an individual American, assumes the right to kill anyone with whom they do not agree.
Nobody, but nobody, nurtures that white boy sense of entitlement that says “I’m a white man in America, with my god, and my guns, and I’ll kill you if I damned well please” like America does. If you’re of African descent, if you’re gay, if you’re Jewish, non-Christian, poor, an immigrant, but most of all, if you’re female, I’ll kill you if I damned well please. It’s not my fault – “god” wants it this way, or I wouldn’t have been born here! I’m an American!
Until we get deep down under that sense of entitlement and tear it out by the roots, an occasional disturbed white man/boy will buy one of those guns we love so much (or call up the most powerful army in history) and kill women and old people and children because he believes that everything in Western culture has conspired to give him that divine right to kill.
We’re fighting at least two wars right now – Michael Moore says it’s more like six and I believe him – for no discernible reason except profit.
We do not have the right to kill.