The Joke’s On Caesar

The Joke’s On Caesar
by Blind Man at the Gate

Caesar and God
Caesar or God
Caesar vs. God
Both call for my allegiance
Jesus said give each their due
But who gets what-how do I divvy it up?
Roman Christian or Christian Roman?
American Christian or Christian American?
Who gets to be the noun?
And who gets relegated to adjective duty?
Here’s something I’m coming to know-
Christian is a great noun
But a lousy adjective
Now we’re on to something
Here’s what I learned from history
And the prophets
Caesar tries to tell me
Hey, it’s all the same
Because God is Caesar’s God
Trust me
(Nationalization of the divine!)
“God shed her grace on thee”
“One nation under God”
“In God we trust”
So the question is solved
Give your all to Caesar
Ask not what Caesar can do for you…
And don’t worry your pretty little head about competing allegiance
Because Caesar is the authorized middle man
Between God and the common man
Civil Religion and Social Contract
Like Rousseau said
And it doesn’t even matter if there’s really no deity in the temple at all
But the prophets cry foul!
The earth is mine
Your thoughts are not my thoughts
Your ways are not my ways
Your government is not my government
Saith the Lord
Render unto Caesar
But not heart and soul and mind and strength
Let Caesar police the streets and fix the pot holes
But don’t ask for much more
Let Caesar be a custodian of civility
Anything more tends to idolatry
Render unto God
Total allegiance
And what’s left for Caesar?
Not much
And that’s how it should be
A denarii for Caesar
To fix the pot hole and pay the constable
To make life and little more livable
But heart and soul
Are pledged to Christ and the government of God
Kyrios Christos
Ianitor Caesar

But does Caesar resent demotion to custodian?
You betcha
Caesar is proud
And always has the nature of a beast
So don’t feed him very much
Because when he gets big, bad things happen
Some were sawn asunder
While the patriotic cheered
And why did they cheer?
Because Caesar is a seasoned politician
Who knows how to campaign
Which means to promise
Which means to lie
A chicken in every pot
Charity begins at home
It’s the economy, stupid
Mission accomplished
Our rightful place in the world
The last best of hope of earth
Manifest destiny
We’re #1!
Just do what we say and nobody gets hurt
If only Jesus would campaign like that
Take up your cross and follow me
Turn the other cheek
The way is hard
Who’s gonna vote for that?
What do you mean it’s not a democratic process?
Promoted to the Oval Office of the Universe?
By whom?
By God!
For life!
Caesar’s not going to like that
Nor the puppet master pulling Caesar’s strings
That reminds me
Did you ever notice they all say the same thing?
Our great nation
Our great cause
Our great destiny
Nebuchadnezzar did it best
The freakin’ megalomaniac
Drove himself insane
A sense of humor is the surest sign of sanity
But Caesar never sees what’s so funny
Because the joke’s on him
Let’s hear a laugh for the man of the world
Who thinks he can make things work
Tried to build a New Jerusalem
And ended up with New York

Bruce Cockburn said that
Count on a Canadian to laugh at the empire
Laughter’s good for the soul
And good for your sanity
So keep on laughing
And loving
And longing
And looking
For the city whose builder and maker is God
For the New Jerusalem
And the Lamb who is her light