A progressive publication has called Trump’s budge immoral because he wants to spend sixty two percent of the federal budget on defense. Of course they’re right.

One begins to wonder what we’re defending. If we spend that much of our national budget on defense, there isn’t much left for anything else. Apparently Trump thinks we should spend mightily to defend an empty shell.

And people still try to invoke Christian belief and imagery to criticize Trump.

What could be more Christian than spending money on arms to maintain an empire? Historical convention typically dates the beginning of Christianity roughly to the end of the Roman empire. About three hundred years elapsed, depending on how one chooses to count it, between the collapse of the Roman empire and the founding of the Holy Roman Empire, which consisted of much of western Europe for roughly 1,000 years (remember that the United States has only existed for a little over 200 years now).

For much of its existence, the Holy Roman Empire operated with frequent, almost constant, conflict between the political authority, usually vested in a king, and the pope, who was, throughout the period, at least as much a political as a religious leader. It was a pope who launched Christian colonialism in 1095 by calling on all Christians to participate in the crusades, in which Christians fought with Muslims over holy sites that are still under contest among those two groups, with Jews now thrown into the mix.

In other words, Christians and Muslims have been fighting each other in what we now call the “Middle East” for nearly 1,000 years now. One might think that one side or the other would have learned something. Certainly it looks a bit odd for Christians in the modern United States to complain about how violent Muslims are. It has always taken two to tango, and the Christians have had to travel a lot farther to join the battle than the Muslims have.

Then, nearly 500 years later, Christians decided to branch out even further and started sailing around the world to colonize, eventually invading “the Americas,” Africa, India, and ultimately China, although their invasions became less successful the farther east they went. Christians enjoyed their greatest colonial success in “the Americas,” where they found two whole continents full of people who had lived isolated from Eurasia and Africa for so long that they lacked immunity to diseases that were endemic in the rest of the world and thus died in large numbers from those diseases.

The good Christians were happy to kill anyone else they wanted to, and to enslave Native Americans, forcing them to mine gold and silver for shipment back to Europe. Yep, within 100 years of “discovering” new territory they knew nothing about before they stumbled on it, good Christians were claiming it for their home governments and forcing people who had never seen them before to perform menial labor as slaves. Such fine people those good Christians.

So, with his immoral budget, spending sixty two percent on “defense,” Trump is just continuing the fine tradition of Christian imperialism that started a thousand years ago.

Uppity gay, Buddhist, author, historian.

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