And it came to pass that the Roman Authorities had placed statues and likenesses of their gods in and around the Temple. The priests and the pharisees, helped and aided by a Roman sympathiser named Publius Romanus Opaganda, had previously decided to protest against the imposition of excessive taxation on all the citizenry by the Romans. They claimed that the taxes all went to the building of the homes for the senior Romans in the city, and none was spent upon the public good, for they were all law-abiding, and paid their taxes dutifully if unwillingly. So when the priests and pharisees heard of the placing of the images around the Temple, they were justly infuriated, and spoke to their ‘community leaders’ and especially to two of those leaders, one bearded and stern of visage, the other smiling and grinning; and popular with his followers.
So the two leaders spoke together, and decided that they would call on the citizenry to march, in an entirely peaceful and lawful manner, to a field where they all might listen to the pharisees as their religious leaders would speak not only of their lawful duty to pay the taxes as required, but to look forward to a time when such taxes would be collected by their own people, for spending upon those same people in good public works, as well as proportionate tithes to the Temple. They decided that the placing of images around the Temple was indeed an insult to all the people of the city, and therefore the protests should be inclusive of both speeches against the taxes, and also the images.
Now some of the younger, more headstrong of the followers of the two leaders planned to hurl stones covered in dye at the Roman soldiers, but the smiling leader, himself a follower of peace and love, reproved them stating that this protest would indeed be peaceful, because of the advice of their Roman sympathiser P.R. Opaganda which said that if they broke no laws, all would be seen by the Romans as within the law, and no harm would come to any.
So the young, the old and the majority of the city dwellers commenced their march down towards the field where they planned to make their speeches. But lo, the Romans were active in the city before they had marched very far, and as the leaders of the march, who strangely had not seen the two ‘community leaders’ for some time, came up to a cross-road in the winding streets of the city, were stopped by a Roman centurion, complete with an armed cohort, who threatened them if they advanced, because their march was viewed by the Romans as illegal.
The protesters conferred amongst themselves, and indeed, because they were all both peace-loving as well as law-abiding citizenry, decided to tell their marchers, many carrying the palm fronds of peace, all of whom were singing and laughing because they knew that their cause was just, that the march should indeed be abandoned, and they should return in a quiet and law-abiding manner to their homes.
But then, onlookers state, the Roman centurion drew his own ‘gladius’ or short sword for no apparent reason, and motioned to the cohort archers, who had remained at the rear of their column, to flex their bows and fire their arrows at deadly close range, into the crowd of protesters. Others state that the protesters themselves fired arrows from hidden positions, which caused the centurion to reeact as he di
Yea, the carnage was dreadful, with thirteen dying or dead in a short space of time, and with many more injured. One of the dying was indeed carried by his friends towards safety whilst a pharisee waved a white cloth in the hope that the Romans would spare all their lives, and the centurion saw what he had done, and stayed the archers from further destruction and killing.
When the mothers and families of those who had died came to remonstrate with the two ‘community leaders’ who had promised that there would be no violence if none was offered, they were rudely rebuffed by the two ‘leaders’. The smiling one said firmly. ‘Yea, though your foolish children and husbands are now dead because you trusted us, you will be remembered far into the future, and liberation will draw nearer because the Romans will tire of their rule over us, and once free, we shall choose the people who will speak to a Roman judge, and he shall indeed write a scroll which shall utterly condemn not only the foolish centurion and the archers, but also Pilate, the Romans and even Ceaesar himself, because we shall indeed overcome their truth with our own truth!
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it….” Attributed to Josef Goebbels.
The Saville Inquiry is published today.
X-posted from A Tangled Web