Thursday, December 28, 2006

Aeneas in Darfur

The Romans are making forays into Sudan, working valiantly to cure all pain and suffering there. To see what I mean, go to The Catholicist Nation for my latest webzine piece. It's an elaboration of a thread I'd been writing about in my blog, so if you read Wonderful Matters it should look familiar.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Kingdom That's There

Just want to direct you to a magnificent devotional, one that I read this morning during my quiet time. I don't want to say anything about it. You've just got to read it. It's at Radio Bible Class.

I write frequently of horrific things all around to draw attention to the wonderful matters involved. This may seem wildly contradictory, but the reason I do this is because in the face of the most abject evil, the most wretched body of death-- there is a Body of Life.

He is Jesus Christ.

And He has a place for you if you'd just let Him be your shepherd.

Anyway, again, check out the devotional. Your heart will definitely get a tad wrenched. Because, yeah,

It is possible to see at Christmas...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Talking or Knowing, What's Best?

Just a quick heads-up about an editorial in the Los Angeles Times today, a piece by Martin Kaplan titled "National Debate--Who Needs It?" It's worth a read, just because he puts a mortal wound in the entire postmodern hegemony by firmly declaring that he's tired of talking.

He just wants to know what's true.

Ironically, if postmodernism is true, then talking, really, is pointless. We should all be sitting alone in our interpretive community corners sucking our thumbs comfortable with our stories. If I can't find out anything that's authentically, objectively true by speaking with someone, then what's the point?

So then talking is invaluable. The key question Kaplan is concerned about is, what precisely is the truth that we should know from our discourse? Yes, it is true, talking just to talk is narcissism. Oh I'm not dismissing the truth of interactive engagement for the sake of vibrant relationship, but that itself is a truth.

Okay, I've italicized enough important points here. Just read the piece.

I can't finish this blog post, however, without a critical point that must be added. Kaplan suggests that the news media do more to just give us the truth about things rather than smugly offer "balance" among opinions. Yee-ahh, in a fantasy world where the news media is not the mouthpiece of the World System, an entity that must use the greatest deceit in fulfilling its duties.

I just think Truth can be found somewhere else, but I don't think even Kaplan is yet recovered from his own postmodernist daze to get it.

For some thoughts about knowing truth, look here.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Further Recommendations from The Aeneid

In yesterday's Los Angeles Times there appeared a full-page ad about saving Darfur, the war ravaged region of Sudan that is truly a humanitarian catastrophe. The ad had a photograph of a shirtless male survivor of the genocidal violence, the scars on his chest from shrapnel-filled bomb injuries quite plain to see.

Wow, sounds like a call for the one person who heals, who saves, who loves to come into this situation.

Sounds like the ad called for Jesus.

Nah. 'Course not. It called for the guy people think is better, stronger, higher.

They called for President Bush.

"Tell President Bush: You must do more to save Darfur" is what the ad said.

Now you'd think those who truly follow Christ and know who He is would find this comical, but alas, so many of them are piled into the World bandwagon that they just don't get it. They are not getting it to such a great degree that they miss the obvious, as do all the Radical Selfists who fiercely plead with the World to end all bad things.

What on earth do they think Bush is going to do? Now, there is one thing Bush can do if he did the most brazenly bold Roman thing. He could go in and take care of business with the most extreme prejudice. That is, first quietly insist that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir stop whatever bad thing he is doing. If he doesn't after about, oh, two minutes, you send in planes to blow the snot out of his location, wherever that may be. In fact, if Bush did the true Roman thing, he'd take over all of Sudan, period.

Of course, the Radical Selfists would be aghast. But I then ask them, what is it exactly you want George Bush to do? You say he should do more-- ahem, what would that be?

All this tells us that what's really happening is one of two things. It could be that Omar al-Bashir has a good reason to do all this. Maybe the people he's exterminating deserve it, it is just retribution for evil things they've done. If that's the case, then what are these "Save Darfur" people crying about? If you are a sinner without Christ, who cares? What difference does it make? Hell is a wretched place, whether it is on earth or in its bowels.

Or, if it is not that-- and I do believe that it isn't, that al-Bashir is indeed committing heinous war crimes-- then why isn't Bush kicking ass? Why aren't these "Save Darfur" people endorsing a complete conquer strategy? Why?

I'm convinced it is because they're all in bed together, Bush, al-Bashir, even the "Save Darfur" crowd, all signed up and dutifully serving the systematic and duplicitous execution of Cain's agenda. It's easy: pussy-foot around and pretend like you're doing something about anything, but doing just enough to get people offering their allegiance to you and your noble pseudo-crusade.

It makes me sick. "Save Darfur." No you don't. You people don't give a rat's nard about Darfur. You revile George Bush and then plead with him to do something he won't do, he can't do. That says volumes about who you are following.

What's needed here is not more abject exploitation, but the One who actually does save.

Oh, you mean Jesus? Not him, not that guy hanging limp on a cross. Not that guy sitting in the meadow cuddling a bunch of lambs. Not that guy who's card is the first in the Rolodex of those crazy televangelists.

Actually, you're right. Not him.

But rather

Him.

The Jesus who's got legions of angels at His side. The Jesus who'd throw a mountain into the sea. The Jesus who loved the people of Darfur so much that He did the most incredible thing of all, He allowed Himself, God Almighty, to take the penalty for the sins that so horrifically shred this world.

And Who loved us so much that He laid the wonder and beauty of adventure right in our laps, saying, in so many words, "Go and be Me. Go love and heal and tell them about Me so they'd see their names written in heaven. Go do that because the World will just make them sons and daughters of hell."

So then, where are those people? I can't deny that there are many industrious, giving, faithful followers of Christ who're out there quietly and profoundly being Christ.

It's just that there are certainly counterfeits out there too. Very good ones.

But hey, one thing we do know. George Bush isn't Jesus. He's one counterfeit we can easily pick out. I guess we can safely say that... except, no, except for the people who still think he is Jesus.

Well, it's a good thing Jesus loved them too. Maybe there will be some who are Jesus' flesh and bones for them too. I'd like to think there are.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Aeneid Recommendations

The talk around the country is the release of the Iraq Study Group Report, and its recommendations regarding U.S. involvement in Iraq. I got the gist of what they were saying, and certainly all good American Catholicists will have their opinion about what it says and what we should do.

Does it recommend what Rome did? If I'm not mistaken, I believe Rome conquered a territory by rounding up all the king's lieutenants and executing every one. Every single one of them. They then brought the king to Caesar's rostrum for all to see, and dropped him to the floor where Caesar placed his foot on his neck and asked him a simple question.

"Are you with me, or your former country?"

If he answered "Caesar," he was allowed to live. If he answered the latter, he too was executed.

Saddam Hussein has already made his choice. Why is contemporary Rome allowing all of his lieutenants to run around fomenting what everyone now concedes is a civil war? Certainly at the beginning of this endeavor the U.S. neutralized all the Baathist elements, right? The fact is, if Rome would do what Rome should do, it would be utterly merciless and take out any and all the leaders of militias and insurgent groups alike. Problem solved.

Do I condone such a strategy? Of course not. The Kingdom to which I belong is not of this World. I have nothing to say one way or the other. What I do here is watch and see what is happening in that World, and I view it through the lens of Scripture. I do that because I simply want to offer a take for people who may actually have a desire to do the same.

The idea here is that Rome should be so condemnatory that people come to Christ, the only escape from such a body of death. What I see is the U.S. pussy-footing around, trying to be "Christian" and negotiate and be diplomatic-- a pusillanimity that, if I remember correctly, did in the original Roman Empire.

But that's just it. It doesn't make sense. Are they doing all this just to play dumb? Is George Bush just that stupid? Or is he merely carrying through the Jesuitic designs he's assigned to implement? Is then the ultimate result then to keep the ministry of condemnation looking like the World's version of Christianity-- that's the Catholicist Nation-- and keeping millions from Christ and in this gargantuous crusading God club?

I'm sure very few people noticed, but The Aeneid briefly made the LA Times bestseller list, hitting No. 12 the last week of November. The reason is that it is a new translation of the revered ode to Romanist conduct. Much of Virgil's work is about the interaction of the characters with the gods who govern what happens to them. Ingratiation with the proper gods means success, if those gods can deftly exploit the antipathy of the rival gods.

How many gods do Catholicists today work valiantly to appease at the price of what others' gods want? How confident were the Iraq Study Group people to proclaim that their way was the way we all should follow. These people are truly gods to Catholicists who rely on them to guide their thought and behavior.

It's all war. Even in the plea to end war is war. Unending war of spiritual and emotional violence if not physical. Even in the debate about what should be done in Iraq is war, and people like it. Hey, the first line of The Aeneid is "I sing of war and of the man of war."

It is quite interesting reading the Times review of Robert Fagles' translation. It is by renowned historical chronicler Thomas Cahill, and at one point he says, "[Fagles'] language is always our language, spoken as any one of us might speak if the spirit of Virgil came to possess us." The fact is, the spirit of Virgil does possess every intractable Catholicist-- I see how Cahill speaks so glowingly of the translation. Furthermore, he quotes Fagles in his postscript "pointing to 'the price of empire' as a lesson for our time and by asserting that Virgil 'may speak, from a distance that seems to narrow every year, to our own history as well.'"

No kidding. The U.S. is so plainly the legacy of Cain it isn't funny. So many singing of war-- they can't get enough of it.

Hey, what am I to say. I can only trust in the God who offers authentic peace. That is the challenge I have now: Watching this stuff happen and just trusting that He has it all within His purposes. Indeed I can't figure out much of it. In many ways it doesn't make sense. I only say this because I too having been Catholicist, I thought I had to have my god all lined up with my beliefs so I could gird my own little altar of control.

But to accept that His matters are too great for me is part of understanding Him. That's what He wants, that's what He says. He just wants us to know and understand Him.

So then...

Who is He? I'm not going to try to tell you, I find I can too often mess that up. Want to get it right? Just go to the links column there to the right and click "Scripture." Read what it says. Pray that you'd know Him. He'll tell you.

For an idea of who some of the "gods" of the Catholicist Nation are, go here.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Letter Kills


We had the television tuned to "The News Hour" on PBS last night, and we were puttering around while the story about the Pope's visit to Turkey was airing. I happened to catch a glimpse of this placard held up by the protesting crowds, and it really struck me.

You'll note that the Pope is looking in a mirror, and what he sees there is Death. I'd guess the Muslims are ostensibly making a statement about the fact that the Pope oppresses them with his remarks and so forth. But could they know more than even they know?

Simply by being out there reveals how much they dislike their papa telling them what to do. Oh yes, the Pope is their papa, even if they're Muslim. If he wasn't, what are they complaining about? The fact that they show up to protest his power says volumes about the power he has over them.

But the thing that I thought about the most is the essense of this statement, essentially, "Pope equals Death." If we presume that the Bible is accurate in portraying the Pope is the chief visible law enforcement officer, an anti-Christ doing his duty on behalf of Cain to prosecute the evildoing of the World's inhabitants, and we furthermore accept the Bible's breadth of exposition about the difference between the nature of the law against that of truth and grace, then the placard is nothing less than a graphic depiction of the sixth verse in the third chapter of Paul's second letter to the Corinthians.

Again, the placard: "The Pope is death."

2 Corinthians 3:6: "The letter kills."

What is the letter? It is none other than the law. And Scripture is unequivocal about it: The law is for lawbreakers to expose their sinfulness. This is a body of death, and the only way one can be free from it is by Jesus Christ and trusting in Him and His work of salvation.

As the Pope said himself long ago, he is legitimately there to crack the heads of all those in need of salvation. Followers of Christ have nothing to do with the Pope, for they are already saved. But look. All those Muslims who need him. No wonder they're so enraged at everything.

They know the Pope is doing his job of peeling open their soul and they see their sinfulness-- and they hate it. So they yell at him a lot. Lots of people yell at him a lot.

The law is a brutal thing, particularly when it is in the hands of the Agents of Cain.

Who is the One who would actually liberate you from this horror?

Saturday, November 25, 2006

That Phony Death -- Second Addendum

Shortly after I wrote my last blog post, we left for my sister-in-law's for Thanksgiving. Driving our van on the way there, I had a thought that I'd had before in some form, one I'm certain that others have also had.

Here's Thanksgiving, the time when we are supposed to give thanks. The question is, to whom are you giving thanks? I mean, really, what do atheists do when they give thanks? What do Eastern mysticists or even devout Catholicists do? Who exactly do they give thanks to?

Atheists may say that they are "thankful." I'm sorry but that is completely meaningless. Thankfulness implies that you are feeling good about something and you are appreciative in some sense for that. But why would you have anything good to begin with? From where did it come?!

The Eastern mysticist is what many today would call a "New Ager." Convinced all is illusion, or that we are all just part of the Great Cosmic Oneness, who exactly does one address when saying thank you? Do you thank your God-self for, say, your ability to repair automobiles for a living? Ahem, how can that be when you yourself had absolutely nothing to do with getting you even a breath in your lungs to begin with in order to turn a socket wrench?

The devout Catholicist has his straw-man Jesus he thanks. What is it exactly is he thanking him for? That could be whatever it is he conceives, after all, an idol is really a projection of whatever it is the worshipper forms in his mind. How pointless is that.

I only introduce this because after speaking about the heartwrenching situation with my stepbrother Randy, I read a front-page story in the Thanksgiving day edition of the Los Angeles Times titled "Hope is the one antidote."

It was written by a Times staff writer about his struggles with Parkinson's. It was just a personal testimony containing narrative about his ordeal, and scattered about were all the predictable considerations about life, its meaning, and coping through it all.

But the thing I wanted to point out here was the writer's definition of hope:

"Hope, for me, is a state of mind, not focused on a particular prospect but rather attached to something more amorphous, less definable. [He quotes his neurologist here:] Hope gets us out of bed in the morning: hope that we'll accomplish something great at work, hope that we'll see our kids do something cute or clever, hope that we won't get into a car crash."

At the risk of being a bit insensitive, this is utter nonsense. And yet, I can bet the farm that millions of people read this and think, "Wow, what strength." They believe, "Wow, how profound."

Such is the Catholicist Nation.

Think about it if you dare. Hope is a state of mind? So then the best thing to do when hoping is to lie to yourself. Even when you have nothing at all, really, in which to trust to save your from your looming excruciating death, just pretend. Something amorphous, less definable? When you're drowning in the farthest reaches of the ocean, you want a very definable non-amorphous helicopter with dropped rescue basket to pluck you from the consuming swells.

Hope we'll accomplish something great? Says who? What could possibly be more futile than working your butt off, and then expiring and sent six feet under to be eaten by worms? Seeing our kids do something cute or clever? What exactly is something that is "cute" or "clever"? Couldn't I just as easily hear them eagerly tell me a splendid knock-knock joke and then cruelly punch them in the teeth? After all, isn't it all just a state of mind?

And finally there's this gem, hope that we won't get into a car crash. So what?! Here this guy laments the agony of Parkinson's but then favors a definition of hope that condemns him to a lifetime of agony. I'm not for a second making a case for terminal patient suicide. The point should be easy to see:

What difference does any of it make without the One Who Loves? Yes yes yes the fact that this guy is writing about things that matter, that are meaningful, that do bring great abundant enchantment, means that things in life matter.

But how do you have LIFE?

It just doesn't come from your state of mind or something amorphous and undefinable!

It comes from the very real and very defined Son of God.

Some familiar with the Times piece may say that later the guy writes of prayer and its power. Hey, I have here spoken of praying for Randy. There is a critical difference, however, in praying for prayer's sake and praying to speak with the One who has the power to heal. This guy's approach to prayer is completely along the lines of "Hey, praying helps because it convinces you there is something that can help you when there really isn't." This is not prayer at all, but a psychosomatically effective deceit. Quite a way to spit in the face of a God who would do miracles if we'd just let Him.

Yes, I've written a note to Randy. Yes, I tell him in no uncertain terms about Jesus, and that He is life. That He is his one true-- and very real hope. My hope is that I've done it with the greatest of grace. That I've at least opened the cage for the Lion just a bit. We'll see what happens.

I can't help but still be sad when I see foolishness like that I read about in this newspaper story. And that I see all over the place. It breaks my heart.

I just pray Randy sees Him. In whatever way that is, that'd be awesome.

But that he sees Him.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

That Phony Death -- Addendum

After my last blog post, I felt I had to write a bit more about what I'd written.

First, one may wonder why I don't know the spiritual condition of my stepbrother. The reason is that I'm not really close to him. Physically he lives near Seattle, and I've never had the opportunity to really interact with him. Last summer (2005) we did get more acquainted at my father's 70th birthday party. Shortly after that he discovered his medical condition. We have communicated a bit since then, sending a card, exchanging emails, those sorts of things.

Second, I have only referred to him as "my stepbrother," because I have this nervousness about throwing names around on the web. I think I'm invading the privacy of others in doing so, however, in many ways that too is a Catholicist-based fear. People reading this may want to genuinely pray for him. With that in mind, his name is Randy. In fact, his fine blog is here.

I can make a pretty good guess about what his spiritual condition is, though. He was brought up with a lot of New Age inculcation, that nebulous idea that we're all just beloved children of the Great Cosmic Oneness, that sort of thing. He's a computer engineer by trade, and at the risk of stereotyping, many with such a mindset have put a great deal of faith in science and at the same time dismissed considerations of God. Does Randy do this? The one thing I can reference is his blog, and nowhere in it is any mention of God or a spiritual dimension to his plight. At times he'll make mention of a pithy saying or concern, but to some degree this tells me that his trust is just not in The Person but rather the philosophy of whatever it is that gets him through.

This relates to another key point to clarify from the last blog, that of the News Corp. promotion of O.J. Simpson. The reason this is so profound is that Randy has surely been blasted by the same "public relations" campaign that gets so many to buy into the rejection of God. How much power does News Corp. and Rupert Murdoch have to get millions of people to censure an utterly reprobate endeavor! How much power they have to get everyone to idolize O.J. to begin with-- even if that worship is a sort of an incessant visceral loathing.

So what to do? Yes, as I said, pray. Pray that God would blast Randy with Him. Thing is, He does that with those who are His.

And that could be me.

I could be the one who says "Jesus" to him.

Yesterday I lamented the concern that I'd mess it up. I wanted to address this for a minute.

It does indeed seem very self-serving. No question. To be so concerned about what I'll say and how that will affect me is reprehensible indeed. But that's part of precisely what I said yesterday--

That Catholicist stuff is still in there messing with me-- thus, the need to pray like nothing else about that. It is simple. I do want to love Randy, and the way to love him is to tell him about the One who will give him what it is he truly wants. Life, unending life, unending life with his loved ones, unending life with his loved ones in a place where no one can ever hurt anyone ever again.

It's what we all want.

But me, aagh, I'm just being honest-- the way I've been taught to tell others about Him is so damn Catholicized.

Me: "Ask Jesus to come into your heart."

Him: "Ah, yeah, a very scary dead guy hanging on a cross, in my heart. Riiight..."

Me: "Be born-again."

Him: "Sure, like I want to be with a bunch of crazy shaking arm-waving 'born-again' Christians. Nah, not for me."

Me: "You'll go to hell without Jesus."

Him: "So if I don't believe the way you believe, thennnn I suffer unending agony, and you'rrre eating ambrosia by the pool. How arrogant."

Strike three.

So, yeah, really...

I just want to let the Lion loose.

That's really all it takes. Just let Him be Him. He kicks the pants off of any of the World's idiocy. Why can't I just let Him loose?

Read a story today about how there is a gene in our bodies that causes us to age by destroying cells. Thing is, this actually prevents cancer. It prevents it because it keeps those healthy cells from getting so eager as to start becoming tumors. I thought about that, and about how the Darwinists will say things like this particular gene has an "evolutionary purpose."

Huh?

I only make note of this because here's Randy, probably has faith in the evolution thing, and he'll so readily buy into the idea that there is some "purpose" in something that by definition has no purpose.

If it were any more ridiculous it'd be tragic.

Well, wait a minute, it is.

So what to do. Pray, pray, pray, certainly. But what are the other patently non-Catholicist things to do? First, just ask him where he's at. How presumptuous for me to think he's so intractable that he wouldn't want the one thing that would be his life. If he is so disinclined, then maybe I will have still planted that seed. That's all Jesus wants us to do. He's the gardener.

Secondly, be willing to keep the conversation going. I'm already saddened that I can't tell him to gather with the elders of his church to anoint him with oil and pray for him. With all churches mere 501c3 God clubs, where would he find such a group? I am hampered a bit by having to communicate merely through email, but I should be thanking God that we have that!

Finally, again, just be His truth-- let the Lion loose. He meant what He said: "I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in me will never die." Whoa. That's so major. And so easy to say! And at the same time, just be His grace. I don't have to pound anything over his head the way many Catholicized evangelicals do. I just want to be his friend.

Thanks for reading. Just by doing that, I've been moved to do the wonderful, simple things that are precisely what God wants from us more than anything else.

To love another with His love.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

That Phony Death

My stepbrother has resigned himself to his death in six months.

This is abjectly flooring news, just how brazenly mortality whacks one upside the head. And for him, literally. He's been fighting a brain tumor for about a year. He had chemo, and it was thought that he'd beaten it. But his eyesight was still failing terribly, and at his latest testing they found that his tumor had been as insidious as they had thought all along. It was growing back.

The guy's got a wife and two bright young near-teenage boys. He's got everything to live for and he knows it. He's even blogged quite eloquently about the ordeal, being open and honest in the most visceral terms while displaying that resolved grace you like to see in one with whom you're acquainted. Still...

Death is death.

Not like the more widely marketed media death. Recently O.J. Simpson was going to exploit his notoriety by writing a book "How I Would've Killed My Wife," something like that, and doing a nationally televised interview to sell it. The idea was so repulsive that it was pulled.

But I thought, here's just another way to make death phony. Furthermore, I think of all the people who so stridently protested it, as if they needed to plead with Fox not show it to keep them from being seduced into watching it.

So here's my stepbrother's real death staring him in the face. Thing is, there is that one thing that would turn a very real death into a very real joy. But I don't know that he knows Christ. If he knew Christ, then I'd know he was in the right hands-- that he'd have what it is he genuinely wants, the deep abiding intimacy with the One Who Is Intimacy Always. As it is, he laments not having it with his wife and growing boys. We all would feel that way surely.

But I want him to know Christ.

All I've thought about since I learned about his situation is what I can do to introduce him to Him. I'm not sure, but I think he's pretty dismissive of the whole "Jesus" thing, only because he's been introduced to so many straw-man Jesuses. If I were to say, "Hey! Jesus!" he'd just think

"Oh no, not that church character."

"Oh no, not that fairy tale."

"Thank you, but that religious thing is not for me."

"Um, really, who can know? So if God is there, he'll be a nice guy. I'll be okay."

"Really, I have nothing to do with it anyway. I'm just a part of the Great Cosmic Oneness."

"We're food for worms."

I don't know. Maybe I'm too resigned. I do know how much people, so many people, perhaps even my stepbrother, have been Jesuitically taught to think the most ridiculous things about God. That can be discouraging in light of their expertise at it all.

On the other hand, I do indeed think that if I did say something to him now, he might just be responsive. He is certainly in a state in which, as steeled as he may be, he is facing a real reality that no media concoction or religious jury rig can make any more phony. Maybe that's exactly what's needed for one to see it.

I'm not giving up. It is just my own Catholicist stirrings from the past have me thinking all kinds of fearful things. Aagh. I hate that.

So at that point I do just one thing. What I've been doing all along.

Pray.

That's really what I've got in the face of the World's weapons. Thing is, His weapons are more powerful. Just gotta use 'em. He did say we are to be His flesh and bones.

And then, all I have to do is what I will do, however that is.

Tell him about Hope.

Friday, November 10, 2006

So All the Republicans Needed To Do Was...

In Chaucer's story "The Pardoner's Tale," the principle character goes about convincing people to give to the church by constantly telling them "Radix malorum est cupiditas," or "Greed is the root of all evil." The obvious irony is that the church is getting wealthy by exploiting others' guilt.

After the election last Tuesday, James Dobson of Focus on the Family said that Republicans lost control of Congress because they simply did not behave like they really understood and supported conservative Christian values. The idea is that if those candidates really stood on limited government, low taxes, protecting unborn lives, holding to traditional marriage, then they would have won.

There are a couple of problems with this I want to share before I mention what this says about our country. First, the switch from Republican to Democrat in the House was only 30 seats. There were 435 seats up for grabs. Every single seat in the House. Hmm. 30 seats changed party from a total of 435. Not really much of a shake-up.

Now certainly when one party has "control," even if their majority is a mere one vote, they do have far more power than the minority party.

The reason we all believe it was such a slaughter has a lot to do with the second problem: the media coverage. Before the election the media pulled out all the stops to persuade Americans that the Republicans were responsible for every horrible thing in life. So pronounced was their slant that enough votes went Democrat. The Republicans could have been angels from heaven and it wouldn't have made a difference.

This is why I mention "The Pardoner's Tale." It is just not that difficult to manipulate the sentiments of people who just don't have real strength of will to resist brilliant propaganda. I'm not saying this to offer a polemic for Republicans, by any means. I am saying that all those striving valiantly in the Culture War use the same tools of deceit, including James Dobson, someone for whom I do have some measure of respect.

The main reason Dobson's concerns are meaningless is that they are all condemners. For instance, the Republicans instinctively know that if they really cut taxes and reduced federal regulation, they are condemning all those exploited by powerful business interests. Don't get me wrong, I do believe in low taxes-- to the point that one should stand on the law as it is to see how "low" their taxes could actually be.

The problem is that the Democrats, by raising taxes and increasing federal regulation, are condemning all those who work hard and earn the rewards of their industry.

Wow. All of them can't help but be condemners.

The issue then is how one frames his condemnation. That's how you get into office. The Democrats are just as good at condemning as anyone else, but they made their case by pounding down the idea, "We're on your side." Of course people seemed to forget that being on one interest's side necessarily means condemnation of the other guys.'

What Dobson and virtually every committed conservative evangelical just doesn't get is that if they really stood on their principles-- that God told us clearly that homosexuality is bad and abortion is bad and abusive government is bad-- then they'd have to support the death penalty for any active homosexual, aborting doctor, and bad king. Hey, those are indeed pretty bad things, God doesn't particularly like them.

And He doesn't particularly like a lot of other bad things too. Meaning... there's enough wrath for everyone, really.

Ouch.

What Dobson et al end up doing is hemming and hawwing and basically dissembling to hide what they know to be true. To have what they really want you'd need a genuine theocracy to crack heads, and the liberals are scared to death of that. How many times do I hear them speak in the most venomous tone about the "Religious Right." This is why they cheer every time the Dobson/Republican designs are given a stomping as they were on Tuesday.

Fact is, the liberal designs are, as pointed out, just as condemnatory. With Democrats in power you'll surely have many more innocent babies slaughtered, more spiritual violence committed against one another in the name of sexual freedom, more individual God-given abilities to innovate and produce squashed-- those things are just as painful.

Why can't Dobson get the Republicans to do anything about that? It has nothing to do with them being tuned out.

It has everything to do with being grafted the World he so reviles. The Dobson people hold on hard to their incorporations, and as such they're just a loud, argumentative member of the Club. Dobson yells, and then some major progressive guy like Noam Chomsky yells right back. Lots of yelling and arguing and, of course, lots and lots and lots of condemning.

Radix malorum est cupiditas. Now, give us what you've got so you'll be happy again.

The Republicans have taken as much money as the Democrats ever did to build its cathedral of condemnation.

This is why Jesus Christ is so miles out of this. The phenomenal thing is that He loved us so much that He literally took all of this upon Himself, and died on the most profound symbol of condemnation there ever was to take it out so it wouldn't be there any more.

Miles and miles and miles away. As far as the east is from the west, the Bible says.

Do you want to be there, with Him, in bountiful joy being reconciled with that One who loves you that much, or with a major political party in that body of death called condemnation?

You are with one of them.

(And don't come off with some baloney about being in some minor "principled" party. If it's in the World, it condemns too. "You are in one of them" is not talking about on which side of the Culture War Room you are situated. It's all about whether you're in it or out of it altogether.)

For more on the Culture War, go here.

Here are some thoughts on the Jesus who is not one of the straw-man ones the Republicans and Democrats like to say is on their side.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Voting For...

Tomorrow is voting day. The day when we can all vote for the individuals who'll use their power to force what we want on others. It seems like most Americans anticipate this with great excitement. Why shouldn't they? They've got to make sure they've got the right people in office to crack heads. Even though many will decry the lack of voter turnout, there could be as many as 100 million visiting polling places to vote for their leaders.

That’s a lot of people. How great is that, you get to pick. Are you into fighting wars against those who hate the American way? You can vote for the guy who will keep doing that. Are you into fighting against those fighting wars against those who hate the American way (but don’t really know it, of course)? Then you may vote for the guy who will do that.

In the Government class I teach, we always take some time to talk about the history of suffrage, or how a group has struggled in history to secure their right to vote. The interesting thing is that most people think that women, for instance, got the right to vote in 1920 with the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Nah.

Women have always had the right to vote.

It just wasn’t guaranteed before that time. In other words, a woman could go up to the polling place, declare her intention to vote, and be turned away without contention. Did she have the right to vote? Of course she did. Was she able to actually vote over the protests of more powerful societal forces? Of course not.

Some may say, “Oh but if she couldn’t actually vote in practice then what difference does it make?”

The problem is that not only does every individual have the right to vote, but he or she can’t help but vote. Any time you take any action at any time, you’re voting.

“Oh, but that’s misusing the definition of voting,” you may retort. “The term refers to something very specific, namely casting a ballot in an election for a political officer or public issue. Just choosing something doesn’t make it a vote."

The problem there is one that has many people confused, or at least misinformed about the nature of political reality. The unequivocal fact is that you are a political being, subject to the dictates of the potentate whoever that may be. Whatever it is that you do, you are indeed influencing what the governing authority itself does. That’s a vote.

If you decide not to vote in a given particular official election, you are voting for not deciding to vote in that particular official election. The potentate sees that, and will act accordingly. The issue in this instance is not who or what your voting for but which election are voting to vote in to begin with. People of the World can't get this because they can only conceive of one election.

Many evangelicals will screech that it is our God-given right to vote. Yes, that's true! God not only wants us to vote, but we can't help but. The question is, which are you voting for? Are you voting for the Kingdom, or are you going into a polling booth tomorrow to cast a ballot for Caesar's administrative staff?

If you vote for the Kingdom, you will necessarily abandon the World System and its selection of vetted political operatives. You will forego all the benefits and privileges it offers, which entails nothing less than terminating your incorporated obligations, standing on your true tax liability, and as such manifesting the bountiful gifts God has given you to provide phenomenal abundance in your family and community. Are you indeed voting in the “election” in which you’ve made Jesus Christ your authority in all matters?

Or, are you voting in the election for rulers of evil, in which any vote you formally cast is for a preeminent evildoer assigned the task of whacking other evildoers? Don't get me wrong, God said this is not necessarily a bad thing, this the legion of condemnation.

But if you vote for the Kingdom you’re doing something very different. You are engaging in reconciliation— a far better thing to God.

The latest Newsweek magazine features a story about an identity crisis in the evangelical movement. Über-minister Ted Haggard had just been summarily defrocked over sexual improprieties, and this only adds fire to the question on the newsweekly’s cover: “Sexual Morality or Social Justice?” No wonder everyone thinks the church is obsessed with sex and doesn’t give a rip about social justice.

They see it is extraordinarily hypocritical. Too many evangelicals fail to see this. When you hock gobs of spiritual violence as an adjunct division of the Roman Catholic World System out of one side of your mouth, but then insist you’re following Jesus out of the other, then there is only one possible truth here:

You are following another Jesus. (I think I remember His word saying something about two kinds of water cannot come out of the same fountain-- anybody else remember that?...)

When you actively cast ballots in Caesar’s elections, you are behaving as someone who wants to stay enveloped in the law as the manager of your sinfulness. You are immersing yourself in a wickedly perverted whirlwind of sinning-condemnation-deceit-absolution-catharsis-sinning yet again-more condemnation-more deceit-more absolution… Just look at the Ted Haggard situation! What a body of death!

Look at Proposition 85 on the California ballot. Every evangelical says “Vote for it!” I have to say that I want to shake them! Don’t they know that voting for this means you are making the state the administrator of your daughter’s reproductive faculties! In other words, they’ll pray, “Jesus, be Lord over my daughter,” but when they step into that voting booth they mean “I award the state lordship over my daughter.”

This is insane. I can’t say it any differently. It is just insane.

But, yeah. What do I have to say? If you don't have Christ, making the state the lord over yourself and your family is what you must do. That's cool. God put Caesar there for a purpose. So, yeah.

I will be praying tomorrow. That’s all I can do.

Oh, I know I can say a lot too. I am doing that, right here in this blog.

The sad thing about that is that when anyone says to the one who says he follows Christ, “Hey, do you know what voting in Caesar’s elections really means?” he just doesn't seem to want to listen.

I imagine I’ll be weeping a bit tomorrow too.

That’s how it is, though.

A bit more on the Culture War is here.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Libertarian Crusade

My latest webzine home page offering is at my website, The Catholicist Nation. I invite you to look it over and see if you see the same things I do when an individual rips into government for being so, well, so evil.

I'm kind of excited about this issue, because for the first time I put in a neat media tool: a scene from the film V for Vendetta. It's about four minutes long, and it adds the whole vibrant visual dynamic to the site. Woo-hoo!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Next Culture Warriors

Went to see Jesus Camp last night. After seeing what the film was about, I wanted to see what the filmmakers' take was on evangelical Christianity. It was not surprising to see it assembled to highlight many of the things considered extreme to those who reject the idea that Jesus is the only way to be saved.

I can't deny that much of what I saw among the ministers and the children they influenced was disturbing. The reason it was disturbing was they did many of the things the secular world fears in anyone, here it was just slathered with God language and Christian rituals. Children are trained to fight battles for the Lord, and they were inexplicably subjected to all kinds of emotionally wrenching activities.

After I left the theater, I so much wanted to ask any of the other 20 or so who were there, "Was that disturbing to you?" If they're reasonably seasoned Catholicists they'd certainly say yes, but this was my next question:

"Why was that disturbing?"

What do you think they'd say? I'd presume it would be something like this, tell me if I'm wrong...

"It was disturbing because those ministers were brainwashing those kids. That they were doing crazy things like praying over the microphones. And worst of all, they were being indoctrinated to make America into their brand of Christianity, intolerant and narrow-minded. The fear is in how far they'd go to force that stuff on everyone else. They were making those kids into warriors!"

True enough. My question is, why is what the secularists desire any less intolerant?

As it is, this film was really just a vibrant exposition of the raging culture war. Both camps are battling it out, and this couldn't have been more demonstrated but in the closing radio show conversation between the children's leader of the church whom we'd already seen quite a bit of, Becky Fischer, and a talk show host who'd peppered the film with his on-air commentary, Mike Papantonio. Fischer had her things to say about how the country should be, and Papantonio had his things, and ne'er the twain did meet.

It's just more posturing in the culture war. It's the secular there's-got-to-be-a-separation-of-church-and-state crowd on one side, and there's there sectarian God's-got-to-bring-about-a-Christian-Nation-revival-across-the-land folk on the other.

The fact is they're all in the World, each with their own God clubs. Christian Mike Papantonio's God club is just as intolerant as Christian Becky Fischer's. They both have to shout at each other so loudly because they fear their proposed form of sin management just won't do the job they need it to do. No wonder...

It can't. Government likes to convince people it is their salvation, but it can only condemn. Condemn, prosecute, convict, sentence. It's what its minions also do-- it was rife throughout the film. Everybody condemning everyone. Very disturbing indeed, especially when it's all you've got.

The ironic thing is that condemnation is actually a very good thing. But it is only good when it drives people into the arms of the One who loves-- the One who can free them from the oppression of their condemnation.

Yes, yes, that is Jesus, but not the Pentacostal Jesus. Not the Tolerant Jesus either. Not Anyone's Jesus, not even mine.

Has anyone thought about asking The Jesus? The One who is the way, the truth, and the life? Has anyone thought about asking Him whether or not we should be involved in politics? Believe it or not, you'd get an answer. And it isn't the Pentacostal one, and it isn't the Tolerant one either.

Do you ask Him? And then, even more amazing, do you do what He says?

Some more on the Culture War is here.

And some of the Jesuses are here.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Nobel Rescue Prize

The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded this past week, and it went to Muhammad Yunus. I'd never heard of the guy, but I had heard of his organization. In fact, about seven years ago I was so intrigued with what it did that I made an assignment out of it for my Economics students. I've been using it ever since to teach the foundation that must be in place for an economy to work.

His organization is Grameen Bank, and it makes "micro loans" to poor people. Since the dawn of time richer people have been handing out money (loans, gifts, whatever) to poorer people, yet we still have poor people, now umpteen millennia later. What Yunus and the bank realized was that the recipients of such magnanimity were doing certain things that kept them in poverty. The people the bank aids are not just poor, they suffer in the most abjectly horrific conditions imaginable.

Yunus tried what he thought was something new. He went about identifying those things that kept them in their dire destitution, and then made a list of "Borrower's Rules" that his clients were required to follow if they wanted the loans. Some of those rules include things as simple as making sure the community is planting enough crops for the year and securing safe drinking water. But others were about commitments to hard work, working together, maintaining discipline, using resources for the benefit of all.

Wow. Sounds a lot like the Law. Hmm. Not so new after all.

What struck me about this seven years ago was that it wasn't at all the small rectangular strips of green paper that made the difference. It was the behavior of the people. In other words, this is just not rocket science: People are poor because they don't do what is right--they don't treat each other right. We can blame all the exploiters we want, but if exploitees are sinners too, they perpetuate their hell.

What strikes me about all of this now is the answer to the question, "Why are people in that condition to begin with?" Seeing what the Bible says about how much God wants to provide great bounty to any who simply ask Him, and indeed how much that actually is for those who do ask, it still floors me that anyone still labors under the misapprehension that man trying it all on his own can actually do jack for keeping people out of destitution.

This is why I think the Nobel Peace Prize is more like the "Nobel Rescue Prize." Really, the reason one would do something so magnificent as to win such a prize is because a whole bunch of other schlubs have been jerked around, and said magnificent person has stepped up to rescue them from their predicament.

"Hey, there's a big ol' war going on over there! Look at that! Lots of people getting slaughtered! Oh the humanity! But wait! There's someone riding a white horse plucking some of the victims from the carnage! Let's give that man a prize!"

Ergh. How about just doing what it takes not to have the war to begin with? How about just exposing the machinations those powerful people who get people riled up to act on their belligerence, and then after the war's been raging a bit and a few buckets of blood have been spilt, they step up to fix things to show how much they deserve an award. How about just doing that?

All you have to do is ask the One who is Peace. It's just not that hard. But ya gotta ask Him.

Needless to say, when the Nobel Prize was announced and the press ran with it as it typically does, I heard a lot about Muhammad Yunus. That's cool. It's great he did nice things for people. But I didn't hear a word about the One who'd not only do nice things for people, but He'd love them as well, so much so that they couldn't be poor at all. Ever.

Who is that? If you really want to know, here are some thoughts about Him.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

No Kidding - Roman to the Core



Have you seen this? It is a photograph featuring U.S. President George Bush, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, and U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts leaving St. Matthew's Cathedral in Washington D.C. where, every October before the Supreme Court begins its term, they hold the "Red Mass."

This particular picture is dated in 2005 (and exhibited on the White House's own website), but I'd first heard about this event just recently after its 2006 service, having no clue that it had been held every year for the past 50 years to honor those in the legal profession. I'll say. There's the law right there. Apparently some form of it has been held, however frequently, for eight centuries.

There it is. Roman prosecutorial preeminence in all its glory. There they are. The highest ranking law enforcement officials in the World (at least the most visible ones), all together, celebrating their authority to kick the behinds of anyone who jerks them around.

It is called the Red Mass supposedly because of the color of the papal judges' vestaments. I can think of another reason it has that sobriquet. I just can't think it doesn't have at least a little to do with all the blood these officiants must spill to carry out "justice."

And as much as I see what the World is really about, it still just floors me that so few see this and can make even the teensiest relevant comment about it. Oh some say, "Harumph, separation of church and state, blyeahh..." Does everyone know this and still they shrug? Have I just been paying so little attention all these years?

I'm not for two seconds saying a thing against it. It's what they do. I just wonder why so few know it, and also know Christ, and touch people with the Kingdom in light of this horror? Do so many have no clue? Do they have a clue and just don't care?

Ahh-um. Doh. Forgot. They are all a part of it to begin with. What was I thinking.

Is the U.S. merely the contemporary manifestation of expansive Roman hegemony?

No kidding.

A bit more on this concept is here.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Andrew Sullivan is Certainly a Fine Writer

On the cover of the latest Time (October 9) is a chimp and a baby with the feature "How We Became Human." The idea is that since our DNA is 99% similar, us humans had to have made some evolutionary baby-step from apes. Okaaay. They do offer the gratuitous, "Well, we are different, too, in some ways." Interesting, though, how dogmatic the Darwinists are.

Which leads me to Andrew Sullivan's essay, which is a mere couple of pages after the ape-human story. He says lots of nifty things about Christianity and philosophy and some of those particularly thorny questions of life like "Who is God, really?" and "Does faith really mean anything?"

What I see is Time hedging its bets, saying, "Hey, we're really certain about this evolution thing, and that's because, well, we're the ones who really know, being scientifically-minded and all. For all you religious types, we just want you to be assured that if you get your faith thing wrong, that's okay because we're all on this voyage toward that land called 'Truth.' So we do admire you for your most earnest quest. You just keep on doing your thing there, and, yeah, good luck with that."

The key thing I wanted to point out is the quote from German playwright Gotthold Lessing that Sullivan approvingly cites at the end of his piece: "If God were to hold all Truth concealed in his right hand, and in his left hand only the steady and diligent drive for truth, albeit with the proviso that I would always and forever err in the process, and to offer me the choice, I would with all humility take the left hand, and say, Father, I will take this-- pure Truth is for You alone."

Oh my how Catholicist this is. How pukifyingly so.

The fact is (yes, I can be certain of this), God wants us to have what is in the right hand. To see it, taste it, revel in it, envelope ourselves in it, rejoice about it. He gives it to us in the person of Jesus Christ who is Truth Himself. To pick the left hand is to brashly defy--with a "humility" that is merely disguised as pride--a God who loves so much as to share Truth with those He loves. Really, what meaning is there in life if we didn't have that Truth?

The seasoned Catholicist-- who in his empty soul does know the abject despair of life without Christ-- thinks all he has is the search. He likes what is in the left hand because it gives him a convenient out when he jerks someone else around. He cheers when anyone asserts all that counts is being "on the way" there, because the jealousy towards someone who actually knows Truth is too unbearable. How much the Darwinist seethes over the genuinely enraptured Theist!

Here's the kicker: Who's to say that when we choose what is in the right hand, we don't then embark in the most joyous, thrilling, enchanting journey of discovery there is? Having Jesus does not mean we just sit together in a bare white room for eternity twiddling our thumbs. To take liberties with C.S. Lewis in his essay "Weight of Glory": Choose the left hand and you may certainly make mudpies forever and ever, quite humbly so I might add. Choose the right hand and get a holiday-at-sea with the most wonderfully devoted and engaging Host there is. Forever and ever, I might add.

Andrew Sullivan is a terrific writer, composing grand pithy operas to Catholicist Nation glory. But if you actually want to thrive in the Kingdom and not just "survive" in this civilization, then there is no question about it, you'd choose what's in God's right hand.

Oh yes! And make sure you're picking the correct right hand! I think the Darwinists are certain they've picked that right hand, but they haven't picked God's. Be careful telling them that, because they may punch you.

For a bit more on knowing Truth, go here.

Who is Truth?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Hugo Chavez, Cain Wanna-Be Extraordinaire

This week Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez wowed the world by speaking at the United Nations and referring to George Bush as the devil more than a few times. Aside from demonstrating his devout Catholic faith by crossing himself when he said it, he recommended we all read Noam Chomsky's "Hegemony or Survival" so we can better understand the world as it really works.

The reaction of all who say anything that gets heard says tons about the vast culture war. All the clamor invariably breaks down into two distinct voices. One group, those in the pro-Chavez/Chomsky camp, will screech about how evil George Bush is for wanting to take over the world and how much we need to rise up to stop it. The other group, those in the pro-glories of western civilization camp, will zealously deny that this is what Bush et al have done, and that they are merely fulfilling their God-given duty to defend righteously rational interests.

What is so amazing is that, shazam!--both are right! The problem is that they are all part of the pandemic rage, each tribe riding behind their own blazing, speeding locomotive headed straight for the other tribe's that will end in a train wreck which is the end of the world. Are you on one of those trains, and what will be of you at that time?

Funny, Chomsky's book shot to No. 1 at Amazon after Chavez' theatrics. A lot of people apparently want to know what he said in it. Ooo. Is American seeking world domination? Ooo. Is the U.S. really just as much of a terrorist? Ooo-ooo. Inquiring minds want to know.

Nah. Foolish minds just want to stay glued to the soap opera. If they really wanted to know they'd check out the one book that would tell them what's going on.

The Bible.

Of course America is working to dominate the world. It must do so, simply because there are so many sinners who do wicked things. It's a pretty good thing then that it is there to whack evildoers, crack some heads-- it's what it does. Only people like Chomsky seem to feel that there really is no sin among us except that in those they relish censuring, like George Bush. So when they presume they have no sin, at least sin they can't rationalize away, they resist and rebel and roil against the justified actions of Cain. Ouch, that can be painful.

Furthermore, America especially likes it when blowhards like Hugo Chavez enlist whole nations to stand up and challenge it, because then America can kick ass with its arsenal of seven-fold power. It doesn't go too far in its prosecutorial activity because (a) it likes to have people keep on believing they can rebel against it--Chavez and his crew probably got a nice buzz after the U.N. appearance, but Cain Wanna-Be's have been doing what he did for millennia-- and (b) God won't let it, as Cain will always move to become too powerful. (Remember the Tower of Babel? The fate of Nebuchadnezzar?)

So you've got the Awright-you-go!-Hugo-Chavez-you-rally-the-faithful-selfists-to-fix-the-world! crowd. Then there are those who rally behind the American crusade, many of whom are wholesome church-going evangelical-minded patriotic Americans and "God-Bless-America- righteousness-rides-on-a-horse-called-Jesus-and-the-Christian-nation!" They rush right into condemnation by praising the hegemony as if it is doing God's work. Well, it is in some way doing God's work, but it is a work of judgment, not mercy. Whoa. No wonder so many seriously question-- even justifiably revile the motives and designs of smiling Christians coming around the corner.

Here's the phenomenal thing: the Bible clearly tells us what to do to be freed from this body of death. Very few seem to know, much less say anything about it. Well, Jesus said the road was narrow, so, gotta figure... Anyway, that thing is

Get out.

Get out of the World and ask Jesus to take you into the Kingdom. No, no, not the Jesus of the Glorious Cause. Not the Jesus of the Righteous Crusade.

No, the Jesus of the Bible.

Think you're not in the World? Do you work for an incorporated entity that demands you register with the government as one who has tax liability? Do you have a Social Security account that puts your care in the hands of Caesar? Do you attend a church that is a 501c3 non-profit organization? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you're a commissioned officer vibrantly engaged in culture war combat. Virtually every Romanist and every Selfist is immersed in His Majesty's military service.

How do you get out? To know for sure, read Scripture. And ask Jesus to tell you about Him and listen to what He says.

Some thoughts about being in the World are here.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

State-Church Theatrics

Opened up my paper today and saw there on the front page of the Los Angeles Times a story about the IRS now really going after All Saints Church in Pasadena for making brazenly political comments from the pulpit just before the 2004 election.

I haven't even read it-- I've just looked at the headline-- but I can bet throughout you'll see all kinds of histrionics about how oppressive the government is being, about oh how much they are denying this fine religious establishment the right to, again, "speak truth to power."

Just wanted to invite you to go to a webzine piece I did about it back at the beginning of the year. For your dining pleasure: "On Perfectly Acceptable Racketeering" at The Catholicist Nation.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Why Jeremiah Cried

Jeremiah was known as the weeping prophet. He so viscerally told of the way things were going in Jerusalem that it brought him to tears. And not just a few drops, but an entire fountain, as it says there in chapter nine. At least the grief caused him to feel like sobbing as much.

Why did he feel this way? It was simple.

He had to confront adulterous people. People who once said they'd be faithful, and later became prostitutes. To whom were they betrothed? None other than God Himself. To whom did they solicit themselves? The majestic and exalted Legacy of Cain. God grieved over this Himself, and said to His beloved Jerusalem, "You may have him." What is phenomenal is that all the while He promised, "But I will win you back."

I feel quite a bit like Jeremiah today. It is 9/11. The Anniversary. And all I see is grief. Lots and lots of grieving. As I feel as I do, I grieve also. But I must say that I grieve more as Jeremiah did. I so want to tell people what's going on, but so many are so attached to their beloved Rome that they just can't get it. I wrench inside whenever I hear Roman officials--the president, the news anchor, even the innocent non-profit relief director-- talk about what happened and how much we should all sear the mythology into our souls.

It's all a game. And I feel it like Jeremiah did.

On television tonight is the second part of The Path to 9/11, the controversial docudrama about the events that led up to the attacks. I only saw the first hour of last night's installment because I just couldn't take the camera's ragged movement and shifting angles every two seconds. It was as if it was made for those with Parkinson's disease. But I think I can guess how the rest of it went. A bunch of police, security, FBI, CIA, Federal, and Executive Office agents bumbling around (but valiantly so, we should add) while a bunch of Middle Eastern punks took them all for the lives of 3,000 people.

What a game. What a show.

Just look at the news coverage of how incensed the Clintonian Democratic leadership was about the "untruthful" portayal of their efforts to go after the terrorists. It was as if it was too pronounced, as if it was specifically designed to force people's attention on how jobbed the Clinton people were, as if that meant the tiniest of bean slivers.

What a grand spectacular put-on.

What's funny is that with this blog post I intended to urge you to watch instead Loose Change and actually ask yourself some real questions. I still urge you to see it, but I thought I'd point out that even Time magazine has caught on, and this week has officially denied its imprimatur. It's all just conspiracy myth, according to Time, even though it can't factually back up any of its own dismissals, saying mostly, "Couldn't this other thing we all tell you actually happened have actually happened?"

The cool thing, really, is that Loose Change is getting attention in Cain's major newsweekly mouthpiece. How about that. They are a bit chafed, I see.

Time concludes by saying that so many believe in these conspiracy theories because we all have a need to find some overarching meaning in significant events, or as the magazine puts it, "to have the magnitude of any given effect be balanced by the magnitude of the cause behind it."

My response to that is a simple, "So?"

In fact, the only way anything of magnitude can happen is because there was some cause of magnitude. To believe otherwise is to have one's head firmly planted in the ground. This "can't you just accept the lone gunman theory" response is precisely what someone running from something would say. Someone who must make excuses for the wickedly murderous things that supposedly must be done in the name of building a magnificant mythology. Someone who is being paid handsomely by the rulers of evil.

Tupper Saussy called it "catastrophizing the imagination." I can't think of anything more appropriate to describe the events of 9/11/01. Funny, the The Path to 9/11 opened with "Here's how it really happened." Nah. It really should have said, "Here's what we want you to continue to believe was how it happened."

Want to know how all of it really happened? Read Saussy's book Rulers of Evil. There you'll see the origins of all the players in the Grand Catholicist Show. The leaders, the agents, the rebels, the promoters-- you'll see it all.

Unless you want to stay wrapped up in the mythology and keep that spinning, seething, scraping catharsis going real good. A lot of people will.

They'll stay in the adultery.

And when I see stories of their grief showcased as if they were some perverse "reality" photo-ops, stories about the grief over their loved ones sacrificed on the altar of the Legacy, I just feel it like Jeremiah did. I so weep for them. They're still ones God longs to come to Him.

God doesn't give up on anyone. Sometimes, however, all the machinations can be just a bit much to take. It is these times I thank God for the lodge. Check it out. Read the ninth chapter of the book of Jeremiah to find out what I mean.

Who do you think the Lodge is? I think I know.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The God of Imagination

My summer reading this year included New York Times ubercolumnist Thomas Friedman's popular book The World is Flat. In it I found some interesting things to know about our fine Catholicist Nation.

To muse on those things with me, go here.

For a bit of exposition on the Catholicist Nation, take a peek here.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

The Value of Picking Out the Liars

The biggest poker tournament of all time was recently won by a television producer and agent. The winner, Jamie Gold, defeated a starting field of nearly 9,000 players, and he credited his victory in part to his experiences reading people in Hollywood meetings. He said, "I have a greater sense of when people are telling the truth and when they are lying." (Los Angeles Times, 8/12/06)

His take was $12 million dollars, and while much of his success was certainly the result of a lot of luck, I couldn't help but think. So this is the value of looking at someone and truthfully divining their deception.

It is ironic that in the same day's Times was media pundit Tim Rutten's take on news service Reuters doctoring photos of the Lebanon-Israel conflict. He pointed out that this should be a much bigger story than it is. It may not have had the strongest legs because Reuters fired the photographer, issued apologies, and all that kind of stuff.

I don't think for a second that this will prevent more people from "doctoring" material to achieve their ends-- it is the Catholicist way on cue from the Jesuit creed "the ends justifies the means." (While the Jesuit may claim his creed is "To the greater glory of God," you'll see if you read the third chapter of Romans that the whole "To the greater glory of God" is quite demonic. Take a peek at Genesis 3:6, also, to see the standard for rationalizing all kinds of seemingly fine things.)

As much as Cain must prosecute the evildoing of the Catholicist Nation's inhabitants, it must be even more evil than the evildoer, and this requires the most profound, precise deception. We screech about a single Reuter's photograph, when the deception is all over the place and it always has been. The Agency of Cain must employ it as a matter of practice to do its job.

What is significant is that as much as they've been doing it for millennia, it seems so very few have seen it. So very few see it even today. You'd think people exposed to Scripture would be right on top of it, but alas, incorporated church members contract themselves with the Agency and become accomplishes to the deception. They're all in it too, so again, so few see it for what it is.

And when very few people can do an extraordinarily valued thing, the price of that skill goes up. Way up. Look at the poker tournament winner. His pay for picking out the liars? $12 million.

Yes, quite a valuable skill indeed. Except that, those who can pick out the liars don't quite get paid that much, and that's only because the practice is not as extraordinarily valued to begin with. This is because so many are so adept at it themselves, and being found out is a bit detrimental. (Didn't Gold win a few rounds by lying himself? Hmm?)

There are so many liars making a good living with the lie, who's there to value the truth?

For more on the Catholicist Nation and its inhabitants, click here.

And for the way churches contract themselves with the Agency of Cain, click here.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Blow-the-Snot-Out-of-'Em Deficiency

A recent John Podhoretz column was brought to my attention as I listened to a bit of talk radio this morning, and the piece exposed the wimpiness of the preeminent powers to fight bad things, like terrorism. These powers have tons of military strength and weaponry, they just don't use it because they're too timidly fearful of world opinion. Lots of media coverage of children lying dead around rubble can be a wee counterproductive.

Today's Rome (embodied in the U.S./U.K./and, in some sense, Israel alliance) certainly doesn't act like the Rome of old. When Rome of old conquered a territory, it summarily executed every single remotely powerful individual (after a bit of parading some of them about town), dragging the main leader to the feet of the emperor who very graciously said, "You may serve me, or be dead also." That kind of fixed everything.

Please know that I don't say yea or nay to this activity in any way, for my Lord has asked me to live by the precepts of His Kingdom. I just understand that this is the legitimate duty of Cain given him by God at the beginning of mankind. The Agency of Cain's task is to snuff out evildoers and prosecute them without prejudice. As the Podhoretz piece so eloquently declares, it is to do nothing less than be more evil than the evildoer himself.

There is no question this is a body of death that no one who really knows wants to be in. Problem is, too many people don't know they don't want to be in it--they are blind people leading around a bunch of blind people. Jesus Christ would free them from such a body, but they don't want it, choosing to remain blind and feed their insatiable desires to blow the snot outta someone.

Flipping around that talk radio dial this morning while I cleaned out the garage, I came across a bit of Rush Limbaugh and, referring to the Hezbollah/terrorist problem, a caller said, "They won't be appeased until we're all dead." Limbaugh heartily agreed, emphasizing the idea that we'd better keep blowing the snot out of 'em.

The problem with that is that the blowing-the-snot-out-of-'em that's going on today is just the sort of stuff that-- in the long run-- keeps all the conflict raging. It's not that they they ease up a bit because they have a heart for the people they're blowing the snot out of. No.

It's that if it all stopped they would have nothing to do.

They just want death so much, and if everyone's dead then you can't have that anymore.

Okaaay.

It's all really just human sacrifice goin' real good. For an idea of what that is, look here.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Playing Monopoly

My 10 year-old son went off to camp today, where he'll be for four days. But this morning before he went, I promised him I'd play him in Monopoly, his favorite board game. The full game, an hour-and-a-half long. We put the game together, set the timer, and off we went.

Usually he beats the tar out of me. Seriously, he has this knack for rolling past my house-laden properties and lands on "Free Parking" way more than he should (yes, we play with that kitty in the middle). But today, I was the one getting the rolls he's always gotten.

About an hour into the game I'd already landed on "Free Parking" five times to his none (maybe John Rawls was right!) I'd bought four properties he couldn't afford, and at the height of my power I had hotels on each property of three different color groupings, three of the railroads and both utilities (hey, those guys can get you some sweet cash).

The notable thing is that because my son loves to play this game so much, I was extraordinarily charitable in order to sustain play. I give him thousand dollar discounts when he'd stay in my hotels. I even bought houses for him on his properties, two of which were Park Place and Boardwalk. At a few points I got a little nervous when I'd land on them and pay him a wad of cash, but he'd always come back around and land on my properties with the hotels, so I still dominated.

As I did so, I could only think of how this was such a metaphor for the way the Catholicist world really works. Very powerful and very scared rich people dominate the world, and in order to avoid running the little guy out of the game, they pay him off with the pittance of "charity." When the income tax went into effect in 1913, it was sold to the general public as a way to tax the rich, but those rich people found ways to "donate" much of their wealth to "worthy causes" setting up foundations that would be tax-exempt. This kept them rich and powerful and fearful. Those government sponsored privileges still do.

After the game I asked myself: Was I too manipulative in order to get him to keep thinking he was still in this thing? Should I have just said at the one-hour point, the game is over? Or, how about this question...

Should I have simply given up half my properties to him so at the end of the game we'd have had some semblance of an Acts 2 community?

The answer to this is not so easy, for while we want to work hard and accomplish great things to sustain a healthy relationship with those dear to us (Shalom Community!), we must confess that we do want to kick butt against bad things, even "bad people." Yes, I did want to kick the pants off my son--he wanted to do the same to me, and has done so frequently (during which he's done the "charity" thing too)! We all have a desire to excel and do good things, and competition fuels that. That's good.

I am convinced, however, that if followers of Christ got rid of their undue tax liabilities by becoming ungrafted to the state--essentially becoming unincorporated and abandoning their 501c3's--then we wouldn't have any fewer opportunities to kick butt for God. What we have going on today is too many stay in the "charity" of the exploiters because they think they'd get their butts kicked.

I can't see how. I mean...

God is our Father with all the power of the universe in His pinky finger.

How faithless can we be? Of course, Jesus wondered the very same thing.

What is the Catholicist Nation like? Look here.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

A Lebanon-Israel Take

A ton of news coverage has saturated the public square regarding the conflict in the Middle East between Lebanon and Israel. Yesterday there was a press conference featuring President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and I found something Blair said worth noting.

He said, essentially, that the fight against terrorism would be like this, and that there is no other way to fight it, so we must keep doing what we're doing. The item that struck me was

"There is no other way."

Well, yes, there is another way. The other way is Jesus Christ, seeing how much He loves you and in that moving you to love another with that love. If everyone did that (oh this is just too easy) then there would be no violence.

But Blair, being a sworn servant of Cain, hasn't a clue about that other way. He only knows of the seven-fold vengeance he must help exact against rebels such as the terrorists in Lebanon, and he continues to enable the destructive activities of the plainly ruthless Ministry of Retribution. Hey, as horrible as it is, it is what he does.

But Jesus does what He does, freeing individuals from that body of death.

Blair and Hezbollah do violence, Jesus does restoration. In the World you will have sorrow, in the Kingdom you will have joy and peace. (Didn't Jesus actually say those exact words somewhere? Words to that effect?)

Other thoughts: Funny that Bush and Blair were singing the same song yesterday. I just can't help but speculate that the U.K. and the U.S. are the two mixed clay and iron parts of the feet in that statue of the dream Daniel interprets.

Any time I see the term "peacekeepers," such as "the U.N. should send a group of peacekeepers in," I cringe. It is used frequently by some of the most progressively minded people, as if they were offering up something radically wonderful. But really, what else is a peacekeeper except someone to blow the snot out of someone else blowing the snot out of someone? It is all still grand ultra-violence, and only really makes sense when the pre-eminent snot-blower-outter is Cain with his seven-fold vengeance.

I just can't see why there aren't more people wanting to be out of this body of death all together-- to be in His embrace and not just nodding when Tony Blair spews, "There is no other way than to blow the snot out of 'em."

Oh. Wait. I can see why.

For people to really know That Other Way people need to actually know about Him. And for people to know Him they need to meet up with those who actually already know Him. And for there to be those kind of people they need to be not grafted to the World that only knows the violent way. And to be not grafted they kind of need to be not contractually obligated to that World through 501c3's and such.

And how many followers of Christ are there out there like that?

As it is, as mere members of the World System Club, when most say "Jesus," they're considered to be saying "Here's some other guy in the violence schematic," and he's just as dismissed as any other Cain wanna-be.

For more on the way the Nation works, look here.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Caesar Tries Really Hard, He Does, At Least There's That

President Bush's Chief of Staff Joshua Bolton was the featured guest on this past Sunday's Meet the Press, and after Tim Russert got past all the questions about the Middle East he went to the embryonic stem cell research issue, addressing why the president vetoed its federal funding.

Bolton gave the standard response which was essentially, "The president thinks that the fertilized embryo is a human life that deserves protection." Fine answer.

The problem is, he can't speak the truth about the human embryo because he works for the World in the employ of Caesar. And as such, he was no match for the searing questions that Russert had for him about the inconsistency of the president's actions in light of his commitment.

To give you an idea about why the president's approach is so problematic, here was the progression of Russert's questioning.

First he quoted White House Spokesman Tony Snow as stating that ESCR is murder. Russert asked Bolton (again, in essence as this is a paraphrase), "Do you really believe it is murder in light of what millions of Americans think?"

Whoa. That's tough. In fact, today, Tony Snow had to apologize for using the word "murder." Of course he had to! He's got to be politically correct. But if Russert had someone on there who knew the truth, say, someone who is actually a follower of Christ and could share that truth, then he'd get a straight answer.

"Tim, just because a lot of people think it's not murder doesn't mean it isn't. The question that must be answered is 'Is that embryo a human being?' If it is, and all biological and ethical evidence states that it is, then deliberately using it for medical experiments that result in its demise for whatever reason is murder. Just as you would be unapologetic about using the term 'murder' for the extermination of Jews in Nazi Germany--people who were also not considered human either-- so we are unequivocal about it also."

Russert's questioning certainly would have gone in a different direction if this response were offered, at least if he wanted to know precisely why an embryo is human. But for purposes of addressing the discourse, his next question was, "Why does the president allow private interests and the use of existing stem cell lines if it is indeed murder? Isn't this hypocritical?"

Bolton hemmed and hawwed and simply restated the president's position. Uh. What's the better response? How about: "Very true! If it is murder in any instance, then we should do all we can to make it illegal everywhere." You can see why Bolton could not say this, however. It's because it would be extraordinarily difficult to do that. The cat's already out of the bag: People want ESCR--they've got to have their need for human sacrifice gratified and ESCR is a marvelously convenient way to get that.

Then there's this one from Russert: "20 some-odd children were at the veto ceremony, children who were adopted embryos. But 400,000 embryos are still out there slated for destruction, highly unlikely they will ever be 'adopted.' Why shouldn't we use them for the research?"

My question to Russert would be, "Why are there 400,000 out there? What are people doing making those embryos?" Obviously the answer is that infertile couples must have that many if they hope to have any children at all. My question from there reflects a position that very few people would agree with, but as such, we have the embryo problem to begin with. That question, "Have we made such a god out of 'having children if you're infertile' that we must take the life of many others in order to get one? Do we do such a poor job of supporting the infertile couple and/or providing them with the positive perspective on adoption, or even adoptive children options at all?"

Once again it gets down to the critical question. Is the embryo a human being? If it is, then why are we doing all this?

Lastly, Russert leveled Bolton with this gem: "Do you know of any scientists who say there is as much promise for adult stem cell research?" Russert's was clearly trying to undermine ASCR by claiming that no scientist really believes in it. Needless to say Bolton could not name one. What could he have said? It's easy: "Just because I don't know of one or you don't know of one right now doesn't mean it doesn't show promise. What I've heard is that it does, and I've heard a lot. If you want names, I'll get you names, and you can check them out for yourself."

Is there any question that Meet the Press is trumpeting ESCR? What is funny is that on CBS's Sunday Morning show at about the exact same time as Meet the Press was aired, right between a humorous piece on social graces and scenes of North Carolina nature, was Utah senator Orrin Hatch giving a commentary on the value of ESCR and how the president should not have vetoed that bill. Was there any rebuttal? Any counter viewpoint? Any balance whatsoever in the discourse?

Actually, why should there be?

These guys just haven't a clue. None of them. They all live too richly in the Catholicist Nation.

What's the deal with human sacrifice? Look here for some thoughts.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Taking What's Not Yours Awards

Last week's Newsweek featured the cover story, "The Giving Back Awards" (July 10, 2006). It was a "special double issue" supposedly about 15 showcased people who, I imagine are giving back. On the cover were a couple of notable individuals, Brad Pitt and Rick Warren, and some others I didn't recognize. But then I didn't look too closely. I didn't even read it-- I just happened to see it on the table of an office.

Now how can I critique it if I didn't even read it? Simple, because I'm pretty sure I already know what the whole thing is about. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Here are some of those "beautiful" people who magazines like to feature, all doing really really really really really good things somehow somewhere someway-- a double issue's worth of super good things. And the concept of giving back means that these people have had so much fortune heaped upon them that they've listened to their heart and done a bunch of things to help others out who we presume have not been as fortunate. Seems okay.

Until we use our brains and actually think about what all this is.

Forgive me, but I can think of very few things that are as putridly wretched as this. I just can't figure out how anyone with a molecule of brain matter would think this was anything but. Actually I really should be saying a molecule of soul matter-- I say soul matter because the smartest people frequently do the stupidest things.

Does anybody not know this is merely a bunch of people blowing their trumpets in the public square so everyone can see how fabulous they are? How many golly-gee spiffy things they've done? How much money they've given so they can be ever-so fabulous? I mean, didn't Jesus say something about that?

The most repulsive thing is the whole giving back concept. Now come on, think about that. "Giving back." Usually-- no, wait-- all the time, what it means when you "give back" is that you've taken something that belongs to someone else. So, ahem, we're giving "awards" to people who're just doing what anyone should do?

What have these people taken that doesn't belong to them? Let's use Brad Pitt as an example. Now I'm not picking on Brad Pitt per se; here he's just a guy who represents any individual living richly in the Catholicist Nation. Brad has got millions of dollars from films and promotional appearances he's made over the years. Why does he have those millions of dollars? Well, he could only have gotten them one of two ways.

He either earned them-- and therefore, really, has no reason to give anything back, or he stole them-- and giving it back is just something he should be doing to make restitution to begin with.

We could even look a bit more at each. Did Brad Pitt earn that money? Well, if a gazillion people went to see his movies enough then, yeah, I guess he did. But does what Brad Pitt do really merit that kind of take? In other words, do these people really know what they're doing when they lavish him with all that money? To put it more simply, couldn't it be the case that Brad Pitt is seen as an idol, not just a movie star-type idol, but a real demonic captivating idol to which people assign their worship?

If this is indeed the case, then the whole thing about giving back is just a way to make the idol more "worthy" of his parishioners' worship. "Hey, look at this everyone! Look at what a magnanimous man Brad Pitt is, doing this and that for him and her oh how disadvantaged they are!" The Newsweek piece just becomes another chapter in the grand Catholicist mythology.

At this point it doesn't much matter whether he earned it or not. Whatever the Powers-That-Be in the Nation say is okay, then it's okay. They're brilliant myth-makers. (I think there is a word for "myth-makers" but I forgot what it was.) In the Catholicist Nation you gotta have those idols, especially the ones -- oh I get goose bumps and warm fuzzies-- who are "giving back." It's all part of the spectacular Mythology Show.

And you know what? There are just as many Jesuses in the mythology.

Gotta have 'em.

Just as long as no one finds the Real One.

Here's more on the Catholicist Nation.

And here are some of the Jesuses in the Mythology.

(Real quick, a perceptive Catholicist might look at all this and ask, "Oh but what about all the people they're helping?! How can you so cold-heartedly dismiss them?!" Hey, it's great that they're getting whatever nice things they're getting-- I'm not saying those are bad things at all. But it should be pointed out that without Christ they're all still dead. Furthermore, people who get nice things from Brad Pitt would get a thousand times that from Jesus Christ. But they don't want stuff from Christ-- a lot because the Catholicist Powers-That-Be convince them not to-- so they settle for the piddle Brad Pitt offers.)

Thursday, July 06, 2006

How to End All Abortions -- Really, He Can!

Scott Klusendorf is the best pro-life apologist there is. He's awesome. You can learn some terrific things about arguing for protecting the lives of unborn babies from him.

He just doesn't know much about the World System he's working for. If you're interested in looking a bit deeper into abortion and how an obligation with the World actually derails pro-life efforts, go to The Catholicist Nation.

Oh, and by the way, the "He" refered to in the title is not Mr. Klusendorf.

(Okay, okay, who is it?)

Sunday, June 25, 2006

The Wheels Have Eyes

I opened up the newspaper on Friday to see another supposedly stunning revelation regarding the government’s brazen invasion of the people’s privacy. This one has the U.S. Treasury keeping tabs on all of our bank accounts, unbeknownst to us, those scoundrels.

The thing I can never understand about all this is why any of this is news. Hey, all of you who actually think you have any privacy, news flash: The government can get any information about you any time they want.

What is so stupefying is how dismissive they are of the fact that they themselves make it so this happens. By signing so many worldly contractual agreements, they hand over that "confidential" information and then act startled when the big bad giant creature called The Government has their paw prints all over it.

It's even funnier when you see that Treasury Secretary John Snow blithely confessed that when they asked the banks for only a slice of information to follow particular terrorists leads, the banks just as willingly handed all the information over to them.

In an LA Times editorial published the next day, attorney pundit Jonathan Turley got all huffy about this and concluded by writing “Privacy is dying in America—not with a fight but with a yawn.” News flash for Jonathan Turley: no one was fighting to begin with.

The Catholicist knows instinctively that he needs the law and its enforcing power to manage his sinful behavior. He may be shocked, shocked to know that there is gambling going on here, but he’ll take his cut just the same.

What is a bit of a coincidence, for me anyway, is that I had just started reading in the book of Ezekiel, and the first chapter is about what many consider a UFO—the flaming wheel in the sky and the four figures with wings and all that business.

I carefully read the passage a number of times and found some very interesting things about it.

First of all, it is a vision, so it is not some extraterrestrial manifestation but rather a graphically displayed message from God.

Secondly, the images in the vision depict entities that represent iconographic authorities. These include the image of a man, as opposed to that of a god or angel; the image of a lion, not only used frequently in history to symbolically herald the profound political force of a potentate, but is the traditional emblem of Great Britain; and the image of an eagle, the icon of Ancient Rome and today of the United States. That the bull is the fourth image only makes me think of the Roman Catholic term for authoritative expression, from the Latin bulla meaning “seal.”

Thirdly, I really don’t think this is an angel from God, first because of its unusual configuration, mostly because of the very clear identification of a vast expanse above the vision and God situated high above that. God is clearly distanced from this "vessel," which I see as an instrument of judgment that roams about the earth because it prefaces a book of the Bible wholly about His people’s disobedience and God’s judgment against them manifest in the form of the Babylonian nation.

The kicker in all of this is the way the wheels are characterized. There are covered with eyes. The wheels with the eyes move wherever the “spirit” moves. I found this particularly fascinating, in light of the Treasury’s eyes being used to look over the financial records of a populace contracted with Caesar to manage not only their economic affairs but their spiritual ones as well.

For a bit more on contracts with the World, go here.