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.