Friday, February 04, 2011

Eating Your Own

Michael Lewis has a wonderful new piece out in March's Vanity Fair about Ireland. He had one a few months ago on Greece, and if you know what's been going on in the financial innards of both you'd have an idea about what his exposition is about.

I'm interested a bit more in the Ireland take because I am mostly Irish myself, many of my ancestors coming over here from Londonderry to build lives in the midwest. It was a brutal existence, and I think often of them and how hard they worked when I whine about this or that piddly inconvenience.

I haven't read the entire piece, but I just wanted to share that as I have absorbed Lewis' words, I've had an image in my mind that is quite disturbing. It is a classic work of art that is as repulsive as it is sublimely telling.

It is Goya's "Saturn Devouring His Children," and I'm not even going to reproduce it here. You can find it easily in Google's Image finder.

But I have to say that I can't help but think of this and feel deeply for all who find it as disturbing but fail to see that those without Christ do the very same thing as a matter of practice. No, it doesn't appear as gruesome as this graphic depiction. Very few literally dine on another's physical body part. Quite common, however, is the way people hack off huge chunks of value of others, indeed it is far too frequently that of good friends or family members.

Human sacrifice is alive and well on planet earth, enabled, cajoled, prodded on by thousands and thousands of powerful operatives sworn to do nothing else, and by the millions and millions who dutifully follow their every command however unwittingly. Value extraction is what it is about for all World inhabitants, and there are so many ways it can be done, marketed in so many different forms.

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission issued its final report this week. I didn't even hear about it except through the various remarks by some in the punditsphere. It seems the FCIC did a spiffy job of pointing the finger at all the usual suspects. It was as if they just wrote "It was those goddammed subprime mortgages and those goddammed predatory lenders and those goddammed greedy bankers and those goddammed regulators asleep at the wheel." Goll derned it, that tells us a lot.

What it fails to mention is that the culprit really is the typical sinful individual with a dark empty heart who can only thrive by eating his own. Yes it is the banker in the highest ivory tower, but it is also the blue collar worker scratching to get his. It is the highest ranking federal examiner of any stripe, but it is also the nice warm pastor who presides over a 501c3 church and can't say anything of substance about the World System because he's paid so handsomely by it. Sure he could rant and rave like so many of them about how evil Caesar is. Lots of pastors do that.

But how many understand it for what it is and share that truth graciously with congregants who have ears that want to receive and minds that want to process what it takes to actually draw people from the sewage of the World into the embrace of Christ? How many truly and graciously leave Cain's Agency to do its work as it must but have a deeply impassioned heart for those gripped by it and want to show them Christ and free them from their benighted Saturn worship? How many do the truly biblical thing and call people out of their System obligations -- with no loud obnoxious undue remonstrations against it --and into vibrant mobilization to authentically love others with the bounty of His Kingdom?

I hear of very little from the pulpit about the World System and its standard human sacrifice practices. I know why. I understand. How many dismiss the fact when it stares them in the face is disturbing enough. What is going on in Ireland the Lewis so comprehensively articulates, what offices like the FCIC are completely impotent to do, what wise people like Goya saw long ago that we completely disregard today because all that stuff is considered just meaningless old mythology.

It is only because they all still like doing it so much and are so seduced into thinking they aren't.

The only pure rapturous freedom from the rank extraction in all its institutionalized glory is Jesus Christ.

It is the worst slavery to be in denial of the way the World truly works and sustain an existence of novel rationalizing to keep getting that chunk.

I wrote my latest home page piece about That One Freedom, and a bit about the very real practical things His followers could be doing to enjoy the richest life in a World filled to the brim with extractors.