Saturday, July 23, 2011

Another One Hits the Wall Hard

I saw that controversial musical artist Amy Winehouse was found dead in her London apartment. One thing that struck me about it was that she died at 27, the same age as my oldest son. I really didn't pay attention to much of what she did except that she was extradordinarily popular and she did some crazy stuff in some of her concerts.

This happened as I was polishing my latest webzine feature, yet another letter to a college student. I'd already written a few letters and published them, but I just haven't been pleased so far. I'm still not fully satisfied with the latest, even though I think this one hits closest to where young adults are. But I'm feeling much like most young adults do, which relates to why so many young adults are wrecklessly careening about with their lives, which is wrapped up in one profoundly insightful declaration I heard from one:

"I want to keep talking until I know what I want to say."

The reason I spend so much time blogging and webzining -- not a whole lot unlike most people -- is that my state of existence is a bit more like this:

"I already know what I want to say, I just want to keep talking until I know how to say it."

What is it I want to say? What exactly is that?

That Jesus Christ is the Only Answer. It is not any of the World's pathetic concoctions shoved in people's faces and gleefully schlurped up.

That highly-paid dutifully-sworn skillfully-trained operatives work the System to keep people in their deceit and wickedness, and it always looks so inviting. Often it looks just like the most smiley compelling Jesus character.

That it isn't just people like Amy Winehouse who are captivated by it all -- her anti-Christs ultimately cost her her life. Millions and millions of young people are seduced into remaining mired in their own wretchedness, and they scratch and claw at trying to find what they know is truthful or joyous or gracious or merciful or meaningful or truly really actually fulfilling.

That all they come across is more of the slop the Jesuits spill into their feeding troughs, just with different flavors each month.

What college students and the Amy Whitehouse's of the world need are those who belong to Christ.

No, they are not the typical "Christians" because too many of them are just sanctimonious Catholicized smartasses. Young people use their shit-detectors most proficiently to see this and spend their lives making a cross with their fingers at arms length in front of their faces to fend them off.

What they need are Jesuses with skin.

Yes, I confess I'm not a Jesus with skin to them now. Not in cyberspace. I can share a word or two here, but even the most eloquent 57th attempt at a "Letter to a College Student" from waaay over here at my desk doesn't really help much.

What anyone needs is someone who knows the life-saving power and strength, joy and wonder, beauty and glory of Christ, and who can share that with them in a bountifully self-sacrificial way.

That's it. What hurts is that anything I say will never connect with the World-maintained contraption that so many have installed in their souls. The young adult dismisses anything said after two or three words, and it isn't even as though I'm speaking Greek. It is more I'm swearing in Greek, so it isn't even that it isn't understandable, but that it is filled with the most offensively foul expletives.

And it isn't just me. I'm not that foolishly arrogant. I don't give a rip if it is or isn't me saying it.

Just any Jesus with skin

Who loves with His love.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Codependent Charity

Today's Los Angeles Times featured an opinion piece from a Jesuit professor and community organizer who made the case that one of the best ways to douse the raging federal budget conflagration is to tax charities.

As it is non-profits may register with the federal government to acquire a measure of legitimacy, and in return they are afforded tax-exempt status. The author of the piece makes his case, and closes by simply stating that everyone needs to make sacrifices, and he is willing to be the first to step up and lay on the altar.

In the brief author bio at the end of the piece is a statement that rarely shows up: "The views expressed here are his own." I have a feeling these words were added in this instance because of the volatile nature of his argument.

"Tax a non-profit?! That's just wrong."

And I further surmise that one reason it is considered so wrong is that the religious institutional infrastructure of this country would be the most violently averse to such an idea.

What so many don't get is that the Jesuit infrastructure is always shaping and molding people's thinking as we rage and seethe about such supposed folly. They are always working with the Iagoan boast in mind: "It doesn't matter what happens, either way I will win."

If the writer can be successful in disseminating his idea -- and he certainly has help as a major metro paper is publishing it, closing disclaimer not withstanding -- then he is putting the wedge in the door for more federal control over charitable activity. In this case finding a gold mine (non-profits) to pay for it, and let's be honest, most of federal government activity (Social Security, Medicare, Fannie and Freddie housing subsidies, etc etc) is quasi-charitable activity. Dutiful Americanists have succumbed to much worse.

If the writer is sufficiently reviled, then he has succeeded in fomenting enough outrage to scuttle the idea and move the boastfully resolute non-profit stakeholders -- the millions of them across the landscape -- to proudly slither back in to their 501c3 tax-exempt incorporated conditions doing the bidding of...

The federal government.

There is one thing the law is good for. Really. If you are someone who actually reads Jesus' words and pays some heed to them, look at the first letter of Paul to Timothy. Look there in verse nine, that the law is made for lawbreakers and rebels, for the ungodly and sinful, for the unholy and religious, and for a few other not-so-nice kinds of people.

Signed on as a wholesome tax-exempt non-profit of some stripe? That is perfectly reasonable. The World is a cesspool of codependent interactions, everyone fearfully paying big bucks to keep other lawbreakers and rebels out of their way. The law is the cruelest taskmaster and perfectly suited for such an environment.

But do you say you belong to Christ?

Then there are only two options. One is the belief on one of the many, many Catholicist concoctions of Jesus -- a good number of them designed for an individual's particular codependent needs to be met. Those with some substantial say in a non-profit in any form even if it is the most wholesome 501c3 Christian-oriented church are firmly entrenched in the World System that governs the affairs of liars, thieves, and murderers.

Or you could actually be listening to Him, doing the things He said to do, and be living and worshipping in an assembly with others worshipping Him in Spirit and in Truth. You could be regularly committed to building the highest skyscraper, composing the most beautiful sonata, or sweeping the floor of the back break room at the factory.

You are following a very cleverly disguised Cain, or you are following Christ.

And if you're following Christ, then the Jesuit professor's words cannot affect you. They mean nothing to the one who truly does live, and love, by the words and power of Christ. A completely free assembly doesn't require taxation one way or the other. It instead uses the entirety of its congregants' wealth to do something only Kingdom people know about...

Love others.

Doing the real charity, not the codependent kind the World slogs about trying to do.
_

My latest home page piece gets a bit into the monolithic nature of the World System. It is brutally monolithic, no matter how many boffo storefronts it has. The Kingdom leads to One, Logos, Salvation is His very name, and from Him you may have everything. You may also visit my page on church non-profits.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Departed

A week ago on this day, two notable individuals departed. No, they didn't "depart" as in the metaphor for dying. They just departed their place of note and went somewhere else. Both have some extraordinarily profound similarities.

The first departure was that of Whitey Bulger, the notorious organized crime figure and FBI's most wanted, found holed up in an apartment in Santa Monica after 18 years on the lam. On this day, he was put on a plane and taken to Boston for prosecution. The funny thing is that apparently he was the individual upon which the 2006 Oscar-winning film The Departed was based.

The other departure was that of Sheila Bair, the head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. She was stepping down, and on this day she gave her departure speech prominently containing some choice "what's-what" words for the banks. During her tenure she oversaw the -- well, I guess you'd call it "reorganization" of hundreds of banks throughout the country.

What do the two have in common?

To get to Bulger, the FBI sent out some quite visible public service announcements about the gal they figured was his girlfriend, a woman by the name of Catherine Greig. Some who saw her or knew her tipped the feds off, and they simply followed her to Bulger.

Presto. You've got your man.

For a couple years now millions of World inhabitants, pusillanimously enabled by the grand punditry class, have screeched about how the financial crisis started, has gone, has kept up -- all of that. Raging raging and more raging, all of them snarling with some exasperated desire to know what happened. I see that Ron Paul and his crew are still squealing about getting rid of the Fed by getting at what it does with their typical threat of an audit. I can see Ben Bernanke there still peeing his pants over this.

They will never get at why it's all the way it is, because they simply won't follow the clues where they go.

Just like the feds trailed Greig, you could discover a lot from trailing Bair's words at her departure. She essentially ripped the banks a brand-spankin' new asshole for having too little capital. The Bank of International Settlements lately has been really moving to get those banks to increase that capital, get that Basel III agreement going (I always wonder what on earth happened to I and II, but then...)

Well, the banks are squawking back. "A whole 10% capital requirement? Are you nuts?" Oh my, yes, how could we be so insensitive. That a bank would know the full value of what they're lending money for, let alone 10% of it -- scandalous.

When you look a bit further, track the chain of command a bit, see all the power brokers in the mix, and then observe their customer's dependence on the job of making their value assignment fantasies look as real as possible, you can see how nervous the banks would be. It is the same nervousness the president and legislature have, indeed the news media and Romanist churches have. They all actually would pee their pants should anyone who keeps paying them gobs of their income as tribute actually see the worthlessness of their lives, turn away from them as sworn agents of Cain, and drop at the feet of Christ who would actually make them whole.

Follow the money (or lack thereof) and you'll see the World System humming nicely on all cylinders.

You just have to look at it.

And when you're tired of looking at it, turn around and see Christ waiting there for you to find True Freedom. The Kingdom is a million facets of beauty, wonder, and glory that Christ wants to share with you.

The World is one monstrous monolith with a million storefronts that look really nifty. They all get you to the same place: the altar of human sacrifice for whichever slobbering bunch of power brokers have managed to get at the front of the line for you.

To where are you departing tonight?

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I've written much more about this dynamic at my webzine with this month's home page piece. Would love for you to find The One Who Loves there, or anywhere He extends His hand. That's cool.