Wednesday, March 14, 2012

"It's Just Restin'..."

There is a quite famous Monty Python bit called "The Parrot Sketch." A John Cleese character enters a pet shop and confronts the clerk, played by Michael Palin, with a complaint. The parrot he'd bought from the shop not long before was dead.

The Palin character is in complete denial about this, insisting that that it was "just restin'." The Cleese character must go to great lengths to demonstrate that indeed, the parrot is dead.

I think about this sketch whenever I see virtually every single World inhabitant completely oblivious to the truths about the way their beloved World works, even in the most vitriolic censure of that World. I would otherwise dismiss such behavior as the typical way of those inhabitants -- it is what they do, they are hopelessly blind, they refuse to be made to see -- all the rest of it.

What gets me is that so many of them claim to be or try to comport themselves as good wholesome Christians.

I just shake my head.

Today the major buzz is about summarily former Goldman Sachs executive Greg Smith's op-ed piece in the New York Times about how evil his erstwhile company actually is. Like we haven't had enough of how much Lloyd Blankfein is a vampire squid, now we've got Greg Smith confirming it.

The financial world is aflutter about this, but the truth is that any and all of these firms are by nature value extractors. In fact Smith follows all the spewdom with a note about how the desire to make money will just not get you to be good or successful or virtuous or whatever. The exact quote is "sustain the firm," implying that Goldman is going down if it keeps it up.

Come on. Like these whines haven't been bleated before, about any such venture through the centuries. The truth is that everyone is looking to maximize their own self-interest. The real question is, are you doing it for the Kingdom or the World? Goldman only does what it does because people ask it to do so. Smith mentioned that Goldman people have called their clients "muppets." Muppets, puppets, dupes, dweebs... Nah, they're just as much the human sacrificers, lying and cheating and flat-out murdering others as the vampire squids Smith is so disgusted with.

While the "Kony 2012" campaign is still raging, today George Clooney testified in Congress about how bad things are in Sudan. When reading about this I thought, "Are ya kiddin' me? George freakin' Clooney has to draw our attention to bad things in Africa?...

"WHERE ARE ALL THE FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST?!..."

Why in blazes are they not out there ministering to these people?

I know why. I know precisely why.

It is because they are so intractably Catholicized.

They all live by the World's religion. A lot of it looks very Christian. But all these people are sucked right into civil religion impotency.

Don't get me wrong. There are a few missionaries in tough places like these who do have Jesus' name on their lips.

But there are hundreds of millions more who think they can change things by the World.

Again, the World does what it does. Ehh.

But I still hurt because people listen to Greg Smith and George Clooney and think what they are saying is anything. Oh yeah, it is something. It does shine a light on the most evil wickedness.

Thing is, how many are allowing that light to shine on their benighted thinking? Even more, on the rank wretchedness of just refusing to see that Christ is the only answer to any of this?

It's as if the John Cleese character walked into the shop and said, "I'm dead. I'm spiritually dead. I think I'm something, but you know? I'm not. I'm dust. All my efforts to try and be good and make things good and all that are ultimately worthless."

The Michael Palin character then responds, "Nah nah nah, you're just restin'. It's fine. You're fine."

How many people refuse to look to see that indeed, they are dead, and instead listen to the World operative clerks made up of priests and ministers, bureaucrats and scholars, journalists and movie stars who tell them they're fine.

There are some who do call upon the name of the Lord.

And they come humbly and earnestly to Christ who is the only One who can empower them to do anything.

The earnestly part does mean that you understand what is really going on at Goldman Sachs and what is really going on in Africa with all the warlord activity. And if you don't understand, you will soon enough.

But you have to be made to see by Him.

Otherwise another story from the World will be there to try to convince you otherwise.

And you'll still be dead.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Who Is The Real Warlord?

This morning before school started, a student came into my classroom with an urgent request. She asked me to watch a 30-minute YouTube video about a warlord in Uganda who is involved in child trafficking. She said his name was Joseph Kony, and she mentioned that she really understood the stuff we'd been discussing in class about food being used as a weapon in places like Africa.

I was honored to hear of an instance when my students are actually taking to heart the things they are learning in my classroom. I promised her I'd take a peek at it later. What was funny was that another student in a class during the day mentioned that he'd heard something about this "Joseph Kony" thing, and wondered what it was about. I'd thought about my visit with the student this morning, and wondered what kind of crusade this may be turning into.

After classes were over and my student conferences were over, I pulled it up to watch. It is a slickly made but poorly arranged "documentary" from a gentleman who'd made friends with a victim of the awful human rights violations that occur on a regular basis in these places, and he began to urge everyone to get on board with his campaign to take out Joseph Kony through Otpor tactics: getting as many people as possible to join the glorious cause through novel and engaging marketing strategies.

I watched about half of it then turned it off. Just wasn't interested enough in it, got frustrated with the poor quality of story-telling -- it was riveting, but he was just all over the place with it; I mean the first five minutes were about the power of the new global/social media and how he wants his very young son to know things. It was just gratingly manipulative.

The main reason I was put off by it is simply because it continues to reflect a woefully deficient understanding of the way things really work in the giant world of political machinations. Yes, I am in wholehearted agreement that there should be no Joseph Kony's around to do anything evil with children, or anyone for that matter.

But the truth is that Joseph Konys are around only because World operatives make it that way, and they are given the power to enable the Joseph Konys by the very people who revile them. Joseph Kony is merely an actor in a grand reality show to draw people like the guy who made the video and my students and the millions who will be stirred with outrage into more intractable devotion to the World System. (This dude's YouTube video has nearly ten million views as of this afternoon.)

Really, what is going to happen with the best of the presumed possibilities regarding Joseph Kony's fate? Let me know if I've got this right.

Enough people get roused into action to put however much pressure on whoever-wherever (those more visible World operatives who come through like knights in shining armor, perhaps?) to actually stunt Kony's activities, whether by dethroning him, marginalizing him, assassinating him, whatever.

Then what?

You've got hundreds of other warlords or warlord-wanna-be's ready to take his place. Hey, the World operatives themselves are the properly ordained warlords exploiting the whole thing to begin with.

This is the World System in action. It is what it is. Joseph Kony or anyone else, if the World operatives can manipulate what he does and what everyone else feels about it so it keeps more people from Christ, then they are doing their jobs dutifully.

That Christ character by the way, He's the one who'd bring true justice to the Joseph Kony situation. Except that true justice applies to all of us, as well, and to be honest, we'd not fare a whole lot better than Mr. Kony. That's why we'd need His mercy if we ourselves hoped to escape the fate Mr. Kony has in store for him.

In my latest home page piece, I mention in the notes that I consider the motivational gift from among those in the 12th chapter of Romans to be prophecy. I've debated with myself whether to include that, because the World has twisted that office into something quite controversial. A prophet is widely thought to be a maniacal psychic, or a crazed blitherer, or an arrogant condemner.

Nah, he's just a truth teller, that's all. If he is doing what a prophet is supposed to be doing anyway, he's just telling the truth about things.

The prophet is so threatening, however, because he does share brutal truths that people hate hearing. I know I'll never make any money on this venture. I know I'll be dismissed with "I just don't get what you're saying and I'm actually afraid to." That's cool, I'm used to it. I understand that telling people they're just as rotten as Joseph Kony and in need of the cleansing of Christ's blood just as much as he does puts people off.

Sadly because the campaign to draw people to the Kingdom is not as glitzy and glamorous and "feel-goody" as this YouTube poster's is, it won't be attended to with as much zeal.

But it is still the truth about things...

Friday, March 02, 2012

The Unrighteousness Project

There are a dozen things I've jotted down to blog about to introduce my latest home page writing, and maybe I'll get to them sometime this month, time permitting.

But I simply cannot fail to mention yet another ludicrously foolish attempt to make the world ever-so wonderful. As an AP teacher I'm in an email forum, and often I get a good feel for what some of these teachers are thinking. All of it perfectly rational, some of it horrifically unrighteous.

One guy fancies himself quite the muckraker, and while he does expose some solid things about the benighted ways of the World, most of his offered solutions are those typical silly proposals that contain some spectacular merit but a lot of blatant stupidity. Here is the one that just put me away, and you should be able to find the idiocy in and around the noble intentions.


So that's it! All we have to do is just get our connectedness with technology and science jussst right, and get rid of all that ugly finance and economic stuff, and we'd have paradise!

Thing is, I wonder who exactly is going to mine and drill for the raw materials needed for this utopia? Who is going to assemble it all? Are the speakers in the video going to do it themselves? Or if they actually go so far as to (ee-yew how primitive!) hire people to do it for them, what are they going to do to pay them, exude wholesomely positive vibrations toward them?

All of this sounds so rational! But it is completely unrighteous, merely because these people haven't the faintest idea what to do to actually assess value accurately. They don't account for the harrowing sinfulness in every single human which is the thing that derails all these pipe dreams from the start (like they were the first to think of this stuff -- quite comical).

The World just humms right along spouting about how splendid these people are.

Sin and death and evil will still reign. Even if they did build it all as stunningly as they show it in the video, it would still be inhabited by people out to murder one another.

What makes it most unrighteous is that they've really made an idol of science and technology. It is a god to them. That is the most frightening thing of all.

In my latest home page piece, I've gone a bit more into what happens when people try to do the value assessment thing outside of Christ. I invite you to look over it. I'd like to know what you think.