Sunday, May 20, 2007

A Trollish Inconsistency is the Hobgoblin of the Religious Left

I'm going to try to write a post, but it may be impossible under these circumstances. The Boy made it through the night, but he could erupt at any time. I want to go back to dodging Susannah's original question, which I successfully evaded yesterday, which was, "What is your take on ostensibly religious left-wingers and how they come by their horizontality?"

First of all, as is generally true of so many areas, plain old stupidity is underrated as an explanation. If you just consider the fact that the average IQ is 100, then exactly 50% of the population has double digit IQs, which is not all that far from being borderline retarded (which is an IQ of 85 or below).

In short, half of mankind (actually, more than half, for reasons we won't get into here) is of below average intelligence. This hardly means that they aren't decent people or that they don't have skills, but it does mean that they probably can't actually think complex subjects through for themselves, and that their thinking is very likely going to be both internally and externally inconsistent. Furthermore, they won't even be intelligent enough to spot the inconsistency. And if you try to explain it to them, they still won't get it.

(I might add that countless people of modest intelligence fully understand, at least intuitively, transcendent Truth, whereas for many people of superior intelligence, such as a Christopher Hitchens or Sam Harris, higher truth is, for a variety of characterological reasons, inaccessible to them, so please never think that I value intelligence itself if it is not aligned with the Real. Again, most of the serious problems in the world are caused by demonically intelligent people with bad ideas.)

As I have written before, one of the downsides of democracy is that it not only has a leveling tendency, but it leads to a situation in which, as Guenon remarked, "no one knows their place." Because of the aggressive imposition of egalitarian ideals from the top down, this results in a leveling of the higher castes, so that society ends up with a collective soul that is roughly half merchant and half laborer. Not only that, but through the magic of “inverse analogy,” transgression is confused with transcendence, so society ends up “worshipping” the outcast -- the transgressor, the outsider, the person “above” (actually beneath) the law.

But there is a substantial percentage of the population that is not fit to lead, only to be led (not in principle, of course, but in fact). In America this shouldn't really be a controversial statement, as it is explicitly what our founders believed. That's why they created a representative republic and not a democracy, the latter of which should be a "non-starter" for any thinking person who is aware of the natural hierarchy that prevails among humans. (Speaking of which, Al Gore is not a thinking person -- or at least no one should take his ghostrotten thoughts seriously.)

Which, by the way, is what distinguishes American style conservative liberalism (i.e., classical liberalism) from European style conservatism, which historically (at least until Margaret Thatcher, whose main intellectual influence was the quintessential classical liberal Freidrich Hayek) was much more about preserving the privileges of king and class, or what amounts to unnatural hierarchy. One of the ironies of our political system is that leftism now embodies the idea of preserving unearned privilege, whereas conservatives (not necessarily Republicans, mind you) are all for the creative destruction of the market, which allows people to rise up or down based upon their merits (or just plain luck).

Also, as I have previously noted, "The paradox, or 'complementarity,' at the heart of the modern conservative movement is the tension between tradition, which preserves, and the free market, which relentlessly destroys in order to build. While individual conservatives may or may not contain this tension within themselves, the conservative coalition definitely does, with the 'religious right' on one end and libertarians and free marketeers on the other. People wonder how these seeming opposites can coexist in the same ideological tent, but the key may lie in their dynamic complementarity, for liberty only becomes operative, or 'evolutionary,' when it is bound by transcendent limitations -- which, by the way, is equally true for the individual."

Furthermore, "The ironically named progressive left is an inverse image of this evolutionary complementarity. This is because it rejects both the creative destruction of capitalism and the evolutionary restraints of tradition. Therefore, it is static where it should be dynamic, and dynamic where it should be static. It is as if they want to stop the world and 'freeze frame' one particular image of capitalism, which is why, for example, they oppose free trade. While free trade is always beneficial in the long run, it is obviously going to displace some people and some occupations. It is as if the progressive is an 'economic traditionalist,' transferring their resistance to change to the immament realm of economics instead of the spiritual realm of transcendent essences."

In other words, "while the progressive is thoroughly backward looking with regard to economics, he is the opposite with regard to the spiritual realm. For him, mankind was basically worthless until the scientific revolution, mired as it was in myth, magic, and superstition. Rather, the only reliable way to understand the world is through the scientific method, which has the effect of throwing overboard centuries of priceless accumulated spiritual wisdom. It literally severs man from his deepest metaphysical roots and ruptures his vertical continuity. In reality, it destroys the very possibility of man in the archetypal sense -- i.e., actualizing his 'spiritual blueprint.'"

A further irony about the left: "Progressives, starting with Karl Marx, waged an assault on labor, eliminating its spiritual significance and reducing it to a mindless, collective 'proletariat.' You might say that the left honors labor in the same way they honor the military: both are considered by them to be losers." When Democrats claim that they are "for the little man," they actually mean this insult in the existential sense. Leftists always have a contemptuous and patronizing attitude toward labor, just as they do toward blacks. Meanwhile, the unleashing of market forces has obviously done more to lift the fortunes of blacks and laborers than any welfare program ever has.

Speaking of which, someone yesterday mentioned Martin Luther King. What about him? He was a religious leftist. First of all, I don't know if that's true. Aside from the usual things they trot out on his holiday, I'm not really familiar with his writings. I've heard it said that his body of writings is pretty tedious and none too deep, but I just don't know. For one thing, he was apparently an inveterate plagiarizer, so it's difficult to say exactly what he thought. The Wiki article on him not only discusses the well known controversy about his plagiarized doctoral dissertation, but the fact that most of his published writings may have been ghostwritten and that such uncredited "textual appropriation" was "a feature of many of his speeches, which borrowed heavily from those of other preachers..."

Speaking of the inconsistency of the religious leftist, here is a perfect example. The Wiki article states that, especially in private, King embraced socialist principles. In 1965, for example, he supposedly told Alex Haley that black equality could not be achieved without "a government compensatory program of US $50 billion over ten years to all disadvantaged groups. He posited that 'the money spent would be more than amply justified by the benefits that would accrue to the nation through a spectacular decline in school dropouts, family breakups, crime rates, illegitimacy, swollen relief rolls, rioting and other social evils.'"

Furthermore, in a 1968 speech, he claimed that "You can't talk about solving the economic problem of the Negro without talking about billions of dollars. You can't talk about ending the slums without first saying profit must be taken out of slums. You're really tampering and getting on dangerous ground because you are messing with... captains of industry…. [I]t really means that we are saying that something is wrong… with capitalism… There must be a better distribution of wealth and maybe America must move toward a democratic socialism." (By the way, I'm assuming he really said these things. I suppose with Wiki you never know, but I just don't have time at the moment to corroborate them. At any rate, forget about King, because the above statements articulate the sentiments of millions of other religious leftists anyway.)

Now, here is the inconsistency: "King had read Marx while at Morehouse, but while he rejected 'traditional capitalism,' he also rejected Communism due to its 'materialistic interpretation of history' that denied religion, its 'ethical relativism,' and its 'political totalitarianism.'" So King clearly saw the dreadful truth about leftism, and yet, embraced its principles anyway.

Having said that, I think a lot of economic foolishness prior to the 1980s can be excused, since liberals had almost total control of the dissemination of information back then. Someone who was reading Hayek in the 1950s, as was Ronald Reagan, was truly on the cutting edge, for Hayek was not awarded his Nobel Prize until the 1980s, long after he had made his most important contributions to our economic understanding. Nor did the important science of complexity theory really emerge until the 1980s, of which evolutionary free market principles are an embodiment.

In truth, if King had been a more intellectually gifted man -- Thomas Sowell, or Shelby Steele, or Armstrong Williams come immediately to mind -- there would have been nothing whatsoever preventing him from even more forcefully making his case for civil rights based solely upon conservative principles, as do the above three thinkers. Indeed, I would suggest that the only intellectual aspects of Kings legacy that will survive -- and are worthy of surviving -- are precisely those that are rooted in the perennial truth of classical liberal principles, for example, the beautiful idea of judging people by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. What decent person could ever object to this? Obviously millions of otherwise decent leftists do object to it.

The other aspect of King's legacy that should survive is his great and selfless personal courage in standing up to demonic forces impeding the spiritual mission and evolutionary progress of America. In this regard, King was the ultimate conservative, for he insisted, at great personal risk, that America live up the transcendent greatness of its founding principles, and it is for this that we owe King a debt of gratitude, not necessarily for his ideas -- certainly not all of them, irrespective of where he actually got them. In fact, we must respectfully -- but categorically -- reject any of his ideas that run foul of his liberal -- which is to say, conservative -- mission.

It's not that different from, say, John McCain. We should all be grateful for his heroic service to America, but that doesn't mean that we should align ourselves with some of his harmful ideas -- which also fundamentally violate American principles - or not do everything possible to prevent him from becoming president.

To quote myself again, "Ever since it came into existence, the United States has been the key to the material and spiritual progress of mankind. The founders were well aware of this fact, seeing their mission as analogous to Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt. Clearly, Moses was not merely leading the Jews from physical slavery to economic freedom, but from spiritual shackles to the higher possibility of vertical liftoff in the desert."

I realize that I still haven't really tackled Susannah's question head-on, but this is the best I can do under the circumstances. Thankfully, Mrs. G. should return home by approximately, 3:00, mission accomplished.

45 Comments:

Anonymous will said...

A note on the notion of the evolutionary utility of envy and default intrinsic communism:

Envy is an emotion/mind parasite that depends, I think, on a certain degree of individualism. I have to wonder to what extent our ancient tribal ancestors were submerged in herd, collective instinct, and to what extent this collective mentality - collective soul, maybe - would have allowed them to experience individual envy in the same way people experience it now.

I don't know, of course, but I think it's possible that their intrinsic communism might have been dictated to them, so to speak, by the "voice of Nature", which they would have obeyed unthinkingly, just as migrating birds obey nature. Later, as they evolved away from collective mentality and toward individualism, they began to experience personal, individual envy more consistent with what we think of envy. In short, envy, among other negative attributes, marked the "fall".

The leftist desire to return to the collective would then signify a desire to return to unconsciousness, to evade individualization - and it would imply a desire to escape the responsibility of having to confront and overcome envy, which is, of course, necessary are we to spiritually transcend our earthly natures.

Whether this is correct or not I don't know, but I am convinced that there is a great desire on the part of many - I hope not a majority - to return to a relative state of unconsciousness, to a mythic past of peace and plenty where we don't have to wrestle with our own personal demons. This would be true of most leftists, so-called Christian leftists included.

5/20/2007 08:11:00 AM  
Blogger juliec said...

"It is as if they want to stop the world and 'freeze frame' one particular image of capitalism, which is why, for example, they oppose free trade."

and Will,

"The leftist desire to return to the collective would then signify a desire to return to unconsciousness, to evade individualization..."

This reminded me of an argument I made a long while back about people who are afraid of "climate change," asking if they wanted climate stasis instead.

It seems to me that leftists, and this might even explain the Christian leftists, have deep in their hearts a memory of some perfect time in their childhood when the weather was nice, they had no cares or worries, and they were taken care of; perhaps it was some magical summer when the days were long and they could explore all day, finally coming home to a hearty dinner. If they got a booboo, somebody kissed it better. That memory is their personal Eden. They want to go back to the Garden - right now! - and anything that seems to be going in the opposite direction (growing up and old, taking responsibility for themselves, self control, etc.) is bad. Hence you have pacifists, animal rights activists, Christians, womyn's rights activists, the porn industry, etc. ad (much) nauseum all working together to achieve the same lower vertical goals.

They believe that they can return to innocence by governmental fiat; if we all have great self esteem and nobody is ashamed of who they are and what they like to do, we'll be just like Adam and Eve before the fall! Exploration of any kind is natural, just like when you were a kid! This is why they want so badly to protect the children, whom they believe to have some natural innocent wisdom (all that indoctrination is meant to keep them in that "innocent" state). They twist the idea that "a little child shall lead them," thinking it will take us all right back to where we started from so very long ago.

Never do they acknowledge that reality is not static, time for us does not go both directions, and no matter how much you wish it weren't so, we did fall. We would be much better served following the shining path that leads forward through the darkness, with a Promise of something good at the end (no matter what frightening encounters may be found along he way), than crumpled in a whining heap at the feet of the guy with the flaming sword, who will absolutely not let you back in no matter how cute your are or what you might offer.

So for Susannah, my take is that Christians aren't immune from this desire to go back (fear of going forward, perhaps?) at the heart of leftism, and they will read in scripture only that which reinforces their views.

5/20/2007 08:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Sal said...

Okay - these two last posts are very timely.

Coons, talk me through illegal immigration- the rights, the wrongs, the selfish, the selfists, the free market effects, the threats of non-assimilation to the country, the classical liberal implications, the whole enchilada.

Because I'll admit to a possible very blind spot here - an atavistic flight-or-fight response to the entire issue.

Bring it up and I go frickin' Cassandra on you, which is deeply out of character.

Any thoughts? I'd be grateful.

5/20/2007 09:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Sal said...

Will -
In honor of Memorial Day, could we please have a reprise of your poem?
Thanks - it was so good, and newer readers might not have seen it.

5/20/2007 09:52:00 AM  
Anonymous jwm said...

Piggyback on Will, and Susannah-
The leftist yearns for the undifferentiated world in which equality is the only transcendent value. Hence there is no Male and Female, but rather a sliding scale of gender where every spot on the continuum is just as groovy as every other. Hence there is no essential difference between animal rights and human rights, but rather a vague regard for "life" (unless of course that "life" happens to reside in the womb in which case its value is in direct proportion to its convenience). Hence no difference between islam, Juaism, Christianity, regardless of the fruits those religions produce in the cultures where they predominate. I could go on.

Yesterday was fascinating. For the first time since I began this whole adventure in higher consciousness I encountered a genuine atheistic, progressive, left wing, religion hatin' disciple of Hitchens, and Harris et al. He was the embodiment of every (I won't use the "T" word) we've seen here from inty to anon.
In the course of our very civil conversation I heard almost every lefty canard, half-truth, talking point ever tossed out here or at LGF- and not in an internet post- but Live at Starbucks! And my time here served me well. It was like someone tossing tennis balls underhand. You couldn't swing a racket without swatting one right in the sweet spot. Problem was. It was Live at Starbucks. And this was one of the nicest guys I've met in years. He is a hugely talented artist, who had just completed a stunning portrait of my friend Old John Claire, a man who is a prophet in his own right. (I could go on about Old John Claire, but that's for another post.) But it was no game of whack-a-troll. I didn't get pissed (!) Indeed I was aware that there was tinder in this man's heart, and I was the one who was carrying the fire. The last thing I wanted to do was throw water on it, and exacerbate an already bad case of the Jesus Willies.
I don't, for a minute, think I convinced him of anything. I'm wise enough to know better. I tried to toss a stealthy spark. Maybe one landed. Maybe. We'll talk again.

JWM

5/20/2007 10:02:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

Sal -

Can't hurt to consult Mark Steyn, from today's papers. Hopefully, I have linked it properly for you
here.

5/20/2007 10:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your posts are obviously self-congratulatory, masturbatory efforts. You start the day stroking yourself and making yourself feel good and superior to all those who your relegate to the inferior group of humankind. And then the collective group of followers come and watch the record of your self-pleasuring and get off themselves. Why don't you just jerk off like normal people and leave philosophy[or whatever you call the words you string together] to those who actually are lovers of wisdom and not just of their own egos.

5/20/2007 11:08:00 AM  
Anonymous jwm said...

Get a hold of yourself.

JWM

5/20/2007 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Sal,
I started to reply to your immigration question, but it quickly exceeded comment length, even for me.

In short, if we see ourselves as a Nation of Immigrants vs. A Nation of Laws, we're seeing the situation incorrectly.

The core being, "The problem isn't immigration, that is only where the real problem is too visible to turn away from. The problem is that we have allowed progressive, socialist, postmodern, multiculturist 'ideas' to corrupt our system, and ourselves - until they are taken care of, neither the immigration or other problems are going to be taken care of.

Until we again have a free market, and a gov't governing within its proper bounds, we will not have an uncorrupted populace. To dream otherwise, is but to dream."

5/20/2007 11:17:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"You might say that the left honors labor in the same way they honor the military: both are considered by them to be losers." When Democrats claim that they are "for the little man," they actually mean this insult in the existential sense. "

Talking about shelling the nuts from the nutshell!

5/20/2007 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger robinstarfish said...

Lost In Translation
exit from eden
down the road without a map
can't get there from here

5/20/2007 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

Since we're loosely looking at religion and the left, there's another angle in "Pope Rosie? Pray for Us" by Theodore Dalrymple, linked
here.

5/20/2007 11:36:00 AM  
Anonymous cousin Dupree said...

Anonymous:

Speaking of physical and mental masurbation, exposure to the latter should still leave you plenty of time for the former, so don't blame the B'ob.

5/20/2007 11:56:00 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Just thinking through my own interactions with "believing" progressives (whether pagan, Catholic, Protestant), I think the utopian-seeking thesis is probably close to the mark.

Tolerating the inherent inconsistencies of leftism is not a matter of low intelligence, among my acquaintances. On the contrary, many of them are brilliant, or at least very clever, though some I've met are utterly uncritical about their assumptions. Often, they seem to have cherry-picked their religious affiliation, as if choosing their favorite flavor from a buffet, rather than arriving at faith from a deep conviction of the truth of its claims. Trappings, "smells and bells," symbolism seem to be the deciding factor. Even contrarianism (it's nontraditional, it's as "not Christian" as you can get).

Almost invariably, religion serves politics, not the other way 'round. It's as if the politics *are* the religion, and the actual "faith practices"--whether receiving communion or lighting candles to the goddess--are a symbolic form of their political ideals. Maybe I've got that wrong but, given some of the wacked-out non-orthodox services you see, where everything refers to some political cause, you have to wonder.

Whereas the orthodox person of faith submits all things in life to the object of that faith, the liberal person of faith submits all things, including faith, to the political ideal. Or so it seems to me. Thus, their hermeneutic serves their political goals.

Almost every left-leaning person I have spoken to has an extreme intolerance for anything less than utopia. If it's not perfect, it has to be tweaked. If one CEO is corrupt, the entire economic system requires government- controlled reform. If one person dies of a disease, the government must pour billions into research for a cure, if necessary, until no one further dies of it. If one child lives in poverty...well, you all know the drill. Even "acts of God" are somehow entirely the government's responsibility.

This strange control-freak perfectionism is then justified by scriptures twisted from context.

"Judge not lest ye be judged" is translated into moral relativism. "Love your neighbor as yourself," into welfare programs & other "social justice" reforms using other people's money.

Yet the "vertical" part of that scripture ("Love the Lord your God with all your heart...") is either excised or intepreted into horizontality (expressed by gov't-enforced love for neighbor).

So, it seems the horizontal dimension of divine revelation is tolerable, but when it comes to accountability to the vertical, they want none of it. That part gets deconstructed.

Genuine faith requires a willingness to submit humbly to the Real, to surrender control, to bow to an absolute. Nobody's perfect, and no one achieves perfect submission to the divine all at once--sanctification is a process and we're all at different points on the journey. So when someone tells me they trust in Christ for their salvation, I regard that person as a brother or sister in Christ regardless of political affiliation. Nevertheless, I have to admit I would consider them a mere babe in the faith if they held leftwing views. And when it comes to issues of church discipline, the church does have authority to "purge from among them" those who blatantly disobey Christian teachings.

"But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. 'Purge the evil person from among you.'" (For the saving of his soul, as Paul emphasizes elsewhere.) The Christian church at least does, in that sense, have to judge, lest it be judged.

5/20/2007 11:59:00 AM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Anon o mouse:
Paltry effort. You'll have to do better than that if you want anyone to do anything other to blow you off as the loser you clearly are.

Not ready for prime-time yet, kiddo.

5/20/2007 01:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Alan said...

Sal: Somehow my previous comment didn't make it through but I support Van and Walt's comments 100%.

As a (legal) immigrant, this is a topic near and dear and there are many, many bloggers/writers that cover the topic well.

My main observations about this topic are the fundamental abuse/misuse of language, the lack of full disclosure of the what is really driving the debate (from both left and right), and our inability to be adults about this whole topic. When certain groups can't even use nouns and adjectives properly, it is hard to arrive at truth.

It is entirely frustrating watching a great country succumb to the leftism that rules the country of my youth.

5/20/2007 01:25:00 PM  
Anonymous dilys said...

I'm here with Susannah, and for ignoring the eruptions of the unidentified.

The hazard of "religion" is the drive to find the inner footing that declares the self righteous -- rather than union with God and the renewing of the mind on the way, guided through terrain that may be seriously alien and disorienting before we "arrive where we started / And know the place for the first time."

Take pre-fab pre-existing cherry-picked temperamentally-appealing large-chunk moralistic ideas into the enterprise, apply to fortifying the ego rather than submitting it to the surprising hospital / wisdom of Truth, and you often get a leftist Buddhist, Christian, etc.

The snare is the addiction to the familiar and predictable interior landscape, sanitizing and enlarging it, and baptizing it God / dharma.

JWM, masterly in Starbucks. Everyone -- all of me, anyhow -- could learn at your feet.

Hold tight, Gagdad. It's almost 1:30.

5/20/2007 01:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Jacob C. said...

"Almost every left-leaning person I have spoken to has an extreme intolerance for anything less than utopia. If it's not perfect, it has to be tweaked. If one CEO is corrupt, the entire economic system requires government- controlled reform. If one person dies of a disease, the government must pour billions into research for a cure, if necessary, until no one further dies of it. If one child lives in poverty...well, you all know the drill. Even "acts of God" are somehow entirely the government's responsibility." -- Susannah

"While there is a lower class, I am in it. While there is a criminal element, I am of it. While there is a soul in prison, I am not free." -- Eugene V. Debs

5/20/2007 01:56:00 PM  
Blogger Smoov said...

One problem with the current immigration system is that it unfairly favors one group of people--Mexicans--over all others in the world.

There are hundreds of millions of people who yearn to come to the US. For the vast majority an ocean stands in their way (or for South Americans, ironically, Mexico itself, which strictly patrols their own southern border).

It is manifestly unfair that the citizens of one nation among hundreds should come to represent such a substantial portin of the US population simply by geographical accident.

wv: guoconna (Mexican dish named after famous mobster?)

5/20/2007 02:18:00 PM  
Anonymous cousin Dupree said...

All I know is it's fundamentally unfair to the Tongans. It's not as if they're not strong enough to just swim here if they want to, but once they get here, they are "othered," just because of their sausage like fingers.

5/20/2007 02:35:00 PM  
Blogger Smoov said...

A former Tongan-whisperer friend of mine... oh, never mind.

wv: lpftjad (is that the violent kind or the other kind; I can't keep 'em straight)

5/20/2007 02:52:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

Thanks for the kind words, Sal. Here's the poem.


MEMORIAL DAY (a poem)

Every year, it is like this on Memorial Day:
Our ruddy mayor giving speech from a platform
In the village square, then
The crowds and sunshine, the high school marching band,
Neighbors, friends, waving to each other across main street,
Children held on shoulders, and veterans, old and young,
In wavering rows march smiling, nodding,
Sun at its zenith -

Then the sun slides down one degree, two,
A cloud passing over its face, a heavy, spoked light
(one suddenly notices the used paper cups in the gutters)
A delicate wind with chill in its marrow
Then come the marching dead -

Parents with children quickly turn away,
A few teens, trying to prove bravery, linger,
Many others turn away
I once turned away -

They walk as if wheat rows walked,
In faded light soundlessly -
Those of us who dare to watch
Are not here to applaud
but only to meet their brief lancing gaze -

Imagining themselves in the uniforms
They wore when they fell,
Revolutionary War slap dash,
Civil War knits blue (and gray)
Doughboys in the pie-tin helmets,
Sleek greened GIs, Marines and
Leather jacket aviators of World War Two
The draped fallen in Korea
In faded light soundlessly
Yet vivid as an unexpected face
In a photograph -
Do they see us? Or think themselves
The heroes we strain to properly honor?

Now the Vietnam vets with wounded, confused eyes
And I brace myself, thinking "I will be accused",
But I am not, no, never,
As the honored dead pass by
Like fluttering leaves
On their way to their city.
And If they ask anything of us
It is that we simply live and die
In the manner they summarized -

One last one, taken in Fallujah, passes,
Becomes a shadow, a mute vibration -

Cars now in motion, the usual sounds.
My neighbors and I look at each other,
We lower our eyes and say nothing.

The parade is over
Street cleaners push the trash into mounds
I am home, with the soundless dead in my bones
As I bend to simple tasks.

c. WM 5/29/06

5/20/2007 03:07:00 PM  
Anonymous USS Ben said...

Excellent post and comments here today (as usual).
One of the many things I like about OC is the freedom to talk about anything, including "taboo" subjects.
This cannot happen on most blogs, because most people (especially on the left) will not permit sayin' anything negative about the ideas of MLK, Tongans or FDR, or any other "sancrosant" people or subjects.

As for "Christian" leftists, I believe that the term itself is false, and indeed, impossible.
For Christian means Christ-like, and leftists, by their very nature, oppose Principles, Wisdom, Justice, and the Absolute Truth of God/Christ, so how can they possibly be Christ-like or God-like?
They reject the very Foundation;
that Cornerstone and Authority that is the basis of the faith they claim to adhere to.
For how can anyone claim to be a Christian if they believe that murder of babies in the womb should be legal and a matter of "choice?"
What choice? There is only two in this regard: life or death.
Therefore the leftist "Christian" chooses to legalize death, justified by convenience (I'm not talkin' about the life of the mother being threatened or incest).

Leftists may say they believe in liberty, but their actions say otherwise.
"Redistribution" of money and property is stealin', plain and simple.
That's what socialism/communism IS.

Leftists want to regulate everything, including individuals,
so they prefer security to liberty, as Bob has mentioned recently.

Leftists are opposed to evolution, both horizontally and vertically.
They even want the weather to be static.
In fact, what they really want is de-evolution, or a regression if you will, until they happen upon their utopia (which will never happen).

No, I cannot accept that leftists are anything like Christ, and it's disturbing that they hijack the name of the Messiah to use for their own evil agenda (not that I believe every leftist to be evil, but they follow it nonetheless, whether they realize it or not).

That's not Christ-like, for Christ came to set the captives free, not to put more chains on them and tell them they are free (as long as they toe the party line, that is).

Of course, this list of
anti-Christlike beliefs of "Christian" leftists, and the same holds true for "Jewish" leftists, isn't exhaustive by any means, but it illustrates that they aren't what they say they are,
as Susannah, B'ob, Juliec and many other Coons here have done.

5/20/2007 03:22:00 PM  
Anonymous USS Ben said...

Will-
I love your poem more this year than I did last year!
I didn't think that was possible, so something has obviously changed within me, since I see more of your poem than I did last year.
Thanks! :^)

PS-Will you be putting your outstanding poetry in book form or on your blog someday? Please?

5/20/2007 03:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cooperation and self-transcendence are the essence of right human life, and they fulfill the Law commonly known through the Judeo-Christian religious traditions:Love God absolutely, and love thy neighbour as thyself. Live a self-transcending life in relation to all others. Transcend yourself and cooperate with others, since cooperation is also a form of self-transcendence. Worship God through self-transcendence, and live cooperatively with others, transcending your own self-possessed, accumulative habit in relationship.

If you abandon this Law, if you do not transcend yourself and do not freely cooperate, you become a neurotic, an aberrated being. Since neuritic people will not cooperate, will not live rationally, will not be truly responsible for themselves, since they will only be afraid, they create political systems that presume only one purpose, which is to bring order and to control the people. Neurotic people bring totalitarian states and terrible political systems into being by not living according to Wisdom, by not living Free.

The State in a true society, a society of people who understand the Law and who live humanly and cooperatively, should basically be an extension of their free cooperation with one another and their agreement to accomplish other things on a larger scale for the benefit of all.

It is not that we are to be independent---as if that were really possible because all of manifest existence is a process of dependent relationships. We are to be free, not owned and not owning, free of all conventional emotions associated with the accumulative egoic character. Such is the right rule for intimate life, friendship, community living, and society altogether.

Likewise, in intimate relationships we must not be accumulators, we must not be owners, we must not be motivated by reactive emotions, we must not be jealous, we must not be angry, we must not be independent. We must go beyond our neurotic selves. We must grant freedom to our relations and all of our relations should grant us freedom too.

5/20/2007 04:18:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

Ben, thanks indeed for the compliments.

Actually, I don't often write poems, so I'm not sure if I have enough of them to make for a "collection". There is the Memorial Day poem, the 9/11 one, and of course, my poetic tribute to trolls, "Troll Primeval" or whatever it was titled.

And must admit I never add anything to my alleged blog, as I am an incredibly lazy sot.

5/20/2007 04:23:00 PM  
Blogger MizzE said...

Why thus faint-hearted?
Why veil ye your faces?
Lift up your hearts!
Christ is arisen!
Join in the dances,
And with us proclaim it:
The Lord is ascended,
Gleaming and gloried,
He who was born
Of the giver of light.
Cease then your mourning,
Rejoice in blessedness:
Springtime has come.
So bloom now, ye lilies,
Bloom and be fruitful!
Naught bringeth destruction.
Clap we our hands
And shout: Risen is He
Who helpeth the fallen ones
To rise again.


Romanos, the first great ecclesiastical poet of the Greeks, known as "The Singer"

5/20/2007 05:25:00 PM  
Blogger juliec said...

Anonynous, perhaps I misunderstand you, but are you advocating theocratic communism as the ideal way of living, or are you simply suggesting that we strive for something (frankly, I'm not quite sure what)? All of your ideals sound very nice, but they don't really reflect the basic nature of humans. It's nice to imagine what an ideal world might be like, but we're still here on earth.

Please clarify your position for us lowly and less transcendent mortals.

5/20/2007 05:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Sal said...

Ah, clarity.

Realized, with the help of your links, comments and some Inquiry, that what's been driving the furious emotions re: illegal immigration is simply that we're being asked to lie, big time, and accept lies about the true nature of some culture-, and maybe life-threatening issues.

The trivial, water torture complaints of daily life here are the symptoms, as Van points out, of the real problem: an America changed so radically, in such numbers, that we might not survive.
And if we go, then there goes Western Civ.
I mind that very much indeed.

So, thanks for the replies. Much calmer and more focused now. Ya'll are the best.

Ben - I had the same reaction. It didn't have the shock of the new, but it resonated much more deeply.

5/20/2007 05:49:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Some fine poetry here tonight. :)

Dilys, "moralistic" is the perfect word. Bob really has nailed the dogmatic self-righteousness of leftism, which I find astounding because they have no philosophical ground on which to stand with that kind of moral certitude. It can't be "whatever floats yer boat" out of one side of the mouth, and "no intolerant religious people allowed in our society" out of the other.

But then, they are ruled by the gut and not by the brain. I was once asked in a debate over homosexual marriage whether I actually *knew* any homosexuals personally, as if that had anything to do with my ability to discern between right and wrong. Yeah, I knew some lesbians at the women's college I attended, am I now qualified to make moral distinctions? Sheesh! But it's always personal with a leftist. If you provide facts to bolster your case, they don't examine them...it's, "Well, look at the source!" If you point out their fallacies, you are "mean-spirited." I once showed how leftist ideals require one to practice the politics of guilt and pity, and oh, the howls of hurt and anger that resounded. Then it all became about how I'd hurt their feelings. I was just a big meanie. It's no use trying to debate them, I've learned. They do not conform to the proper rules of debate. They can only emote.

Leftwing Christians are especially inconsistent in that they have no problem using scripture to justify their policies. It's okay to tear down the imaginary "wall of separation between church and state" and apply "turn the other cheek" to your pacifist foreign policy, IF you are leftist. I once pointed this out in a debate, and crickets chirped. Never did get an answer to that one.

It's okay to stump in churches, IF you are a leftist candidate. If you are a conservative, it's a foregone conclusion that your motives are suspect. If you are a leftist, it's not demogoguery because it's a given that your motives are as pure as the driven snow.

It's okay to have services celebrating political movements like feminism if you are leftwing. It's okay to let lefty political causes use your church space. But if your orthodox pastor speaks out against abortion or sexual perversion, he is tearing down that imaginary wall of separation. Ad nauseum.

Only a logic-impaired leftist can take "**Congress** shall make no law respecting..." and turn it into a prohibition against community manger scenes,completely ignoring the "nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof" part of the clause. But, how will said manger scenes make non-Christians feeeel? That's what it's all about: feeelings! whoawhoawhoa feeeelings!

Okay, I'm done ranting.

5/20/2007 06:44:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

I pray my future wife will be at least something like Susannah...

One can only hope!

Having been in IV for awhile, (Intervaristy Christian Fellowship) I found debating leftist Christians (of whom there are not few) pointless. They always use 'scripture' to back up their ideas about what the gov't should do. I personally restrict my gov't to Romans 13 as much as possible and use the wisdom of those whose ideas worked to work out the rest.

There's no telling where these folks will end up - I pray that as many of them as possible become missionaries - not because it is dangerous but because it allows them to do something honest-to-goodness worthwhile with their faith rather than sit here and moralize. The worst for a young'in is having to re-learn some scriptures because they've been twisted.

IV isn't all bad, and much of what goes on is good, like Bob was saying - I respect their work in ministering to students through revelation at colleges - admirable - but I'd just as well ditch the diversity and multi-cult nonsense that pervades the thinking of many IV'ers.

5/20/2007 07:00:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Rediscovering God in America:

"There is no attack on American culture more destructive and more historically dishonest than the secular Left's relentless effort to drive God out of America's public square."

5/20/2007 07:03:00 PM  
Anonymous dilys said...

Sal, walking that line of caring for those with whom we can and must share ourselves and our goods -- yet not having to lie about the realities of life -- is probably not aided by contemporary second-hand "social justice" feel-good truisms (thick and fast in some of the institutional-agenda-rich immigration pronouncements from the pulpit); and would be clarified by the full range of recent teachings from Benedict XVI and John II. The mouth of the Great Steeds speaks truth, not like some of the other nagging material that may be floating around.

I found this (don't remember if I linked it) extremely bracing on morality&ethics cf holy living; .

5/20/2007 07:19:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Old Pete foretold it:

"But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters. Yet, if any many suffer as a Christian let him not be ashamed: but let him glorify God on this behalf."

Well, I don't have time to check the other versions, but that's vawwy vawwy intewesting.

Why is that listed (coming off the Wire to Old Pete) as among Murderers, Theives and other evildoers?

Hmmmm.

That's First Peter, Fourth Chapter, 15th and 16th verses, for those interested.

5/20/2007 07:42:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Read all of that section... oh, man. He knocked that one out of the park.

5/20/2007 07:43:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

ESV says "meddler." :) I benefitted from re-reading that passage...thanks! Be self-controlled sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. That relates to dilys's link, too.

Bob, major synchronicity with that article.

Regarding nativity scenes:

"Despite the courts' legal legerdemain, nothing in the First Amendment supports, let alone compels, such unfair treatment. While dressed up as concern for minority rights and 'feelings,' this is pure anti-Christian bigotry in the service of the secular Left's larger anti-religion agenda. In Rediscovering God, Gingrich sharply criticizes the courts for this naked power grab, but he could have done a better job of explaining to his readers the true meaning of the First Amendment and why the very concept of a 'wall of separation between church and state' is fallacious."

5/20/2007 08:03:00 PM  
Anonymous GLASR said...

Lefty's, socialists, reds, zealots, redistribution advocates, double digit dems, live in caves, poop in holes in the ground folks all seeking HEAVEN. Always leave the one thing critical to the goal out - the dieing part. ;~\

wo veri: hayqse? Isn't that Spanish for, uh, um, ah, something.

5/20/2007 08:45:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Susannah said "Tolerating the inherent inconsistencies of leftism is not a matter of low intelligence, among my acquaintances. On the contrary, many of them are brilliant, or at least very clever, though some I've met are utterly uncritical about their assumptions."

Gagdad said "First of all, as is generally true of so many areas, plain old stupidity is underrated as an explanation."

I think both are correct - there is Stupid, and there is Functionally Stupid. Thomas Sowell somewhere noted that worthwhile thought was only achieved by thinking past the first level, and the level after that. Leftism absolutely avoids that.

Most lefties hear something that sounds nice, or caring regarding something they have no interest in looking further into, as use that as their substitute thinking. A simple assertion will do for most social situations, and a simple dismissive snear will substitute for an argument in those same situations, where their fellows mostly mouth the same sentiments.

Simple and easy substitute thinking. Most of them don't realize the positions are plain stupid, because first and foremost - they have no real interest in the matter. They don't want to think the matter over. They like the sound of their position, they like that their friends like it too, and that is just fine with them.

Functionaly stupid.

What they most certainly don't like, is being laughed at. Being made to look foolish by way of having their 'thoughts' clearly restated with their implications their for all too see, like skid marks on their underwear.

If you have a calm reasonable sort such as JWM's Starbucks chat, fantastic, plant the sparks of deeper thought - it may take.

If you have some pontificator, some snide Bush derangement syndrom commenter, call them on it. Ask them to back it up. Point out the errors and the stupidity of not thinking past even the first level. They will snarl, others watching will go 'hmmm'. More sparks and embers planted.

5/20/2007 09:02:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Sort of like our latest Anonymous who is all gungho on Cooperation and self-transcendence and the many things we must do to achieve... well basically to chuck the whole human being thing aside and become... gods apparently. Five or six paragraphs of transcending transcendent stuff. Sounds kinda lyrical... I suppose... but didn't think past that lyrical stuff to applicability, implications, etc.

Aninnymouse, go transcend yourself.

Oh... I know Joan... seven days... cold turkey... oh, ok...

"Pffffttt!" "Pffffttt!" "Pffffttt!"

5/20/2007 09:42:00 PM  
Anonymous USS Ben said...

Will said-
And must admit I never add anything to my alleged blog, as I am an incredibly lazy sot.

Ha ha! You got a laugh (a big one) out of me with that one, Will!

Believe me, I grok what yer sayin'.

5/20/2007 09:57:00 PM  
Anonymous USS Ben said...

Van-
It's okay. We feel for you. I'm a recovering trollwhackaholic too.
We can...get in touch with...our inner...ahh hell! Bash away!

Brings to mind John Wayne in North To Alaska.
I'm sure you know the scene I'm talkin' about. :^)

5/20/2007 10:08:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Van & Ben:

SAY IT ISN'T SO!

Ya can't be trying to swear off trollbashing! How very DULL!

Has the sport gone out of it since I've been away? Have ya suddenly taken The Pledge & sworn to be "better"? Again, how very DULL!

Please, please, rethink this very bad idea.

I beg you, don't get all prosy & pious on me, with the Life sucked out of you, in an effort to become Good. That's a total waste of your talents.

H-man, tell me you're not going there either. Oh dear, oh dear!

5/21/2007 02:09:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Enabler! Ximeze is an enabler! Pfft! Pf... Just kidding PFugetaboudet

;-)

5/21/2007 07:31:00 AM  
Blogger The Gunslinger said...

The key point in this superior post is something I try to remember whenever I am confronted with incomprehensible idiocy:

I call it the "85-100-103" Rule

These are the Mean IQs for the three major races.

Which, by definition, means that 50% of human beings have IQs below them.

It may not be comforting, but at least it provides an intelligible explanation for the general boobery.

5/21/2007 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

I appreciate and agree with your analysis of Dr. King's legacy.

5/22/2007 09:37:00 PM  

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