Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Live Grenades and the Smoking Crater at the Center of History

Ximeze wonders about those mysterious "light-threads" that "unroll through time via history." These vertical "light-memes" -- or what I call archetypal depth charges dropped from on high -- radiate down into history and make contact with minds that are receptive to them. From a handful of spiritual geniuses -- Paul, Shankara, Buddha -- they spread into the general population, and then "bear fruit further along the time-path." In a way, it's very much an inverse analogy of the way a vine grows, from one central root and then out in every direction -- except in this case, the root of the vine is above rather than below.

This reminds me of a metaphor from Meditations on the Tarot, in which our Unknown Friend compares a seed to a nuclear explosion; only it is a constructive bomb as opposed to a destructive one: "each little little acorn is such a 'constructive bomb' and the oak is only the visible result of the slow 'explosion' -- or blossoming out -- of this 'bomb.'"

Yes, the celestial depth charges "blow your little mind," as they dismantle your manmade scaffolding and rebuild -- actually, regrow -- the mind anew. In turn, a New World comes into existence, which is the meaning of birth, for every birth is the birth of the Totality. But just remember: you only get one chance at a second birth. It's called your "life."

"Pockets of lucidity" appear here and there throughout profane history, as the divine light is prolonged through time. In hindsight, an "Arc of Salvation" becomes recognizable, a sort of rolling horizontal revelation to go along with the vertical. In this regard, we can indeed trace a continuous line -- or wave -- of light, say, from the Hebrew prophets -- and the ancient Greek philosophers -- to America's founders. Looking down, I see these waves lapping at my feet as I type this. The water is both warm and transparent.

In turn, the American Constitution is very much analogous to our timeless "political revelation," something that even liberals are forced to at least pretend is true, even though, at the same time, they do everything within their power to erode and undermine it. In fact, they usually adopt the strategy of using the Constitution to subvert it, e.g., extending civil rights to terrorists, compelling citizens to discriminate on the basis of race, forcing us to redefine the fundamental unit of civilization, etc. In this regard, an original sindicate such as the ACLU is "politically satanic," in that they not only subvert the Light, but oppose it.

Some people call the vertical depth charges "myths." The same people inevitably replace the true myths with false ones, e.g., Marxism, Darwinism, Global Warming, etc. Schuon describes the steep descent from luminous Myth to darkland fantasy:

"When true myths are done away with, they inevitably come to be replaced by artificial myths; and in fact, a mode of thought content to rely on its logic alone while operating in a realm where this logic opens up no horizons, becomes defenseless against the various scientistic 'mythologies,' rather as the abolition of religion leads finally not to a rational view of the Universe, but to a counter-religion which will not be long in devouring rationalism itself" (emphases mine).

How True is that? Artificial myths are never liberating, but always "enclosing" (although they compensate for this with a horizontal dissipation masquerading as freedom). While genuine myth, in the higher sense of the word, opens up the subjective horizon toward the Boundless Infinite -- and indeed, helps us to fruitfully think about it -- the artificial myths of scientism -- not to mention the leftism which is its political action wing -- place boundaries on the Final Frontier, i.e., consciousness -- which is analogous to trying to grow an oak tree in a five gallon pot. But Raccoons -- unlike Lizards -- are not Potted Plants.

Again, as Schuon points out, it is the height of naivete to say that there is "religion" and "irreligion." Rather, there is only religion and counter-religion -- which includes, of course bad and perverse forms of what typically goes by the name of religion. To use these crazies (or morons) to attack the legitimacy of revelation would be like using the ACLU to attack the legitimacy of the rule of law, or Al Gore to attack science.

Note also that the abandonment of religion -- and when I say "religion," I am specifically referring to the Divine Sparks alluded to above, as they are prolonged horizontally, in particular, in the luminous minds that miraculously grow in the fertile soil of Tradition -- leads to the devouring of rationalism itself. This is such a critical point, for it is the key that explains the deep irrationality that animates both the insane kos kids of the left and the intelligent stupidity of LGF. Reject the vertical and that's what you end up with: horizontal darkness and confusion, shepherded at every step by Pride and even grandiosity.

And when I say "grandiosity," I am using that word as a kind of shorthand to describe the Postmodern Pathology that revolves around narcissism, (false) individualism, libertinism (which results from having no transcendent boundary conditions), and an intrinsically absurd -- and therefore demonic -- "absolute relativity," or "the impossible made possible."

Was that clear? No? Let Schuon shed some further obscurity on the subject: "[T]o treat man as absolutely free -- he who is not absolute -- is to set free all evils in him, without there remaining any principle which would limit them. All this goes to show that basically it is a kind of abuse of language to give the name 'science' to a knowledge that leads only to practical results while revealing nothing concerning the profound nature of the phenomena."

This scientistic misuse of logic results in the ability to draw patently false and even monstrous conclusions from "true" premises. For example, if Darwinism is true, then the radicals of PETA are absolutely correct that there is no moral distinction between killing a chicken and murdering a human. Nor can the killing of a fetus -- or even an infant who cannot take care of itself -- be morally problematic, as Peter Singer maintains. For if there is no God, then man becomes God, i.e., the Absolute. And if you don't understand that, then you very stupid, lizard brain.

Yesterday I discussed the question of "why I love Jesus." There is another perhaps idiosyncratic reason I didn't get into, but it follows logically from what I wrote about how he "saved my mind." Now, I am quite sure that my particular bewilderness adventure does not comport with that of most other Christians -- especially protestants and evangelicals -- who seem to come first to Christ, and then let the implications work themselves out from there, often in -- you will excuse me -- ways that don't place much of a premium on logic, consistency, or intellection. Which is fine. The way of the bhakti is perfectly valid and efficacious.

But in my case, it was the reverse. That is, I actually began at a point of vague hostility, but the more I immersed myself in the lighterature of certain particularly luminous minds -- including the early fathers, but especially one of those "light threads" that runs through people like Origen, Denys the Areopgite, John Scottus Eriugena, and Meister Eckhart -- the more I began to appreciate the conspicuous "smoking crater" at the Center of it All, and without which none of this luminous wisdom would have been possible. I mean, you can't really miss it. It's like the Grandest Canyon.

And what -- or who -- is responsible for this smoking crater, this giant hole in the center of creation? Perhaps this is a delicate subject, but one thing that always gave me the Jesus willies was this idea of substitute atonement. But now that I am aware of the smoking crater and the radiant Light that continues to glow from its center, I realize why it's there. It is because someone was selfless and heroic enough to dive on the Mother of All Live Grenades in order to at least give the rest of us a fighting chance. And no greater love has any man.

90 Comments:

Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Having reread this post, I apologize for the excessive -- and grammatically illegal -- use of dashes. But it's too late to correct the deficiency now, as I must get ready for work. Just think of them as "speed reading bumps" that force your mind to slow down in my spiritual neighborhood. Have a safe drive OM!

7/08/2008 07:34:00 AM  
Anonymous christopher said...

GBob, this is the heart of the matter, the smoking crater and the idea of substitute atonement. The sacrifice, what is it for? It is a particularly Judaeo-Christian concept and it is not found in the same central position in other spiritual world views.

This is elevated to the position of a first principle in Christianity and is not much lower in the sacrificial cycles in Judaism. Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism place other things first.

Ecumenism is difficult when the places to start from are not the same.

7/08/2008 07:53:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I couldn't disagree more. See for example The Spiritual Ascent.

7/08/2008 07:57:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Here’s a quick and cool little study, inspired/illuminated by today's post…

Check this out…and be sure to click on the words transformed, renewing, and mind.

7/08/2008 08:10:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Btw, hardly anybody argues for giving terrorists civil rights... though there are plenty of people who argue for giving suspected terrorists civil rights, because sometimes they turn out to be just cab drivers.

7/08/2008 08:28:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Nomo - cool website!

7/08/2008 08:30:00 AM  
Anonymous cousin Dupree said...

Here's Ray again, lookin' for his mind.

7/08/2008 08:38:00 AM  
Anonymous christopher said...

Gbob. Ok. You forced me. I will be reading some of the stuff you cite. I am coming from my own lifetime of broad reading and personal experience and it is obviously not yours.

I am on a mandated lifelong learning path so this is not a problem. I would very much like to have a true ecumenism. Hope your stuff works...

7/08/2008 09:14:00 AM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Aye love this blog!

7/08/2008 10:32:00 AM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

As atonement for being seconds away from hitting the Publish button, I promise to write 100 times in a clear hand:

I will NOT engage the STUPID, no matter how much I want to slap some sense into them.

I will NOT................................

7/08/2008 10:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, pillory me, but Jesus seems to stand in my light, and I want to tell him "can you move a little to the side so I can see straight into the heart of the matter?"

I don't really want any mass between me and the Ultimate, even if said mass is a surrendered and perfected man.

Am I a crumb bum for saying this about the J-man? Or what?

7/08/2008 11:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ray brings up a good point. If someone is a terrorist, then get the evidence and convict him in the normal manner. I mean, what's the holdup?

No need to take away anyone's rights. Just get the evidence and make the case. Basic stuff.

7/08/2008 11:14:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Christopher: Substitutionary atonement, or what is called penal substitution, is not a feature of Eastern Orthodox (or Oriental, Armenian, Coptic...) Christianity.

Look up 'Christus Victor' theology - this is considered to be the nominal view in the East of Christendom.

This concept is why Taoism, Buddhism and Hinduism are - in the cosmic sense - superseded.

7/08/2008 11:26:00 AM  
Anonymous christopher said...

River, all you say may be true, but then you are leaving out all the western Christian versions, the practitioners of which would object strenuously.

The rather large populations practicing the Hindu, Buddhist, and Taoist paths would raise eyebrows at yet another attempt to evangelize them should you inform them that they are superceded.

This is undiplomatic at best. That is not in my book ecumenism.

However, like Ximeze, who said "I will not engage Stupid, I am not here to argue. Actually I feel if I engage, I am the stupid. I am never sure that someone else is... There is a difference in my heart between writing beside another's words (commenting), and writing against them.

I am in over my head here in the sense that I do not come from the same data base that others here use and yet, I have been engaged in study in my own focus since 1967when God changed everything for me.

I don't feel anything other than the openness of the student. I think you people have something. Yet by now my path is basically set, tested by life itself.

7/08/2008 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Christopher,

"I am in over my head here in the sense that I do not come from the same data base that others here use"

Hm. Perhaps one point you are missing, too, is that none of us are coming here based on the exact same data bases, any more than we are here based on the same tastes in music. Speaking for myself, I was basically a blank slate, having not even really read the Bible in any meaningful sense, much less any other serious works on faith. I had sampled some new-agey BS when I was younger, realized it tasted like what it was, and assumed most modern Westernized versions of faith were about as valid. My experiences with Christianity left me ice cold, so I really had nothing to go on, except the knowledge that atheism ends in nihilism (I wasn't an atheist for long, since I was an honest one; following it to its logical conclusion left me with a gaping sense of nihilistic despair). I'm delighted to know that I was wrong.

Even now, though, I haven't actually finished either of the big books I've started (Meditations on the Tarot and the Spiritual Ascent), since they take a long time to properly consume and digest, and I still have a relatively small stomach for all this just yet. I think part of your trouble may be due to your relatively late arrival, and the only remedy I can suggest is checking out the Knowas Arkive, or maybe doing a search for the themes Ximeze mentioned (the 10 Commandments, the Arc of Salvation, etc. I don't know the dates on those, but they were excellent and illuminating).

7/08/2008 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

blind drivers don't see
the cornerstone in the road
like crash test dummies

7/08/2008 12:55:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Chris: You will find that if taken literally, the idea of penal substitution (or substitutionary atonement) comes out absolutely absurd.

Schoun says in "In The Face of The Absolute" that substitutionary atonement is basically absurd. Man who is finite can not infinitely mar the diginity of God; and besides eternal punishment is not punishment - since punishment is focused on penance. Hell, he notes, is either Eternal and not a punishment, or a punishment and not eternal. Thus Jesus is not taking the punishment - in the literal sense of the juridicial condemnation to the punishment of eternal hell - of man. It is very simple: we all deserve death because we sin. Christ takes death and because of his death we no longer need be subject to condemnation. Poetically, He has taken our punishment for us and thus removed it.

7/08/2008 01:02:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

" ...I am specifically referring to the Divine Sparks alluded to above, as they are prolonged horizontally, in particular, in the luminous minds that miraculously grow in the fertile soil of Tradition -- leads to the devouring of rationalism itself. This is such a critical point, for it is the key that explains the deep irrationality that animates both the insane kos kids of the left and the intelligent stupidity of LGF. Reject the vertical and that's what you end up with: horizontal darkness and confusion, shepherded at every step by Pride and even grandiosity."

Yes! And very much Related to your July 4th post, I think. There is so... so much to be mined in there.

7/08/2008 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger Warren said...

A great "smoking crater" at the center of history - wow, thanks for that very inspired image, Doc! I like it even better than my own private image of Jesus as the "Great Koan".

Regarding theological theories of redemption - they are one and all absurd, taken by themselves and pushed beyond a certain point. My own satguru (CS Lewis) was very clear that any given theory of redemption, regardless of its pedigree, is much less important than the thing itself - which is a total mystery we can never hope to plumb the depths of anyway. The best any such theory can ever do is to catch a reflected ray of light from one of the mystery's many facets.

7/08/2008 01:19:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

ray... if I'm trying to be generous, your first comment can be taken two different ways... OT though it was, how about restating it with less cutsey and more clarity.

7/08/2008 01:25:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

So much for the efficacy of doing writing atonements.

Chris said:
"Gbob. Ok. You forced me. I will be reading some of the stuff you cite. Hope your stuff works...
I don't feel anything other than the openness of the student... Yet by now my path is basically set..."

Oh really? More shut-up inside a steel trap:
Make me Make me Make me
"openness" but your "path is basically set"

More like sucking the air out of the room. Are you dead? What's with the already-given-up, sighing Lifelessness? And that false humility is really getting on my lastassnerve, making me want to reach thru the screen, perform a heimlich maneuver to clear the obstruction & give CPR in hope getting a pulse.

Why is that?

For Heaven's sake, show some spark will ya? Maybe you SHOULD argue. Raccoons are not vegan - plenty can handle Meat

7/08/2008 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Most heretical ideas are partial truths taken out of context or pushed to an absurd extreme. Of all human endeavors, theology should be an "integral totality."

And Christopher -- I have to admit that, with the exception of certain parts of Zen -- the funny parts, actually -- plus the art, of course -- Buddhism always left me a bit cold, until I read Schuon's Treasures of Buddhism. I find most western writing on the subject to be rather trivial and new-agey, but Schuon -- in my opinion -- discusses it on a much deeper level and elucidates the parallels with Christianity.

7/08/2008 01:33:00 PM  
Anonymous christopher said...

River, It is not foundational in all human theologies that we deserve death, earn death because we sin. To acknowledge imperfection and ignorance as foundational is not the same thing because sin adds rebellion into it.
The fall is not placed in human hearts in all theologies. Nor is it true that the sins of the fathers are visited on the children in all theologies. Nor is victory over death conceived as important, when death is a vehicle of rebirth as claimed in the East.

The Tibetan Book of the Dead is written more than symbolically for certain Tibetan Buddhists, just as Christ rises more than symbolically for most Christians. That book is a guide on defeating death's illusions and so escaping rebirth. It is not a book on defeating death itself which would be deemed nonsense.

7/08/2008 01:35:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Warren: Lewis was a wise soul.

But, I don't think he means that you can't be right or wrong when talking about salvation. Instead, I believe he means that if we speak rightly of salvation, we're still describing something indescribable and mysterious.

7/08/2008 01:37:00 PM  
Blogger QP said...

Historic Move: The Anglican communion is cratering this week.

Bishop Burnham, one of two "flying bishops" in the province of Canterbury, has made a statement asking Pope Benedict XVI and the English Catholic bishops for "magnanimous gestures" that will allow traditionalists to become Catholics en masse.

The Kingdom of God is like the seed that sprouts and grows even while the farmer sleeps. When you don't demand his plan be revealed, you can watch and listen to it being fulfilled.

7/08/2008 01:41:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

My view is that the paradigm of substitute atonement from Christianity has also been at the heart of the American experiment of at some point doing what's right instead of what's expedient or immediately beneficial to short term personal/national/material interests. It's a big picture view and understanding of cause and effect manifestations and takes a long term comitment to carry out, eventually leading to a better life for all.
It's the reason why Russian leaders during the cold war (athiests for the most part) had a hard time understanding why we were willing to sacrifice 58,000 warriors with no apparent (to them) interest in the Vietnam conflict. They saw no material interest and were clueless as to the spiritual/humanitarian interests. It also gave them pause on carrying out many of their geopolitical aspirations. Or why it's so difficult to get many Europeans on board in the war on terror because it is a short term hinderance to their material comfort or peace of mind. Or why the short sighted anti-war activists are unable to see beyond their own emotional pain and discomfort to a greater good, but project their own self-centered worldview on others to provide reasons why, for instance, the war in Iraq is being waged. Or why the editors of the New York Times publish a story on the "illogical" reasons why people would vote against their own economic interests to further a cause they believe in. Or that Christopher doesn't understand why God would expect him to sacrifice of himself in order to defend truth.
Same Earth, completely different universes.
What seems to be utterly misunderstood or grasped by many is the bleakness of a world without this paradigm and people who understand and are willing to perpetuate it.

7/08/2008 01:44:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Chris: We do not earn death. Instead it is that since God is utterly perfect and holy, it would be impossible for anyone who is anything less to be with him; not that he is angry or hateful, but that his energy itself would purify them - and in the process utterly destroy them.

We can not think of this juridicially, since God is beyond all necessity and takes on restriction only out of love.

The action of defeating death is, as the theologian puts it, turning death into new life. That is to say, death is not natural to man, who because of his conception of the idea of death reveals that he is in essence greater than it. This was taken mistakenly by pagans to mean that man was actually eternally self-sufficient as a soul (when only God is.)

The peculiar shape of the teaching, perhaps, will repulse those who seek balance in all things, but we should be reminded that while such and such a man has an unusual and peculiar appearance, it is also true that man as such, the archetype of man - is quite unusual and arbitrary in his shape.

We need not stress ourselves out if things do not seem to fit - if we have indeed found a revelation of what is complete and full it is actually us who can not fit them, not that they do not fit.

Anyway, to some Buddhists (particularly many of the Western variety) I would say that if the world is an absolutely illusion - existence - then God is a liar.

Maybe we as men are all just liars and we inhabit an illusion - maya - that is a counterfeit of the cosmos that we really dwell in.

Just a thought.

7/08/2008 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Anyway, (as I should really recloak and relurk) instead of being 'the living who are dead', we must indeed 'escape rebirth' and truly become 'the dead who are alive'.

Christopher will object to my reinterpretation, but it is true that we must not be reborn to this world, like we do every time we fall asleep and turn away from God, but must die to it fully, and therefore truly become alive.

7/08/2008 01:52:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

New and apropos Spengler today.

7/08/2008 01:58:00 PM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Van - I don't always address the topic, because a head-on collision of worldviews generates a lot more heat than light. Pointing out little issues is a longer-term project, but more likely to maintain actual communication. Besides, I've pointed out before that 'Darwinism' doesn't have to mean PETA's right in all (or any) particulars, so why bother repeating it?

As to my comment re: civil rights and suspected terrorists - I thought it was pretty straightforward. Civil rights don't go to suspects because criminals deserve the rights, but because the innocent do.

Surprisingly few people are aware that the vast majority of detained 'enemy combatants' were not apprehended on the battlefield by American troops. They were turned in for bounties by other parties. But assuming that "if you're a suspect, you must be guilty of something" leads to cases like the one I linked to.

Article 5 of the Geneva Convention is pretty short and straightforward. I'd say there's at least some doubt regarding someone turned over to American troops by someone else.

If someone's been determined to be an unlawful combatant by a competent tribunal, then hey, do whatever you like to 'em. But until that determination's been made, we should demonstrate why we're better than Islamic beheading thugs.

7/08/2008 02:37:00 PM  
Anonymous christopher said...

River, I understand your interpretation and it is as good a Christian theology as I know of. You say I will object, but I do not. Neither do I accept per se. I mainly sit in the position of a student of world religions generally.

What happened is I had an experience as a young man that saved my life and "took" it completely. That's what sitting on God's lap as I sometimes call it will do. This experience is the center of my living, you might say in the words of GBob, the "smoking crater" in the center of my life.

I would be Christian today if it had had any Christ in it. Instead it had the overwhelming sense that all was as it should be, complete with all the stuff of the world, nothing shorted or omitted. That would include all the religions and also all the evil. When I became myself again, the various languages of religious talk all made sense to me when none had before.

I was a confirmed member of the United Church of Christ when I graduated from high school. Meaning I was in the adult choir, had taken instruction and passed the tests. But it was hollow and I was adrift in that way.

What made the most sense in all that I could find after that tremendous change though was not Christian. I did not even then take that to mean that Christianity was wrong. I could not. It was part of "all is right with the world". Instead I took it to mean that in my personal relationship to God I was to speak in a different terminology, that such a place was ordained for me in this lifetime.

I have a feeling if God points then I should go there. He pointed. I have gone. GBob says that Buddhism leaves him cold. I too have that experience when I get into the primary texts. Yet my heart warms when I read some of the stuff found in Tricycle, for example.

I was gifted with direction into Sanskrit Mantra seven years ago as a practice and that is what I do, along with an English language prayer practice that seems to actually work for me. I rest in that, knowing I am holding conversation with God. I take social grace and timing guidance from yet another practice of over thirty years duration. None of this conflicts with that core experience of my life. AA provides arenas of fellowship and service, now for 25 years.

I am only pointing out that I am coming from a soul place as well as a lifelong learning. I am not objecting to what others believe and know. I am interested. I would hope that there is room for me here. When I said that I had to go where GBob forced me, I meant that in spite of a full reading plate and limited time, I have bought three books that pertain to the way he writes on this site.

7/08/2008 02:59:00 PM  
Anonymous A Theist said...

"It is very simple: we all deserve death because we sin. Christ takes death and because of his death we no longer need be subject to condemnation. Poetically, He has taken our punishment for us and thus removed it."

Then why do we still die, tough guy?

7/08/2008 03:01:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Julie...wow: that quote from Obama's book, at the end of Spengler's column.

Wow.

7/08/2008 03:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We deserve death not because we sin, but because we are innocent. To be condemned to eternal life would be the real bitch.

We should each be damn glad there's an end to this thing called life waiting for us, because life is a burden to all beings. The very enlightened end up with a tolerable condition, but for the average human being the whipsaw of emotions between desire and fear is a tedious pain in the ass that wears us down.

To live well, play hard, do your part, and then punch out without lingering past quitting time, there's the right way.

So death being a bad thing? How do you figure?

7/08/2008 03:55:00 PM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Oh, and BTW, Van - that was an interesting article you linked to about "Americanism", but the only point it addressed of the 'challenge' that I'd pointed out was "[t]he concept (embodied in both the DOI and Constitution) that the power to govern resides with the governed and is granted by them to elected officials". Deuteronomy 1:13 is interesting, but note the final clause, "...and I will set them over you." That's Moses speaking.

The power still rests with Moses to actually 'set them over'. The quote supports a system more like Iran's, where the clerics have veto power over candidates in elections.

7/08/2008 04:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I belive Ray makes a salient point regarding the treatment of suspected terrorists. There's no pressing reason to abandon the rule of law.

The gains would be theoretical at best. Plus, God is watching and who knows, may not like us taking "libertys". He may return measure for measure any injustice which we may mete out due to sloppy prosecution and prejudiced investigative techniques, although maybe he'll mete it out to us magnified ten-fold.

Anyone want to take our nation down that road?

7/08/2008 04:03:00 PM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Anonymous - Couldn't resist passing this on. "Personally, I've been hearing all my life about the Serious Philosophical Issues posed by life extension, and my attitude has always been that I'm willing to grapple with those issues for as many centuries as it takes." - Patrick Nielsen Hayden

7/08/2008 04:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To put in the inevitable plug for Tolle, Raccoons need not seek wisdom outside of themselves in any form of doctrine. The wisdom is already in the Raccoon. Rather, the Raccoon must eliminate all that blocks the indwelling wisdom from emerging.

The Raccoon need not seek, for seeking implies a future event. All wisdom is Now, when right Now the mind is spacious and uncluttered by thought.

All teachings of even the most luminous teachers necesarily drop away at the final doorstep of Pure Wisdom, which is Silence.

7/08/2008 04:54:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

Ray:
Moses derived his authority from God. That may or may not count with you, but it carried a lot of weight with the Israelites.
And I've a question for you as well- What would you consider a successful outcome from your time spent here? Are you looking for a transcendent experience of some sort? If you poke at this religion thing long enough, will it finally rear up and bite you?
Or are you hoping to argue somone out of their faith? "Gee, you're right Ray, this God business is just a buncha' hooey..."
Or are you trying to prove to yourself that you're immune to religion?
And back to my first question- If you are looking for some sort of transcendent moment, why here among the Raccons instead of someplace where they promise to deliver the goods?
Finally, this.
Do you want to truly put this God Thang to the acid test? How about if you could have the proof you want, the evidence of your own eyes right before you. Do you really want to find out if we're all just pleasantly deluded, or if we're on to something Real?
If you really want to find out, then do this.
Pray.
It doesn't have to begin with anything more threatening than, "Are you there?". As long as you do it regularly, in private, and in earnest, that simple question will eventually work to unlock the gate.
But you're smart enough to to know how to make it not work, too. That's the scary part.
And here's the risk, and the payoff. You may end up with your entire worldview stood on it's head. Faith isn't the paint on a house, it's the foundation. You may find yourself in sympathy with people you now consider buffoonish, or even distasteful. And that's just for starters.
On the other hand, maybe nothing will happen at all. You'll stay right where you are, and you can reassure yourself that you are well and truly immune to this religion business, move on, and find more productive things to do with your time.

JWM

7/08/2008 05:36:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

You're the only one "plugging" Tolle.

7/08/2008 05:39:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

I will NOT engage the STUPID....

Aahhhh screwit

A non coon said:
"Raccoons need not...blah blah blah
blah. Raccoons need not....blah."

How the hell would you gno

7/08/2008 05:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tolle said so!

7/08/2008 05:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or was it Ray?

7/08/2008 05:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just rying to pass on some of my divine wisdumb.

7/08/2008 05:49:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

ray said "... though there are plenty of people who argue for giving suspected terrorists civil rights, because sometimes they turn out to be just cab drivers."

Yeah... you're right ray. Until we can figure out a fool proof way to fight a war that not only avoids obliterating any or all cities and villages or any of their inhabitants, but also absolutely prevents double agents and traitors from misleading our people, and certified 100% free from error and emotion... we should just sit home and let them crash our planes where they want.

(Disgusting, insufferable, jackass stupid....)

"I don't always address the topic, because a head-on collision of worldviews generates a lot more heat than light. Pointing out little issues is a longer-term project, but more likely to maintain actual communication."

Not surprisingly, you have the cowardice of your convictions. There is no light without heat. Have you read that 'treaty'? Did you note where Article 5 refers to it's applying to those who fall under article 4? Have you noticed that Article 4 as well as the preceding articles refers to Powers who have signed the agreement, or who later agree to it?

Article 1 The High Contracting Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the present Convention through all circumstances...
Article 2 ...the present Convention shall apply to all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the High Contracting Parties...Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the present Convention, the Powers who are parties thereto shall remain bound by it in their mutual relations. They shall furthermore be bound by the Convention in relation to the said Power, if the latter accepts and applies the provisions thereof....
Article 4 ...Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict...Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory...Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions:
that of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;
that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;
that of carrying arms openly;
that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.


Article 5 The present Convention shall apply to the persons referred to in Article 4 from the time they fall into the power of the enemy and until their final release and repatriation.

Hint: That doesn't apply to any member of al queda or the taliban, or anyone taken in afghanistan or iraq or pakistan or...[blanks to be filled in as needed]. Neither does it apply to people taken here who are not American Citizens. Period.

"If someone's been determined to be an unlawful combatant by a competent tribunal, then hey, do whatever you like to 'em."

There is not need or requirement in battling terrorists for any tribunal beyond the determination of our military as it sees fit.

"But until that determination's been made, we should demonstrate why we're better than Islamic beheading thugs. "

We, who's Gov't is based upon the principle of Individual Rights, in no way need to demonstrate our superiority towards a bunch of pre-civilized savages who's primary strategy is to horribly maim and kill non-combatant civilian men, women and children, in surprise attacks without any military justification. We are not in any way lowered by treating barbaric and cowardly (perhaps that’s where you feel some sympathy and kinship with them) in whatever fashion deemed necessary during the hot or cold operations against those engaged, or suspected of being engaged, in terrorist assaults, or sympathy with same, upon us.

Such faux-intellectual positions turn my stomach.

7/08/2008 06:34:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

On a serious note, Dennis Prager talks about how the moral stupidity and lack of wisdom of people such as Ray -- that is, his atheistic college professors -- turned him back toward religion.

7/08/2008 06:43:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

aninnymouse said "I belive Ray makes a salient point regarding the treatment of suspected terrorists. There's no pressing reason to abandon the rule of law. "

Law is meaningless without a Gov't to define and enforce it, as well as citizens living within its jurisdiction. Without that, it is nothing more than a deceptive ploy. There is NO Gov't between nations, and there can be no 'Law' between them, only treaties and agreements, and then only where each party can trust and verify those agreements to be respected by each.

Any expectation of such a situation between nations at War, is wishful at best - if it doesn't rely upon the character of the societies themselves, it rests upon nothing at all. Witness our treatment at the hands of the nazi's, imperial japan, the ussr's satellites’, north korea, etc, etc, etc.

You and ray are nothing but ignorant, dangerous fools.

Not that I feel strongly about it....

7/08/2008 06:58:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

"A liberal is someone who is too broad-minded to take his own side in a fight."

7/08/2008 07:00:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

From Spengler's last paragraph which Julie and Susannah noted:

"...For an American presidential candidate to refer to traditional society as the model for the solution to American problems has no precedent. It is one thing to denounce American errors while upholding American principles. Never before has America considered electing a president who prefers the alternative, and that might just be the most dangerous thing to happen to the United States since its Civil War. "

and as he noted above that,

"Since Immanuel Kant's boast that he could devise a constitution for "a race of devils, if only they be rational", the professors of political science and sociology have wanted the authority to order the world's problems according to their image of man: economic man, political man, anything but man in the image of God."

That is exactly where kant's children in the leftist, marxist, progressivist, fascist, communist, environmentalist, u.n.'ist movements are taking us. Away from principle, away from Truth, away from any form of Civilization worth of its Western name.

7/08/2008 07:10:00 PM  
Anonymous tsebring said...

"Law is meaningless without a Gov't to define and enforce it, as well as citizens living within its jurisdiction. Without that, it is nothing more than a deceptive ploy. There is NO Gov't between nations, and there can be no 'Law' between them, only treaties and agreements, and then only where each party can trust and verify those agreements to be respected by each."

Unless of course you are an advocate of one-world government, which I suspect a lot of hard liberals are in their heart of hearts.

7/08/2008 08:03:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Tsebring said "Unless of course you are an advocate of one-world government, which I suspect a lot of hard liberals are in their heart of hearts."

Yep. See Spengler's quote of Kant above... or Kant's essay "Perpetual Peace" (the main inspiration of Wilson's 'League of Nations' and the current U.N.), which Wiki makes a decent summary of


"No secret Treaty of Peace Shall Be Held Valid in Which There Is Tacitly Reserved Matter for a Future War"
"No Independent States, Large or Small, Shall Come under the Dominion of Another State by Inheritance, Exchange, Purchase, or Donation"
"Standing Armies Shall in Time Be Totally Abolished"
"National Debts Shall Not Be Contracted with a View to the External Friction of States"
"No State Shall by Force Interfere with the Constitution or Government of Another State"
"No State Shall, during War, Permit Such Acts of Hostility Which Would Make Mutual Confidence in the Subsequent Peace Impossible: Such Are the Employment of Assassins (percussores), Poisoners (venefici), Breach of Capitulation, and Incitement to Treason (perduellio) in the Opposing State"


See a veritable outline of leftist policy there? When reading the next part however,
Three Definitive Articles would provide not merely a cessation of hostilities, but a foundation on which to build a peace.

"The Civil Constitution of Every State Should Be Republican"
"The Law of Nations Shall be Founded on a Federation of Free States"
"The Law of World Citizenship Shall Be Limited to Conditions of Universal Hospitality"


if you keep in mind and understand the meaning of the first part and read between the lines of the rest, you'll see that the U.N.'s makeup of despots using the virtues of the Republics as a club to control them, and wear them down an out... is exactly what Kant had in mind.

7/08/2008 08:21:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Man, mention live grenades and a smoking crater, and coons get hungry. I'm guarding my pond tonight!

BTW, my largest koi "who" I found lying outside the pond on a slab of concrete one morning nearly a week ago, fins and face nearly chewed off by the masked marauders, "breathing" what seemed her last breaths, is still holding her own. I almost wonder - the way she seems to look at me - can a fish know that you saved them from the jaws of death? Can it, Ray?

7/08/2008 09:08:00 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Ray said “Btw, hardly anybody argues for giving terrorists civil rights... though there are plenty of people who argue for giving suspected terrorists civil rights, because sometimes they turn out to be just cab drivers.”

You leftist crack me up; you think the front line troops don’t know what the fools in the courts and gov are up to? If you as a front line commander decide to take prisoners you first must remember that they have to be searched, guarded, fed, given medical care and transported to a safe location. The only reason to take prisoners is to gain intelligence and as a humanitarian gesture.

Now courts are forcing the military to let them go, many if not all, to return to the battle. Guess what genius the troops with out saying anything are just killing the bastards the first time rather than letting them get fattened up so they can come back after their vacation at Club GITMO ready to kill the infidel a second time. The law of unintended consequences has not been repealed.

7/08/2008 09:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Paul G said...

Warren mentioned C.S. Lewis, and I can't help but recommend that you delve deeper into his heritage and read George MacDonald. I am forever indebted to my parents for raising me with his and Lewis' books at constant arm's reach.

I'm currently (re)reading Knowing the Heart of God, and at the time of reading the following excerpt, I remember thinking that there would be many around here that would appreciate it, so here ya go:

The very sight of the Truth is the loving of it. And all truth understood becomes duty. To him that obeys well, the Truth comes easy. To him who does not obey, Truth does not come at all, or comes in forms of fear and dismay. The true -- that is, the obedient -- man cannot help seeing the Truth, for it is the very business of his being -- the natural concern, the correlate of his soul. The religion of such men and women is obedience and prayer, and their theories but the print of their spiritual feet as they walk homeward.

<lurk>

7/08/2008 10:26:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Pockets of lucidity" appear here and there throughout profane history, as the divine light is prolonged through time. In hindsight, an "Arc of Salvation" becomes recognizable, a sort of rolling horizontal revelation to go along with the vertical. In this regard, we can indeed trace a continuous line -- or wave -- of light, say, from the Hebrew prophets -- and the ancient Greek philosophers -- to America's founders. Looking down, I see these waves lapping at my feet as I type this. The water is both warm and transparent.

Good tide-ings! Lucid...I'm OMmmm! Ha ha!

7/09/2008 03:04:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I am currently listening to "Bright Side Of the Road," by Van Morrison...I'm never ceased to be amazed at his ability to elevate his music so oughta sight!

To express hia gift so clearly, in the pure language of human music; and to listen to it, is a gift, and yes, blessing!

7/09/2008 04:14:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"But in my case, it was the reverse. That is, I actually began at a point of vague hostility, but the more I immersed myself in the lighterature of certain particularly luminous minds -- including the early fathers, but especially one of those "light threads" that runs through people like Origen, Denys the Areopgite, John Scottus Eriugena, and Meister Eckhart -- the more I began to appreciate the conspicuous "smoking crater" at the Center of it All, and without which none of this luminous wisdom would have been possible. I mean, you can't really miss it. It's like the Grandest Canyon."

Now that's a compelling image!

7/09/2008 04:38:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

I repeat - "[T]he vast majority of detained 'enemy combatants' were not apprehended on the battlefield by American troops. They were turned in for bounties by other parties."

Did anyone read through the link I gave before? After a rocket attack on a U.S. base in Afghanistan, a militia commander turns over four men to the U.S. saying they were responsible. One of them dies in custody after being beaten repeatedly; the other three are sent to Gitmo. Then, a few months later, it turns out the militia commander was the one who did the rocket attack, and he just grabbed a passing cab driver and his passengers to deflect suspicion.

That's the kind of thing that can be avoided with just presumptively giving Geneva Convention protections until a tribunal has determined that a detainee is actually an unlawful combatant (e.g. have they even "committed a belligerent act"?). At least, for prisoners turned in by other than American troops.

That's not the same as coming up with a "fool proof" system "certified 100% free from error and emotion" (no strawmen there, eh Van?) - it's just applying what we've learned and say we believe in about justice.

It's also not an imposition on troops in combat - when bullets are flying, reading Miranda is superfluous - the enemy is committing 'belligerent acts'. But prison isn't combat, and different considerations apply. And I reiterate, only a small minority of detainees are actually captured on the battlefield by U.S. troops.

The activities at Abu Ghraib were profoundly stupid, because they were applied pretty generally, and not just to people that we had very good reason to believe were terrorists with information. No information we gained was worth the horrible PR hit - in a conflict where we're supposed to be trying to win hearts and minds - blurring the distinction between us and them.

We are better than Saddam and Soviet Gulags, of course - but that's an awfully low standard to shoot for.

7/09/2008 04:55:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

JWM - Your point about Moses' authority is, of course, correct - that's what I was saying - but as I noted, that's not really consistent with the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution.

As to why I'm here, I've answered that before, though others apparently have their own theories.

As to prayer - I have tried it before, back in college. I sure thought I was sincere, but who knows, maybe I had an Augustinian "but not yet!" attached. Again, you can have your own theories, but I have to go with my best judgement...

7/09/2008 05:13:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

I repeat:
"Yeah... you're right ray. Until we can figure out a fool proof way to fight a war that not only avoids obliterating any or all cities and villages or any of their inhabitants, but also absolutely prevents double agents and traitors from misleading our people, and certified 100% free from error and emotion... we should just sit home and let them crash our planes where they want.

(Disgusting, insufferable, jackass stupid....)"

Yes I read your link ray, not surprising that you would draw that conclusion from it. It is a war zone with an uncivilized enemy in a barely civilized 'country' where none of the enemy where uniforms and may be wearing the uniform of your 'friend', as one of our officers, father of three found out a couple weeks ago when his pakistani liaison turned around and shot him in the head.

It is a brutal ugly war, not by size, but by nature, uglier than most. Your stupid attempts to make it a legalized war are beneath contempt.

Giving 'geneva convention' protections to people who in no way fit under its definition is not only illogical, but logically will result in just the disgraceful decisions made by the supreme court last week, and the 'defendents' attempts to move their 'cases' into the American judicial media circus. where. we. will. lose. Matters of war and civil law cannot and will not mix, and any attempt to do so will, as with mixing wine with poison, only pull down and destroy the better side.

It doesn't matter one goddamn bit whether they are picked up off of a battlefield or a bakery... don't you get it? The whole damn place is a battlefield.

I won't dignify the abu grahib ref with any further response.

No, no strawmen.

7/09/2008 05:36:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

ray said "Oh, and BTW, Van - that was an interesting article you linked to about "Americanism", but the only point it addressed of the 'challen..."'

Did you read the Connecticut Fundamental Orders ray? That was written by thorough going religious men, well versed in, and understanding, their religion AND the nascent English Liberal learning. Don’t you get it? Of course not.

They are not contradictory, but complementary.

The Bible is not a follow the dots instruction manual. It inconstructs within the Man, and the Man then constructs his actions into the world as he sees that he should, according to what he sees as Truth and true.

The Connecticut compact was the unconflicted product of a truly religious Liberal (and ‘liberal’ meant as classical as classical Liberal gets) Man.

If you can’t or won’t get that, you should get yourself gone, you begin to cross the thin troll line between cute and ugly.

7/09/2008 06:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Hal said...

You sound angry, Ray.

7/09/2008 06:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Hal said...

Riddle:
How many lawyers can you fit on the head of a detainee?
Hint:
Rhymes with ginfinity.

7/09/2008 06:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Hal said...

Speaking of, complete this sentence before I close the pod bay doors:
One bad soldier does not spoil the whole _____.

7/09/2008 06:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Hal said...

I’m in a good mood. Complete this sentence:
“The ____________ is not a suicide pact.”

7/09/2008 06:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

We need to close ALL our prisons, because I know for a fact that police sometimes pick up the wrong guy. What I mean is that it wasn't even mine. Rather, I was just running it across the street for LaFayette. I had no idea what was in the bag. But as they say, "no good deed goes unpunished."

7/09/2008 06:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Puddy said...

Cuz. High five.

7/09/2008 06:39:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Hal - Not as angry as Van. (But that reminds me of this.)

7/09/2008 06:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Hal said...

Even I can tell whose side Van is on.

7/09/2008 06:59:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Yes, of course, Cousin. That's exactly what I've been saying, and follows perfectly naturally from what I've stated. How perspicacious of you to understand!

7/09/2008 07:00:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Why on earth shouldn't we be annoyed with you, Ray? We already know you disagree with the metaphysics. Since you can't get enough attention for that anymore, you try to usurp the conversation to set up whatever your latest strawman argument fixation is, hoping to make us dance to your tune. Van's right - you've gone from being polite and entertaining to being kind of a douche.

7/09/2008 08:04:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

>unlurk<

Lawd.

The accuser comes.

Out!

>lurk<

7/09/2008 08:07:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

By the way, Moses' authority doesn't rest on God in a purely intellectual sense, i.e. he was righteous or knew things correctly or some such, but on his contact with Truth itself; with God (as the G. Macdonald fan pointed out.)

Thus the difference between the Authority of Moses or an ancient Chinese Emperor and the Islamic Clerics of Iran is so distant as to be not worth discussing.

>relurk<

7/09/2008 08:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Van sounds very frightened to me. For that reason he can be excused for any barbarity he displays.

Really though, its a good thing cooler heads are in charge of our government.

7/09/2008 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Julie - I'm not looking for 'attention', I'm here to converse, and I'm replying to points Bob specifically made. And I don't think my style has changed - I certainly don't think I'm less polite, and I've never claimed (or aimed) to be entertaining.

I can't help but suspect that it's the particular subject of this conversation that's the sore point. (Recall the Orwell quote I referenced before.)

Bob could have set up the blog so that only pre-approved visitors could comment, but he didn't. Now, if Bob were to ask me to leave, I would, but apparently he thinks I can at least serve as a bad example.

7/09/2008 08:47:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Such leftist stupidy does anger me. It is a threat to me, my family, my country and to those already risking their lives to defend it.

And with obamama having a decent chance of winning the White House... you're damn right I'm frightened.

7/09/2008 08:51:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

BTW, Van - I didn't say that the DOI or Constitution (or the Connecticut Fundamental Orders) were contradictory to Christianity, nor did the 'challenge' that I linked to. The point was that their structure and many of their central ideas came from sources other than Christianity. Non-Christian does not mean anti-Christian.

7/09/2008 08:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

It is precisely a Ray says. Do not argue with him, but learn from his pitiable example. Let him know how much he teaches us about the plane he inhabits.

7/09/2008 08:55:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

ray said "I can't help but suspect that it's the particular subject of this conversation that's the sore point."

Ya think?

And not just the subject, but what the subject has revealed about you. Hannibal Lecter was polite also. Most of the truly frightening screen villains are the ones who speak and behave with the most exquisite manners as they perform their nefarious deeds. All the more so when the fictional character is factually living.

7/09/2008 08:57:00 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

I always understood that the most of the founders of this country derived their ideas of law from Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England. Which were very Christian in nature.

http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/blackstone/blacksto.htm

"Man, considered as creature, must necessarily be subject to the laws of his creator, for he is entirely a dependent being. A being, independent of any other, has no rule to pursue, but such as he prescribes to himself; but a state of dependence will inevitably oblige the inferior to take the will of him, on whom he depends, as the rule of hi conduct; not indeed in every particular, but in all those points wherein his dependence consists. This principle therefore has more or less extent and effect, in proportion as the superiority of the one and the dependence of the other is greater or less, absolute upon his maker for every thing, it I necessary that he should in all points conform to his maker’s will.

"This will of the maker is called the law of nature. For as God, when he created matter, and endued it with a principle of mobility, established certain rules for the perpetual direction of that motion; so, when he created man, and life, he laid down certain immutable laws of human nature, whereby that freewill is in some degree regulated and restrained, and gave him also the faculty of reason to discover the purport of those laws."

Our judicial system is drawn from the common law of England. The ideas of Blackstone would have been the primary formative influence on the minds of the men who first set up the governmental structures of this country.

7/09/2008 09:03:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Susannah,
Definitely... which gives me another opportunity to post the link to the fully referenced line by line examination of the U.S. Constitution at The Founders Constitution, hosted by the University of Chicago Press and the Liberty Fund. In fact, if you look at even the preamble, you'll find a reference to Blackstone right off the bat.

If anyone wants to understand what Liberalism was, as the Founders understood it, there are far worse ways to go about it (college for instance), and few better than you can gain through reading the Constitution along with the abundant linked material within that context.

7/09/2008 09:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ray, as an experienced Troll on this site I can tell you are hitting the sweet spot. Keep swinging.

This is the "Raccoon" weak spot. For spirit people, they are frightened, and they lash out in anger and other low emotions. They need to keep "working it" so to speak. That's why we troll here.

7/09/2008 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

BTW, it seems self-evident to me that God would not require the theocratic form of government of those who are not his covenant people.

If you read through all the prophets, you can get the sense of the sort of relationship God wanted with his people. They threw over their Divine Lover for a king. Isn't that just the way we human beings are?

The law of Moses makes all sorts of accommodations for the sinfulness of human beings. We shouldn't interpret that as God's perfect will for humanity. Polygamy immediately jumps to mind as an example of something God clearly did not intend from the created order (Gen. 2:24), but made accommodation for in the law, making provision for the protection of less-favored wives. Divorce is another example (Matt. 19:8-9). Slavery yet another (Lev. 25).

7/09/2008 09:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Yes. The trolls will go away when one ceases to need them.

7/09/2008 09:27:00 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Okay, now I've got that Michael Card song stuck in my head.

Jubilee

The Lord provided for a time
For the slaves to be set free
For the debt to all be cancelled
So His chosen ones could see

His deep desire was for forgiveness
He longed to see their liberty
And His yearning was embodied
In the Year of Jubilee

Jubilee, Jubilee
Jesus is our Jubilee
Debts forgiven
Slaves set free
Jesus is our Jubilee

At the Lord's appointed time
His deep desire became a man
The heart of all true jubilation
And with joy we understand
In His voice we hear a trumpet sound
That tells us we are free
He is the incarnation
Of the Year of Jubilee

Chorus

To be so completely guilty
Given over to despair
To look into your judge's face
And see a Savior there

7/09/2008 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Theology Guy (a.k.a. hubby) brings up several good points.

The law is for rebels (1 Timothy 1:8-11). Ideally, if we all practice self-control, self-rule, self-government, a government is not even really required, except perhaps for a call to arms (and that can be done state-by-state or tribe-by-tribe as the case may be).

Really, a representative republic is as close to the way things *should* be as we can get in a fallen world. Remember, the idea was that we should all govern ourselves, and draw from among we, the people, men to represent us on the organization level. The Founders, realizing the sinful bent of human beings (and having just throw off such a situation), came up with a separation of powers to mitigate our innate tendency toward corruption. That idea, by the way, was drawn from Blackstone, who in turn drew it from the biblical divisions of prophet, priest and king.

I wish I could remember everything he said--it was good stuff. Too bad he's not here so I can simply transcribe. :)

Anyway, the original idea in the OT was very similar--self-government under the rule of God. But things went haywire. "Every man did what was right in his own eyes..." and eventually they demanded a king.

7/09/2008 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

ray said "The point was that their structure and many of their central ideas came from sources other than Christianity. Non-Christian does not mean anti-Christian."

That is... to strain the reach of (deep breath...) politeness... disingenuous.

Your ref lists the innovations of the founders, and then follows with:"Secular and historical models and sources for all of these are available, some of them pre-dating your religion. Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to come up with Biblical ones that are at least as clear. Without them, claims that the American system of government is based on the Bible are unsupported, no matter how many quotes you post demonstrating this or that founder's belief in a God of some sort and no matter how much idolatry you insist on practicing on public land."

You'd be hard pressed to find all of those directly stated in Plato, Aristotle (his work on constitutions hadn't been discovered by the founders time) or Cicero either, since they make little or no mention of those 'points'... so by that criteria would you be saying that we weren't based upon a Greco/Roman foundation either?

You’re more Inte than Inte. Buncha sofistshtick B.S.

(Sorry Petey... just trying to help the plane to its safe crash landing)

7/09/2008 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Am I really that careless a proofreader? Sheesh.

7/09/2008 10:07:00 AM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

So, mousie, an "experienced Troll on this site" would have us believe fear is a sweetspot here.

That's rich, coming from a chicken who still hides behind 'anonymous'.

Get a handle you weenie

7/09/2008 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

BTW, speaking of strawmen "...Secular and historical models and sources for all of these are available, some of them pre-dating your religion. Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to come up with Biblical ones that are at least as clear..." no one is (or should be) saying that the U.S. Constitution was based upon the Bibles book of PolySci, Chapter 1776, verse 1789... or that any of the founders had the Bible open to said section and propped open against their copies of Montesquieu as they wrote and debated how to make it seem more Age of Enlightenmentish.

What we are saying, as did the Founders themselves in numerous easily found quotes, is that the Founders were, as with the example of Joseph Hooker in Connecticut - and in the same way, they were Men raised and well versed in the Judeo/Christian ethic, very much aware of its meaning and influence, and desirous that that influence should continue to guide those that followed them, in a similar fashion as to how it influenced their own thoughts and actions; by choice.

Even when I was an atheist, I didn't buy the lame lament that "America was never a Judeo/Christian Country!"... for every example of an Ethan Allen, you can easily find 10 John Adams to refute it. They didn't design into the articles and sections of the Constitution and their several State Constitutions little packets of Judeo/Christian-ness (though references to God aren't exactly difficult to find)... they were Judeo/Christian Men of the Enlightenment, as were the nearly two centuries of Men and Women who preceded them, and to attempt to deny or minimize either Greco/Roman, Judeo/Christian or Anglo/European, is shear idiocy.

7/09/2008 01:23:00 PM  

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