"Those who crusade, not for God in themselves, but against
the devil in others, never succeed in making the world better,
but leave it either as it was, or sometimes perceptibly worse
than what it was, before the crusade began. By thinking
primarily of evil we tend, however excellent our intentions,
to create occasions for evil to manifest itself."
-- Aldous Huxley
"The only war that matters is the war against the imagination.
All others are subsumed by it."
-- Diane DiPrima, "Rant", from Pieces of a Song.
"It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
of what is found there"
-- William Carlos Williams, "Asphodel, That Greeny Flower"
Beautiful (in that sinister sort of way), especially the last one.
Ann- great post! As an American, and human being, and citizen of this planet, I have been appalled and horrified by the actions of those that claim to represent me.
Well, they don’t. Pre-emptive war, corporate imperialism, income and rights inequality – those principles which are espoused by the Bush regime are not my principle. Mine go something like this:
Social Justice, Environmentalism, Non-Violence, and Personal Responsibility.
I just found your blog today, and look forward to reading more of the entries!
Always rely on me to take the exception! :)
I agree with some of this gentlemen’s points, but find that he contradicts himself over and over again. At one point he decries big government and its control and in the next breath he advocates it. In an instant he will criticize moral arbiters of the Christian right, then support the same behaviors in the “religious” left. He defends the extermination of millions of babies (I guess he would consider them fetuses–even though millions of them were performed late term) while worrying about people who engage in war and its outcomes.
Only by his own value judgements does he find himself more righteous than those he critiques. Does this make him any better than the targets of his self-righteousness? Jesus had an opinion on such people:
Matthew 23:13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in [yourselves], neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
Luke 11:46 And he said, Woe unto you also, [ye] lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers.
I truly feel sorry for people like Mr. Green. There seem to be many such young people in this world. It seems like the only thing we learn from history is history. I have seen much of this mindset in my time–it only results in anger, intolerance and hatred. The same kind that made me drink from a different water fountain than white folk, or sit at the back of the bus.
It is sad to see that some things never change.
Admittedly at first I was a little puzzled about what you were referencing. Upon realizing it was the article, I went back and re-read it past the first half I had initially read. (And that I’d found funny in a satirical sense). The second half does spew forth vitriol and I can see that it caused offense through its caricature of more considered conservative positions. I don’t even know these figures in the evangelical religious right named, nor much about the politics involved. I’m sorry if it caused you consternation and I can see that it would be offensive.
Alex, welcome and thanks for coming by. I appreciate your comment and share those sentiments.
NOO!! Sorry about that–I don’t really get offended, and you don’t have anything to apologize for!!:) I am just saddened more often than not with the younger generation and their lack of responsible thinking. It is very prevelant in my community and culture, and it is more a concern for their future, how they view and how it influences the outcomes of their existence. I try to communicate to the younger generation that hatred never justifies hate–but they are taught in our education institutions, media, and even our churches that it is ok to become what you hate because you are justified in it.
I was asked in my class one time if I hated Hitler. Well, it wasn’t that direct a question, but the gist of it was. I then proceeded to tell the class that I didn’t know Hitler, that I had never met him–how could I hate him? Of course this caused a lot of surprise and consternation. But I went on to explain that there were terrible things that Hitler did that I hate, but I could never say I hate Hitler. Other examples I gave were about people who had done things to me personally and my family. I couldn’t hate them either. Ann, the only thing I can find in my heart is a profound gratefullness for what God has done for me, how he provided me a way to live a relatively clean and productive life, and except for Him I may be a Hitler.
Even the great man of God, Paul, indicated:
1Timothy 1:15 This [is] a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
Ever wonder what would happen to the world if we learned to live according to Jesus’ rule:
Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
Talk about a world-wide revolution!
Take care, Ann! You are truly a wise and sensitive woman!
Jack, thanks for your magnanimous and generous response and I entirely agree, hatred does not justify hate, even with all we struggle against and for, we must be mindful not to become that which we hate.
Your excellent anecdote and example reminds me of something Nietzsche wrote in Beyond Good and Evil which is oft-cited yet resonant here:”Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you.”
What Christ preached in Matthew 5:44 is indeed truly revolutionary.
Thanks very much for your wisdom, Jack.