Sunday, September 30, 2007

Believing Means Doing

Luke 6 (Amplified version for emphasis)

Blessings and Woes

And Jesus came down with them and took His stand on a level spot, with a great crowd of His disciples and a vast throng of people from all over Judea and Jerusalem and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to listen to Him and to be cured of their diseases--

18Even those who were disturbed and troubled with unclean spirits, and they were being healed [also].

19And all the multitude were seeking to touch Him, for healing power was all the while going forth from Him and curing them all [[d]saving them from severe illnesses or calamities].

20And solemnly lifting up His eyes on His disciples, He said: Blessed (happy--[e]with life-joy and satisfaction in God's favor and salvation, apart from your outward condition--and [f]to be envied) are you poor and [g]lowly and afflicted (destitute of wealth, influence, position, and honor), for the kingdom of God is yours!

21Blessed (happy--[h]with life-joy and satisfaction in God's favor and salvation, apart from your outward condition--and [i]to be envied) are you who hunger and seek with eager desire now, for you shall be filled and completely satisfied! Blessed (happy--[j]with life-joy and satisfaction in God's favor and salvation, apart from your outward condition--and [k]to be envied) are you who weep and sob now, for you shall laugh!

22Blessed (happy--[l]with life-joy and satisfaction in God's favor and salvation, apart from your outward condition--and [m]to be envied) are you when people despise (hate) you, and when they exclude and excommunicate you [as disreputable] and revile and denounce you and defame and cast out and spurn your name as evil (wicked) on account of the Son of Man.

23Rejoice and be glad at such a time and exult and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is rich and great and strong and intense and abundant in heaven; for even so their forefathers treated the prophets.

24But woe to (alas for) you who are rich ([n]abounding in material resources), for you already are receiving your consolation (the solace and sense of strengthening and cheer that come from prosperity) and have taken and enjoyed your comfort in full [having nothing left to be awarded you].

25Woe to (alas for) you who are full now (completely filled, luxuriously gorged and satiated), for you shall hunger and suffer want! Woe to (alas for) you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep and wail!

26Woe to (alas for) you when everyone speaks fairly and handsomely of you and praises you, for even so their forefathers did to the false prophets.

Love for Enemies
27But I say to you who are listening now to Me: [[o]in order to heed, make it a practice to] love your enemies, treat well (do good to, act nobly toward) those who detest you and pursue you with hatred,

28Invoke blessings upon and pray for the happiness of those who curse you, implore God's blessing (favor) upon those who abuse you [who revile, reproach, disparage, and high-handedly misuse you].

29To the one who strikes you on the [p]jaw or cheek, offer the other [q]jaw or cheek also; and from him who takes away your outer garment, do not withhold your undergarment as well.

30Give away to everyone who begs of you [who is [r]in want of necessities], and of him who takes away from you your goods, do not demand or require them back again.

31And as you would like and desire that men would do to you, do exactly so to them.

32If you [merely] love those who love you, what [s]quality of credit and thanks is that to you? For even [t]the [very] sinners love their lovers (those who love them).

33And if you are kind and good and do favors to and benefit those who are kind and good and do favors to and benefit you, what [u]quality of credit and thanks is that to you? For even [v]the preeminently sinful do the same.

34And if you lend money [w]at interest to those from whom you hope to receive, what [x]quality of credit and thanks is that to you? Even notorious sinners lend money [y]at interest to sinners, so as to recover as much again.

35But love your enemies and be kind and do good [doing favors [z]so that someone derives benefit from them] and lend, expecting and hoping for nothing in return but [aa]considering nothing as lost and despairing of no one; and then your recompense (your reward) will be great (rich, strong, intense, and abundant), and you will be sons of the Most High, for He is kind and charitable and good to the ungrateful and the selfish and wicked.

36So be merciful (sympathetic, tender, responsive, and compassionate) even as your Father is [all these].

Judging Others

37Judge not [neither pronouncing judgment nor subjecting to censure], and you will not be judged; do not condemn and pronounce guilty, and you will not be condemned and pronounced guilty; acquit and forgive and [ab]release (give up resentment, let it drop), and you will be acquitted and forgiven and [ac]released.

38Give, and [gifts] will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will they pour [ad]into [the pouch formed by] the bosom [of your robe and used as a bag]. For with the measure you deal out [with the measure you use when you confer benefits on others], it will be measured back to you.

39He further told them [ae]a proverb: Can a blind [man] guide and direct a blind [man]? Will they not both stumble into a ditch or a [af]hole in the ground?

40A pupil is not superior to his teacher, but everyone [when he is] completely trained (readjusted, restored, set to rights, and perfected) will be like his teacher.

41Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye but do not notice or consider the beam [of timber] that is in your own eye?

42Or how can you say to your brother, Brother, allow me to take out the speck that is in your eye, when you yourself do not see the beam that is in your own eye? You actor (pretender, hypocrite)! First take the beam out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother's eye.

A Tree and Its Fruit
43For there is no good (healthy) tree that bears decayed (worthless, stale) fruit, nor on the other hand does a decayed (worthless, sickly) tree bear good fruit.

44For each tree is known and identified by its own fruit; for figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor is a cluster of grapes picked from a bramblebush.

45The upright (honorable, intrinsically good) man out of the good treasure [stored] in his heart produces what is upright (honorable and intrinsically good), and the evil man out of the evil storehouse brings forth that which is depraved (wicked and intrinsically evil); for out of the abundance (overflow) of the heart his mouth speaks.

The Wise and Foolish Builders
46Why do you call Me, Lord, Lord, and do not [practice] what I tell you?

47For everyone who comes to Me and listens to My words [in order to heed their teaching] and does them, I will show you what he is like:

48He is like a man building a house, who dug and went down deep and laid a foundation upon the rock; and when a flood arose, the torrent broke against that house and could not shake or move it, because it had been securely built or [ag]founded on a rock.

49But he who merely hears and does not practice doing My words is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation, against which the torrent burst, and immediately it collapsed and fell, and the breaking and ruin of that house was great.


S.S. Says,

These words are some of the most powerful and paradigm changing words that Jesus ever spoke. In one sermon he turned the World, the system of domination and revenge and the value systems associated with it upside down. In Christian circles today we hear a lot about the Ten Commandments and the fight to hang them on our walls. We hear a lot of condemnation of them that do not adhere or accept our own particular brands of belief. We have too often shunned the even-the-enemy loving, grace filled Jesus of the gospels and clung to the image of Christ the avenger from the book of Revelation. Instead of only scrapping to hang the Ten Commandments in our public places, would we not, could we not better serve Jesus and our World by living as Jesus lived- speaking as he spoke- loving as he loved instead of shoveling dirt on those we perceive as our enemies? I acknowledge that there is a time to fight- to stand up for what is right. There is a right and wrong way to do that however. My question is why is no-one pushing to hang the Beatitudes in the public places? Another question... wouldn't living as Christ like disciples and servants... living by humble example be better than hanging plaques on the walls?

When Jesus asks in Luke 6:46, "Why do you call Me, Lord, Lord, and do not [practice] what I tell you?"-what is your answer?

Too many that wear the name "Christian" today are not true disciples of Christ.

Mark and remember this from Luke 6:49:

"But he who merely hears and does not practice doing My words is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation, against which the torrent burst, and immediately it collapsed and fell, and the breaking and ruin of that house was great."



  1. Luke 6:9 Hermann Cremer, Biblico-Theological Lexicon.
  2. Luke 6:9 John Wycliffe, The Wycliffe Bible.
  3. Luke 6:10 Some manuscripts add this phrase.
  4. Luke 6:19 Marvin Vincent, Word Studies.
  5. Luke 6:20 Hermann Cremer, Biblico-Theological Lexicon.
  6. Luke 6:20 Alexander Souter, Pocket Lexicon.
  7. Luke 6:20 Joseph Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon.
  8. Luke 6:21 Hermann Cremer, Biblico-Theological Lexicon.
  9. Luke 6:21 Alexander Souter, Pocket Lexicon.
  10. Luke 6:21 Hermann Cremer, Biblico-Theological Lexicon.
  11. Luke 6:21 Alexander Souter, Pocket Lexicon.
  12. Luke 6:22 Hermann Cremer, Biblico-Theological Lexicon.
  13. Luke 6:22 Alexander Souter, Pocket Lexicon.
  14. Luke 6:24 Joseph Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon.
  15. Luke 6:27 Marvin Vincent, Word Studies.
  16. Luke 6:29 Joseph Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon.
  17. Luke 6:29 Joseph Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon.
  18. Luke 6:30 Joseph Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon.
  19. Luke 6:32 Marvin Vincent, Word Studies.
  20. Luke 6:32 William Tyndale, The Tyndale Bible.
  21. Luke 6:33 Marvin Vincent, Word Studies.
  22. Luke 6:33 Joseph Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon.
  23. Luke 6:34 Marvin Vincent, Word Studies.
  24. Luke 6:34 Marvin Vincent, Word Studies.
  25. Luke 6:34 Marvin Vincent, Word Studies.
  26. Luke 6:35 Hermann Cremer, Biblico-Theological Lexicon.
  27. Luke 6:35 Marvin Vincent, Word Studies.
  28. Luke 6:37 Literal translation.
  29. Luke 6:37 Literal meaning.
  30. Luke 6:38 Marvin Vincent, Word Studies.
  31. Luke 6:39 G. Abbott-Smith, Manual Greek Lexicon.
  32. Luke 6:39 Alexander Souter, Pocket Lexicon.
  33. Luke 6:48 Some manuscripts so read.

Cross references:
  1. Luke 6:1 : Deut 23:25
  2. Luke 6:2 : Exod 20:10; 23:12; Deut 5:14
  3. Luke 6:4 : Lev 24:9

Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Jesus and Mary Chain - Blues from a Gun

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Here, Mark Driscoll describes precisely the reason why I post some of the music and other items that I do on this blog.


I don't care about the state of my hair
I got something out of nothing
That just wasn't there
And your kiss kiss kiss
Is never gonna blow me away
Dreams of escape keep me awake
I'm never gonna get out or make it away
I'm a stone dead tripper
Dying in a fantasy
Like a cracked open sky
it helps you to die
Don't split it scrape it
You're screaming automatic pain
Your're too young kid you're gonna get hit
Looks like your never gonna make it
Off the government list
I don't mind about the state of my mind
But you know it's good for nothing
And I left you behind
It's a sick sick city
But it's never gonna make me insane
If you're talking for real
Then go cut a deal
You're facing up to living out
The way that you feel
And you shake shake shake
'Cause you know you'll never make it away
Well I guess that's why I've always
Got the blues

Christian Culture vs. Biblical Culture- Mark Driscoll

He's on the money!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mark Driscoll describes precisely the reason why I post some of the music and other items that I do on this blog. I am turning into a real fan of this fellow.

Unreal World- The Godfathers

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Unreal World Lyrics:

I heard women crying everywhere
Babies born and no one cares
People sleeping on the ground
See the rain come falling down
There's decisions to be made
There has to be some give and take
For this the road we walk along
Is not the road we started on
Have you heard the full time score
We're living under Murphy's Law

I've been walking 'cross vast empty spaces I feel
I've been looking for one face I know that is real
I've been walking 'cross vast empty spaces

Let's talk about the way I feel
The whole wide world's become unreal

Time's like money it'll soon be spent
Let's talk about the government
They're selling England by the gram
We're stranded in the strangest land
There's not enough to go around
No one knows what's going down
Nothing ventured nothing gained
Why should we feel so ashamed
'Cause every dog must have it's day
And I refuse to be your slave

I've been walking 'cross vast empty spaces I feel
I've been looking for one face I know that is real
I've been walking 'cross vast empty spaces

Let's talk about the way I feel
The whole wide world's become unreal
Let's talk about the way I feel
The whole wide world's become unreal

London's mourning skies turned black
They've gone too far we can't turn back
Free the ravens from the tower
We've yet to have our finest hour
Don't believe the news at ten
That happy days are here again
Where's the Union Jack and Jill
'Cause we should not be standing still
Listen to me- understand
A hungry man's an angry man

Let's talk about the way I feel
The whole wide world's become unreal
Let's talk about the way I feel
The whole wide world's become unreal

God's Warriors- Faith and Politics

Can one have a Christian bicycle?

Follow this link to a video diary from the CNN special "God's Warriors" with Christiane Amanpour. Click on "Christianity" and then click on "Politics and Faith". This sounds a whole lot like the lesson that Mr. D.S. Martin once taught on "When Faith Meets Politics". I believe that his thesis, as well as the one shown in this clip is on the money. Mr. Martin's lesson was well recieved and there was talk of further lessons at one time.

"Just acting like a normal Christian is an extremely radical thing to do"
- Harry R. Jackson, Jr.

Scott Starr: Christian Writer, Cherokee, Geotheologian, Freethinker, Blogger, Social Commentator, Hitek Guru


Friday, September 28, 2007

HighRoller by The Crystal Method

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

War Made Easy- The Template

I have ben reading the book "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits keep Spinning Us To Death" by Norman Solomon. I find it to be an eloquent disertation on the miltary-media- industrial- complex (known biblically as the World) and how it manipulates the perceptions of the public concerning its case for military intervention. Many people may not realize that in the last sixty plus years, nearly every "secular-humanist- military- humanitarinan" intervention that has been undertaken has followed essentially the same pattern of propagandizing and coercing the public. This pattern holds true not only for the current engagements in the Middle East but has also held true in Korea, Viet Nam, Nicaragua, El Salvador, The Dominican Republic, Panama, Haiti, Cambodia, Laos, Kosovo, etc., etc. This is not to say that these "enemies" were not bad people. But acknowledge if you will the template that is used when "convincing" the public what "must" be done about these situations.

The list below is merely the table of contents headings for the aforementioned book.
These headings alone read like a primer on selling a military intervention to the public. They will sound very familiar:

Building the Agendas For War

1. America is a fair and noble superpower

2. Our leaders will do everything they can to avoid war

3. Our leaders will never tell us outright lies

4. This guy is a modern- day Hitler

5. This is about human rights

6. This is not at all about oil or corporate profits

7. They are they agressors, not us

8. If this war is wrong, congress will stop it

9. If this war is wrong, the media will tell us

10. Media coverage brings war into our living rooms

11. Opposing the war means siding with the enemy

12. This is a necessary batttle in the war on terrorism

13. What the U.S. government needs most is better PR

14. The Pentagon fights wars as humanely as possible

15. Our soldiers are heroes, theirs are inhuman

16. America needs the resolve to kick the "Viet Nam Syndrome"

17. Withdrawal would cripple the U.S. credibility

Now, here is the model for Godly conflict resolution as set down in Romans Chapter 12:

Living Sacrifices
1Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual[a] act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

3For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. 4Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his[b]faith. 7If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
9Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.[c] Do not be conceited.

17Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay,"[d]says the Lord. 20On the contrary:
"If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head."[e] 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.


  1. Romans 12:1 Or reasonable
  2. Romans 12:6 Or in agreement with the
  3. Romans 12:16 Or willing to do menial work
  4. Romans 12:19 Deut. 32:35
  5. Romans 12:20 Prov. 25:21,22

Also, cipher this:

Note this from Proverbs 6:16-19. Take special notice of the item at the top of the list and also the one that closes out the list:

16 There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him:

17 haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,

18 a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,

19 a false witness who pours out lies
and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.


The people who stir the toxic political stew everyday via the American airwaves and/or coin the phrases that become bumper stickers would be wise to heed these words.

Some may even accuse me of stirring discord. However, I dare anyone to find a place in this voluminous blog where I am engaging in deciet, encouraging violence, stirring hatred, advocating other than adherence to the edicts and/or principles of the Bible, promoting ANY political candidate or steering anyone away from Christ alone as the Way the Truth and the Light.

My message is simple really. To Cristians: Use discernment. Be the Church. Be at Peace. Recognize the World for what it is and realize the distinction between the World and the Church. Stand up for the Jesus Christ of the Gospels and the Beatitudes. Think eternally. Act spiritually. Speak the truth, Expose untruth even if it make people uncomfortable. Be slow to anger. Love. Do not hate. Trust God.

Proud to be an American-Christian! (If you don't like it, you can go to @#%*!)

Did the title of the post wake you up? It is just a little bit provocative, I will admit. But, I hoped to wake up your reasoning ability, because the problem with carnality is, that it is never farther away than your heart, i.e. the physical pump beating in your chest at this very moment.

This post is based on something that has occurred to me over time, since I taught a Wednesday Evening bible class just over a year ago. The title of the lesson was "When Faith & Politics Meet". I have posted the lesson in most of my blogs and have posted most of it here on Scott’s blog as well.

I see this bumper sticker quite often that says “I am Proud to be an American”, the magnet version is in the picture posted above right. (Whoops! How did that get in here?)

It is a point that Scott has encouraged me to contemplate, because the attitude that is revealed will necessarily divide humanity between America and others.

However, the goal of the Lord is, and always has been, to have all barriers removed from between individual men and women as well as from between humanity and God.
St. Paul certainly recognized this, look at the following passage and think about the pride within the bumper stickers.
"Power of Pride" indeed.

Galatians 3:26-29, 26 So you are all children* of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have been made like him. 28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile,* slave or free, male or female. For you are all Christians—you are one in Christ Jesus.(emphasis added by the Holy Spirit. If you don't believe it, just ask Him!) 29 And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and now all the promises God gave to him belong to you.
Galatians 3:26
Greek sons.
Galatians 3:28
Greek Jew or Greek.
Holy Bible : New Living Translation. 1997 . Tyndale House: Wheaton, Ill.

To the above passage we might add 'there is no American or European'.

Nevertheless, we have jumped headlong into the very trap, about which Paul warned the Galatian Church.

And furthermore, we do it gladly with pride. We boast arrogantly about our nationality and our state of birth. We stick red, white and blue magnetic slogans on our cars, such as; "The Power of Pride". All the while we forget that the the power of pride is death..., always & without exception. Pride is a dead end street.

It is only by humility that we become like our Lord Jesus Christ. I do not see Jesus walking around Palestine, for the three years of his ministry, carrying a placard that said "Proud to be a Jew". Consider this final section from St. Paul's letter the the Galatians.

Galatians 6:14-16, 14 As for me, God forbid that I should boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross,* my interest in this world died long ago, and the world’s interest in me is also long dead. 15 It doesn’t make any difference now whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we really have been changed into new and different people. 16 May God’s mercy and peace be upon all those who live by this principle. They are the new people of God.*
Galatians 6:14
Or Because of him.
Galatians 6:16
Greek the Israel of God.
Holy Bible : New Living Translation. 1997 . Tyndale House: Wheaton, Ill.

Does the passage above have anything in common with with a philosophy of division or superiority?
As for me, God forbid that I should boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.

What if we did our "identity-pride" based on our galaxy, the Milky Way, instead of all of the other ways, e.g. by nationalism, sports teams, automobile manufacturers, etc.?

We would be far more unified with this approach to division?

Instead of seeing bumper stickers that read "Texas Native" or "Proud to be an American", we could just have "Proud to be a Milky Wayan" or "Proud to be a Milky Wayfarer".

God bless,

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Questions and answers during the early days of the Iraq war

More early war discussion. Questions and answers:

>Subject: q's and a's> Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2003 10:17:21 -0600
> Another good friend and armchair philosopher asked me some good questions about ongoing political debate. I thought you might be interested in the questions and answers too.
>From: CHUCK
>To: Scott Starr
>Subject: Re: unplug?
>Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2003 00:07:56 EST
>I have been working on some thoughts I wanted to share with you but I have
>some questions that need answers first.
>What do think of the accusations going around that Bush had Sadam captured a
>long time ago but just brought him out?
>That Bush plotted this war in Texas for the benefit of a few oil companies?
>That Bush was warned of the plot for 9/11 but said nothing because .. it is
>not clear to me what motive Dean thinks Bush would have for that?
>What is your take on this?
> I really don't think there is any possibility that Saddam has been captured for any longer than they say. I suppose anything is possible...but it is very unlikely. I can't imagine how holding on to him would be of any benefit in any way given the pressures of the Iraq situation.
> On the second question, about the war being plotted in Texas for the benefit of oil companies is not quite such a pat answer. First of all, let me say that Ted Kennedy's statements on this can only be seen as a politically motivated and overblown generalization. The president and his staff would have to be the most crass and EVIL people on the planet to actually sit around and consciously hatch such a machiavellian scheme, whereby all this death and destruction would result, just to add to their personal fortunes. As much distaste as I have for the president and his cronies, I simply cannot believe that they are that immoral consciously. However, It is also difficult for me to imagine us being so commited in Iraq if there was no oil to be found over there. Without the oil factor and its attending implications for the oil based world economy, we would probably go on largely ignoring Saddam's crimes against humanity like we did for most of the last few decades including the genocidal rampage carried out at the close of the first Gulf War. Off the top of my head I have to say that the war, as most are, is mostly about the balance of power rather than any commodities or moral considerations. The U.S. backed Saddam back when it served their interests...we basically created Saddam by giving him our blessing and helping arm him back when they were at war with Iran. This is not a new thing for Uncle Sam, we have consistently backed jackasses like Saddam around the world. During my youth there was support for Khmer Rouge, the Esquadron de Muerte in El Salvador, dictatorships from the Philipines to Chile, Haiti, Columbia etc., etc.
> In more recent times we just ignore situations like the slaughter of people in East Timor, in the Slavic world and the gassing of the Kurds in Iraq... in each case we backed or ignored harsh regimes to maintian that same balance of power that served our economic and cultural interests no matter what the cost of human life was in some faraway land that Joe Sixpack typicallly doesn't know anything about. Heck we wouldn't even take on the Nazis and get into what became WWII until we got attacked on our own turf. Both the political right and left are guilty on this...both of their key interests have always been maintining their own baseline of power. Power is the name of the game, economic, social, political ...power. Each of these cases and the general concept of all this warrant a lot more thought and discussions...there is a lot of literature out there on all of it. I always like to study both sides of the story and make inferences from that. I can give some examples... Of course, I don't believe evrything I read from any source, but I have been a voracious reader and news junkie since 9/11.
>I know people from both the political right and the left (as if those are the only two ways of thinking) that are not objective and cannot stomach anything that directs critical thought at their preferred leaders. " I ain't married to none of 'em," as I've heard a local car salesman say.
> On the 9/11 thing..
> From what I can discern, the intelligence community in general has known that the threat of major terrorist attacks was great and also on the rise for many years now. I have heard the political right accuse the Clinton administration of dropping the ball and lowering our defenses. However, that is more guff, because the record shows that that administration was very worried and very active about the subject. (also, the military now in the field was built mostly prior to November 2,000...i.e. under the previous administration so this is not a new military machine recreated by the Bush administration that is performing so well but the legacy of about the past three administrations....and no I am not a fan of Clinton...just stating facts) Memos were passed around concerning the ongoing terrorist threat and plots during the change of administrations. However, several things interfered with the process. First there was that screwball election. Then there was the changing of the guard and all the attending focus that had to be devoted to building a new cabinet and shaping new foreign and domestic policy.
>From what I can tell, the threat of terrorism was sort of put on the back burner, so to speak while all thesre other things were happening. I really don't think that the Bush admin. got detailed specific info and then just blew it off. They had an agenda for dealing with the threats all along...they just got beat to the punch by Al Qaeda. Other matters dimmed the focus on this issue....politics in general. The right and left were so busy fussing, the new and old admins had such low regard for each other and poor communications that the REAL enemy slipped in a solid sucker punch. ...And now both right and left are very busy blaming each other for the results.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Love And Rockets - Ball Of Confusion

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Also check out this vid:

Its the American Indian version of essentially the same song. It makes the hair on my neck stand. We can tune in something like what's portrayed here if we just will.

My understanding of spiritual warfare is growing in every moment.

Wayfaring Stranger

Wayfaring Stranger

This is another bluegrass spiritual I'd love to hear at church. The song is centuries old:


I am a poor wayfaring stranger
Travelling through this world alone
There is no sickness, toil nor danger
In that fair land to which I go

I'm going home
To see my mother
I'm going home
No more to roam
I am just going over Jordan
I am just going over home

I know dark clouds will hover o'er me,
I know my pathway is rough and steep
But golden fields lie right before me
Where weary eyes no more will weep
I'm going home to see my father
I'm going home no more to roam
I am just going over Jordan
I am just going over home

I'll soon be free from every trial
This form will rest beneath the sod
I'll drop the cross of self-denial
and enter in that home with God
I'm going home to see my savior
I'm going home no more to roam
I am just going over Jordan
I am just going over home

Nailed To The Door

95 Theses On the Nationalistic Idolatry
of Churches in the United States

From Source:

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The tragedies of 11 September 2001 are grievous not only for the lives taken by terrorists, but also because their aftermath has powerfully revealed that we, the Church in the United States, have prostrated ourselves before the idol of our nation. Thus, it is with great sadness that the endorsers of this document humbly plead with our churches to join us in repentance, turning from the United States' twisted notions of liberty, democracy and justice, from the historical misconceptions of its "Christian heritage" and from the ubiquitous greed that drives our nation. Jesus is calling his people in the United States today to grieve the sins of our nation, to return to our first love, and to once again recognize him alone as our King and the provider of our security.

Out of love and concern for the truth, and with the object of eliciting it, the following theses are submitted to the Church in the United States for public discussion, under the guidance of the endorsers of this document. We request that discussion on this matter be directed to: Our Discussion Board or

Or of course we can discuss it right here at Geotheology.

This is what I call "Conservative."

  1. When our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ said, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand," he called us to become citizens of His Kingdom.

  2. This Kingdom to which we are called cannot properly be understood as equivalent to any worldly kingdom (nation or empire) -- cf., Jn 18:36, Lk 17:20-21.

  3. Thus, the United States of America is not the Kingdom of God, nor did it ever have any special place -- as a nation -- in that Kingdom.

  4. Furthermore, the United States, despite the manifold references to "God" in its defining documents, never recognizes Jesus as part of the Godhead it proclaims.

  5. Despite its thoroughly religious character, the United States also never makes any pretension of allegiance to Jesus and to his will for establishing a kingdom here on Earth (Mt 6:10).

  6. The Founding Fathers of the United States -- despite their unanimous theism -- held a wide spectrum of religious beliefs, and the claim that they all were disciples of Jesus is a dangerous falsehood grounded in boastful mythology that arose in the early nineteenth century.

  7. Even those few Founding Fathers who did profess to follow Christ, generally yielded to the Enlightenment spirit of that day and understood their faith in very private, individualized terms.

  8. Thus, they downplayed or ignored the socio-political reality of the Church (God's people) as the Kingdom proclaimed, and established, by Jesus.

  9. Therefore, the only vestige of the Christian faith that we find exhibited in the documents that established the United States are moral and legal imperatives condensed from the Scriptures.

  10. However, the Founding Fathers did not adopt the moral and legal principles of the Scriptures as a whole, but rather selectively drew upon principles that fit their vision.

  11. Thus, Scriptural principles that were not consistent with their worldly philosophies (economics, Enlightenment individualism, etc.) -- e.g., the social and economic justice of the Jubilee -- were discarded.

  12. Even if the Founding Fathers had embraced the whole of Scriptural law (and yet refused to recognize Christ), the United States would not be a Christian Nation, for as the Apostle Paul reminds us (Rom. 3:20ff, Eph. 2:8-9, etc.) the basis of Christianity is faith in Christ's gospel of grace, not Law.

  13. Therefore, the Founding Fathers, by clinging to the philosophies of their day and thus relegating faith to the private sphere and by choosing a selective approach to the Scriptures, created in essence a space in which a new religion could arise.

  14. As the nineteenth century progressed and as the United States grew as an economic and political power -- and at the same time, as the church was waning as a cultural institution-- a new religion did emerge, one which astute scholars have labeled the "American Civil Religion."

  15. The highest value of this American civil religion is not Christianity's love for Yahweh and neighbor, but rather personal liberty.

  16. For us, the followers of Jesus, liberty is a virtue, but it is not the highest virtue.

  17. Indeed, Jesus's statement that "You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free" reminds us that true liberty comes only through Christ (who calls himself the "Truth," John 14:6) and thus that liberty must take a backseat to Christ-like love.

  18. Furthermore, the true freedom that we experience as a result of knowing and obeying Jesus (I Jn 2:3) is not something that a worldly government can either grant or deny.

  19. Beginning with the American Revolution, the United States' relentless pursuit of liberty has been the cause of most of its wars, in which hundreds of thousands of lives have been taken -- including those of many Christians.

  20. In contrast, Jesus himself distinguished His Kingdom from worldly ones by stating that His Kingdom needed no violence to defend it (Jn. 18:36).

  21. Jesus's words therefore remind us again that the United States is not the Kingdom of God, and that the God in which it trusts is not the triune Yahweh.

  22. Thus, it is not difficult to see that this new American religion centered on liberty required a god shaped in its own image, an idol quite distinct from the triune God of the Christian faith.

  23. This god, although he bore some resemblance to Yahweh, was more reminiscent of the ideological god of the eighteenth century philosophers and was strikingly characterized by the highest virtues of their humanism.

  24. Robert Bellah has described this idol: "The god of the civil religion is not only rather 'unitarian,' he is also on the austere side, much more related to order, law and right than to salvation and love."

  25. Although the Founding Fathers did not intend to replace Christianity with a civil religion, they did expect that, at least for the nation's leaders, Christianity would be subordinated to the will of the State (Robert Bellah has said: "(In the United States,) the national magistrate, whatever his private religious views, operates under the rubrics of the civil religion as long as he is in his official capacity.")

  26. Despite the intentions of the Founding Fathers, Jesus has made it clear that his followers (in the United States or elsewhere) cannot simultaneously serve two masters for they will end up loving one and hating the other-- cf. Mt 6:24, Lk. 16:13.

  27. Thus, American governmental officials who profess Christ (and particularly those at the highest levels) find themselves straining to serve two masters and we, the Church, should not look to them as heroes of the Christian faith or as prophets speaking God's words to His people.

  28. The American civil religion, with its idolatrous images of the divine, has survived throughout the history of the United States because it is useful for blinding and deceiving the Church.

  29. For America to retain its power, we the Church must be deceived for as Herbert Richardson has said: "The real limitation on the power of the state is its citizens' loyalty to and participation in groups whose membership, goals and procedures are not isomorphic or consistent with the membership, goals and procedures of the state."

  30. Following in the pattern of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, we -- the churches in the United States -- have been greatly deceived by lies grounded in pride.

  31. We have fallen prey to the presumptuous notion that our nation is God's chosen people; this proud lie no doubt has numerous roots including the early Puritan view that understood the American colonies as a "New Israel" and the Founding Fathers' choice to claim a divine origin for the fundamental values and laws of the nation.

  32. The pride that we express as a Church in "the American way of life" wreaks havoc upon the fundamental equality and unity that undergirds Yahweh's universal Church -- cf. Gal. 3:28.

  33. Indeed, many Christians around the world -- e.g., in Germany or in Vietnam -- have been hated or even killed as a result of the nationalistic pride of the United States, which is always at its highest levels during times of war.

  34. Such nationalistic pride is incompatible with our calling to follow Jesus's example of humility, "considering others better than ourselves" (Phil. 2:3).

  35. Indeed, in the Old Testament, pride was a prominent symbol of the lack of God's favor upon a person or a nation (cf. Ps 94:1-2, Pr 16:19, Is 2:12).

  36. Thus, we -- the Church in the U.S. -- must carefully weigh nationalistic petitions for God to bless America against the biblical understanding of Yahweh as one who "opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble" (James 4:6).

  37. We also have been deceived into looking to its government for security -- instead of looking to Yahweh.

  38. It is Yahweh who created us and it is Yahweh who will sustain us and protect us (cf. Mt. 6:25-34).

  39. Jesus told us that our primary calling as the Church is to seek first His Kingdom -- not a worldly Kingdom -- and when we do so, we are promised that our needs will be met (Mt 6:33).

  40. Although the United States and other nations may set themselves up as providers of sustenance and security, we the Church must always remember that the power that Yahweh allows a nation to have is minuscule in comparison to Yahweh's omnipotence.

  41. Thus, the Scriptures provide us with images of Yahweh scoffing at nations (Ps. 2) and considering them as "less than nothing and emptiness" (Is. 40:17).

  42. We must therefore understand the United States of America, as a "kingdom" of this world, in light of these Scriptural images, and thus treat it with a healthy dose of caution.

  43. However, we the Church do have a clear biblical responsibility to lovingly respect and to pray for the governing authorities (cf. Rom. 12:14-13:8, I Tim. 2:1-2).

  44. Maintaining an attitude of "loving respect" however does not mean that we have an obligation to endorse the government or to unconditionally approve of all its policies; neither does it mean that we should unquestioningly obey every one of the nation's edicts.

  45. Indeed, our primary responsibility is to be obedient to the triune God, for it is Yahweh, and not the United States, who dictates what is right.

  46. Thus, the spirit of love reminds us that if -- in a situation where the righteousness of Yahweh and the righteousness of the nation conflict-- we choose to obey Yahweh, then we should be prepared to face the wrath of the state.

  47. However, if we suffer, are imprisoned or even die for our insistence on being obedient to Jesus, we are blessed by Yahweh (cf. I Pet 2:19-21, Mt 5:10).

  48. Our call to lovingly respect the governing authorities of the nation, also dictates that we should not angrily demonize the government, but instead mourn the sins of her nation.

  49. We, the Church in the United States, have also been deceived about the way in which Yahweh's blessing is poured out; viz., economic wealth is rarely a sign of God's blessing.

  50. And in those instances where Yahweh does bless a person or people with wealth, the intent is that that wealth should be lavished upon others, not stored up (Mt. 6:19-21, I Tim. 6:5-11, Lk. 3:11).

  51. Indeed, the New Testament image of the Church's economics is one characterized by sharing (Greek, "koinonia"), not by greed or the amassing of capital (cf. Acts 2:44-45, 4:32, I John 1:6-7).

  52. In contrast, the power of the United States has come through economic domination as much as it has through political domination.

  53. Thus, the nation of the United States with its wealth -- especially relative to the rest of the world -- must be regarded by the Church with caution for money is a powerful force and one that easily can become a false god (cf. Mt 6:24).

  54. After encountering the rich young ruler, Jesus remarked to his disciples that: "It will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven" (Mt. 19:23).

  55. Similarly, it would seem equally difficult for a wealthy nation to attain a favorable status in the Kingdom that Jesus proclaimed.

  56. Thus, in light of the United States' wealth, we must examine critically any claim that the U.S. is favored by Yahweh.

  57. In accord with the Scriptural principle that conflict and wars often have their origins in greed (Jam. 4:1-2), the affluence of the United States has been a major contributing factor to both the wars it waged abroad (e.g., in the Persian Gulf, to protect its access to oil) and its excessive spending on the defense of its own soil.

  58. The rich young ruler, held captive by his own greed, made a decisive choice to not follow Jesus, and a good case can be made that the United States has done likewise.

  59. We the Church have, in many cases, also been blinded to the fact that the United States is not a democracy.

  60. From its earliest days to the present, from the male Colonial land-owners to Corporations and lobby groups, the power in the United States has always rested primarily in the hands of the wealthy.

  61. Furthermore, the United States historically has never completely succeeded at protecting the basic rights of its most powerless minorities: from Native Americans to Blacks to Women to the unborn.

  62. Despite the fact that -- in the words of Frederick Douglass -- the United States' own claims of equality and democracy are "hollow mockery," it hypocritically has been quick to take up arms in defense of democracy abroad (Korea, Vietnam, etc.).

  63. Indeed, democracy -- even in its purest incarnation -- is not the modus operandi of the Kingdom of God, for our sovereign and omnipotent King Yahweh loves all people and thus has a special concern for the marginalized minority (cf. Lk. 4:16-20).

  64. Thus, we the Church in the United States must be careful not to put too high of a value on democracy, lest visions of this earthly form of government obscure the sovereignty of God.

  65. Furthermore, we as God's chosen people -- for whom mere anger is a grave sin (cf. Mt 5:21-22) -- cannot endorse wars waged in the name of earthly ideals including democracy.

  66. Justice, like democracy and liberty, is another ideal that the United States is quick to defend.

  67. The Scriptures are unquestionably clear that Yahweh is a God who delights in justice (cf. Is. 5:16, 30:8, Mic. 6:8, etc.).

  68. However, genuine justice must be grounded in Truth, not half-truths, rumors, speculations or propaganda.

  69. We, the Church in the United States, have a responsibility to act like the Church in Berea (Acts 17:10-11), carefully examining in the light of the Scriptures the claims that are brought before it.

  70. Thus, given that the concepts of liberty and democracy that the United States presents are flawed, we should be particularly careful when the United States makes appeals to justice.

  71. One of our fundamental principles as the Church is that humanity is deeply flawed (or "fallen"), and therefore that any human claims to truth (and thus justice also) must be made in humility, admitting the possibility of error.

  72. Therefore, we must also carefully examine the attitude with which the United States (or any government) makes appeals to justice.

  73. The Old Testament law, in sanctioning "an eye for an eye," thus limits the scope of just retribution to no more than was taken.

  74. Thus, we the Church who have been called by Jesus to an even higher standard than that of the Old Testament (Mt. 5:38-42), must resist initiatives of retaliatory rage that seek to be increasingly destructive, for we cannot both love Yahweh and hatefully destroy other human beings (I Jn. 4:20).

  75. Although we the Church share Jesus's longing for justice, we must recognize in humility that our pursuit of justice must be subordinated to our faithfulness in following Jesus, the Prince of Peace.

  76. Indeed, faithfulness to Jesus and to the building of his Kingdom is our primary calling, and we can no longer adulterously serve two masters: Jesus and the United States.

  77. Sadly, the tragedies of 11 September 2001 have unearthed a massive vein of nationalism in our churches in the United States.

  78. Jesus's Church, like the Israelites in the promised land, is called to be a holy --set apart-- people in the midst of their pagan neighbors (Deut. 7:6, 1 Pet 2:9).

  79. However, since September 11, our churches in the U.S. have become exponentially more vocal about praising and defending our own golden calf: the United States.

  80. We are thus in grave danger for one of our fundamental principles is that we are neither to craft nor to worship any false gods (cf. Ex 20:1-5).

  81. Today more than ever, God's people in the United States need to hear the words of Jesus: "Repent! For the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand."

  82. The Greek word in this verse that is translated "Repent!" literally indicates a changing of mind.

  83. The Church in the United States needs Jesus to transform us by renewing and changing our minds, in order that we may no longer be conformed to the worldly culture of the United States (Rom. 12:2).

  84. The Scriptures promise the Church that if we confess our sins, Yahweh -- who is faithful and just -- will "forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I Jn. 1:9).

  85. Therefore, we, the Church in the United States, must confess that we have fallen for the proud lies of nationalism.

  86. Furthermore, we need forgiveness for the patriotic idols that we have crafted and for our arrogance in relating to other nations.

  87. We must also confess that we have trusted in our nation to bring us sustenance and security and that we have been slaves to wealth and greed.

  88. If we humble ourselves before Yahweh, the blood of Jesus will cleanse us, even from the blood on our hands from the lives that we have taken to appease our idols (liberty, democracy and the United States).

  89. Jesus will not only cleanse us, but will also free us from our economic enslavement to greed and from our political enslavement to lies and arrogance.

  90. Thus, forgiven, cleansed and freed, we may once again pledge our allegiance, in word and in deed, to Jesus's Kingdom alone.

  91. And in recognizing Jesus as King, we must have loving respect at all times for those who govern our land, and especially at those times when we disagree with them.

  92. We, the Church in the United States, must come to Yahweh in true humility, admitting our many sins and asking Jesus to reign once again as our sole King and Master.

  93. For it is the Church's foremost desire that Yahweh's Kingdom come and the will of God be done on Earth as it is in heaven!

  94. To this end, the Church -- once cleansed -- must commit to being zealous in following Christ, their King, through penalties, imprisonments, and deaths.

  95. And let us be more confident of entering heaven through these many tribulations than through the false assurance of security that the United States provides.

[ See the List of Endorsers | Endorse the Theses ]

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God's Neverending Compassion

Psalm 78: God's Neverending Compassion

Psalm 78:1-39
God's Goodness and Israel's Ingratitude
A Maskil of Asaph.

Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;
incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings from of old,
things that we have heard and known,
that our ancestors have told us.
We will not hide them from their children;
we will tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might,
and the wonders that he has done.

He established a decree in Jacob,
and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our ancestors
to teach to their children;
that the next generation might know them,
the children yet unborn,
and rise up and tell them to their children,
so that they should set their hope in God,
and not forget the works of God,
but keep his commandments;
and that they should not be like their ancestors,
a stubborn and rebellious generation,
a generation whose heart was not steadfast,
whose spirit was not faithful to God.

The Ephraimites, armed with the bow,
turned back on the day of battle.
They did not keep God's covenant,
but refused to walk according to his law.
They forgot what he had done,
and the miracles that he had shown them.
In the sight of their ancestors he worked marvels
in the land of Egypt, in the fields of Zoan.
He divided the sea and let them pass through it,
and made the waters stand like a heap.
In the daytime he led them with a cloud,
and all night long with a fiery light.
He split rocks open in the wilderness,
and gave them drink abundantly as from the deep.
He made streams come out of the rock,
and caused waters to flow down like rivers.

Yet they sinned still more against him,
rebelling against the Most High in the desert.
They tested God in their heart
by demanding the food they craved.
They spoke against God, saying,
“Can God spread a table in the wilderness?
Even though he struck the rock so that water gushed out
and torrents overflowed,
can he also give bread,
or provide meat for his people?”

Therefore, when the LORD heard, he was full of rage;
a fire was kindled against Jacob,
his anger mounted against Israel,
because they had no faith in God,
and did not trust his saving power.
Yet he commanded the skies above,
and opened the doors of heaven;
he rained down on them manna to eat,
and gave them the grain of heaven.
Mortals ate of the bread of angels;
he sent them food in abundance.
He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens,
and by his power he led out the south wind;
he rained flesh upon them like dust,
winged birds like the sand of the seas;
he let them fall within their camp,
all around their dwellings.
And they ate and were well filled,
for he gave them what they craved.
But before they had satisfied their craving,
while the food was still in their mouths,
the anger of God rose against them
and he killed the strongest of them,
and laid low the flower of Israel.

In spite of all this they still sinned;
they did not believe in his wonders.
So he made their days vanish like a breath,
and their years in terror.
When he killed them, they sought for him;
they repented and sought God earnestly.
They remembered that God was their rock,
the Most High God their redeemer.
But they flattered him with their mouths;
they lied to him with their tongues.
Their heart was not steadfast toward him;
they were not true to his covenant.
Yet he, being compassionate,
forgave their iniquity,
and did not destroy them;
often he restrained his anger,
and did not stir up all his wrath.
He remembered that they were but flesh,
a wind that passes and does not come again.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Busting the Myth of Redemptive Violence- book review

Book review for "War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning" by Chris Hedges

Busting the Myth of Redemptive Violence, September 1, 2007
This book and its message is NOT an assertion that all war is inherently wrong and that there is no distinction between the administration of justice and the return of evil for evil. It is an assertion that aggressive militarism, the glorification of warfare, the failure to recognize that it is born of sin and human failure and the pimping of it by religious and political institutions is misguided at best and possibly disastrous when not discerned and/or allowed to go unchecked by Godly, moral reflection.

Very often, pacifism is equated with passiveness, even though there is no linguistic link between the two words. Therefore, the application of pacifism, or anything approaching pacifism, is regarded as disastrous. In a certain sense perhaps pacifism and passiveness are similar. To be passive means to receive or be subject to an action without responding or initiating an action in return. But passiveness also implies that one is not participating, that one is inert. In this sense nothing could be farther from the truth.

At any rate, Hedges does not profess to be a pacifist- although I believe in a certain sense of the word that he is. Nowadays I consider myself a pacifist or peacemaker with regards to warfare. What that means to me is not a belief that all violence is always wrong no matter what. It does mean that I judge any given situation with a spiritual discernement. It means that I choose violence as a solution last... not first. It means that I do not hate my enemies, but rather love them and consider my ultimate enemy not my fellow man... but the spiritual forces of darkness in the celestial realm as the Bible teaches. It means that I know that the power to give life is far greater than the power to kill and destroy. It means that I think eternally and act spiritually inasmuch as I am able as a weak and pitiful sinner and carnal man. It means that I leave room for God's plan and God's sovereign right to vengeance before my own. It means that I do not fear death... and am thus not controlled by fear in my actions or reactions... inasmuch as I am able. I believe that this book ul;timately reveals that Mr. Hedges feels essentially the same way.

Chris Hedges is the son of a Presbyterian minister, the Rev. Thomas Hedges. He has a B.A. in English Literature from Colgate University and a Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School, where he studied under James Luther Adams. Thus, Mr. Hedges' view of the world and of warfare are undoubtedly colored by theology. Hedges is currently a senior fellow at The Nation Institute in New York City and a Lecturer in the Council of the Humanities and the Anschutz Distinguished Fellow at Princeton University. He spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than fifty countries, and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, where he spent fifteen years.

Hedges' has a stinging, no punches pulled, no holds barred style of writing that I personally find very strong and inspiring. This book "War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning", is one of the few books that so deeply inspired me that I read it straight through as quickly as possible. The book left me a bit disenchanted and in a brooding mood in the end. The realization of the validity of Hedges' perspective and cultural commentary is a bitter pill to swallow for anyone who values true freedom and moral truth. This is heavy material for a moral, freethinking person to reflect on.

Here are two excerpts from the book that I discovered when skimming through it at the bookstore that made me buy this book:

1. "We make our heroes out of clay. We laud their gallant deeds and give them uniforms and put colored ribbons on their chests for acts of violence they commit or endure. They are our repositories of glory and honor- of power, self righteousness, patriotism and self worship - all that we want to believe about ourselves. They are our plaster saints of war- the icons we cheer to defend us and make us and our nation great. But they are part of our civic religion- our love of power and force. Our belief in our right as a chosen nation to wield this force against the weak and rule. This is our nation's idolatry of itself- and it has corrupted our religious institutions just as it has corrupted religious institutions in other nations- fusing the will of God with the will of the State to create a potent and deadly form of idolatry."

2. "War from a distance seems noble. It gives us a feeling of belonging, of comradeship, of power, a chance to play a small bit in the great drama of human history. It promises to give us an identity as a warrior, a patriot, a believer- as long as we go along with the myth- the one the war makers need to wage war. But, up close, war is a soulless void. The world of war descends to barbarity, perversion, pain and an unchecked orgy of death. It is a state where human decency and tenderness is crushed- where those who make war work overtime to reduce all love and sensitivity to smut and filth.
In war the moral order is turned upside down. All that is repulsive and feared in peacetime is lauded and cheered in war. The noise, the stench, the cries of pain, the eviscerated bodies, the bloated stinking corpses spin us into another universe. And in this moral void, often blessed by the church or the mosque or the synagogue- the hypocrisy of our social conventions, our strict adherence to religious edicts and virtues and utter refusal to honor others comes unglued. War, for all its horror, has the power to strip away the trivial and the banal, the empty chatter and self righteous obsessions that fill our days. It lets us see."

Whether you agreee with Mr. Hedges' take or not... his offering is/should be an important part of the dialog on these topics. I give the book my highest endorsement.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Let The Day Begin!- The Call

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Here's to the babies in a brand new world
Here's to the beauty of the stars
Here's to the travellers on the open road
Here's to the dreamers in the bars

Here's to the teachers in the crowded rooms
Here's to the workers in the fields
Here's to the preachers of the sacred words
Here's to the drivers at the wheel

Here's to you my little loves with blessings from above
Now let the day begin
Here's to you my little loves with blessings from above
Now let the day begin, let the day begin

Here's to the winners of the human race
Here's to the losers in the game
Here's to the soldiers of the bitter war
Here's to the wall that bears their names

Here's to you my little loves with blessings from above
Now let the day begin
Here's to you my little loves with blessings from above
Let the day begin, let the day begin, let the day start

Here's to the doctors and their healing work
Here's to the loved ones in their care
Here's to the strangers on the streets tonight
Here's to the lonely everywhere

Here's to the wisdom from the mouths of babes
Here's to the lions in the cage
Here's to the struggles of the silent war
Here's to the closing of the age.

Here's to you my little loves with blessings from above
Now let the day begin
Here's to you my little loves with blessings from above
Let the day begin

Here's to you my little loves with blessings from above
Let the day begin
Here's to you my little loves with blessings from above
Now let the day begin, let the day begin, let the day start

Dire Straits - Industrial Disease LIVE '86

Great Tune. The lyrics could have been written this morning.


Warning lights are flashing down at Quality Control
somebody threw a spanner and they threw him in the hole
there's rumors in the loading bay and anger in the town
somebody blew the whistle and the walls came down
there's a meeting in the boardroom they're trying to trace the smell
there's leaking in the washroom there's a sneak in personnel
somewhere in the corridors someone was heard to sneeze
'goodness me could this be Industrial Disease?

The caretaker was crucified for sleeping at his post
they're refusing to be pacified it's him they blame the most
the watchdog's got rabies the foreman's got fleas
and everyone's concerned about Industrial Disease
there's panic on the switchboard tongues are tied in knots
some come out in sympathy- some come out in spots
some blame the management some the employees
and everybody knows it's the Industrial Disease

The work force is disgusted- downs tools and walks
innocence is injured experience just talks
everyone seeks damages and everyone agrees
that these are 'classic symptoms of a monetary squeeze'
on ITV and BBC they talk about the curse
philosophy is useless theology is worse
history boils over- there's an economic freeze
sociologists invent words that mean 'Industrial Disease'

Doctor Parkinson declared 'I'm not surprised to see you here
you've got smokers cough from smoking, brewer's droop from drinking beer
I don't know how you came to get the Bette Davis knees
but worst of all young man you've got Industrial Disease'
he wrote me a prescription he said "you are depressed
but I'm glad you came to see me to get this off your chest
come back and see me later - next patient please
send in another victim of Industrial Disease"

I go down to Speaker's Corner I'm thunderstruck
they got free speech, tourists, police in trucks
two men say they're Jesus one of them must be wrong
there's a protest singer singing a protest song - he says
'they wanna have a war to keep us on our knees
they wanna have a war to keep their factories
they wanna have a war to stop us buying Japanese
they wanna have a war to stop Industrial Disease
they're pointing out the enemy to keep you deaf and blind
they wanna sap your energy incarcerate your mind
they give you Rule Brittania, gassy beer, page three
two weeks in Espana and Sunday striptease'
meanwhile the first Jesus says 'I'll cure it soon
abolish monday mornings and friday afternoons'
the other one's on a hunger strike he's dying by degrees
how come Jesus gets Industrial Disease