Thursday, November 30, 2006

Interesting times

Grist for the today's mill:

  • Christians Must 'Let Go' For Peace -- Theologian: “The most basic Christian commitment … is that we say we believe in the Lordship of Jesus. But, if we claim that, how can a Muslim or Jew trust us, if we say Jesus is the Lord of all Lords?” (Tennesean)
  • Poison Rumors Sweep Russia: Former Russian Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar is being treated in a Moscow after falling violently ill on a trip to Ireland on 24 November. Mr Gaidar’s daughter Maria said “doctors incline towards the view that his symptoms… indicate poisoning”. (BBC)
  • Pelosi Rejects 9/11 Panel Reforms: Incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi may reject 9/11 Panel recommendations to reform Congressional intelligence oversight in order to give Murtha a ‘consolation prize’ and remove Harman under the Panel-rejected ‘term limit’ concept. (Washington Post)
  • Hezbollah and Aoun Taking It To the Streets: Hezbollah and its allies in the Free Patriot Movement (FPM) will hold mass protests in Beirut on Friday in an open bid to bring down the current Lebanese government. (AP/Breitbart)
  • Iraq Study Group to Recommend Pullout: The Dec. 6 final report of the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group will call for a gradual pullback of U.S. forces in Iraq but won’t set a timetable, according to “people familiar with the panel’s deliberations. (NY Times)

Commentary

If you ever live to a ripe old age how many of the stories you will tell your grandchildren will be sad? Not in that they tell of death and misfortune, but in that they recall betrayed love and the futility of hope? Every generation should feel the weight of myth and legend behind it, and the dark wind of the stars ahead. That is all that civilization can bequeath to its young and all that civilization is. Men abjure their beliefs, poison their rivals, sell the safety of fellows for a dish of pottage. Our enemy advances and we embrace retreat. Where is our myth? Where is our legend?

Perhaps we may write it yet, because our story isn't finished. "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions." And not all of them will be sad.

23 Comments:

Blogger dla said...

I that fellow is just looking for an easy way to avoid conflict - stupid.

Muslims put more trust in Christians who stay true to their core beliefs, than those who theologically cut & run.

11/30/2006 07:22:00 AM  
Blogger Joshua E. said...

My god man, I can't brook such sad philosophy so early in the morning. But of course this is lacking in today's materialistic, please-yourself society. As Val Kilmer's character commented in "Real Genius":

He loved solving problems, he loved coming up with the answers. But, he thought that the answers were the answers for everything. Wrong. All Science, no Philosophy...

The only way a present-tense culture awakes is due to an existential threat, and the assumed future, hitherto seemingly on prescription, becomes up for grabs and desperation sets in. One who forgets about both the past and the future does so at his peril.

11/30/2006 07:25:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...

Acts II describes the Pentecost as foretold by Joel. It always amazes me how the words of the Old Testament foreshadow subsequent events.
We are so unwise to use eloquent words and reasons to justify our misbehavior.

11/30/2006 08:24:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

So, what's the problem? If I quit being a Jew, and you quit being a Christian, why, we both move closer to being Muslims. Wasn't that easy.

11/30/2006 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

>> But, if we claim that, how can a Muslim or Jew trust us, if we say Jesus is the Lord of all Lords?” (Tennesean)

By the same token, how can a Christian trust them if they say he is not? And how can I trust anyone who defines himself by blind faith in the unprovable.

best bet: Trust men by their actions. If they'll cheat their neighbors, they'll probably attempt to cheat you too.

11/30/2006 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger greginboise said...

Then out spake brave Horatius,
The Captain of the Gate:
"To every man upon this earth
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers,
And the temples of his gods."

Macauley

11/30/2006 09:29:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Here's more grist, Drudge is linking to this ABC News story:

WASHINGTON, Nov. 30, 2006 — U.S. officials say they have found smoking-gun evidence of Iranian support for terrorists in Iraq: brand-new weapons fresh from Iranian factories. According to a senior defense official, coalition forces have recently seized Iranian-made weapons and munitions that bear manufacturing dates in 2006.

This suggests, say the sources, that the material is going directly from Iranian factories to Shia militias, rather than taking a roundabout path through the black market. "There is no way this could be done without (Iranian) government approval," says a senior official.


Now see what Bush Rumsfeld has made the peace-loving Iranians do!


http://abcnews.go.com/International/IraqCoverage/story?id=2688501

11/30/2006 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Gee, a real commander in Chief wouldn't need to ponder too long, certainly not 3 years.
Curious George indeed.

11/30/2006 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/30/2006 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I hope his tone is not TOO Harsh when he declares that "unacceptable."
(again)

11/30/2006 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

Apropos nothing, Wee Wee outs Tee Tee at the Bee Cee as reported by the Eee Bee.

EB

BC

11/30/2006 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

Doug, and let's hope that your tone isn't TOO Harsh when you observe that what he says isn't enough. (Again)

11/30/2006 11:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wretchard: ..how many of the stories you will tell your grandchildren will be sad?

Probably few as sad as the Russians'.

'People's vodka' urged for Russia

The head of Russia's union of wine and spirits producers has called on the country's lawmakers to legislate for the introduction of "people's vodka".

Osman Paragulgov says the introduction of a cheap, but safe and regulated drink, would help poorer Russians currently unable to buy genuine vodka...

Mr Paragulgov says the worst-hit areas should be used as a testing ground for "people's vodka", or, as he says it would be better named, "social vodka".


I think it would sell best as what it is: "victory gin".

Victory Gin: The alcoholic beverage drunk by Outer Party members--it is colorless, oily, tastes like nitric acid and has a sickly smell. Drinking it causes an effect like being hit on the back of the head with a rubber club. It is the only product in Oceania that is both cheap and easy to find.

11/30/2006 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger summignumi said...

Allen, great (very simplistic and brief) summer, and that is what the Muslim “Sakalla” is saying and wants. Amazing that so many want everyone but the Muslim to soften their beliefs while no one points out it is Islam that has the most violent reaction to others.
Jim, I share the saying “Trust men by their actions” how sad it is to listen and watch as the seeing are lead by the ears of their hearts only to be surprised when they awake without that which they so wanted.
Not a Christian in the group (interfaith gathering at the university) if they went knowing the message that was being deliver, One is not Christ like if one does or believes other then what Christ said and did, I believe there were no Christians in attendance at that gathering!

11/30/2006 01:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not sure the following counts as a commment, but I think it more less expresses how I have been feeling lately. Which is pretty gloomy...

Coffee in Chelsea

I had a lover’s quarrel with the world.
-Robert Frost


While taking a transfusion of caffeine
Extracted from a scorched Arabic bean,
I select a slice of yellow cake,
First pointing to biscotti by mistake.
A spongy cube (about four inches thick)
Is dropped demurely on my plate and, sick—

The side with chocolate frosting flops face down—
A diabolical, soft-plopping sound—
I would prefer you didn’t imitate
If this is to be our final date.
How do you feel about the soft, peach light
Gilding parking meters here tonight?

I know the present focus of my life
Should be some napkins—nay—a fork and knife—
And not these little crumbs of loveliness.
My manners are medieval. I’ll address
That bit of barbarism momentarily.
Forgive me if I use my tongue. You see,

Beyond the purple lip of this French door,
The world is wandering toward another war.
Each day we find it harder to be nice.
My heart has not quite started pumping ice,
But something has been thickening in there.
Okay, it’s curdling. I don’t really care.

What happens when that stray, atomic spark
Incinerates the elms in Central Park?
I doubt much will survive the Holocaust
That follows. No one will lament your loss
Except for maybe me and, I don’t know,
Some crazed curator putting on a show.

Well, what’s a civilized person to do,
When he is forced to bid his faith adieu?
I think that vital questions such as these
Deserve much more than your dismissive—Please.
You know, sometimes I look into your eyes
And I see nothing to immortalize.

That must be why I turn to Mercury,
Who’s modeling, this evening, a T-
Shirt thin as tissue paper—ghostly gray.
Just on the verge of cycling away,
He switches gears: he straddles his crossbar,
And lights a Marlboro, like a movie star.

The other messengers don’t seem to mind.
Okay, one pedal whirls with a whine
When lover boy rolls up—but no one slits
His throat, no matter how jealous he is.
Most men are angels in this universe.
The worst they do is smile here. The worst.

11/30/2006 02:24:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

Shropshirelad, that’s quite good. You’ve pegged the here and now beautiful experience that underpins Blissful Moral Denial. If only more people took notice of the cracks in their cup and saucers.

Well, what’s a civilized person to do,
When he is forced to bid his faith adieu?


I like this- The worst they do is smile here. The worst.

11/30/2006 03:32:00 PM  
Blogger Ed onWestSlope said...

All of the topics can make me sad.

When considering this “The most basic Christian commitment … is that we say we believe in the Lordship of Jesus. But, if we claim that, how can a Muslim or Jew trust us, if we say Jesus is the Lord of all Lords?” I am amazed this was not challenged. Oh Wait... I forgot... White people of Faith are to keep their thoughts to themselves... Pardon Me.
Or should I develop an attitude and use Steve Martin's EXCUUUUSE ME!

11/30/2006 03:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

summignumi said...

One is not Christ like if one does or believes other then what Christ said and did

On the contrary, we are called to see Christ in the face of the poor, the hungry, the imprisoned, and the sick, notwithstanding their differing beliefs or strange actions. This is the message of Mother Theresa and St. Matthew "Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me."

11/30/2006 06:20:00 PM  
Blogger bjbarron said...

...how can a Muslim or Jew trust us, if we say Jesus is the Lord of all Lords?

This attitude is exactly why protestants are an aging, fading, sect. Going Gentle into the Night is not my thing.

Sorry, I prefer that old time religion. It's about time for a Pope with a sword in one hand and a Bible in the other. It's worked before.

11/30/2006 07:20:00 PM  
Blogger NooYawkah said...

Two different things, WC. One is to believe in Christ and what He did, and the other is to "see" Him in those who are poor and needy.

"For you will always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me."

12/01/2006 06:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OuiOui thanks for the comment about the poem.

I think it was Mark Twain who observed that History never repeats itself, it only rhymes.

I guess what depresses me is we still organize our affairs to the same few, demented tunes...

12/01/2006 08:13:00 AM  
Blogger E and J's Film Crew said...

As very likely the only attendee of David Lipscomb University who reads this blog, it falls on me to defend the speaker. Not because I agree with the sentiment in the quote, but because I think the Tennessean completely misquoted him.

I recommend reading the following link:

http://www.lipscomb.edu/filter.asp?SID=4&fi_key=657&co_key=10941

Basically, the speaker was saying the opposite of what has been attributed to him. The quote was a rhetorical question which he answers in the next paragraph. My bet is any DLU faculty who asked that question in a doubtful manner would be looking for new employment in short order.

Now, many things can be said about DLU and the Churches of Christ in the American South, and I've said a lot of them. But having once again spent the Thanksgiving holiday gathered around those in that communion, I can tell you that they do not suffer from the existential doubts of the left wing Protestants of the Northeast.

These are people who "know whom they have believed" and are not at all reticent about telling others the why's and wherefore's of their belief. Nor are they shy about conflict.

I for one am proud to descend from such stock.

12/01/2006 09:50:00 AM  
Blogger E and J's Film Crew said...

Let's try that link to Lipscomb again.

12/01/2006 09:53:00 AM  

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