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Friday, November 21, 2014

First Copy of Muted Hosannas #mutedhosannas

It's real. It's true.  The first copies of my book, Muted Hosannas are on their way out.  Here's my friend, Kevin Jackson, at Frontier Press holding one of the first copies. If you've already ordered it, you should be receiving it soon. If you haven't yet, why not?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Biblical Limericks: Jeremiah Was Wrong

Jeremiah cursed Jehoiakim,
said, “He’ll have no sons to follow him.”
But the prophet was wrong;
though his rule wasn’t long,
the next king was prince Jehoiachin.

Jeremiah 36:30 / 2 Kings 24: 6, 8

Biblical Limericks: Destroy the Fat Sheep

God, the good shepherd, will find lost sheep;
protect them he will, and also keep
them safe as they eat grass,
but you can bet your ass
the fat sheep he’ll destroy in a heap.

Ezekiel 34: 16

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

This Christmas Commercial Is not a Victory of Christmas

It happens every year during the Christmas season; someone trots out the heartwarming story of the time that English and German soldiers during World War One put down their weapons on Christmas Eve and met each other in the no-man’s land between the barbed wire and the trenches to celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace together.  It’s not yet Advent.  It’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but already the story is “blowing up the internet,” and going viral. First out of the gate this year seems to be the British department store, Stainsbury’s.

But I don’t think the story (the true story… it really happened...several times  ) is very heartwarming.  It seems, to me, to be more of a failure than a win.   The sentimentalist voice says, - Look, they laid down their weapons, they traded gifts, they sang carols together.  They played football together.  Awww. Warm fuzzies all around, there's a lump in our throats, and tears welling up in our eyes.

But the very next day they were shooting and shelling each other again.  That needs to be emphasized. 

Yes.  For one brief shining, glorious moment, those soldiers recognized and put into practice the meaning of Christmas.  But  they refused to continue in it.  They knew the right and the good thing to do – but they refused to do it. Forget peace. Pick up the rifle.

The commercial produced by Stainsbury’s swells with a lush arrangement of the hymn “Leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms,” and effectively demonstrates that the “everlasting arms” upon which the world continues to lean are not the arms of God, but the fire-arms used to kill the enemy.

This story (and the advertisement that exploits it for Christmas sales) is not a victory of Christmas.

I Have Seen the Future - A Letter from Dr. Tarrec

I have received another letter from my friend, Dr. Tarrec:

Dear Jef, (I do see your point; the second “f” is superfluous.)

I have seen the future and it is a world balanced between trust and paranoid anxiety, a new rationality and heaps of cash thrown carelessly to the munitions makers and arms dealers lined up alongside the parade route.  What makes you think that you’re a real lover?  Have you formally joined a humanist society?  I don’t think so. It’s time for money.  It’s time for free money.  It’s time for increased sales projections during the holiday season.  And time for toxic gas.  Bet you weren’t expecting that…

The cultural sewers are full of explosions and thick viscera.  The Cathedral is closed.  You have lived a long time, and I somewhat longer.  Climb the stairs, if you can.  There are a great many of them.  Speak out.  Don’t let Dobson, Schlafly, Limbaugh, and North do it for you. Our egomania and insensitive temperament are writ large – on a national scale.  The autonomic innervation of the abdominal viscera is lost.  The battle for the mind is over.

Michael Faraday never had a formal education, so what is your excuse?  Have your lungs been ripped out?  Has a tornado blown through the junkyard of your mind? Your polity is disordered chaos.  Your gargoyles are torn loose and dropped to the concrete streets below.  You are only hanging on by your fingertips. 

It should be obvious why we fear the United Nations. The law is clear and precise. Equality is the ideal, but not for everyone – only those we feel worthy to receive it.  And do you really know what’s going on in Washington?  Have you listened to the fair and balanced friends?  They have given us a signal, but have we acknowledged it? 

It doesn’t have to be a perfect world, but it should be one in which America is not under a totalitarian one world state – America should be presiding over that hegemony.  And it should be one in which the ganglion of the lumbar sympathetic trunk are irregularly fused. There is no prosperity here.  This land is burnt over, charred, and exhausted – the fulfillment of profits over prophets. But swear again, and louder, that it’s not your fault.  Always the other guy.  Again and again until someone dies.

With warmest regards for you and yours,
Dr. P. L. Tarrec


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