I commit myself

Now that a peace officer has done with his knee what deranged potus45 suggested he could do with a gun on a city’s main drag Americans are quite likely going to sleepwalk through their next opportunity to set their nation of a righteous path and end their navel-gazing and self-aggrandizing. The United States has settled for a right to kill Black people by outlaws like the KKK, by police officers, and by ordinary citizens who assume the right to be judge and jury, the latter carried out with regularity under the guise of some version of self-defence. Do I exaggerate? If I were a United States representative I would be committing myself to introduce legislation to pay all the families who have lost someone to lynching and murder by peace officers, to pay all the African villages from whence the slaves for American industry were taken, and to compensate all the American familes who have been kept in the dark about fair wages, the truth about the epidemic of innocent bloodshed, and ending the carreers of all rotten law enforcement officers.

No-one should underestimate the disgust that violence is to God. Moses wrote that violence was the trigger that set off the judgment of the flood. Violence was one of the offences in the holy city in Judah that resulted in the destruction of the temple and the exile of the people of Judah.

Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

Gen. 6:11-13

One needs to see how the simple terms of prohibited behaviours (kill, sleep-around, and steal) are not enshrined in secular law. Most governments only care about homicide under certain circumstances. It is not illegal to commit adultery in a state where a religion does not dictate the terms of secular law. Stealing happens under our noses thousands of times each day. For example, the hard-earned cash of citizens is constantly being siphoned off by merchants of motor vehicles, fuel, and common necessities such as food and clothing. It must be a hard sell for spiritual people to be legislators when their equally conscientious colleagues are willing and eager to create loopholes, for example, for lying and dirty energy. A preacher, a politician, a political pundit, or a television commentator can lie through his teeth daily but lying to the FBI will land a person in considerable trouble.

It is a burning shame that well-equipped governments do not have a handle on violence. Humans have the right to be free from deceit and violence, and to be treated as precious, according to Psalm 72 verse 14. Way more shameful, from my perspective, is the number of people who, in the name of caring in the pattern of Christ the Saviour, just continue to preach feel-good messages and fantasy victories over the common human conditions. It fits perfectly: the knee on the neck of anyone gets no play in American or Canadian churches, but the dream job and the mortgaged life does. If I did not hope that Derek Chauvin pays the price for causing George Floyd’s death I would not be human. If there is no in the next few weeks a spate of firings of rotten peace officers we will know that American justice is a spoiled child’s game. God’s justice will not be satisfied with a bipartisan or multipartisan deal, and he can smell a jury’s bias before it shows up. Justice can be anything people want in a democracy, and democracy is a dirt-eating snake pretending to be a spotless lamb, a most ridiculous act and cast which I commit myself to continue exposing.

Send in the troops and clowns

(revised)

Is sending in troops and thugs an answer to the mass of humanity’s rising up to say no more to suffering under  thinly disguised fascism, to dying because of racial supremacy greatness, to burning our consciences with religious zeal,  and to honoring the dishonorable as patriots?

The success of any movement depends on the people taking a hard cold look at the leader’s accountability at the top. Incompetence tolerated leads to disorientation. Not even the high priest in Israel was immune to folly. The prophets were often just shallow pools with no fish, and the kings were the true experts at dithering. These faces of authority, ugly and sinister, are on the screen right now in the melee of our 21st century quest to be diligent and vigilant.

Patriotism is no basis for establishing identity. Ethnic, tribal, national, or linguistic values do not count towards the resources we bring to bear on our human fellowship. Who cares where you were born? You do of course. There is always our mother’s connection to the land as a pure emotional and spiritual home. The person who takes interest in your birthplace had better be kept under the scope, micro or tele.

Patriotism is also all of those things that define people who live together, whether for decades or centuriesm Those activities they pursue, the goals they set, and the vigilance each of those people exhibit in their time frames constitute an important patriotism; an unspoken but lived patriotism. The sons of Israel lived in Egypt for four centuries, all the while patriotic to Abraham and his dream. The state used birth control – infanticide – and deadly violence against them. Is it not a fabulous? Pharaoh used his military against civilians and failed. Even more fabulous is the narrative of the kingdom of Judah exiled in Persia (the last days of the Babylonian exile) where the state, manipulated by one Jew-hater, used violence against the exiles, and authorized Jews to assault and plunder.

There is no reason for us to tolerate one more day under the threat of violence to civilians by a head of state.

And the letters were sent by posts into all the king’s provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, [even] upon the thirteenth [day] of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and [to take] the spoil of them for a prey.

Esther 3:13

Then were the king’s scribes called at that time in the third month, that [is], the month Sivan, on the three and twentieth [day] thereof; and it was written according to all that Mordecai commanded unto the Jews, and to the lieutenants, and the deputies and rulers of the provinces which [are] from India unto Ethiopia, an hundred twenty and seven provinces, unto every province according to the writing thereof, and unto every people after their language, and to the Jews according to their writing, and according to their language. Esth. 8:9,
And he wrote in the king Ahasuerus’ name, and sealed [it] with the king’s ring, and sent letters by posts on horseback, [and] riders on mules, camels, [and] young dromedaries: Esth. 8:10,
Wherein the king granted the Jews which [were] in every city to gather themselves together, and to stand for their life, to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish, all the power of the people and province that would assault them, [both] little ones and women, and [to take] the spoil of them for a prey, Esth. 8:11,
Upon one day in all the provinces of king Ahasuerus, [namely], upon the thirteenth [day] of the twelfth month, which [is] the month Adar. Esth. 8:12,

Patriotism notwithstanding

How much we love our hometown!

And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day. ,

Matthew 11:23

One Bad Apple! Approved!

The bunch has more than one dozen rotten apples, so please let us find a reliable way to talk about bigotry, racism, police brutality and a hypocritical department of justice.

  • One sin sank Adam’s boat
  • Zero tolerance to us-them ideologies is hard to find
  • We have been christening the nazi and fascist playbook

On law and order

When US Attorney-general Barr threw out Special Counsel Mueller’s summary and gave the American people his own chlorinated version of the Mueller Report he showed himself an Eli.

Don’t know Eli? Meet him here in this interaction with Samuel, his youthful successor as judge and priest. If you utter an OMG you are in good shape.

And the Lord said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle. In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end. For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not. And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever.

1 Samuel 3:11-14

What General Barr needs to do – restore the bar

He needs to deliver a stern rebuke to the GOP and Tea Party clans that makes it clear that (a) facts alone make America safe and (b) lies are abominable in every circumstance, not just in FBI interactions.

Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: ye make the Lord’s people to transgress.

1 Samuel 2:24

Need more graphics? Here’s a blind and aged man in 1 Samuel 4:15.
Now Eli was ninety and eight years old; and his eyes were dim, that he could not see.

Here’s the overweight Eli in I 1 Samuel 4:18
And it came to pass, when he made mention of the ark of God, that he fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck brake, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.

Need more graphics? Here are two snapshots to remember: the capture of the ark by the Philistines and family reaction.

1 Samuel 4:19
And his daughter in law, Phinehas’ wife, was with child, near to be delivered: and when she heard the tidings that the ark of God was taken, and that her father in law and her husband were dead, she bowed herself and travailed; for her pains came upon her.

The outcome of Eli’s slipping – the glory question

1 Samuel 4:21
And she named the child I–chabod, saying, The glory is departed from Israel: because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father in law and her husband. ee kabôd means where is the glory?

Perhaps this woman felt that she had been robbed by the nepotism of the Eli family just as an entire nation feels robbed of its vital participation in the nation’s choice making without interference. There is so much crime following the crime busters that we have to conclude that the greatness has departed. If greatness has anything to do with officers and administrators of justice it had better not bar the people from the unvarnished – redacted is fine – truth.