Thursday, December 31, 2015

Thinking About Thinking


One of the perks of working a monotonous job is the ability to reflect. Not many people have time to dwell inside their mind. Not many people understand the person they claim to be best acquainted with: themself. We take this idea for granted actually, yet many ancient philosophers were definitively convinced that the key to understanding much about life, is to deliberately meditate upon your individual purpose in the cosmic epic, unfolding daily around us. 

Know thyself.

Such a strange concept in a world in which we desperately wish others to know us. We are so focused on attaining a stamp of approval from our peers, and much of the person we've created to  secure this coveted approval, is actually a mere reflection of (what we believe) others wish to see. This caricature is not our true self, at least not all of our self.

This is the vital nature of self-reflection. The essential quality it possesses which makes it as necessary to our soul as food and water are to our physical being. 

I have much time to sit inside this solitary space at the job I work, and some of my best thoughts have come from this space. Some of my boldest desires, and most profound ambitions have been cultivated in the space of quiet, surrounded by the hum of heavy machinery.

I am convinced that we are a generation abandoned. Many will blame our parents for abandoning us. Some will blame society, politicians or economic theories. Some will blame generations past. 

It's simple to find people to carry the burden of blame for us, far easier than owning up to the fact that the single greatest abandonment has been the abandonment of our souls. 

We've traded a rich life of understanding for shallow commodities and comforts. We accept other thoughts unquestioningly, instead of scrutinizing and creating our own. 

We are afraid to know the true person within because our beauty is terrifying and our ugliness must be faced. It's a great paradox really. The fact that we have such difficulty accepting our true beauty, yet think that we are so highly of ourselves that we render ourselves unable to examine the darker parts of our souls.

Yet, if we are to fully heal, it is to this place we must return. To denounce our abandonment and accept our responsibility to fully know our self. Our purpose. Our duty. We must know why we exist and strive to live accordingly instead of squandering the precious moments we've been given.

This is why we must meditate.

This is why we must reclaim that quiet place inside our mind.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Thoughts On Final Fantasy in the Windy City

The hum of the multitude fills the veranda, excited chatter, indistinct conversations, like the sound of a colony of bees in full production mode it envelops me. I see faces very young, old and everything between and smiles abounding; it seems that tonight's festivities hold a universal appeal. I see many in their finest clothes, sweaters, scarves, boots, dress pants, ties and the like. I see others in cosplay, they aren't difficult to pick out, pinpoints of color awash in a sea of proper black and white standard dress. I see pink hair, blue hair, and white hair alike, characters from world's I've never known manifested right before my very eyes. This group smiles the most frequently, and the most fully. 

The storied venue, beautiful and rotund, shows off the elegant trim lacing the balcony sporadically accented at points with clusters of warm, glowing lightbulbs. The stage stands strong carrying the weight and dignity of many decades worth of performers, while a great chandelier hovers above the milling multitudes gradually streaming in to find their seats, a timeless sentinel which has presided over many a show. 

On the stage, musicians pluck and tweak their instruments. Always diligently pursuing that elusive specter of excellence, only to have it vanish upon their arrival, reappearing further ahead and beckoning seductively to the pursuant. It is a fruitless quest they find themselves in, yet it is a noble one as well, the spirit of excellence always propelling them to overcome life's natural inertia, driving them forward into the unknown, raising them above the others who have resigned themselves to mediocrity.

Everyone is dressed sharply on stage. Dark dresses, flowing to the ankles of the women. Shirts are freshly starched, bold whites contrasting deep blacks, every gentleman with a neat bow tie, shoes catch the gleam of the sentinel from above, and display their shine. 

We take our seats and the lights dim.

Out from the darkened side stage emerges the Concert Master. He initiates the tone which allows the musicians to undo all their prior tweaking. The rich washes over the audience. At first disparate, the product of many autonomous instruments, as it continues the disparate quality diminishes as the tone becomes one. One solid note. Now they are ready...

No more than a minute after the Concert Master takes his seat, our Conductor comes forth from the wings, graciously acknowledging the applause. He bows, then waits as the noise peters into nothing. An electric, anticipatory silences now charges the room, this is the moment we've been waiting for. The conductor stands alone elevated above the crowd, before a dark stage which is dimly lit by one hundred musicians' music lights. He is the one has the next two hours of our lives in his hands, this is his stage, his moment to release the tension which has been building to the point, and release it he does...

With a flick of his baton we are immersed in the worlds that those characters from the lobby has stepped forth from. The music hits with the force of a prizewinning boxer, strong and powerful. A screen above the stage displays dazzling visuals of lands unknown, and stories untold to me. I allow the music to lift me into its flow, this flow is immensely volitaile one minute caressing my ears with a hauntingly beautiful melody, the next angrily assaulting them with the sound of an epic battle theme, and I love every minute.

The drama unfolds, tales of the good there once was, of innocence and light, shattered by darkness, tales of the evil and powerful advancing while the good look on helplessly, tales of despair and longing for things to be right again, tales of emerging heroes seemingly weak, yet defying all odds and overcoming the foreboding power brokers who have enskaved the world.

Love. 
Loss.
Friendship.
Enmity.
Tragedy.
Ecstasy.
Life.
Death.
Rebirth.

The music tells a story words could only hope to mimic. It speaks to my core, my soul. It dawns on me that the reason for this is because these stories aren't simply the product of some fantasy world. These stories are our story. Continually admonishing us to find the hero who lurks within us. To rise when all seems lost, and when we think that we have been forsaken. These stories inspire us to live boldly in the face of adversity and to discover within us the power we all hold, the power to make real substantive change in a decaying world.

Fantasy can help us to identify that which we've lost sight of in our very own life. Too often we buy the lie that the only epics are those in the books, games or songs, all the while ignoring our very own story unfolding before our very eyes. The makers of this particular Fantasy, I think, would wish their fans to know that this is our story. That we have a part to play standing up to the rampant darkness, which runs free in the world. That even the smallest of us is, as Marianne Williams would say, 'powerful beyond measure'.

The music slows now, the ending is near, I can feel it, my soul has soared in the highs, ached in the lows, despaired in the darkness, and learned, once again, the meaning of hope in the rebirth. The challenge now is to take this experience from this venue. To understand that this wasn't simply a fantasy, but the truest reality. We all have a story to live, and our pages are limited, so what will we make of that story?

Final note. Cutoff. Applause.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

What Do YOU Believe?

Such a simple question. I bet any number of things come to mind when one hears that question. Belief is such a convienence to us in the Western world. It's a commodity. It is something we merely use as an accessory. It's a way to identify with people we love and hate. It's a litmus test for friendships. It's something we wear as profoundly as our cars wear bumper stickers.

The simple, standard definition of belief is simply, 'a state of mind, which one holds,  in which the individual believes something to be the case without any empirical evidence'. 

Belief is easy. Mustering the conviction to act according to principle is difficult.

See, we can believe all kinds of things to be true, and belief (of holding to the above definition) can facilitate this process, because it is fluid. 

But to actually hold a belief, this, my friends, is when simple faith becomes conviction. This is what our society lacks. Conviction to act.

This is why I cannot take people seriously when they claim Christianity. Hell, I don't even think I can take myself seriously when it comes to that anymore.

True belief is supplemented by action. This conviction to act according to principles allows for consistency, this belief is not simply a novelty when things are going smoothly, but remains still when all is looking hopelessly bleak. 

You see, when it comes to something like religion, discussing the eternal things, claiming faith and allegiance to a deity, without any sort of need to demonstrate this conviction, belief is simply an empty statement. If you aren't willing to bet the whole farm on something, you probably don't believe in it that strongly. 

Instead, Christians have this nice sounding "Jesus is my personal savior and lives in my heart", "It's ok, God is just love and loves everybody" doctrine, which is accompanied by "I'm a sinner, you're a sinner, so I have no right to judge anyone or say anything that might offend" mentality. By doing this, this religion becomes completely subjective to the individual, thus negating its central tenant. Self-sacrifice. We don't make "the rules" this belief is simply predicated on whether or not one will submit...

Furthermore, if Christians in our day and age truly, I mean truly believed they carried the words of God wherever they went, then they certainly would actually know what is in between the leatherbound covers. Alas, there is no such sense of urgency.

All this to say, it is one thing to claim you believe in something or someone, it is another thing to live and act as if you do.

Erase

At some point you look in the mirror, and you realize how utterly pointless everything is. Sometimes the fight is too exhausting. Sometimes you just find yourself overcome by numbness. Sometimes you find yourself becoming painfully aware of all your shortcomings. The things you've tried to embrace and failed, repeatedly, at. You look at those sunny days, when everything seemed on the up and up, and wonder how the fuck you went wrong. How you ended up locked inside the cage of your mind, alone, completely isolated. Those bright-lit uplands a seeming eternity away. You see the darkness that permeates every facet of this state of detention we find ourselves in, living here in this place. You begin to wonder what sort of a fucking God could love us enough to banish us to this quickly fading scrap of rock, dwarfed in the midst of the cosmos. 

Pills don't fix it.
Drugs don't fix it.
Trying harder sure as hell doesn't fix it, in fact, the harder you try the greater the pushback. 
Try to do good in the world and you will be pushed down. Try to share your dream with another only to realize they know nothing of your soul, and you're left wounded again.

The only answer seems to be mediocrity. The unremarkable. Resignation and subjugation to the system. Be a good little man, don't cross any lines, keep your mouth shut and punch that clock.

Each punch like a ticking time bomb, the tension of monotony building within. The hatred, the anger. The inner rage at being confined, yet exhaustion, because you know you have no fight left. You pass through the motions, muster a smile where necessary, and let the numbness take hold. Numbness is better than feeling.

Always will be. 

I wonder, if anyone ever happened to read these words someday, if they'd be saddened by this pathetic fucking existence. The most unremarkable, insignificant story likely ever told.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Defect

The changing of seasons are a visual manifestation of my mind. I've written about seasons in the past. I've written about struggles of the mind. I find the natural illustration perpetually fascinating though, as well as the propensity for the broken to desperately wish that these seasons weren't as predictable as the fluctuations of the mind.

I think that it is natural to want to be whole. To desire to wake up one day and be free from feeling defective. That feeling of being constantly just out of sync and the yearning to fully align, just once. I think that the warmer months can instill an illusory sense of optimism, the belief that, just once, normal is a possibility.

Yes, I know we all carry our baggage, we all wear scars of the past or carry some sort of secret, but those are things which may, hopefully, be put right some day. The mind would be freed to move on, and focus on living, rather than to remain in a regular state of brokenness. Yes, this particular struggle can be remedied with pharmaceuticals, but in their absence the alignment once again becomes twisted, and the symptoms of the greater illness return. It will never be remedied one hundred percent. It will never leave on its own.

Religion, drugs, relationships, hobbies, and causes, these are all ways in which that weight can be alleviated, but at the end of the day one has to be prepared to face what lurks in the moments of idleness. The moments that can't be avoided as a human being. The moments of stillness when the rush of life settles, much as a cloud of dust, and one is confronted, clearly with that defective place within. The thing that only a god could fix, if a god even cared enough about us to do so.

So with the passing of the seasons, into the cold, numbness, brings with it the isolation. The quiet. The stillness that haunts me with all the ghosts of the past, blowing in and out of focus, much like sheets of snow drifting across the roads. The icy tendrils of paralysis, apathy, anger, sadness and contemplation of failures creep back into the picture. Each vying for prominence. Each set to torment if I will, simply allow it.

This is why energy becomes so little in the dead, grey months. Because it takes everything I have to battle these forces.

But...

This is why I still believe that there is a God, and not simply a presence of something greater, but a true, loving God of some kind; prior to, what I believe to be, my experience with this being, I used to be crushed beneath the dark waves that would swell up each spell of winter. I saw no hope or purpose. No end to the pain, and darkness that would envelop my person. That has changed since.

Many people may attribute human strength and characteristics to these shifts. Perhaps the brain has stabilized beyond the volatile juvenile stages. Perhaps its maturity, or different coping skills. Perhaps its the quality of people we surround ourselves with, or better drugs.

I don't believe that. I am still profoundly aware of my brokenness. I am profoundly aware of my desire for isolation, and to live alone with this. Yet, for all my desire to bear it alone, I've never been alone since. I know that I don't make it because my personal strength is so admirable, it has failed in the past, several times. I know, for a fact, that my ability to see hope in the future, and to bear the weight of things, is not my own. That it is there to remind me that there is beauty as well as pain. New mornings coming forth from the darkest nights. The contrast in these promises, as well as the visual paintings we witness every year with the changing of the seasons lead me to believe that these feelings are not simply a product of chance or counseling. They aren't an accident, and also play into the larger metaphor for the short period of time you and I are allotted in this life.

The idea that there is much to live for is one that propels us forward, forever curious about the part we are destined to play in this tragic place. I know, to the very core of my being that that is not an accident.

There are many stories yet to write and many memories to make. There is a brave and bold tomorrow waiting to be shared, if you will simply retain the courage to believe you will make it through the night, and with help beyond that of ourselves, I believe that we can make it out alive.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Defiant Submission

Have you ever felt that you were meant to do something? Not just the typical "to-do" list, but something more akin to the feeling of destiny? 

Something that stirs within you day and night. Something that when you pursue floods your very being with life. Something that others can't relate to. Something that causes anxiety, restlessness, even depression when you feel you're being held back from doing it?

Do you see those around you, even those closest to you, smile encouragingly when you speak about this thing, but you know that they can't even fathom the depths of your urgent passion? They simply smile politely and wait till you've exhausted yourself on the subject, then proceed to talk about the mundane. The unimportant bullshit which consumes 97% of human interaction, the insignificant, pointless issues that keep humanity entertained and carefree. The unsubstantial dialogue which wastes our breath daily, as we burn the wick of our life's candle wastefully, melting down the crucial limited time we have been given.

All the while humanity makes the same mistakes over and over. Isn't that the very definition of insanity? Repeatedly engaging in a particular behavior yet expecting different results?

All the while your soul screams to be free. To live the way you were meant to live, and to break the chains which bind you to the monotony of resigned existence for existences sake.

Oh well, break's done, better get back to work.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Socialist Jesus

There is a tendency amongst the atheist, humanist, secularist demographic to paint the founder of the Christian Faith as a socialist. This is, in and of itself, fascinating since this demographic tends to reserve most of its vitriol specifically for religion, deeming it the disease of the world and longingly desiring a world free of it.

Many maintain, and I agree, that religion is a man made construct which is often warped and twisted to consolidate power, and exert control over the masses. 

Preach!

So what is this fascination with the actual figure revered by those faithful they outwardly despise? Could it be that perhaps Jesus is really, truly compelling to the atheist, secularist or humanist? Could it be that perhaps they see that the nature of God is often distorted by the hopelessly well-intentioned (or not), yet fatally flawed adherents to this religion?

Or is this simply a tactic used by the Leftist political movement to convert new disciples into their agenda? Is it a way of manipulating a largely ignorant body of faithful into worshippers for the altar of Marx? 

I can't say what every motivation may be for those who, though they have very little interest in Christianity, are suddenly using the Bible and the figure of Jesus to prop up socialist theory, however, I do feel as though the claim is easily refutable and must be addressed.

Firstly, I'd like to note the irony of this position. The typical accusation leveled against the Christians, and a legitimate one at that, is that they simply mold Jesus into their culture. They lambast Republicans, gun owners, property owners among others for not examining, and living to the letter Jesus' actual teachings.

Yet herein lies the irony to claiming Jesus as a proponent of socialism. Those who do fall into exactly the same trap as those they despise. They dress the Christ up in a poncho, have him smoking a blunt, blessing LGBT weddings and talking about income inequality. All modern political issues. So this hippie, zen philosopher Jesus is really no better than the gun toting, NRA loving, Republican voting Jesus.

He is yet another product of humans who wish to justify everything they believe, because when your beliefs are given the thumbs up by God there's no reason to question their substance, or to cause inner contemplation of change.

Secondly, when atheists and the like give "evidence" to support these claims they also do exactly the thing they despise American Christians for doing: they cherrypick different biblical texts to support their agenda, while ignoring others that don't. Isn't this the height of hypocrisy? I totally get the anger at Christians for not understanding their faith, and drawing proofs out of context, but to do the very same thing and claim moral superiority over the "poor, stupid, ignorant religious people", isn't that in a way worse? 

Thirdly, it's important to understand what is meant by socialism. Socialism is an intermediary form between a non-communist society, and a communist one. It is characterized by some industries being publicly owned (owned by the government) and other elements of the market owned privately. Socialism always gives way to Communism, because the nature of power is that it grows. Communism and it's near twin brother, Fascism, are both systems of governance which have brutalized, abused, exploited mankind throughout the last two centuries, moreso than any other ideology. These systems are alike, though they differ slightly; where Fascism generally demands worship of a particular leader, Communism demands worship of an icon, that is, the state. Jesus wants nothing to do with the worship of political ideology.

When individuals cherrypick sayings of Jesus and use them to justify a particular political system they severely undermine the entirety of His message and purpose, that is, to show you and I the way of God. 

Some political mechanisms are derived as a way to safeguard man against his fellow man, this is due to the defect in our basic human nature, which innately desires to commit evil against our brothers and sisters. Other political mechanisms are designed to hold factions under the control of a particular group. Some political mechanisms are predicated on utopian ideologies. Marxism is a utopian ideology. 

All political systems fall short of being able to contain the purpose of God.

See, if we begin to believe that Jesus was a "socialist", then socialism becomes the end to which we strive, not faith in God. Jesus, as a result, simply becomes a human contrivance which is readily available to all who wish to create their own paradise. This is completely and utterly contrary to the core of the Christian story, and the failures of this belief system are prevalent throughout the late 1800s to our present era.

The authoritarianism which big governmental systems promote demand an allegiance that is at odds with the message of Jesus, who preached the citizenship of Heaven and loyalty to the Kingdom of God.

The Christian story isn't one of humans creating a human-made utopia through our own wisdom. The arrogance of this assumption is astounding, not to mention that it goes against every lesson chronicled in our past. 

The Christian story is about the brokenness of humanity. It is about rebellion and a cost that must be paid for that rebellion. It is about self-renunciation, and living submitted to a benevolent dictatorship. It is about realizing that God, not man, is the only remedy to a decaying world.

The reason that God isn't concerned about politics is that He understands that the problem which resides within humanity isn't about finding the "right" social formula. 

The problem is our heart. 

In our hearts we carry seeds of hate, envy, greed, jealousy, anger, lust, and every other imaginable vice. Which seeds bloom depends on our disposition, but none are immune to this defect.

No law will correct this. No human contrivance will heal this. This is an issue between our Creator and ourselves.

Today, sadly, many want Jesus to align with their ideology, this is true with the current idea of Jesus being a socialist. It's easier for people to handle if God conforms to them, rather than to stomach the realization that we were created to conform to God. 

They'd rather have a "quick fix" to the problems of the world, and for many the government is as good as God when it comes to achieving this end. 

They wish to keep doing the depraved things they do, free of the conviction to change, so the focus then shifts to the external factors. Because identifying yourself as the problem is far more difficult than blaming someone else. You and I see this every day in society.

Self-control is difficult when it comes to sex, so let's normalize promiscuity!

Saving money isn't easy, so let's create credit so I can get whatever I want, whenever I want and pay later!

Parenting is hard, let's make the public schools do the job parents ought to be doing.

And on and on it goes.

I believe this is the underlying reason secularists have rallied under the banner of this fabricated religious icon. With "Jesus" endorsing their ideology they can move forward living however they wish to live, free of the convicting voices who articulate a different kind of message from God. 

"We are the problem."

At the end of the day, the whole text matters and the entire narrative is essential. Anything less and we've done ourselves, and those we influence, a great disservice.


Friday, December 11, 2015

Purpose

It's a curious thing, purpose. Something so vital, yet so rarely deliberated on. Doesn't the whole of this existence beg the question of purpose? Doesn't each breath stir the contemplative curiousities lying within? Have you ever witnessed something so utterly beautiful or something swaddled in tragedy and examined the instant quest to discover purpose. A reaction so intermingled with our very fiber of existence it passes as quickly as a shallow breath?

Do we exist merely to exist, or is there purpose yet for you and I? Are we the concoction of fatalistic chance or characters in a dazzling, dramatic epic?

You must decide this for yourself, however we must make one allowance to reach the point of decision.

You must allow yourself to be free enough to simply ask. 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Cycle

"By willing endurance we cause suffering to pass. Evil becomes a spent force when we put up no resistance. By refusing to pay back the enemy in his own coin, and by preferring to suffer without resistance, the Christian exhibits the sinfulness of contumely and insult. Violence stands condemned by its failure to evoke counter-violence.

The passion of Christ is the victory of divine love over the powers of evil, and therefore it is the only supportable basis for Christian obedience. How can we convince the world by our preaching of the passion when we shrink from that passion in our own lives?" 

-Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

Periodically, I will encounter a book so completely engaging that I won't be able to stop referencing it, or the author, for several weeks (much to my wife's chagrin). The aforementioned quote is one such piece of literature, a Christian classic which, until just recently, I hadn't had the privilege to read.

My reading patterns recently are quite whimsical, and this has prompted me to lug a book bag (literally an entire bag of books, notebooks and highlighters) along with me to my workplace. One day I could be enthralled by the writings of Madison, Hamilton and Jay, and the very next I could be completely unable to focus on that subject matter, but will be drawn, as strangely akin as moth to flame, to a completely different topic whether it be religion, or philosophy or leisurely reading.

I have zero method, and to be quite honest, it's a pain in the ass (as well my back) to haul a book bag with at least four reading projects in progress lying within. Lately it's been Bonhoeffer though, and I think it's because I feel drawn to his charisma and action in a time, much like today, Bonhoeffer displayed character and indomitable will that has rarely been seen, and is quite foreign to those of us in America today.

Bonhoeffer was an outspoken critic of Hitler, one of the few courageous souls who chose to dissent though it cost him everything, even his life. This kind of conviction eludes us in our present era, though the cultural circumstances we find ourselves in the midst of continue to dog mankind. 

In a culture of a depreciating currency, an uninformed voting class, a populace whose adherence to religion is merely a label passed from parent to child, cronyism and an increasingly secular state the space in which demogogues not only find their roots, but flourish, is vast. The tyrant breeds and discovers his strength in the midst of chaos and fear, and our nation is no exception to the rule. 

When tyrants rise, prosperity declines, and hardship is foisted upon the people in the name of civic duty, and this duty continues to be leveraged against them until they have no spirit of their own. They exist for the subsistence of the State and its ends. Period. No exceptions. 

What I want to offer you today, however, is an idea which is challenging. The idea of destroying the Cycle of Hate. By hatred I refer to a legitimate loathing of another human being. Sometimes, a word can be used so often that it loses its potency. In our culture today, the word hate is used so frequently that it has become synonymous to disagreement. 

The common argument runs something like this:"You disagree with me, therefore you hate me, I can't believe that you'd be such a close-minded, intolerant, hateful person for holding such a view."

This is the nature of discourse in our public, as well as virtual, square today. This idea, if it is to be believed, is actually quite dangerous as dissent is not simply an accessory, but a hallmark characteristic of a free People. 

The Utopians dream of a world in which all are accepted and no judgement is passed, provided (of course) that what is accepted doesn't contradict their idea of a fair, just and kind world. This isn't the Utopian's fault, of course, because this is simply man's natural defect at play in the world which, as we know, is riddled with imperfections due to this inherent flaw.

However, the Utopians do carry fault insofar as they perpetuate the Cycle of Hate due to their unwillingness to acknowledge the defect of Man. Optimism does have its faults, and unrelenting optimism faithfully entrusted to a naturally flawed being, who has shown its inadequacies historically, is fatal to what little progress has been made throughout the whole of human history toward the tangible freedom of the individual. 

As Christians, our objective is different than that of the Utopian. A Christian understands that the natural flaw of man isn't within our power to remedy; we must realize that our true purpose is to alleviate the suffering of our fellow man, and that this relief will come at our expense through sacrificial action. Many may struggle with this notion, but the entire premise of Christianity is that the follower of Jesus has been rescued at the highest of cost, this leaves the disciple graciously indebted to his rescuer. Or to put it another way, we are not our own. Our entire self is spoken for. 

We live in a tragic world, and yet despite the darkness we face every single day we can see altruism illustrated more clearly because of that darkness. This isn't an accident. Despite the brokenness of the world there is opportunity for those who wish to share God with others to visibly magnify his cause to those who haven't personally encountered Him. 

No political program, NGO initiative, or method of "higher thought" will remedy the problems that so entwine our being. There is only one who could remedy that. We can't place our faith in a manufactured construct. So often we get lost in a cause and forget our reason for the cause. The cause becomes God. The cause itself is transformed into the world's new savior.

This is why our churches in America are spiritually dead. We have created a science, a business formula, for a successful "church" complete with life-changing programs that address every aspect of human struggle. The more invested one becomes in this entity, this organism, the better their chances of being "fixed". Thus, we have stolen the mantle of the Savior and his sacrifice and placed it upon the altar of self sufficiency.

Evil advances easily under these circumstances, because being a savior was a job never given to us and, quite frankly, we are no good at it. As a final result, evil twists the worldview of Christians who have allowed the coup d'etat of their rightful King and replaced it with human ideology, and uses them as vehicles for perpetuating the Cycle of Hate.

One of Bonhoeffer's most profound points so far, is the concept of the Christian forfeiting all for the sake of Christ. It's true that doctrines may give lipservice to this concept, but the abstract is as far as the sacrifice goes. This is why church attendees aren't different, they don't stand out as someone who follows Jesus. If someone truly followed Jesus it would be quite obvious because his or her actions would so radically differ from what is accepted by society at large.

Take, for instance, the concept of personal rights. If Bonhoeffer is to be believed, and Jesus truly desired followers destitute of all but Himself, then Christians would not be seen clinging to political protections which they are "owed" by society. They would have no need of a gun, because Jesus didn't endorse vengeance or even self defense. They wouldn't need their lawyer, because the way of Jesus doesn't play ball with the world's methods of conflict resolution. An American Christian wouldn't require titles or property rights because these are things that are the property of all men, even the exploitative.

Yet, it seems that the church in this country is determined to have its cake and eat it too. It seems determined to assimilate into the world, all the while claiming piety. It is determined to love Jesus with everything it has, that is...when it's convenient. This is why being a disciple of Jesus, in Bonhoeffer's view, is so difficult. This is why it is so exceptionally rare.

This brings me to my last point. This really was the initial point of the post, but it seems that the late hour and an active mind have taken me on a prolonged detour. At any rate, it seems to me that the nature of Hate is perpetuated through disconnectedness. Hatred, genuine hatred and not simply disagreement, is bred from a self-centered worldview. The hateful person has no interest in another person unless they are of some utility to them, if they have no utility then that person becomes expendable in the hateful individual's eyes. 

It is my experience that empathy is an embedded characteristic in humanity's DNA, but empathy requires interaction to be enabled. Hearing another's story, learning about their situation, their upbringing, their family, all these things cause us to begin sifting through the information, subconsciously of course, and we naturally begin to align ourselves with the ways in which we are similar.

I was reading an article today about a former white supremacist who was interviewed by a black man. Why did the skinhead leave the culture of hatred he was immersed in? He became a father. The love he had for his daughter disrupted his anger. What was this man's connection with a black reporter? Fatherhood. The bond they shared as fathers, carrying the weight, anxiety and joys of parenting, transcended the hatred this man had for his imterviewers race. They saw each other as human beings first.

I own a shirt created by a local printing company. It has a circular design on it  that says: "Hate Creates Fear, Fear Creates Hate".

I find this to be utterly true. Fear causes distance between people. Distance is disconnect. Disconnect allows for broad based assumptions to take precedence over actual fact. It relieves us of our duty to know the truth before issuing condemnation. This is why governments favor a polarized public. A divided, angry electorate is far more likely to acquiesce to political ploys for power gained at the expense of a marginalized segment of society. People who are afraid for their safety will allow their freedom to be taken in the name of safety. History has shown this repeatedly.

Knowing someone different than yourself dispels the prejudice derived from ignorance and fear. When I was a part of the campus ministries at Oshkosh I couldn't understand why no one would attend non-Christian clubs or events. We would meet once a week, then have bible study and talk about how rotten the world was, and how we would stand for our faith but it all took place in a theoretical realm. There was no action. We were living for comfort, not for a Christ.

When I began attending the LGBT club meetings with two other "renegades" immediately I felt that fear, that aversion which is so common in the political arena, begin to dissipate. I didn't say much, I wasn't a "good witness", I simply listened to story after broken story. I heard much about pain experienced by those in attendance, and the feelings of isolation. This experience taught me that there is far more to pursuing Jesus than simply showing off how many Bible verses you can quote, or how frequently you attend your small group. 

It was challenging. It was saddening to hear the hurt. It was convicting to hear the damage done by those who claim Christ. The vast majority of those in campus ministries will never experience that. They will huddle in their safe zones and act persecuted because people dislike their perceived pretentiousness.

The Cycle of Hate will continue to spin if you and I choose to engage in the tactics that are common to the world. We will fail if we hide from those who disagree and challenge us. We will fail if we treat our fellow Man as a combatant rather than a companion on this shared journey. We will fail if we cling to things, and status as defined by society. 

The revolutionary nature of Jesus is that it defies the normative thought, and embraces what seems to be nonsensical to those who don't know Him. If we refuse to repay evil with evil the Cycle of Hate will fail, and we will be victorious.


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Nullification? Or Convention of States?

You and I live in a period of United States history, in which our government enjoys an unprecedented amount of license in dictating our lives.

It's true.

They regulate the type of lightbulbs we can use, the type of medications we can consume, the kinds of toilets we are allowed to dispose of our waste in, how big our sodas can be.

The list of regulations spawned by extra-governmental agencies is enormous. This growing consciousness of being controlled have led many, from various walks of life, to pursue calling for a Constitutional Convention of States, otherwise known as an Article V Convention.

Article V of the U.S. Constitution was implemented as a way in which the people of the country could check an obtrusive bureaucracy. 

The reason that government ought to be checked is because, in the spirit of Lockien philosophy that informed the creation of our nation, men ought to be free to pursue their own path in life as long as they are not infringing upon the Natural Rights of others. This is the core of America, the very heart of our nation's reason for existence.

Some, within the Liberty movement have belittled the notion of a Convention of States, at which new amendments would be proposed and ratified into our Constitution to set a precedent for limiting the abuse of bureaucratic power.

They say that nullification is a simpler, more straightforward route, and that a Convention is unnecessary. This is wrong on two counts:

Firstly, nullification (the premise that any state can deem a federal law as unconstitutional, thus voiding its legality) is a process open to legal challenge. This idea has never been upheld in federal courts (Gee, I wonder why), which makes perfect sense if you think about it. After all, this is the federal court system that upheld the nationalization of the healthcare market (not to mention the mandates for citizens to pony up to cover the massive cost) as Constitutional. This is the federal court system that ruled it was legal to murder infants for expediency sake, despite the guarantee of the Natural right to life that the babies were due.

A government drunk on power will never willingly give up its authority. That is why Article V exists.

Secondly, nullification is typically a lone-wolf action. One state may say such a law is unconstitutional and try to nullify it, but without the cooperation of other states, and the broader consensus of the people it will not hold water. Nullification has never been upheld when challenge.

This is why a Convention of States is necessary if we are to preserve our Republic, which has undergone a massive recurring assault by Statist ideology for the last century. 

A Convention of States effectively amends the current law indefinitely. It may be challenged, but if the amendment is ratified into the Constitution it is much harder to undo than a legal challenge to nullification. It also allows the opportunity for a show of unprecedented force. Dictatorships or oligarchies only retain their power by consent. 

Those who agree to be ruled are base of all tyrannical control. If that base is removed and those in power see they have no influence over those they rule, they will back down or else face the wrath of the many. A Convention of States allows the people to come together once again and claim their birthright as citizens who create and institute government, not ones who are subject to it. 

It will be a more involved struggle to be sure, yet it is the right course for the American people to take. Our cause is just, and the history of freedom is on our side. Ask your legislator to sponsor or support Convention of States resolutions in your state today! Be the voice who will make history.

It's up to us now.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

7 Helpful Tips for Self-Education




Reading for educational purposes can be tough, especially if you don't read or simply read for fun.

Like any worthwhile endeavor it takes discipline, purpose and the right kind of attitude to be successful.  When I began my informal education in history and political theory my reading projects majorly kicked my butt. However, if my laborious struggles can serve as an aid to others in their search for knowledge then I would happily do it all over again!

Here are the 7 most helpful things I could recommend to my fellow bookworms and knowledge seekers:

7) Read the Editors' Notes 


As with anything in life the most important factor is context, context, context! All that stuff at the beginning may seem like a waste of perfectly good paper which is inhibiting you from the gems of wisdom contained in the pages of the classic you hold before you (after all, these texts have been around for centuries so no introduction necessary, right?). Not so much.

Often these editors' notes have been prepared to give important historical context, and also notations on translations. 

Think of it this way, if not for context someone might think that Tom Marvolo Riddle was a "pretty cool guy"...yeah.

6) Try to Read in "Distraction-Free Zones"


In today's ultra fast-paced society, it's almost impossible to imagine finding a moment of silence, free from busyness.

When reading for education purposes, I've found, it is super helpful to turn of the TV or put the phone on "Do Not Disturb" if possible. Even music can potentially distract the brain from the material an individual is reading.

Being realistic about this is important, it is certainly better to read something even if conditions aren't ideal, but when it comes to things that are in the knowledge-seeker's control it is definitely a great move to diminish any and all distractions to learning.

5) Consistency, people!!


Finding time to read daily, again, isn't always the most realistic goal. Trust me, I have children. However, all great disciplines require some level of consistent application so when it comes to reading try to section out at least 15 minutes a day to read something that expands your knowledge. After awhile, you'll find you prefer reading to spending time on your Newsfeed or re-watching that show you've seen a billion times on Netflix.

4) Highlight!


Highlighting is a great tool one can use to reference ideas and concepts that stand out in a work. When it comes to weight training, an individual doesn't need to be an expert on every element of the subject to know what their body needs to focus on, and what exercises they need to know most about. Same thing is true in reading.

Even if a book is fascinating in all phases, there are key takeaways which a person can apply in everyday life and these are the ones which ought to be highlighted. This way you don't have to re-read the book, or guess by the table of contents which section the concept was in!

3) Read for the Challenge


Reading for entertainment is a very good thing. It is great for the imagination and the creative capacities of the mind, but it can only stretch your brain so far. Sometimes dry is good...kinda like wine (Though I'm sure my wife would vehemently disagree with that notion).

When I first read Locke's Two Treatises on Government, I was way over my head. The prose, and density of the text was nothing short of overwhelming. What I did discover, after soldiering through, was that subsequent works of the time period become much easier to read once you get the hang of it. Sometimes you can pick up even more nuances after reading a certain style for awhile, which is a total bonus.


2) Reference the Writers' Inspirations


Many times in historical, or political theory works there will be references to even earlier texts, and philosophies of other writers. Sometimes the author will even make reference to a certain pamphlet or book which inspired him or her. Follow up on these if you have time. To understand an author, it is imperative to understand not only their time period, but those who greatly influenced their thinking as well.

1) Look Up Words You Don't Understand


I swear I've found an abundance of ridiculously awesome words (OK, nerd alert) in these old books which no one could ever hope to find anywhere else in modern society. Because our modern society kinda sucks, and most people don't know how to use intelligent language when they speak. #ThanksObama


So there you have it! These are things which have helped me in my quest for knowledge. Please comment, share and use your education to serve others in the process! I would also love to hear your tips for self-education so feel free to comment on this article and let me know what worked for you.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Porn, Sex Robots and Authentic Relationships


Recently, I read an article about a startling innovation for the sex industry: the life-size, animatronic sex robot. Sadly, I wasn't surprised, but after watching the artist's interview I did become profoundly disturbed.

Firstly, this shouldn't surprise anyone. This sort of innovation has been a long time in the making. It began when we in this nation began to lose our faith in God; this was the catalyst of what was to come.

We, as a society, set the wheels in motion when we made relationships a feelings-based commodity through no-fault divorce. Next we normalized deviant behaviors by beginning the process of shattering societal taboos based on Judeo-Christian ethic. Once these types of behaviors became largely accepted in regard to human to human interaction the society realized that their insatiable love for deviancy went beyond interaction with another human being. Porn and sex shops, though they have always been around to some degree, also began to lose the stigma surrounding then. Now individuals could absorb sexual acts in th privacy of their homes without any news for the interaction that comes part and parcel to a real relationship.

As the sex industry profited from the "no-strings-attached" mentality which developed as our moral fiber deteriorated, they stepped up their game. They began to market their products to couples as well as singles under the guise of relationship enhancement. Never mind the fact that, in an authentic relationship, the answer isn't to introduce more partners when one isn't satisfied. The answer used to be that the two individuals tried to come together as a unit, and work their problems out as adults and lovers. Not so anymore.

As the sex industry profited off the exploitation of cheap sex the demand skyrocketed. The combinations and deviant acts that began to be demanded wasn't one the industry could pay enough to keep in stock. Enter the human trafficking epidemic. Rape for profit has always existed, but this industry encourages it and some of the shadier elements partake in it. After all, what do you really know about the woman on the other side of the screen?

What is her name?
Where did she come from?
Does she have a good family life?
Are her parents posting missing persons fliers at this very moments?

These questions don't have answers when it comes to the porn industry because the man, or woman, is exactly what they desire them to be to the consumer: a commodity. 

As society began to detach from normalcy in intimate relationships, they began to detach socially as well. Sex toys and robotics are the new wave of human mechanical intimacy which has usurped true social interaction. Flesh lights, vibrators, blow up dolls and a host of other "fun" toys have simply led into this new frontier of animatronic companions. 

The makers themselves claim that they are trying to create pseudo-sentience in the interest of creating an experience for the user. As if giving the robot a personality will change the fact that a human being is fucking an inanimate object which contains no soul. The idea is to craft a personality with which the user can interact, essentially trying to co-opt and counterfeit the natural bonding a human being does with his fellow man or woman. 

What is this? I Robot? Some sci-fi flick you see on late night TV? Have we truly entered the twilight zone? 

Actually, the resemblance this innovation bears to the Stepford Wives is uncanny and unnerving. It is mysiginostic, degrading and ultimately destructive to our drive to others as a species.

In my belief, God has intended you and I for authentic relationships with others. For a special companion he has included the bonding agent which is vital to our success in the endeavor of raising children in a loving home: sex. Every aspect of these good and virtuous designs has been subverted in some form. Healthy relationships have been marred by abuse, emotional bonding is being overthrown by love for inanimate things, the beauty of sex is being distorted by an industry that commoditized and created unrealistic expectations of human beings.

We must break this cycle. Stop the demand. Seek out healthy relationships with others. The history of grossest abuses perpetrated by man upon his fellow man have only been possible when an oppressor is successfully able to dehumanize his opponent. The detachment from our common humanity always leads to a decrease in empathy for our fellow man.

If we don't break this trend and restore authenticity and purpose in our lives, then we are truly destined for dark times. But I know this cycle can be broken. I used to be addicted to porn. I know the feeling of detaching from women and viewing them simply as objects for my satisfaction. It sickens me to even say it. 

The cycle was broken however, and I owe that firstly to God and secondly to my wife who truly taught me what love and forgiveness are. Thirdly I owe it to my children, my baby girls, who I desire to see loved, and genuinely cared for by a man of honor someday. A man who loves God with all his heart and will treat them as the jewels they are. A man who is a better man than I was.

The cycle can be broken, the only question is what are you doing today to break it?

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Resilience


Tonight I was discussing hip-hop with a co-worker, not simply the great names who dominate the commercial industry, but the origins of purpose ingrained within the art itself. The roots, which sink so deeply into history are an evolution of community sharing of experiences through the medium of story. This medium was then harnessed into a vehicle of resistance against injustices leading to a modern form of political speech. It may, perhaps, be difficult to fully appreciate these roots given the commercial, disposable nature of today's hip-hop culture, but for those who choose to see it can bring forth a fresh appreciation for the genre.

I recently watched a documentary on Netflix detailing the history of the conflict between Northern and Southern Ireland. In this documentary the key focus was upon how murals painted onto buildings denoted, much as typical graffiti does today, unofficial territory markers. Different militias used artwork as propaganda to rally locals, and to intimidate opposition paramilitaries.

I am constantly in a state of awe at the innate reflections of the Creator which spring forth from our individual being, despite our callous indifference to the divine which I simultaneously lament. 

In spite of our best efforts in favor of all out rebellion our spirits remain resilient in the face of our nature, and defiantly proclaim the creative in the face of the destructive. Art is creation. Its purposes can be twisted, but there is no doubt in my mind that as we were created by a Creator, our purpose as image bearers is betrayed by our tendencies.

In the face of oppression groups band together, share song, art, spoken word, touch...all as natural to us as breathing air, because it is our true nature. Obscured and confined, desperately fighting to be restored to the forefront of our being. We are creative beings. We are not meant for destruction, decay and isolation.

That is why we find the stories of the brave, unarmed innocents facing down the dogs, batons, fire hoses and bullets of the oppressor without being daunted so inspiring. We long deeply for justice and victory over darkness. We are inspired to move through the natural abilities we are given to create. These are our weapons in the face of overwhelming odds.

This is the resilience within us.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Face-Crack


I really don't like Facebook. Every successive day I don't utilize the crack-like service I can sense a palpable antipathy building for the platform's mere existence, not that my hatred is exclusive to this medium, but it is certainly the layman's playground when it comes to online connection.

I've talked previously about how this particular platform is beginning to reveal manifestations of psychological deficiencies in its users. Reduced self-esteem, anxiety, diminished ability to socialize with others, and narcissistic personality development.

I've also mentioned how the platform fails to stimulate authentic debate and exchange of ideas, instead being used as  a soap-box for spineless, passive-aggressive personality types to propagate the ideas they are too weak to voice to others in person. 

Facebook is also an insult to an active mind when it comes, not only, to concise formulation of ideas or concepts to share, but also to the communication of said ideals. 

Ever scroll down a news feed and want to stab your fucking eyeballs out because nobody seems to know how to use proper fucking english anymore? Laziness abounds in articulation of information, the substance of content is frivolous and monotonous.

Another disturbing side effect, which is my primary grievance with this particular platform tonight, of the new Media Generation and their profile-centric lives is the induction of casual acquaintance culture, which has often lead to real life relational strife. 

What I mean is this: Facebook generates an environment in which you can "connect" with any number of individuals at any time of the day or night, not actually knowing anything other than what they present in their carefully crafted homepage. 

Often, these acquired acquaintances begin based on a mutual friendship and will largely remain inactive except for, perhaps, a passing "like" on a photo or post, however, when a user in a committed relationship experiences turbulence in their real, non-virtual life which drives them out of bed at night to troll their newsfeed seeking, as is a common drive within human nature, empathy through connection, they find they begin conversations with other users they barely know, have never met or haven't talked to in years.

Many of these type of acquaintances couldn't care less about the state of the user's relationship because it doesn't affect their own non-virtual life, so through those moments of vulnerability flirtation-ships are formed. If unchecked by the significant other of the user, these emotional relationships can progress from innocuous flirtations into explicit material and so forth. Humans are, after all, quite progressive and are quite diligent in the pursuit of their own self-destruction.

This is why I'm not keen on social media "friendships". I've seen situations like the one above play out numerous times, leaving in their wake destructive real life consequences. My generation doesn't understand what it takes to build an interactive, unplugged relationship with another, so when conflict inevitably causes tension and discomfort in the relationship instead of just being fucking adults and working through our shit together, like people used to do the response is to run to the concocted fantasy world online and find sympathy there.

It is a sad state of affairs we find ourselves in, in an age of connected disconnect. A state of desire to be known yet living lives of isolation, holding out for the next alluring red notification which bestows a strange and fictitious sense of dignity and recognition.

Encourage your friends to ditch Facebook, pursue the art of engaging others truly and fully. Allow your mind to be challenged and remember you aren't simply a drone. You don't need social media. Many generations have survived without it. 

Take time to break free and recognize the the insidious manipulation which has been perpetrated upon the masses...

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

How We Handle the State of Things

When I look around at the world today, when I read history and into various other subjects, it is very difficult not to be overwhelmed. It is a natural reaction if you possess the basic characteristics of empathy and self-preservation which are both innate to our being, yet constantly at odds with each other.

Empathy is that tendency which tends to defy the rational self-serving instinct within us. It's a brilliant shadow of our former, undefiled nature. It is a glimpse of the Kingdom of God, rarely seen, yet powerful in action. Empathy moves us deeply to identify with the plight of our fellow man. It sees the darkness of the world and recoils in horror. It laments the loss of the good and decent virtues and longs for restoration to that time which feels as hazy as the dream we were rudely awakened from.

Self-preservation is innate as well, it is part and parcel to our corrupted nature. It is concerned with ourself first and foremost. We place our security, comfort and interests in the highest esteem at the expense of others. This instinct is alarmed by the state of the world because it threatens our personal wellbeing. It sees the system as beneficial to the few and duly recognizes that when it all collapses it will be at the expense of the many, of which we are a part.

Two opposite drives of our nature, both distinctly provoked. I believe this is why others choose to bury their heads in the sand rather than to become driven to use their time purposefully, working diligently toward creating proactive change. The world is overwhelming, yes, but I believe grief can be the initiant of great action. 

Sorrow, though unpleasant, moves the heart and mind much differently than joy does. It affects our actions in profound ways. It causes us to rush to the aid of the downtrodden, the oppressed, and those less fortunate than ourselves. Without this sorrow, we will be content to live as we always have, insulated in a  cocoon of concocted consolation.

My wife struggles when she sees me feel this weight deeply, and I understand why; but the problem lies not in the natural reactions, hardwired into the very fabric of our being, but rather the choice to turn away and deny that there is the possibility to affect change. A wise man, whom I greatly admire, once said that 'The cause of justice is both a march and a dance.'

My generation has been taught that dancing is the primary rule, and that marching is out of the question, yet to live the cause of Jesus we must march. We must face the darkness unflinchingly, though it may wear our souls thin, and cause our hearts to run ragged. Our savior sustains us in this heavy legwork, and tends those needs we cannot fill on our own. The greatest moral failing of the Church in our time is that it has largely shied away from hardship in the interest of gaining membership.

As I choose to see this world in its entirety, I am prepared to accept that weight, the responsibility and duty I have to live beyond my Self. The joy, I've had my fill (more so than I deserve), this dying world demands our seriousness as much as our jubilance.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Reason in Hysteria

With the newest case of gun violence, it is important to step back and employ reason before allowing hysteria to overtake the discussion.We must remember that the media deliberately creates discontent due to the need for ratings as their sustenance. We must remember that politicians will seize on tragedies in order to boost their resumes and appear as though they are "doing all they can", all the while trampling on the graves of the victimized.

This romance between media and government is not only disingenuous, it is incredibly dangerous. It can transform into a power play in which law abiding citizens are stripped of basic liberties they are entitled to. Fear provides the greatest opportunity to exploit public sentiment, to invite the population against itself, and to achieve a consolidation of power not previously attained.

So what is this issue really about?

Some say it's about controlling guns. Getting guns out of the hands of bad people, before they can commit crimes. To do this the government would assert more control over citizens through regulation, taxation, perhaps even more invasive searches into suspects' personal lives. It's all they could do really, because firearms are already regulated and ammo is being bought by the government to limit the supply to the people.

Some people say that the issue is about providing better mental health services and not allowing those with histories of mental health access to firearms. So what does this mean? What is a mental health issue? Is it someone with schizophrenia, or bipolar? Is it someone who takes the occasional anti depressant during gloomy months to combat a seasonal affected disorder? Those with dyslexia?

Who draws the line as to what is the appropriate portion of the population to withhold their guaranteed right to bear arms, as per our bill of rights? The government? So basically anyone who the government deems a "risk to society" will be stripped of their constitutional rights?

Do you see where this can lead?

The problem with a secular society is that when we, as a culture, remove God from the equation we begin to fail to understand ourselves and our natural tendencies.

Man has been killing man since the dawn of time. He has perpetrated abuses against fellow human beings without blinking, and developed ingenious, sadistic methods to do so in the process. 

And this was before guns were even developed. 

The problem is the heart of man. Nobody wants to admit it because this places the blame squarely where it is due. You and I are the problem. We all have darkness within that only God can clear away. Nobody likes to hear this because it isn't a "quick fix". It isn't as simple as hearing some demagogue say that they're going to pass some bill and make it all better, but it's the truth.

I believe that a contributing factor that no one has mentioned in this debate is the rise and prevalence of social narcissism in our society. Everybody is desperately seeking their time in the limelight. There has always been an abundance of information and viewpoints in the world, but in centuries past it was far more difficult to disseminate information on a massive scale. One only became known if one had something worthwhile to offer, and the way one became known was through reading rather than viewing which stimulated different faculties in the mind.

This flies in the face of the YouTube, vine, Facebook, Twitter (etc.) self publishing celebrity culture. Have you ever noticed that once a tragedy occurs most people have to utilize their respective social media platform to share their two cents, even if their two cents is nothing profound or contributing to the discussion? Often, it's either unsubstantive or it's deconstructive. 

The people who publish the little video rants don't actually care about the victimized, they just want people to look at them and the fallacious image they're constructing online.

I won't even mention the ramifications this new Information Age has had upon diabolical intentions to perform such acts. These murderers often are so angry, full of hate and sick of never being heard, and now they have their own personal Hollywood debut to propel them into the stratosphere of notoriety. You know what the saddest part of this is? 

The public gives these individuals exactly what they want. Attention.

The president and various celebrities acknowledge them, the media reports incessantly on it, and social media lights up for days. 

This is all part and parcel to the natural tendency of man. Pride, selfishness, arrogance, envy, hatred... We all have these things within is. That is why God is so essential to the human heart because we all need an understanding beyond ourself. We need to learn to place these things second and seek the heart of God.

That is the only way to end the violence of man. 

That is what secular society cannot possibly comprehend.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The New Order of Things


It is quite common for one to inadvertently recoil upon hearing the words "New World Order" because any topic of conversation revolving around these words seems steeped in conspiracy theories and riddled with crazies. The mainstream media has done a fantastic job of demonizing this segment of the population but they have not been completely unaided, as the proponents of these theories have done much to indict their own credibility in the first place.

I'll ask you to consider the tendencies of humanity though and perhaps you can ponder the greater bearing these tendencies may have on the future.

Why has man, throughout the ages and despite constant historical warning, continually submitted to consolidated power bases? 

Why have charismatic leaders been so easily able to manipulate the public time and time again?

This is because mankind is perpetually searching for benevolent dictatorship. Sounds strange, I know, but we are searching for that lost piece of the divine puzzle. Our relationship with God is fractured and we continually try to patch the break with hopeful aspirations of a utopian state. We all long for safety, prosperity, peace...all subjects which those with ambition to power exploit to the profit of their designs.

And here we are again, you and I, the world on the brink of darkness. Europe financially unstable, China incredibly volatile, Russia looking to collapse the dollar, terrorism on the rise, an American empire which is bloated with excess, uneducated and complacent. This country is peddled the wares of fear by the media merchants in order to manipulate us into submission. An entire population which is starved for leadership. 

The stage is set.

We are prepared to accept ideologies that fair scrutiny would unwittingly object to, and abdicate our natural freedoms in the interest of security.

One world government was never a possibility before, yet the technology which connects us as a global community makes this sort of coordination possible. A global economy makes this necessary.

I don't have definitive theories about who, or when, but I do believe that the course of human history has led us ever increasingly toward this historically fabled outcome. The possibility exists now, whereas half a century ago it did not.

Just something to think about.