This isn’t a story about right and wrong. In the terrains of tribe and clan that the murderers come out of, whether they are raised in a village with two goats and a well or a mansion overlooking a major city; Right is power and Wrong is not having power.
A man is right because he has power. A woman is wrong because she doesn’t. A Muslim is right because he has power. A Christian is wrong because he doesn’t.
When a woman has power and a man doesn’t, the man has been dishonored. When a Christian has power and a Muslim doesn’t, the Muslim has been dishonored.
There is only one answer for dishonor, death. Kill the one who has dishonored you so that you may feel powerful again. The men with the magnifying glasses will call it extremism, but it’s so much simpler and so much more complicated than that.
The powerful need not compromise. They have honor. Those who have no power but do not compromise also have honor. The extremist does not compromise whether in power or out of it. Therefore he always has honor. The extremist is willing to die for the power and honor of Islam.
Islam is never powerless, but is always compromised in some way short of perfect purity.
Perhaps it fails to drive out all the non-Muslims and doesn’t force women to cover their eyes. Or maybe it tolerates chess and kite flying. Even the crudest Salafist finds some human norm short of total and complete extremism. He compromises and the seed of that compromise gives birth to a movement that will not compromise even on that.
Each Islamic movement carries within it the seeds of its own extremist counter-movement and that movement too will carry its own seeds of death. The Islamic revolution devours its own children forever for honor’s sake.
Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Absolute honor is the search for absolute power. A power so pure that it transcends the human means necessary to achieve that glorious end. A purity so total that it will elevate the smuggled cocaine, the rapes and murders, the torture and the broken oaths, to the golden truth that the ends of Islam justify all its mangled means.
The murderer kills because he wants power. He goes on killing for honor’s sake. When the blade slips or the victim pulls a gun, then the murderer skulks off into the night nursing his grudges and pledging that he will return or his children will return or their children, for the sake of his honor, on and on through the ages.
This is what the media calls a cycle of violence, but it would be more accurate to call it the cycle of honor.
The whole thing may have started because the murderer wanted a goat, a gold coin or a wife, but it continues because it is now a matter of honor. A moment ago the murderer only wanted a gold coin, but having failed to obtain it, he will not leave off for all the gold coins in the world. Murder transmutes the gold coin into honor. The motive no longer matters. It is all about the end now.
The more the murderer is resisted, the angrier he becomes. The failure to kill forces him to take refuge in myth. He begins inventing glorious stories of his battles complete with poems and epic battles. There are sacred deaths with drops of blood falling like jewels and doves ascending into the sky. Every man becomes a lion and every enemy a monstrous eater of children. Eventually the story becomes his whole reason for being. It is a tale that is passed down through the tribe until countless of the murderer’s descendants derive their identity from the story. Until they are all murderers.
Having been thwarted, the murderer cannot stop. The failure to kill has left him powerless, no better than a woman or an infidel. It causes him to doubt the worth of his religion and his people. It robs life of its sweetness. The only way to heal his trauma is to finish what he started. The only way for him to be at peace is to be at war.
Speak to him of peace and he will not listen, except as a ploy for finishing the unfinished murder. Peace is for the powerless. To desire peace is to admit to weakness. It is to give in to the prosaic mortality of the ordinary life. Before he began to kill, the murderer might have been satisfied with the ordinary life, but it is no longer good enough for him.
Nothing will do but the knife and the blood and the screams.
The murderer will lie about wanting peace, but he will not make peace. To lie in order to kill is honorable, but to live in peace is not honorable. Peace narrows the borders and closes off horizons. What was once a green territory that the grandchildren or great-grandchildren might overrun in a hundred years is suddenly forever lost and forever foreign.
How can he be asked to make such a terrible concession?
You might as well ask the sailor to stay on the land and the explorer to put up his feet in front of the fire. The murderer isn’t a mere murderer, he is a romantic at heart, and whether he lives in a mud hut or a tacky palace decorated with giant portraits of himself, in secret he imagines himself a sultan or an emir. And if not him, then his children or grandchildren.
The land he sits on is merely land, he wastes it for the most part. He may write poems about the beloved land, but it isn’t the land he loves, but the idea of conquering it, killing for it and dying for it. And when there is no need to do any of the three, then like an amorous adulterer of the soil he goes seeking for other lands to conquer, to kill and die for.
This is his story and the myth that governs his life. He is not a builder. In his part of the world, it is the slaves who build. It is the men who have no power and no honor who work a set schedule, lifting bricks and arranging girders.
Nor is he a farmer, that too is work fit only for serfs. He makes a decent merchant, cheating and being cheated in turn in a ritual mercantile combat. In a pinch he might be a shepherd, wandering the hills aimlessly, and watching his flock nibble the sparse desert grasses down to a wasteland, killing and eating them when it suits him like a little grubby god.
Whatever his profession, he fancies himself a warrior and the kind of war that he prefers is the raid. Village against village. Riders against caravans. Hijacked planes against skyscrapers. If he wins, then he gains honor. If he loses then he gains honor by vowing vengeance, for even the worst of losers can always hang on to his honor by threatening to kill the winners.
And that is where the murders become a mystery, at least to those detectives whose little magnifying glasses can make out the grooves on a thread, but not the distorted rage on a murderer’s face. The more they try to convince the murderer to stop, the more he kills. There is a pattern here, but unlike carpet fibers and footprints, it is not one that they can understand.
The men with the magnifying glasses want their lives back. So does the murderer. And the only way he can get it back is by taking theirs. The institution of the feud has lapsed in their world, but it is the defining one in his.
Both detective and murderer are trapped in a cycle, but the murderer has a way out. All he has to do is kill them. The detectives cannot do the same thing. There is no room in their rational world for such a crude solution.
They try to break the cycle with words. He tries to break it with bombs and bullets. And the cycle of violence continues.
Failure goads the murderer. The more he fails at killing, the more he aspires to it. On his tenth attempt he is ten times as motivated as on his first attempt. Like all people he has his ups and downs, but he always keeps on trying harder.
Each time he fails, he tells himself that the game wasn’t fair, the other side broke the rules, rigged the contest and undermined him. He spins complex conspiracies of spies and saboteurs in which the mind of the enemy is as convoluted as his, and that only fuels his outrage. How dare his victim plot so cleverly to undermine his own murder! Outraged, he spins his own convoluted plots, playing Wiley E. Coyote to an oblivious Roadrunner who is occasionally baffled to learn that he is alleged to have controlled every major public figure in the Middle East or seeded the Nile with trained sharks.
“Sure,” says the murderer. “You didn’t expect him to admit it, did you? I wouldn’t in his place.”
The murderee takes on an outsized importance until he represents every obstacle that the murderer has ever faced in his life. Whatever crimes the murderer commits, he is certain that the murderee has committed even more of them. The murderer’s dark side steps out of the shadow and takes on the role of his victim so that the act of murder becomes an act of purification that purifies nothing for the dark forces that the murderer tries to kill are still inside him even while his victim bleeds on the floor.
Eventually the murderee fills the world. Rushdie was only a minor writer until a series of random events caused his name to come to the attention of a shaky Iranian leadership looking for a scapegoat. And then Rushdie became an obsession for the Iranian regime. Rushdie filled their world. Likewise the average Muslim did not spend any time thinking about the Jews, who were always despised, but like most non-Muslims, weren’t of consequence. Having conquered their lands and their persons, they could go about ignoring them, aside from the usual thefts, murders and assorted cruelties.
But then the honorless Jews, the sons of apes and pigs, defeated armies far stronger than them. The murderers were robbed of their honor. And when the murderer is Muslim and the victim is non-Muslim, then the honor of the murderer is the honor of the whole Muslim world.
There can be no peace now. Not tomorrow or in a thousand years. Not with the Golan Heights, the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, the Galilee and the grimier parts of Tel Aviv. Nothing will do but for the murderers to finish what they started, the aborted murder, the unfinished crime and the unconsummated honor killing to end all honor killings. Nothing will do but death.
A murderer will forgive many things. You may kill his son and rape his daughter, so long as the blood price or the honor price changes hands. You may do the same with all of his many relatives and their relatives, as is so often the case in these dirty little wars that are really packs of murderers roaming and raiding, firing at each other and falling back, and then waiting for the mourning women to come out and wail over the bodies of the dead. You may even cheat him as much as you like, for he will probably cheat you worse, even while you fancy that you are coming out ahead.
But what you cannot do is take away his honor.
Do not mock the murderer’s gods, for they are his power, or refuse his hospitality, for it is how he shows that he has more than you, or make him feel small and weak. Do not give him charity or show him mercy, for no matter how effusively he thanks you, in his heart he feels the sting of the humiliation that you have inflicted on him.
Though he may smile afterward, he will never forgive you for it, the insult will go on chafing his heart until it overflows with that species of black blood that tastes of bitterness and death.
The House of Saud has never forgiven the House of Washington for helping aid its power. It draws a blood price from it every year, but it cannot rest until the House of Washington falls. So too all alliances with infidels must one day end in betrayal or death. There is no room in the green country of the horizon for two tribes to rule. Nor is there room in the inner palaces of honor with their bejeweled tapestries and arabesque curves for a helping hand. The Sultan and Emir, like Allah, can have no antecedent. Like Mohammed, he must be the final revelation of power over a powerless world.
And the murderer? He cannot sleep. The man he tried to kill has filled his world. Once he wanted gold or goats, but now it is honor he wants.
In his bed, the murderer dreams of killing a man whose who humiliated him by refusing to die. The murderer rolls over and smiles.
Tomorrow, he will kill. Tomorrow, he will regain his honor.
Unsurprisingly, the parents have a problem with this.
COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) – A parent is speaking out after she said her daughter’s teacher rejected a rough draft of her paper. The subject, her hero, Jesus.
Heather Watts said her daughter attends second grade at Cerro Gordo Elementary School in Columbus County. Watts said the teacher asked her 8-year-old daughter Ryleigh, “can’t you write about something different?”
“I think she should have freedom to write about what she wants to write about,” the disgruntled mother said. “If she wants to write about Jesus, she should write about Jesus.”
Watts said this question is threatening her daughter’s First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and freedom of religion.
From WZ: http://weaselzippers.us/
From MB: http://moonbattery.com/
Yes, I will have a medium rare oppression please. With a side rack of honey glazed baby back oppression.
Meat. The tastiest oppression.
Now I dont even have to sit on public transportation with my legs apart to oppress the womynz. Just eating does that now.
It’s bacon wrapped around a turkey leg.
From Theo: http://www.theospark.net/
. Just imagine sending to the Internal Revenue Service a bill for:
Actual damages for violating the Privacy Act.
The costs of complying with additional demands for information about an application.
Loss of donors.
Loss of membership fees.
Damages for the violation of constitutional rights.
Damages for loss of the benefit of tax-exempt status.
Damages for impairment of constitutionally protected rights.
A case of that kind has been filed, with a request to make it class action. A key proponent explained Friday to WND that the ultimate goal is to uncover what former IRS official Lois Lerner wanted to do and did.
It also seeks to uncover what other “responsible parties” were up to regarding the IRS attacks on tea party and other conservative groups that applied for tax-exempt. Evidence has been presented that the discrimination was coordinated to hinder the effectiveness of the groups when Barack Obama was pursuing re-election in 2012.
The legal action was filed in Ohio by an organization called Sue the IRS, which was established under the direction of Mark Meckler.
Meckler formerly was with Tea Party Patriots but now is with Citizens for Self-Governance. Its mission is to restore self-governance to America by connecting “warriors in order to take power away from big government and the big money that influences it… and return the power to its rightful owners, the people.”
That will happen, the group says, through shared values, incumbent accountability, dispersed power and engaged citizens.
“The grassroots must be in the town hall, the public square, or the village green to gather Americans who hunger to regain control of their government and their lives,” the group explains.
Meckler said the government has been trying to get rid of the case.
“The interesting thing to me is the federal government… making allegations that Americans have no right of recourse when government targets them and tries to prevent them from speaking,” he said.
That, he said, is absolutely fundamental to what American is about.
The case is pending on behalf of the Norcal Tea Party Patriots, Faith and Freedom Coalition of Ohio, Simi Valley Moorpark Tea Party, Tampa 9-12 project, South Dakota Citizens for Liberty, Texas Patriots Tea Party, Americans Against Oppressive Laws, San Angelo Tea Party, Prescott Tea Party, the Texas Public Policy Foundation and others.
It wasted no time getting to the point. In paragraph two, it states: “Elements within the executive branch of the federal government, including defendants, brought the vast powers, incomprehensible complexity, and crushing bureaucracy of the IRS to bear on groups of citizens whose only wrongdoing was their presumed dissent from the policies or ideology of the administration.
“In other words, these citizens were targeted based upon their political viewpoints.”
Specifically, the IRS and individuals involved “employed an array of tactics, including extra scrutiny, intimidation, harassment, invasion of privacy, discriminatory audits, disclosure of private information,and years of delay.”
The result was predictable: “A chilling and muzzling of free speech and association.”
The case seeks damages for violations of the federal law, damages against individuals, and injunctive and declaratory relief against the IRS and Treasury Department. Named individually are ex-IRS official Lois Lerner, acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller, IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, Chief IRS Counsel William Wilkins, Sarah Hall Ingram of the Tax-Exempt Unit and others.
The case is in the discovery phase in which evidence is being obtained and reviewed.
Some of the facts of the IRS targeting are well known: the agency’s identification of organizations likely to oppose Obama’s policies and the years of delays for the paperwork to be processed. There also were invasive questions, such as the content of prayers.
“The IRS’s knowledge that this discrimination was illegal is evidenced by their scheme to keep the people’s duly elected representatives in the dark about it. When members of Congress asked IRS officials… whether the IRS was targeting certain groups for different treatment, the IRS officials provided misleading and deceptive responses,” the case notes.
Conversely, “there is no evidence that liberal or ‘progressive’ political groups or groups supporting the re-election of President Barack Obama or the election of Democrats were targeted for similar delay.”
Even the IRS referred to the process for “tea party cases,” the lawsuit alleges.
The invasive questions included, in the case of the NorCal Tea Party, details about the board of directors and its activities, copies of all corporate minutes, titles, duties, work hours, names of board members or officers who might run for public office.
The IRS repeatedly demanded information, threatening frequently that if there was no response, “we will assume you no longer want us to consider your application.”
“This conduct has caused irreparable harm to plaintiffs, and there is no other adequate remedy at law. This court may grant declaratory and injunctive relief against the IRS and Treasury Department, …declaring that the defendants’ discriminatory conduct is unlawful and enjoining them from using tax exemption applicants’ political viewpoints to target them.”
Among the questions posed: How did the scheme originate? Who ordered it? Who was involved?
The leadership of Sue the IRS said they intend to “bring those involved in this government overreach and abuse… to light.”
Also in the plan is to recover damages for organizations that were harmed.
And the campaign plans to shine light on the wrongdoing to “deter the IRS and other government agencies from engaging in illegal behavior without the fear of being caught, exposed and brought to justice.”
From TDG: http://thedaleygator.wordpress.com/
Let me start with a basic truth any reasonable person can grasp. NO ONE is ever going to feel included all the time, nor should they. But, Liberals are not, shall we say, exactly reasonable. Especially when they feel like they are not included!
An upcoming conference organized by Stanford University’s Anscombe Society called “Communicating Values: Marriage, Family & the Media” has been dubbed “hate speech” by the college’s graduate-level student government, which refused to allow any of its student fee-funded budget to support the event.
The Anscombe Society is a conservative student group centered around traditional marriage and family values; it also encourages chastity, and tackles subjects such as sexual integrity and pornography.
According to the minutes of the student government meeting on March 5, a large group of angry students attended to protest the conference and its request for funding.
Again, a case of Liberals screaming for tolerance while giving none, that is old news. What is really revealing is what the offended whiners have to say
“An event such as this would be a negative event, in schools that have negative events there is a statistically significant increase in suicide.”
Every event is “negative” to someone. Again, the Liberal demands only those things they approve of take place. Narcissistic much?
“ … makes homosexuals on campus feel less than equal to others.”
“ … this event is to help people better convey hateful messages … the conference is to help better articulate their views, but it’s not better articulating, rather camouflaging discrimination and hateful messages …”
” … public schools cannot deny student group funding based on viewpoint, but enforcing viewpoint neutral policy that denies funding for hate speech is an entirely different ballgame. Even if Stanford was a public university, it would be perfectly legal to deny funding to events that make LGBT community feel unwelcome. It would be the same for Stanford to hold a conference on why heterosexuality is abhorrent, and to strip the right away from heterosexuals, and it’s equally unacceptable to host a conference to strip homosexuals of their rights.”
And, of course, Liberals will decide what is and isn’t hate speech
” … there is a lot of feeling espousing the view that marriage is between man and woman is, at the least discriminatory, at worst hate speech.”
No, it is the foundation of society for many folks. This is an opinion, if you have a different take, please feel free to engage in debate rather than thuggish tactics
“This event is small and exclusive, this doesn’t make us feel in community welcome, we don’t feel included.”
Ah yes, my personal favorite. But I don’t feel welcome! Yeah? So what? Welcome to the real world. Of course if this student wanted an event that would not make other people feel welcome, I doubt he or she would give a damn. I guess Liberal feelings are “more equal”.
From TDG: http://thedaleygator.wordpress.com/
Earth going to pot
I’m sure eco-activists will jump right on this trash-making climate-killing water-sucking pot problem we have here in California and include it right up there with the urgency of the proposed statewide plastic bag ban and banning fracking by chartering buses.
The Prayer of Java (From the Archives of The Doctor is In Blog)
April 4th, 2008
Been quite busy of late, so I’ve resurrected an OBG (Oldie But Goodie) in lieu of actually writing something new and intelligible. Back soon, God bless.
Recently, in an e-mail exchange, Gerard Van der Leun brought up the issue of prayer, and how it was a difficult learning experience for him. Like so much in the world of web logs, a seed gets planted which starts you thinking. Well, Gerard’s been thinking — and writing — while I’ve had this post sitting in my drafts box for a month. Seems like one of those pokes in the ribs that awakens you when you’re in the blessed arms of Morpheus — and snoring…
The subject of prayer is a fascinating one for me in many ways, not only because of its effect on my life, but because — as a logical-sequential scientist by profession and disposition, I want to understand how it works — and I don’t, and I can’t. But it does. And that cognitive dissonance drives me a little nuts.
Billions of words have been written on prayer, by foolish and wise, scholarly and simple. For the secular skeptic, baptized into the random meaninglessness of a life accidental, it must seem odd — if they stop to think of it, which I suspect they rarely do — that mankind throughout eons and cultures has devoted so much time and energy to a pointless litany of words directed to the non-existent. Even among we who confess to the existence and significance of a Being higher than ourselves, prayer confounds and frustrates us, as we search for some formula, some talisman to garner the attention and blessing of the invisible, inscrutable deity.
But this does not keep us from trying. The drunk asks God to help him out of this jam, promising not to drink again. The agnostic pleads with God that the biopsy not show cancer. The unhappy spouse prays that her husband change to her liking. We pray for money, for success, for jobs, for relief from emotional agony and physical pain. We pray ritualistically, hoping that by repetition an indifferent or annoyed God will throw some crumb our way to get us off His case.
Prayer, perhaps more than anything else, reveals what we think about God and about ourselves in relationship to such deity. If our God is remote, abstract, indifferent, then our prayers will have the character of whistling through the graveyard — hoping against hope that the very act of addressing this unknown force will ward off fear of some greater evil closer at hand. If we serve an angry, judgmental power — vengeful and quick to accuse — then we will pray from fear, pleading nervously for mercy while recommitting ourselves to the required perfection we have no hope of achieving. If we worship Santa Claus, then endless lists of self-gratifying demands will appear, as we hope we have been less naughty than nice. Like nothing else, prayer reveals the smallness of our god and the poverty of our souls. It lays forth the preconceptions which rule our lives and the limits which bind us — if we will but take the time to examine them. Gerard, in his thoughtful meditation, says the following:
In fact, whole elements of religion are centered around having you find and keep a personal relationship with God. But just because you have a personal relationship with God (and you should), doesn’t mean God has to have a personal relationship with you. He is, after all, God and He’s got a whole universe to run. It’s a big place and He’s just one God and He’s busy.
Far be it from me to disparage a friend’s worldview or theology (and this is most certainly not my intent) — my own will likely be the standing joke at the Pearly Gates. But his depiction — intended to be humorous, if I read correctly (in risio, veritas?) — nevertheless strikes me as a nearly-universal presumption, a governor principle on the engine of God. This understanding of God — called theism by those who put names to God-ideas — has just never made a lot of sense to me. God — whose presumed job is to handle very big enterprises — sets out to create a spectacular universe of unspeakable complexity and beauty. At the high point of His craftsmanship, He creates a being a lot like Himself — capable of thought, reason, passion, beauty, love, creativity — and gives this creature a glimpse of the spiritual, of that which is beyond time, place, and limits, beyond the physical, in a universe without dimensions. He endows this being with a relational spirit, made whole through interaction both with Himself and with others of like kind. Having crafted such an extraordinary masterpiece, the blind watchmaker then supposedly just walks away — too busy polishing the instruments and arranging the sheet music to listen to the symphony He has created. I for one find this concept of God implausible, unfulfilling and even cruel — to say the least.
A God who can craft a universe of unspeakable vastness and beauty with but a word, who designs galaxies and gamma particles, black holes and hummingbirds, is not stressed out by its administration. We have no grasp of the infinite — after endless accomplishments, there are endless more yet to come: there is no exhausting the infinite. There is only one limit on His limitlessness: the limits I place by believing He can’t, or won’t, or is too busy, or not interested.
So what then of prayer? Is it the missing nucleotide in the DNA of evolution, as Gerard postulates? A cosmic post-it note? Perhaps, although I prefer to think of it rather differently — it is, to my mind, the coffee house of another, non-dimensional world, the spiritual world. A world not bounded by time or space, limits or liabilities. It is friends — not equals, mind you, but close, trusted friends — sitting together over too-strong brew, sharing odd thoughts, mulling questions, venting frustrations, angry, remorseful, laughing, weeping — melding hearts, two into one.
It is in many ways an odd but satisfying conversation: I speak, He listens — yet somehow I know what He is thinking, and He most surely knows my thoughts. It is decidedly non-linear. The questions I ask, the problems I present, are answered — always. But not in words, almost never at the time I speak or ask. But I know they have been answered — although the fruition, the language, the form of the answer may be hours, months, years away. It may arrive as circumstances, or in a conversation with a complete stranger in another time and place, or in an entirely unexpected — even unwanted — change of heart or inner peace about some deeply troubling or puzzling dilemma. Yet I know it is God’s answer — the answer He gave me back at that table, shootin’ the breeze and guzzling joe. It is a conversation freed from time and space — bizarre, but strangely more real than that which we unwisely and hastily call “reality.”
Now the skeptic will ask — including the skeptic in my own head — how do you know? What proof do you have that these occurrences, these thoughts, these conversations and situations, have anything to do with God? Are they not mere chance, wishful thinking, psychological crutches, neuro-endocrine surges that my highly-evolved cerebrum maps into culturally-molded thought patterns?
Of course, the skeptic’s challenge contains a presumption — one rarely recognized, in fact: that everything which exists, all that is real, can be measured, tested, analyzed, proven, and recorded. But much which is human — perhaps all which makes us uniquely human — is beyond such simple means of measurement and proof. How much does love weigh? What are the dimensions of courage? What is the deceleration velocity of a failing marriage? What color is hope? What formula predicts despair? Why does a rose smell exquisite, but a rotten egg horrendous? Sure, we can speak of neurotransmitters and aromatic organic compounds, but such things touch on the spirit, and the tools of the physical realm are wholly inadequate as inquisitors. The disciplines which come closest to addressing these matters — psychology and social science — are at best mediocre observers — and miserable failures at repairing the damaged spirit. Don’t believe this? Ask your friendly secular psychologist to explain the phenomenon of evil — then sit back and enjoy the blubbering blather of psychobabble which results. Evil will be alive and well — and wholly uncomprehended — when he finishes.
I do not point this out to dodge the question of proof, or disparage a profession, but simply to illustrate the inadequacy of physical science — or reason handcuffed by concrete presumptions — to measure the real yet intangible realm of the spirit: you cannot measure your shoe size with a Geiger counter. But the evidence is there, in abundance, if you know where to look. Medicine is near-miraculous at healing the body — and miserable at healing the spirit. We can cure cancer, but not save marriages; give you new kidneys, but not flush the impurities from your mind or the hatred from your heart. But prayer can — and does — do just that, a work far more miraculous than a wonder drug or robotic surgery. When a hopeless drunk, an avowed atheist, starts to pray out of desperation to a god he doesn’t believe in, and loses the compulsion to drink, it is an aberration; when it happens to two drunks, a coincidence; when it happens to tens of thousands, it begins to look a lot like evidence. What cure will you seek for unhappiness? (Hint: it’s not a new car, a younger, trade-in wife, or a diamond-shaped blue pill). Medicine can kill the pain, but not cure the spirit; prayer can do both.
Of course, it is not the prayer itself, but the power it unleashes, which accomplishes such things. Gravity worked the same for Cro-Magnon man as it does for a modern physicist; understanding the force changes it not one wit. But you say: I prayed for this or that — many times, even — and it did not happen: prayer does not work. And here’s the rub: the power behind prayer is not an inert physical force, but an infinitely wise and caring God. Whether you believe in Him or not, He exists, He listens — and amazingly (given our reprobate nature), always has our best interest at heart. As I look back at my own life, were I to have received a tenth of the things I asked for in prayer, my life would be an unmitigated disaster. God knows when to say “no”, where to say “wait”; He knows how to listen to what I ask for and give me instead what I really need, and truly want.
There is one secret ingredient to make prayer work: trust. Gotta have it. Can God work without your trust? Sure — the rain falls on the just and the unjust, as the proverb says. Our problem is we want to understand God before we trust Him. We want Him to strut His stuff, lightning bolts and miracles and the like, before we’ll acquiesce and maybe give Him a break. Sorry, that’s not trust — just the opposite. But God cannot be understood — even in a limited way with our most enfeebled minds — until we first trust Him. Sounds like a bum deal, a Catch-22, but that’s just the way it works. Get over it — you won’t regret it.
And one last thought in this long-winded essay: If you’re new to this prayer thing (or even not so new), start small. Praying for world peace or a cure for your cancer is fine, but a bit grandiose for starters. Pray about your misplaced car keys, finding a parking spot, the wisdom to deal with that difficult patient, or co-worker, or child, or situation. Then open your eyes, your ears, your heart for the response. You won’t hear it every time — but I bet you’ll be surprised how often you do, and you’ll learn something about God, about yourself, and in some small way about how this spiritual world works.
And set aside a little time for a cup o’ joe with God — good news is, He’s already picked up the tab.
From The Doctor is In Archives: http://docisinblog.com/index.php/2008/04/04/prayer-of-java-2/
Found at American Digest: http://americandigest.org/ which linked to this article
The Spark Gap
I’ve long had a theory about why prayers are answered, but answered rarely. I think that God, for all his omnipresence, omnipotence, and omniscience is pretty much nailed to the present as far as humans go.
Yes, I know all the arguments for predestination and preordination but those strike me as a one-way street to Dullsville even for God. If, as God, You let Yourself know everything that was going to happen everywhere for all time (Not that You couldn’t if You wanted to.), what’s the entertainment value in that proposition? Slim to none, if you ask me.
We don’t know much about God. Indeed, there are many among us who make it a point to know even less — until they are proud, damned proud, to know nothing at all. Once they achieve this brainfade, they encourage the rest of us to follow suit in a paroxysm of self-willed ignorance. Today there are fresh new scriptures attesting to this revelation. There are traveling preachers of this gospel. There are even congregations, support groups, jewelry, and t-shirts. It’s a religion. Of sorts. A religion in which you collectively as individuals agree to worship Zero, and to carry the gospel to others. Seems like a waste of life to me.
In fact, we are probably not yet wired to know much about God. If the Smart Monkey survives itself, evolution (Great and brilliant tool of God that it is.) will probably finish the deeper neural nets of our brains at some point in the aeons to come, and we will slowly come to descry the faintest shadow of a clue. About all that is. About the fundamental nature of the miracle. For the present, most of us remain in shadow, looking at the noema from without; running on the insights of the genetic spiritual sports that appear on Earth so rarely that their lives are remembered forever.
At the present time, most of what we know about God comes from assumptions built on revelations. These are backed-up with a sheaf of incomplete, poorly translated notes from chance encounters.
The Dead Sea Scrolls demonstrate that, to date, our record keeping is spotty and our storage methods poor. If you think that any future chance meetings or memos are going, in the long run, to be kept any better than the Dead Sea Scrolls, please tell me what’s on that six-inch floppy disc at the bottom of the fourth box to the left on the third shelf from the top at the back of my garage.
Nope. The problem is not knowing the will and laws of God. They are pretty simple, straight forward, and seem, for the most part, to be embedded in the cerebral cortex of most before birth. In addition, there are lots of memos in every language and no shortage of interpreters — AM/FM/SW; network and cable; 24/7/365, forever and ever, amen, can I get a witness? Even so there have to be thousands of memos that, although sent, we just didn’t get. Indeed, even working with the memos that we did get, you’d have to admit that we are very poor at carrying out the policies they announce. It probably has to do with us not being finished just yet.
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From Mad Medic
From Mad Medic
From Mad Medic
From Mad Medic
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