Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Guns and Near-Death Experience



When I watched high school students Emma Gonzalez and John Hogg speak out against guns in America, truth was spoken in a manner I never heard before, not from one politician or president (except maybe Eisenhower on the military-industrial complex). 

These young prophets—lucky to have survived the latest murderous rampage in Parkland, Florida—have asked the crucial question.  Addressing Trump and Congress, they want to know:  What do you value more?  Our lives or the money and political support you gain from the N.R.A.? Our lives or a chauvinistic abstraction called the “Second Amendment?”

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Synchronicity With A Stinkbug

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It’s Sunday afternoon, the eve of the new year, 2018, and I’m at my computer mucking about. I glance down at the floor.  A stinkbug is reposing on top of a book called The Man Who Could Fly, the strange life of a man with a genius for bending reality out of shape.   

I bend over and peer at the hated creature, officially classified a pest.  Here in America only since 1998, they come from China.  But they’re amazingly clever at making a living, and the females are superb replicators.  As a result, this insect is thriving all over the USA.  No sign of them going back to China.   

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Evangelicals: Trump and "Antichrist"



Evangelicals in the USA are a key part of Donald Trump’s base—it’s hard to imagine a more unlikely conjunction.  What secret sympathy binds these strange bedfellows together?

The Book of Revelation is a favorite of right wing believers, in part because of the violent imagery that promises to wipe out all the bad guys.  The word love is nowhere to be found in this book.  If you go through the text in Greek, line by line (I have), you’ll find no words that refer to love or any of the reputed Christian virtues such as kindness, patience, or forgiveness.  That of course is consistent with Trump’s vindictive, loveless persona.

The word that does recur in this adored text is dynamis, or “power.” The Book of Revelation is not about love but power, which also says something about the affinity between Evangelicals and Donald Trump.  Evangelicals believe in the power of the Biblical deity to orchestrate the climax and final battle of human history.  In Donald Trump, Evangelicals have a man whose talk of using atomic weapons and obliterating whole nations suggests real apocalyptic potential.  Someone like Trump is necessary to proceed with the divine plan: according to which, we end not at the peace table but with Armageddon.  

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