August 21st, 2012


Rendering Unto Caesar: The Invasive Plant of Dominionism

A little while back a military officer, who I will call Colonel Arselock, paid a visit to our local test facility. He asked me if I "believe in Christ." This is not the typical kind of question we get from military visitors. A more frequent reaction is one of chagrin and a demand to know to whom we report. Colonel Arselock was a different kind of bird. I figured he was probably one of those dominionists we hear so much about.

The good Colonel was not very forthcoming when one of our students asked why he was interested in my personal belief system. He claimed that his reasons for asking were not important. There was no need to keep him in the dark about my attitude toward Christianity, so I explained my perspectives as best I could. Since my views did not mesh with the colonel's childhood indoctrination he rejected them out of hand. This kind of reaction is typical, expected, even somewhat encouraging. The denial phase is an important aspect of acceptance. Had the man affirmed my perspective I would have seen his case as hopeless. A false presentation of agreement does not bode well for eventual transcendence.

I told Colonel Arselock that I could not consider myself to be a follower of Jesus. I gave him the standard spiel about how the followers of Jesus had been persecuted by the orthodox because they preferred to follow Jesus rather than conform to orthodoxy. Given such vicious and ruthless attacks against the followers of Jesus, it would be difficult to find any still around from whom to learn. Orthodoxy did not interest me because it is a distasteful business with far more victims than beneficiaries. The orthodox kowtow to the image of Jesus. I respect the man too much to treat him that way. Besides, one cannot achieve beatitude by merely kowtowing to those who already have. It gets in the way more than it helps.

What do you know about Dominionism in the US military? Does it cause concern for you, or are you comfortable with it?

Links: Huffington Post on facts about Dominionism. Huffington Post on concern over religious proselytizing at the Air Force Academy.

Norway's challenge

When the Norwegian prime minister Jens Stoltenberg said that Norway would respond to Anders Breivik's terrorist attack with "more democracy, more openness and more responsibility", he received the full support of his people. Tens of thousands of Norwegians took to the streets of Oslo, singing hymns and carrying flowers, and their message was: "If a single man can hold so much hatred, imagine how much love we can show, all of us, together".

One year later, the prime minister is under intense perssure, being subject to severe criticism, and calls for his resignation. The catalyst for these negative moods was the report of the special investigative commission, which clearly says that the attacks could have been prevented if the police and the intelligence hadn't done some critical gaffes.

So for the first time it sort of becomes clear that the attacks would really have serious political consequences. No matter how extremely tolerant the Norwegians are, the developments around Breivik's trial keep piling on, and they'll inevitably reflect on the public moods. Breivik was given a tribune to spread his extremist views, and the calm communication and the polite attitude of the judges to the mass murderer caused bewilderment in the rest of the world, which, understandably, is failing to understand why the Norwegians are behaving that way. For me the reason is that they're just not entirely sure how they should behave in such a situation - because they've never been through such a situation before. Should they keep their icy calm, or should they give way to their emotion, a thing they're not soo good at? Awkward...

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Why do YOU care?

Here's a quick inquiry to our regular denizens, the occasional passers-by, and all secluded lurkers. In other words: everybody. Why do people care about some subjects and skip others? What do I mean by this: I was checking through the Hall of Fame collection of posts on this very forum and I couldn't help noticing that the awesomestest pieces of writing are usually ones that generally lack much controversy, and more often, lack traffic. Indeed, people don't seem to get so worked up about topics that are otherwise very interesting, educating, and all in all, very well researched. We'd just skim through them, get impressed, probably mutter something like "that was cool", and move on to the neighboring topic where someone has said something bad on the Internet or on the TV, and everyone is fighting over the meaning of words, or macro-spamming, or just having fun in general.

Conversations about what a presidential candidate said in an interview, or what stupid shit some wacko radio pundit once yelled at the public, or what the latest negative ad in the election campaign lied about someone, tend to garner so much interest that such threads would very often explode into gargantuan squabbles, a humongous stream of semi-nonsensical backs-and-forths with little worth, where no one really learns anything useful, and with no other use but to probably scratch a few egos, or fingers. And yet we all do it, and we'll keep doing it, no matter how frustrated we may make ourselves look at the moment. My question is, why is all that? What'd'you think?

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