Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Man Comes Around

(originally written 4-10-09 but never published)

Opening Introduction (Spoken part)

And I heard as it were the noise of thunder
One of the four beasts saying come and see and I saw
And behold a white horse


There's a man going around taking names
And he decides who to free and who to blame
Everybody won't be treated all the same
There'll be a golden ladder reaching down
When the Man comes around

The hairs on your arm will stand up
At the terror in each sip and in each sup
Will you partake of that last offered cup?
Or disappear into the potter's ground
When the Man comes around

Hear the trumpets, hear the pipers
One hundred million angels singing
Multitudes are marching to the big kettledrum
Voices calling, voices crying
Some are born and some are dying
It's Alpha and Omega's kingdom come

And the whirlwind is in the thorn tree
The virgins are all trimming their wicks
The whirlwind is in the thorn tree
It's hard for thee to kick against the pricks

Till Armageddon no shalam, no shalom
Then the father hen will call his chickens home
The wise man will bow down before the throne
And at His feet they'll cast their golden crowns
When the Man comes around

Whoever is unjust let him be unjust still
Whoever is righteous let him be righteous still
Whoever is filthy let him be filthy still
Listen to the words long written down
When the Man comes around

Hear the trumpets, hear the pipers
One hundred million angels singing
Multitudes are marching to the big kettledrum
Voices calling and voices crying
Some are born and some are dying
It's Alpha and Omega's kingdom come

And the whirlwind is in the thorn tree
The virgins are all trimming their wicks
The whirlwind is in the thorn tree
It's hard for thee to kick against the pricks

In measured hundred weight and penney pound
When the Man comes around.

Close (Spoken part)
And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts
And I looked and behold, a pale horse
And his name that sat on him was Death
And Hell followed with him.

"The Man Comes Around" by Johnny Cash

Lines on the Sphere

For I know your transgressions are many and your sins are great,
You who distress the righteous and accept bribes
And turn aside the poor in the gate.
Therefore at such a time the prudent person keeps silent, for it is an evil time.
Seek good and not evil, that you may live;
And thus may the LORD God of hosts be with you,
Just as you have said!
Hate evil, love good,
And establish justice in the gate!

Amos 5: 12-15

Take away from Me the noise of your songs;
I will not even listen to the sound of your harps.
But let justice roll down like waters
And righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

Amos 5: 23-24

Do horses run on rocks?
Or does one plow them with oxen?
Yet you have turned justice into poison
And the fruit of righteousness into wormwood

Amos 6: 12

(Okay, for the mathematicians and other science types, I know I'm taking liberties with this lines-and-spheres metaphor, but I think it works somewhat for my purposes.)

While the United States Constitution guarantees us the Freedom of Religion and forbids the establishment of a mandatory State Religion, too many postmodern "thinkers" have decided that the only way to protect these rules is to completely eliminate all religious influences from public life. Well, it should be logically obvious that such thinking clearly cannot be defended because it violates its own premise of Freedom. How can restricting the "free exercise" of religion in the public sphere be consistent with protecting any true Freedom? Some might object and insist that they are guaranteed some "freedom from religion" and that all public places should be free of any kind of religious symbolism or other influences, but that kind of 'reasoning' does not fit on a sphere where it does not intersect with other fully reasoned freedoms. How else can I make it obvious that one cannot violate a basic principle with such an exception? We know that parallel lines on a sphere will eventually always intersect, and this is not a flat world.

Basic principles and fundamental laws and liberties cannot be breached for the sake of "exceptions." And to favor or champion the exceptions at the expense of the basic and fundamental is inconsistent with reason, justice, fairness, and the rule of law.

An inconvenient reality for the postmodern Constitutional flatlanders is that our entire system of Freedoms is dependent upon the Christian concepts of morality. As Christ taught people how to live in peace and harmony with one another, and he insisted that all men treat each other with the same esteem and respect as themselves. He berated the leaders who did not live in accordance with these principles.

Jesus answered, "How terrible also for you teachers of the Law! You put onto people's backs loads which are hard to carry, but you yourselves will not stretch out a finger to help them carry those loads

Luke 11:46

"How terrible for you teachers of the Law! You have kept the key that opens the door to the house of knowledge; you yourselves will not go in, and you stop those who are trying to go in!"

Luke 11:52

It seems to me that the downfall of our Constitution (and arguably, our society) began with the illogical and errant Supreme Court ruling in Brown v Board of Education which used faulty sociological reasons for declaring that "separate is inherently unequal." Now, no one should confuse himself that I am defending racism or any kind of mandatory segregation. That is NOT my point and that does not fit anywhere on the Sphere of Freedom. My argument is that the very idea that 'separate cannot be equal' is completely wrong and unnecessary to assure equal freedoms. Racism is not an argument I am pursuing, and I will not engage in it at this time except to suggest that one look at the evidence of the last 40 or so years that shows us the steady decline in the quality of education and social conditions since the Court ruling. Usually such evidence speaks for itself.

Jesus Christ himself was arguing that separate IS equal - that all men are equal in the eyes of God (and should be in the eyes of the law) even if they are "separated" by the natural variations of life experience and conditions. And this idea is at the heart of our American psyche and soul:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

What that means is basically the same as what Jesus Christ taught his disciples about their own status in the world:

And there was an argument among them about which of them was the greatest. And he said, The kings of the Gentiles are lords over them, and those who have authority are given names of honour. But let it not be so with you; but he who is greater, let him become like the younger; and he who is chief, like a servant. For which is greater, the guest who is seated at a meal or the servant who is waiting on him? is it not the guest? but I am among you as a servant.

But you are those who have kept with me through my troubles; And I will give you a kingdom as my Father has given one to me, So that you may take food and drink at my table in my kingdom, and be seated like kings, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Luke 22: 24-30

Of course, Jesus Christ required that men accept the judgment of God over the judgment of other men in order to have eternal life in heaven. While these are religious requirements, one cannot dismiss or deny the basic truth of equality within the statements. Our Founding Fathers knew, and assumed that others would know, the biblical basis of their own principles. However, it cannot be considered any kind of co-mingling of Church and State to have your basic principles founded in the truths that are shared by a religion. It is merely an intersection of the parallels on the sphere

Saturday, April 09, 2011

I'm a Convert

I just bought a MacBook Pro yesterday. The little Acer Aspire One netbook I've been using for a couple of years was just unable to perform some of the tasks I've needed, especially since I got a really good high-def camera for Christmas. My oldest got an iMac for Christmas and ever since I've been pondering the MacBook. When my daughter dropped her ipod touch (also a Christmas gift) and shattered the glass we took it to the Apple Store at West Town Mall to see if they could fix it. (I probably should add that I further damaged it when I took it apart to see if I could fix it myself.... after all I have replaced broken laptop screens by myself and thought maybe I could do the ipod too, ha.) They said they could trade it out for $149 but that she should take it home and synch all of her music and stuff before trading. So we went back yesterday for her to trade it and they surprised us by replacing it for free! Well, that kind of customer care was enough to sell me the MacBook. Even though Apple products are more expensive than their competition, those little things can make a big difference. Anyway, I do like the Mac very well so far. (Not to worry Windows/PC, I still like you too.)