WHEN NOT TO BE A GOOD SAMARITAN

migrants

A QUESTION OF LIMITS

Are there occasions when people, especially Christians, are not called upon to be proverbial Good Samaritans, not founts of mercy? And why might our bibles, especially the OT (which admittedly for Christians belongs to another and older covenant), often demand the refusal of mercy.

There’s a poem I’ve had in mind which I now doubt I shall ever write because though it could carry its message at the level of feeling it would be hard to cover things sufficiently at the level of argument. The failure at the poetic level would be excusable, but I should want to be as fair as possible in the face of fact and complexity and also remain clear as possible given the barrage of criticism any original or non PC treatment of a theme can engender today.

Not that my approach and main facts supporting it would be entirely original – anyone wanting more of the facts can go to the writings of such as ex-Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali, British author and journalist Douglas Murray and articles of the Gatestone Institute which regularly reports news that especially Germany, Sweden and Britain don’t want people to hear and sometimes controversially suppress. Only the spiritual/theological perspectives would be more particular to myself.

LAMENTATION FOR EUROPE

The poem, a variation on the Lamentations of Jeremiah, would be about what I believe to be radically the case, an inconvenient truth not seen (or not admitted), namely the end of Europe as we know it  – Murray would speak of Europe’s “suicide” – something symbolized and partly triggered by the migrant crisis. The latter phenomenon, which both is and isn’t a genuine “migrant” crisis, involves far more than the PC political class and a by and large would-be generous public cares to recognize.

Poetry which transcends norms of expression offers an opportunity to question and rewrite reality. Sometimes its treatment is closer to those prophetic style perceptions of events which assume spiritual laws of life that post-Enlightenment rationalism and even religion won’t consider and have largely forgotten.

As with Lamentations this can include difficult concepts like the “wrath” or “jealousy” of God, expressions which don’t automatically mean quite what is popularly assumed. They are more metaphorical and bespeak rather a divine withdrawal from events which allows natural chaos to take over and the need for an exclusive attachment to the divine in order to hear anything from that source.

So, any poem in the style of Lamentations would speak to the more spiritual dimensions of the current crisis, but what might that mean? And how would the perspective differ from the rationalist Christian and/or secularist line in the West for whom events are simply a call to be  a  good Samaritans to suffering people (assuming, as is not always the case, that the migrants, usually male and some over fifty but claiming to be “unaccompanied children”, are authentic refugees, not opportunists seeking a new life and benefits).

GOOD SAMARITANS TO WHOM AND WHY?

The Good Samaritan is defined by Jesus’ parable of Luk 10:25-37 as a social outsider ( to Jews of Jesus’ time) who has mercy upon someone when  it would not be customary to have automatic interest in or sympathy with . The aided victim is a man who has been attacked by thieves and left for half dead – to that extent comparison could be made with tortured victims of President Assad’s regime which has suppressed opposition and reform – the president is largely responsible for the entire Syrian crisis. The parable implies almost anyone is a potential neighbour to everyone else and here comparison of gospel ethics with Islam’s  injunction  to terrorize and subjugate the outsider/infidel  wherever they are found (Sura 9:5) could hardly be greater. (Converts to Christianity from Islam are usually persuaded by the theme of forgiveness within the religion. The popularity of jihad  with  martyrdom in Islam  is due precisely to its being the only sure  way to secure divine acceptance and thus paradise ).

The person the Samaritan assists is helpless and in need of aid. This is not the same as someone, victim or otherwise, who does not consider outsiders to be any kind of world citizen but who still demands assistance from others as of right, which at least some migrants have done, demanding to be let in, passing barriers and protesting if they are not  allowed to enter  the rejecting society is criminal and doesn’t understand humanity – ironically an ideal they have at least partly learned from the West they often despise or oppose.

This situation with the attitudes it throws up is between strange and unprecedented. When nations suffer war and internal dysfunction, normally they fight and put up with it. Some populations like the Jews have fled specific persecution to more tolerant places but they have usually brought wanted skills with them rather than expected host nations to support them on the scale migrants often expect and indeed need when they require language and other training to cope.

The idea that war suffering and internal chaos gives the right to populations to migrate by the million is historically exceptional. It is something that perhaps more readily occurs to members of a highly political faith which believes in its ultimate right to universal rule and reducing resisting inhabitants to servant status, despised paying dhimmis,   and even the right to practice a degree of conquest by migration. That such is an established Islamic principle even an orthodox Muslim freely admits (see http://goo.gl/25QYXr. We may suppose the readiness of Turkey and the Gulf States to let Europe be swamped is not without the hope of furthering precisely expansion.

Does this mean that Christians have the right to ignore an influx of people desperate as at any rate some threatened Syrians are, but whose nonetheless alien beliefs and values could over time pose a threat to host lifestyles – an assumption not merely “racist”(as even the very pro-refugee Archbishop of Canterbury has insisted) but based on the kind of things preached in some immigrant circles and actions already observed to have occurred where migrants have recently settled.

No, we should not ignore….but in this instance assistance should be given with proper caution and safeguards. The Christian rule in this case would be closer to the NT dictum, “if your enemy hungers, feed him” (Rom 12:10). Enemy? Do Christians have them? Are they supposed to be looking for them and  regarding people as such? Are those refugees, some of whom really have lost everything and are hopeless, but who are not waging war and quite likely are peace loving, actual “enemies”? No…..but to be realistic, they do still cling to and represent a culture, faith, values and laws that have failed them and many more in modern times; and wherever Muslims are a majority their rulers from Sudan to Afghanistan  have proved relentlessly hostile and discriminatory towards Christians and other minorities. The mixture of corruption and persecution that is, for example, modern Pakistan is disturbing and within Britain where immigrants of that nation have  settled in great numbers, everything from archaic treatment of women to persecution of Christian converts has been reported.

SHARIAH

WHO ARE MY BROTHER AND SISTER?

No matter how worthy many individual Muslims may be, practically and politically regarded they cannot be simply called “our brothers and sisters” as a well-meaning, naive papacy is ready to call them. It’s the Christians, women and gays persecuted by Muslims who are our brothers and sisters. The Chinese classic The Art of War insists that one must understand the mind of the enemy to win any advantage,  something which if the West is not to founder or just suicide, it needs to do pronto. It is short-sighted, naïve and even  disloyal to the suffering of minorities in Islamic societies, to be anything but cautious and provisional in welcome.

Horror was inevitably expressed when the blustering, pot-stirring Donald Trump described Islam as having a hate problem, but something of the kind seems almost undeniable. It is notorious that Palestinians were dancing in glee at  9/11 and recent murders of Israelis can engender the same response. The hatred of some Muslims for Christians is so intense that Syrian and Iraqi Christians have been physically attacked and refused food and drink as impure untouchables even in refugee camps in Europe. Escaping refugees have thrown Christian refugees from their boat to drown them. Others are not so needy or friendly they have not thrown away offered food and drink https://goo.gl/E1lnGv

Only because the West is largely secular (despite the fact Muslims inaccurately call  Europeans “Crusaders”)  has it insufficiently cared and protested for persecuted Christians; but failing to care it also fails to read the writing on the wall for itself as constituting also “infidels” who later may receive no better treatment. The perverse secularism of Sweden has in the past sent Christians refugees from such as Iran back into certain persecution  http://goo.gl/ElxWYN while opening its arms to refugee Muslims by the thousands. Some of these refugees are now harassing women (including minors) and ordinary citizens to a degree press and politicians scarcely dare admit and have so far mostly tried to hide http://goo.gl/kBREej Multiculturalism and fears of being called “racist” have Swedish police and people in shackles unable to defend themselves in the face of persons who have no appreciation for the old adage “When in Rome, do as Rome does”.

This ungrateful or presuming guest response recalls another parable of Jesus to which I turn presently and whose message must be set against that of the Good Samaritan because of the way it addresses the  response to a compassion scorned.

THE ETHICS OF NO MERCY

The Old Testament has two attitudes towards the stranger/refugee: welcome provided they become part of the society observing its laws (Lev 24:22), or in the case of peoples like Moabites and Amorites who have distinctly opposed Israel or whose beliefs are so perverse they would contaminate, simple extinction. Deut 7: 2-7 is summary of the general principle and style and can be quoted:

And when the Lord your God gives them over to you and you defeat them, , then you must utterly destroy them. Make no covenant with them and show them no mercy. Do not intermarry with them, ….for that would turn away your children from following me….break down their altars, smash their pillars, hew down their sacred poles….”.  

The ruthlessness of this has understandably troubled and bewildered Christian readers of the age of Pisces looking back to the blood and iron of the age of super-patriarchal Aries, bolstered as this was by customs of the some of which still survive into our times, like the kind of honour killings now and again surfacing among peoples of the Middle East, not to say the radical ethnic and cultural cleansing of IS. Even in that earlier age Israel itself hesitated to be so absolute, though it was later seen as a cause of their vulnerability in many ways especially its idolatries.

It is perhaps only in the face of the intransigence and ruthlessness we see in IS and which seems almost a speciality of the Middle East,(Hitler and Nazism despite –  Hitler was inspired by the still denied Ottoman genocide of the Christian Armenians!), it makes a little more sense.

It would obviously be wrong in this era and for Christians to annihilate enemies (just this has been the crime of Orthodox Serbs upon the Muslims of Bosnia from fear of what Islam means and has done in Eastern Europe), but in any age or clime, aggressive intransigence may need to be dismissed or ignored or somehow quarantined so that any kind of peace and order can flourish.

If beyond a certain point people and societies value vengeance and make children imbibe it with their mother’s milk, then this leads to total paralysis on the moral plain. We see something of the kind in the (again minimally reported) policies and attitudes of Palestinians today. Given millions to rebuild their society the money gets poured instead into building more tunnels into Israel because the real desire is not a good and safe life but vengeance upon the nation for existing at all with the desire, freely expressed everywhere from media to classroom, to have those supposedly descended from pigs and monkeys, destroyed before Judgement day.  Likewise  Iran openly declares and plans for the total annihilation of Israel as its aim – it recently launched missiles with notices attached declaring the need to destroy all Jews. The easy going West conveniently ignores and doesn’t believe it (after all trade is involved!) but why not?

Let us speculate and try to imagine. If God is love (Islam never says this, only that Allah is “merciful”) and represents certain absolutes that need to be established for the general good but cannot be so because those values are threatened by persons so committed to hatred after the manner of violent tribes as depicted in the OT, then in the interests of progress a case can perhaps be made for a new beginning. This is achieved not by reconciliation when none is possible, but by annihilation. With certain root principles established and the spirit of the age different Christians cannot possibly think this way, but in other times and places……?

I can now turn to that other parable that differs from the Good Samaritan, namely the parable of the unforgiving servant (Matt 18: 23-35). A king demands owed payments from persons who cannot repay. One of them risks losing family and everything. Upon appeal the king forgives the servant his debt. The servant goes straight out and starts bullying a fellow slave who owes him far less than he himself had owed. The victim’s fellow slaves report him to the ruler. The parable ends,

“Then his lord summoned him and said to him ‘You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. So my heavenly Father will also do to everyone one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart”.

With this in mind, finally we may turn to a few poetic/prophetic parallels to our times.

PROPHETIC VERDICTS?

SHARIAH 2

In one of my poems I observed

Religion knows no vacuum
Nor end of tides, its nature
Is it will return to fill the empty
Rock pools of the secular sands….  (Beyond Dover Beach)

Quite simply society does not get rid of God by denial, indifference or forgetting. The God issue returns, if need be in another form; and if God is not the friend, God becomes however reluctantly the enemy. The rejected, uninvoked God withdraws protection in a way which makes him as though the enemy itself. “He has taken away the covering (protection) of Israel” says Isaiah (Is 22: 8) with the result as chaos mounts “I am laying before this people stumbling blocks against which they shall stumble” (Jer 6:21).

The situation and attitude of Europe today is painfully similar to that of Judah before its fall to enemies – decadent and complacent, assured that no evil will come (Jer 5:12) “no evil shall come upon us/and we shall not see sword or famine”, declaring “peace, peace and there is no peace” (Jer 6:14). It’s the reckless even arrogant spirit of Angela Merkel’s wir schaffen es   (we’ll deal with it). Yet, says the prophet, those will come who “will eat up your harvest and your bread” (Jer 5:17). Do we need to spell it out that the migrant crisis is so large it is likely to wreck the economies of Europe, especially proudly wealthy Germany as increasingly the tax payer must fund those who arrive?

“The mills of God grind slowly but they grind exceeding fine”. It’s not a biblical saying but it might as well be so. Germany who in the last century was an exponent of racial purity and a persecutor of Jews, (which last is declared to invoke the curse of God , Gen 12:3) finally is held to ransom by what promises to be a virtual end of any kind of racial purity and ongoing wealth. The sins of the fathers stand to be visited on the children. Though not themselves Nazi bigots, those children might as well be atheists as regards any spirituality, mistaught in Christianity as they are by the likes of Bultmann popularizer and author Uta Ranke-Heinemann whose Putting Away Childish Things, is in many respects an insult and mockery to everything divine. Where the theologians are concerned it’s a case of “they have spoken falsely” (told lies) about the Lord” (Jer 5:13).

An oracle against Sweden could rather easily be composed in view of what has happened and is likely to happen to that bastion of secularism and “liberalism” where some citizens are now paying for private protection because they can no longer trust their police to guard them against migrant thefts and assaults and attacks on their homes – most of which you will never have heard of because the political class can’t admit to the rank failure of its almost totalitarian multicultural policies and plays the old “racist” card to critics. Swedes are abandoning the swimming pools because of the dangers of being there.

Sweden is the country where God is scarcely mentioned unless as something embarrassing and the lesbian bishop of Stockholm removes crosses from her church lest Muslims not feel welcome in her country (whose flag has a cross). Sweden almost invented modern permissiveness and pioneered in postmodern treatments of sex and gender so blatant they would have children no longer referred to as “he” and “she”. The nation is far beyond any justifiable modern reforms in favour of women and gays. Ever since films like I am Curious Yellow in the sixties Sweden has been banishing any concepts of sacred from life, sex and marriage which last is almost the exception and not the rule in the country. The sudden reversal of the nation’s fortunate situation inevitably rather recalls words like:

And if you say in your heart
“Why have these things come upon me?”
It is for the greatness of your iniquity
That your skirts are lifted high
And you are violated…..
This is your lot….because
You have forgotten me and believed in lies. (Jer 13:22,28).

Whether or not one feels there is a connection here, I can only say that when I read a year or so ago that liberal Sweden, so ready to assimilate almost anyone or anything had turned away desperate Iranian Christian asylum seekers, something registered with me. I felt a line in hypocrisy and injustice by the “liberal” nation  had been crossed and the country would pay for it. God is patient, but not infinitely and establishment Sweden has gone far enough with its lies and hypocrisy.  I didn’t however suspect the reversal would arrive quite so fast and strong.

If we were to look at the rest of Europe for a rewriting of oracles against or lamentations over nations it’s interesting to note that the countries which the migration crisis has hit most hard, Britain, Germany, Sweden and France , are not simply those nations that have most appeal for the fleeing multitudes on account of wealth and lifestyle, but they are the nations most obviously alienated from God. It is they who have been most prone to export their unbelief – France has been doing it since the so-called Enlightenment. Few have pointed out just how radical in its contempt of the sacred Charlie Hebdo was – what it threw at Islam was mild in comparison with its blasphemies of Christianity – while those who died at the Bataclan theatre did so when a song welcoming the devil started up. We have to consider with the prophets it really is possible to lose divine protection. France is also an offender in its perennial dismissiveness ands coldness of its social attitudes which by making its immigrants feeling unwanted builds up resentments which foster extremist views. France is simply a thoroughly unchristian country in more ways than one;  even the era of its religion held much that was objectionable.

If Europe does not care to accept the Christian God, then they and their children in the schools (where as in Britain it has just been ruled early Islamic history will be taught before even 1066 and the British history that becomes optional), it will find itself ever more subject to the Muslim God and laws of Sharia. (Migrant population alone in the face of relative European infertility will make for rapid change while democracy, if not defended and respected, will just cave into an insistence upon Sharia inroads)). It will be a case of  “Ah Assyria, the rod of my anger” ( Is. 10.5) .  And despite some wishful interfaith thinking, Allah cannot be readily and automatically identified George Bush style with the Judaeo-Christian deity; there is too much contradiction between statements and claims of the different scriptures for that. If the Pope thinks otherwise and kisses the Koran (has he read it?) that is part of the confusion of the times and could even belong with long standing prophecy which would make the current Pope the last of the Christian era.

 

 

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MYSTERIES AROUND THE FREED SAEED ABEDINI

Saeed2

MYSTERIES AROUND THE FREED SAEED ABEDINI,

According to a popular American preacher, Greg Laurie, the unjustly imprisoned and brutally treated Iranian born American Christian pastor Saeed Abedini was released from the sheer horror of his Iranian jail “in God’s perfect time”.

Just what does and did this rather pat, easy kind of declaration in the context of serious suffering mean? Laurie of course didn’t elaborate but I can and shall because there is a way of having some clues as  regards times and timing of major events and how God may organize them. I had been anticipating a resolution to the Abedini affair before long by either release or death. The matter was rather clear ever since last September’s solar eclipse which fell on 20 Virgo, the degree of Adedini’s destiny related Saturn (if we can assume that Wikipedia is correct in supplying him a birth date of 7th May 1980 somewhere in Iran).

Since however at the time of the eclipse fortunate, grace-bringing Jupiter had entered Virgo, the sign of Saeed’s own Jupiter and favourable to his Taurus sun, on balance life and freedom seemed more likely than the dire alternative. With Jupiter moving where it was I had even been a little surprised we hadn’t heard more positive news earlier, but  what I didn’t know was that in the last few months since the relevant eclipse Saeed’s conditions had been improving  in anticipation he would be released – he was even been better fed and was putting on weight, something associated with Jupiter transits.  When Saeed was finally released, factors which would have been clearer and more predictable if the time and place of his birth were given, touched off his natal pattern including that the God-linked and transformative Pluto was fortunately trining the pastor’s sun and Jupiter was approaching conjunction his Saturn.

ABUSE IN PRISON AND ABUSE IN THE HOME?

There is little question about the torture and abuse (including refusal of necessary  medication and being shackled and beaten) that the unfortunate Saaed suffered in his native land. An American citizen he had gone to Iran with its government permission to open an orphanage only to be deceitfully arrested as an enemy of state before he could fulfil his agreed mission. At last report, following release Saeed has been in Germany being examined and treated for his condition. Mystery nonetheless surrounds what his long suffering wife Nahgmeh regrets having reported under stress late last year  [though now on Jan 27th with her husband returned she has filed a Domestic Relations case, something which could lead to separation or divorce].

Nahgmeh has passionately advocated for her husband for the last three years but a few months ago admitted to suffering mental and physical abuse starting even before the marriage and this related in some undisclosed way to pornography. It seems that even jailed whatever these “demons” of her husband were they hadn’t quite left her spouse who could be abusive on the phone, so she wants prayer for restoring a marriage after the years of separation and misunderstanding.

All this is puzzling in the extreme, especially as to many Saeed has seemed and been the figure of a very saint and angel amid his patiently endured trials, a Christ figure even. In prison there were conversions to Christianity through his supposedly Christ-like influence. Indeed Nahgmeh herself had herself originally been attracted to Saeed including because when he worshipped she had seen a halo of light around him. It is interesting that the mentioned Saturn falls on what I would seriously claim (see below) is the degree of sun at Christ’s birth. Saeed’s destiny thus easily becomes Christ related. He is like a martyr crucified with Christ.

I won’t and can’t dogmatize, but looking again at the birth pattern I think we may have clues to what is going on.

For a start I think the peculiar conjunction at birth of Jupiter with Mars at 0 Virgo makes for and exaggerates passive/aggressive situations not least verbally and mentally because Virgo is a rather mind games sign. Enlarging Jupiter in relation to Mars tends to ramp up sexual desire (pornographer Marco Vassi who had sex daily for two hours had Jupiter conjunct Mars albeit  in another earth sign, the more goatish Capricorn). Yet paradoxically the same Mars/Jupiter aspect can be very crusading  and outgoing in religion because Jupiter is the religion/ faith planet. Take it that some of the religion-and-sex- problem with straying evangelists can  start precisely here – the person loves the faith and energetically proclaims it but they like sex too.

Mars/Jupiter in Virgo perhaps wants the sex rather less than some signs like Vassi’s Mars/Jupiter in Capricorn, but it still risks some of the masochism of Virgo; it could both give and suffer cruelty perhaps especially mentally. Moreover, given a quirky independent Aquarian moon disharmonious with his Taurus sun, Saeed could live with a few contradictions a bit more easily than some. For him it would just mark difference, not hypocrisy. Also from just his cultural background Saeed who has now [2nd Feb] dismissed as largely untrue claims his wife makes,  would probably expect to be more bossy and demanding with a spouse than would be considered quite correct in the West.

A CAUSE OF RESENTMENT?

It sounds like Saaed could resent his wife, but if so for what reason when she was exhausting herself across America on his behalf as Saeed is quite prepared to admit (he calls her a hero)? Again I won’t dogmatize, but I think any resentment could be for a reason Saeed might not himself clearly recognize, know or  understand (especially in the American evangelical world with its narrowest possible treatment of sex and gender issues). Whatever, just hearing Saeed’s talk and tone put thoughts into my head that sent me to the birth chart and into this article.

In line with things stated in a two part article with revelations about many things perhaps especially Christians badly need to know (http://wp.me/p6Zhz7-m,  http://wp.me/p6Zhz7-  I wanted to see if by chance I would perceive any pattern of “afflicted” Neptune. I suitably and rather clearly could. In this instance Neptune was “square” (i.e.at approx 90 degrees) to Saturn. There are other possible patterns of affliction, but sufficient to observe here that one of the more notable persons to have a problematic Neptune was the poet Tennyson who wrote In Memoriam, that elegy and love song for the deceased youthful Hallam. You might need to go to Sufi Persian lyrics to find such beautiful poems to men again. (Modern Iran’s persecution of gays runs counter to established features of its cultural history in which “the beloved” in especially poetry was nearly always male). Though one needn’t read too much into it because the horror and loneliness  of Saeed’s prison situation would anyway make for attachment, but it is noticeable the pastor immediately becomes very attached to and weeps over the young American marine he at one time shares his incarceration with.

Wherever Neptune is difficult there are liable to be bisexual tendencies (not the same picture for gayness which is more definite) and to be frank about it, bisexually inclined husbands can also be quite dismissive of and even cruel to wives. We see it in Dickens (consider his natal chart and what the Copperfield, Steerforth bromance betrays) and in Oscar Wilde and Gauguin; and though we can’t know his horoscope, it looks as though the David who rated Jonathan above the love of women was pretty dismissive towards his wife Michal.

Also worth noting is that writer Andre Gide was prepared to swear that when Wilde spoke in Paris he saw him haloed. We have recently heard much about the late David Bowie who said, and then said he wasn’t, bisexual though under an afflicted Neptune he plainly was; and if he wasn’t haloed he was certain seductive of people in a myriad ways. A bisexual male rings in the changes and rarely fails to surprise inside or outside religion!

There’s an old, partly and sometimes true saying, “the stars incline, they do not compel”. I obviously cannot be certain and it would be helpful to know what kind of porn it was that drew Saeed, gay, straight, bi or sado/masochistic, but a quite likely explanation of the pastor’s problems is some American evangelical style repressed, unacknowledged bisexuality that is making him feel resentful, unfulfilled or awkward in marriage. If so it won’t be cured, it can only be managed in the best possible way. I suspect the troubled union would run more easily if like David with Jonathan there was a same sex friend somewhere in view and if the almost saintly Nahgmeh kept her husband on a very loose leash.

We can at least know that just this is pretty much what Saeed wants and expects. With his moon in Aquarius and his Venus in Gemini (, in other words in two particularly freedom and independence orientated signs, what he wants and likes in women is a certain free-wheeling, democratic style. Whatever Nagmeh’s own pattern may be, we know she has some potential towards this. It was unexpectedly broadminded of her to declare that advocating for her husband had made her more aware of the needs for everyone under God to be free, even if need be atheists to be atheists.

TROUBLED MARRIAGES NEED GOOD FRIENDS

I fear however that the long suffering Nahgmeh has some poor connections in the circumstances. She even managed to be charmed and is extremely grateful to another afflicted Neptune personality, Barack Obama, who to follow a now widespread view has only done something if anything at all for Saeed belatedly and under extremes of pressure. Obama has too long shockingly underrated all Christian issues and problems. He has never helped Christians in their Mid East persecution by even letting the word “genocide” (that he applies to the smaller Yazidi minority) pass his lips though it would have been legally and otherwise helpful if he had. Obama has made shockingly weak compromises with an Iran almost laughing in his face. His one aim is if possible to defend and never offend or challenge Muslims for anything whatsoever.

Another unworthy or unhelpful associate/supporter of Nahgmeh’s is the ebullient if not bullying Franklin Graham whose sensationalizing, poorly researched statements on anything in the news helps brings Christians and Christianity into disrepute. He certainly won’t be helping Nahgmeh with any of the kind of problems I envisage as possible for her because his attitude towards gays and bisexuals is so totally uninformed and unenlightened he has even been praising the despicable President Putin under whose homophobic rule gays can even be tortured on the streets. Those at Charisma magazine who have an interest in the troubled Abedini couple might well want to exorcise any bisexual devil out of Saeed.

FINALLY SOME FACTS AND ABOUT JESUS TOO

It really and truly is about time American Christianity in its evangelical and charismatic wings sorted itself out rather more on some themes. That includes even the astrology that was associated with Christ’s birth and that neither the Essenes nor the rabbis of the Talmud regarded as the forbidden practice that American Christians have unilaterally against tradition made it. (They do so because they consider it a form of the “divination” its measurements plainly aren’t any more than they have anything to do with the pre-astrological customs of sky reading omens which is what the prophets declare against – looking at the heavens like leaves in a tea cup and forecasting futures.

As said earlier I do believe the birth of Christ is something that can be known and his birth chart provably shown to be something that responds to Christ issues to this day. That same last eclipse that hit on both Saeed’s destiny Saturn and Christ’s natal sun and then this year’s eclipse conjunct the position of the Bethlehem Star were for me part of the promise that my own intolerable virtual imprisonment of sorts as a doctor of religious studies and author will finish after a whole cycle of Saturn (28 years) as far as the grail-like information regarding Christ’s birth is concerned. The full and true facts should be published in the US before this year is out and hopefully in September.

For many reasons that will surprise, the case will be so absolute, so difficult to refute, so different from all preceding it that it could finish a challenge to elements of American religion itself to the extent some new and renewed thinking will be required to absorb it. Meanwhile one must simply hope whatever precisely it is troubles the life of the Abedinis can be happily resolved now that the unfortunate pastor is out from his Iranian hell of conditions still endured by Christians and others and that just by itself raises questions about the wisdom of the kind of arrangements with Iran America under Obama has reckoned to make .

THE MADNESS OF MUTTI, MUMMY MERKEL

MUTTI

THE MADNESS OF MUTTI, MUMMY MERKEL

Germans have long referred to their Chancellor Angela Merkel as Mutti (Mummy) Merkel. The usage is in decline as it becomes clearer that Germany’s Great Mother may well be  compromising the nature and fate of Das Vaterland more than almost anyone since Hitler. Merkel’s peculiar, even reckless invitation to a no upper limits migration policy which itself involved suspending EU asylum rules, takes some understanding.

Every society necessarily has its limits and borders and this particular welcome was advocated in the face of disturbing evidence (that a sometimes craven PC press and political elite try to suppress), that migrants from the Middle East and North Africa, who are not all genuine refugees, are hard to assimilate and behind record increases in crime and unemployment in Germany ( http://goo.gl/ev6Kak). Only in the face of major outcry and threat to her position  has Mutti, rather too late, modified her position a little. This year alone one and half million are likely to have streamed into Germany which could well amount to millions more added to the population when family unions have occurred.

Mutti is easier to understand if one looks at the Chancellor’s birth data (July 17, 1954, 6pm Hamburg. For chart see http://goo.gl/WYD3O0). The pattern even warns she is someone no one should let near politics if they care about national health and security. Even  if we disregard that the very political Saturn in her career house is conjunct the disaster bringing, demonic Black Moon Lilith, (a factor much used by continental astrologers),  the overall  picture bespeaks a degree of real eccentricity and muddle even though its Sun conjunct Uranus bespeaks high intelligence at some level.  Brilliant “Mad Shelley” was historically one of those who had the conjunction but he wasn’t a politician.  And Merkel’s sun/Uranus is additionally afflicted by a tricky square aspect to Neptune, itself on the destiny and career Midheaven defining her. It is also opposite asteroid Ahmed, a name of Mohammed and the nearest thing to an Islam asteroid, a faith whose nature and motivations she is unlikely to understand well given the aspect. The pattern might be fine for an artist (Shelley wrote The Revolt of Islam) , but not a nation’s leader. It’s another Sun square Neptune politician in the form of Obama is currently behind the fast fading influence, increasing confusion and contradictions of American policy.

It is a commonplace in astrology that leadership needs some of the rigour and decisiveness of Mars, Pluto or Saturn in positive aspect to the sun. It doesn’t need any aspect to Neptune, especially not in so-called affliction where it can register unclear, weak or dishonest aims. Neptune on the Midheaven, when not referring to the arts, can even warn of scandal and Merkel is in herself something of a scandal! Not least including just how controlling and undemocratic she can in reality be behind the smiles and looks of concern. The same Mars and Pluto which would be better positively supporting a leader’s sun (her Mars afflicts it by quincunx), instead aspect one another in Merkel’s pattern. This is the mark of the indefatigable but also controlling person who not only suspends EU asylum rules at will but doesn’t hesitate to tell the head of Facebook she wants the negatives regarding migrants and migration off the Net. The latter doesn’t suit her odd wishes and narratives, so they shouldn’t exist, free speech be damned. Heil die Mutti Merkel!

Arguably, though, the Merkel problem starts with the Sun in Cancer, sign of the mother,  rendered somewhat eccentric and extreme by the mentioned close conjunction with Uranus and strengthened by two other planets in this watery sign (a watery emphasis which helps Merkel open a few “floodgates”!).  Cancer often wants to mother the world itself and be like that icon of Cancerian America, the Statue of Liberty with its ”Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…” It’s just that, practically, there is the big difference (one that a leader without an afflicted Neptune might better realize!), that Germany is a relatively small country in contrast to the vast America which having controversially disposed of a sizeable portion of its indigenous population, suddenly found it could use the world’s weary to sustain its expanding borders and  economy.

MOTHER LOVING THE WORLD AT OTHERS’ EXPENSE

If Cancer loves to mother, Neptune aims to be inclusive and flood-like dissolve boundaries, but the problem in our times of crisis is that Merkel’s Cancerian sun, encouraged towards a measure of self-deception by afflicted Neptune, is so ultra-inclusive that beyond her own country it is causing headaches for Europe more generally. It has already and inevitably encouraged increased migration to bordering countries less economically able or socially willing to absorb the massive influx.

With asteroid Europa in Merkel’s home/Heimat sector in affliction with divisive Mercury she doesn’t clearly see either what Europe truly is or needs and perhaps still less Germany – asteroid Germania is in degree exact negative quincunx aspect to Saturn in her career house. Thus  she divides opinion and people while with Mars in Sagittarius, sign of the foreign, she will fight for the foreigner almost more than for fellow citizens. And in harmony with her rising Sagittarius and its ruler Jupiter, if and when she cares for people it must be as  Mother Bountiful lending grand gestures to whatever she does. Like Sagittarian crooner Frank Sinatra doling out massive tips to all on sundry or gifting dinner guests gold watches, Mutti won’t hide her charity under any bushel or do things by halves. Amusingly Mutti’s generous Jupiter even makes exact easy trine to asteroid Silly.

The  misguided almost permissively silly will-to-bounty  manages to overlook what is most essential in terms of the real needs it should address. Sometimes pushy, aggressive, mostly male migrants able to pay their way to criminal people smugglers, are being let in while the religious minorities most violently persecuted, (and in the case of Christians under threat to the point of annihilation of their whole culture and past too), are not being either specially helped or defended. They can even to be left behind and ignored,  pushed to the back of the queue because self-righteous secularism or postmodern forms of Christian morality cannot bring themselves to take sides  and assist according to any particular beliefs and needs.

Merkel’s Cancerian sun is ruled by the moon which some would therefore regard as the chief factor in the total pattern. For Merkel the moon is in individualistic, independent Aquarius  at 15 Leo, a world point…it’s helpful for leaders to have something on at least one of the six world points and the moon is Merkel’s sole WP contact. But this same moon is directly opposed to asteroid Theotes (God). Arguably this tells us that Merkel’s mothering is not the kind that would necessarily be approved by God…..in fact, to the extent the Bible right up to its last book does envisage distinct nations of peoples, simply swamping whole peoples with others beyond the strict call of meaningful compassion is way outside what Christian charity is about, to whom and how it is supposed to be administered. This is especially the case when, ironically, some migrants even despise the welcoming host as infidel and there have been cases anyone can  now see on video, of supposedly needy migrants tossing away food and water supplied by the infidel Red Cross https://goo.gl/cdWwN6 ).

It looks as though refugee behaviour of the kind reflects a view there is no charity to be received from the West but only dues or taxes (jiza) to be obtained from the infidel to  whom no gratitude is ever owed. (The Koran is opposed to friendship with unbelievers). In such contexts, which lend weight to popular and especially Hungarian opinion that some of the current migration is more like invasion, Merkel’s no limits charity is  shown for the vain gesture it is, little better than a new species of self-congratulatory, self-satisfied  religion substitute. In religious terms it might even be deemed an outrage; and though I don’t want to read too much into it, in the chart of someone already with the demonic Lilith in her career/destiny sector, I can’t help noticing that the two main asteroids of evil potential, Lucifer (the devil as light) and Malin (the devil as darkness) are unusually emphasized in the Chancellor’s chart.  Lucifer is emphasized by conjuncting the chart’s base angle (it thus involves what she does or thinks about the home base), and then Malin by exactly sextiling the chart’s Venus, ruler of her empty ninth sector of religion and beliefs.

AT ERA’S END, BAD LEADERSHIP

Yet no matter how dangerous and disharmonious the charts of Merkel and the likewise afflicted Obama may be, they do expressively belong to and reflect our times in a special way. Afflicted Neptune in the leaders speaks to features of the Neptune ruled era of Pisces now drawing to its close.

The 29th degree of any sign is exaggerating and insatiable, extreme (for both good and evil) like the last flaring of a candle before extinction. There is no 29th degree of an era that can be measured with the precision applied to signs in  a birth chart, but there is little question we are at the last and  29th degree of the era all the same. And the fact is that 29 Pisces is deemed one of the worst if not the worst of degrees on the zodiac, long associated with death, murder, suicide, theft, loss, deception, drowning  and victimhood of all kinds as of the refugee.

The troubles in Syria have been on the rise for years now, but it is significant it was only earlier this year and following an eclipse on 29 Pisces that there has there been a marked increase in the deaths at sea and the entire refugee/migrant problem. And the crisis in Syria, Libya and elsewhere has not been adequately dealt with due to weak leadership accompanied by often perverse expressions of Piscean compassion and tolerance barely able or willing to distinguish between real refugee need and economic opportunism. Some of the blindness is furthered by loudly voiced and media accepted elements of socialist theory, (the Labour party was born under Pisces) which regards everyone as victims of material conditions, scarcely free moral agents or adherents to specific belief systems affecting their actions. While Its discourse can place the West on a permanent guilt and self blame trip, its will to forgive and include can finish by whitewashing or excusing even the unworthiest persons and societies.

It is of course the Christian or post-Christian nations that are most guilty of the current political mess because the declining era approximately began with Christ and Christianity’s birth. What we are witnessing is a certain decadence of the once Christian world which is wide open to the judgement that those who hate it would happily visit upon it. Whatever now happens, and the signs are hardly encouraging, I have little doubt that, given her pattern, the over-confident Merkel will in the long term be go down as a figure of infamy, a foolish betrayer of much and many.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHEN “DOING GOOD” ISN’T AUTOMATICALLY OF GOD: THOUGHTS IN A TIME OF MIGRATIONS AND UPHEAVAL

WHEN “DOING GOOD” ISN’T AUTOMATICALLY OF GOD

Migrants

WHEN CHARITY MAY NOT BE CHARITY

Some years back I read somewhere of the insistence of a certain preacher that some forms of goodness amounted to virtual rebellion against God.

I recoiled and still somewhat do, at the blunt, seemingly excessive claim which I hardly  understood. Only now I am having second thoughts about what might have been more obvious from the first….After all, Jesus condemned Pharisees who gave charity for show and said their reward for it was here and now and not in the hereafter (Matt 6:12). In other words, to feel good was enough for them and they got what they wanted. It had nothing to do with God’s intentions.

Though spontaneous compassion is good and should not suppressed – the same Jesus obviously also famously approved the Good Samaritan – sometimes what is truly  good and best for people needs to be found out, thought about, prayed about, not least as regards the long term. Ultimately what is good is “God’s Will”, not whatever one might think on the spur of the moment.

Right now we are arguably having a major demonstration of the not so ideal goodness of a post-Christian, godless West. It is one in which Germany, as though in penance for  past failures and determined to exchange Aryan racial  purity doctrines for  mongrel multicultural ones , is leading the band and making it so easy for migrants/refugees to enter their nation that it is encouraging still further immigration towards other nations, less wealthy and less able to cope.

A CROSSROADS AND A WATERSHED

Should Europe simply ignore the refugees? Well obviously not, and no decent person wants to see people dying unnecessarily at sea. But  serious questions  have to be asked  all the same and appropriate policies put into place.  More questions are  surely appropriate when all those who have major responsibilities in what has occurred –  non-interventionist Obama, brutal Assad, unwelcoming rich Gulf States, evil people smugglers , corrupt, impossible to live in African states –  are being far less opposed, criticized and protested to or about by those would-be sympathetic sectors of the  general public marching with banners for immigrants or giving them handouts.

There are moreover refugees and refugees ; the difference between  the genuinely dispossessed and economic migrants is increasingly recognized as a real issue.The world has been properly enough  moved by the image of a tragically drowned child, Aylan Kurdi; the reality nonetheless is his father was not escaping Syrian persecution. He had lived and worked safely for three years in Turkey and wanted a better life (and treatment for his teeth) in Europe and risked his child’s life in a dangerous journey for that.

At least some of the Syrians appear to be, and might need to be, tolerably in pocket to have got as far as they have when others are left to their fate in rather greater need. Some even seem rather demanding and pushy, not hesitating to call any hostile authorities “animals”  as though  it was somehow a right for vast numbers to arrive suddenly and uninvited upon settled societies and as though the international law that requires refugees claim asylum in the first safe nation they  reach, didn’t apply to them because it didn’t suit them. Would Muslim societies host, indeed have they ever hosted those they dismiss as “infidels”?  The West needs to consider, even if rumours are false about ISIS smuggling in their members among the refugees, that the long term effects of the open policy could be to alter the entire face of Europe forever and maybe lead to its Islamization too.

All said and done, and with the best and most tolerant, liberal will in the world, it must seem from the experience of recent years many Muslim immigrants have the reputation of stirrers. As Hungarians are complaining, they are less likely to assimilate and do in Rome as Rome does than any other immigrant group. In the end, everything from school curricula to national diet can  get called into question. Just recently a seriously ghastly case of the almost continuous persecution over years in  UK’s Bradford of a Pakistani Christian family by Pakistani immigrants has come to light.  https://goo.gl/9zHM9Z     Is this non-assimilationist situation,  assisted by a too often blind  multiculturalism, what is really wanted? Is the new  multicultural will to abandon long held traditions, customs and values in quasi-submission to Islam’s often insistent demands what the tolerant, democratic West really wants and its future children deserve?

The auguries are not good. In Sweden refugee Syrian Muslims have been making life misery bullying already traumatized Christian refugees, insisting they remove crosses, even pushing them out a refuge centre . http://goo.gl/JXikTr   (Swedish  police did nothing, the country is almost hostage to PC attitudes and can be pushed into almost anything for peace and quiet!). Then there’s the anti-Semitism that risks importation. The same Palestinian girl who engendered press sympathy when she was tearful because Merkel said not everyone could be accommodated, a day or two later was declaring Israel had no right to exist. The  Middle East doesn’t understand, and perhaps doesn’t want to learn, western notions of fairness. Will the refugees even be grateful for being admitted or will  they  consider it what infidels only owe them like so much jiza tax?

There are Christians like Giles Fraser of Britain’s The Guardian   prepared dramatically to declare it’s Christian and biblical to let just everyone in at whatever price – he wildly cites  Mosaic teachings about the alien and sojourner.  Apart from the fact the regulations refer to provisions of an ancient theocracy, this open doors position quite ignores that the refugees Israel would take in were then intended to observe the laws of the Hebrew system. Would Fraser wish to demand migrants sign on the dotted to observe democratic values, or take classes with a view towards conversion to Christianity? All said and done, Christians are supposed to preach the gospel everywhere to  everyone, (it’s Christ’s final command to his disciples)  something political Islam everywhere singularly forbids, and something the “compassionate”, social gospel brand of Christianity is  in no danger of doing.  So the ultra-socialist Christian position is just a lot of hot air and silly posturing .

TOO MANY OTHER VICTIMS FORGOTTEN AND IGNORED

Meanwhile the moral cowardice of inter-faith Christians and the prejudices of multicultural favouring unbelievers, raise hypocritical hands in horror at the suggestion Christians, though by far the most  radically persecuted group in especially the Middle East, subject to outright genocide and  ruin of their historic culture, should receive any kind of preferential treatment. Broad-minded Europeans won’t presume to dirty their hands taking sides among religions!  Not they, they are so tolerant, so generous! Typical of the current PC line has been the execrable Obama who, even when 21 Copts were (openly) executed specifically for being Christians – their executioners even promised to war against the cross and make  attack upon Rome – not wishing to offend Muslims and still less praise any martyrs, could only say 21 “Egyptians” had been executed by ISIS.

What alas this PC attitude, somewhere between ignorant and hypocritical has been producing over recent years, is a suppression of proper information and action in numerous cases of Christian persecution, some in places like Pakistan and Myanmar/Burma whose victims should have been loudly protested for and given refuge in the West long ago. While the banners and loudspeakers of concerned citizens protest for Muslims, who speaks for today’s hopeless Christian refugees of Pakistan’s persecuting Islam living precariously when not imprisoned everywhere from Sri Lanka to Thailand? Who protests for the numerous imprisoned Christians of North Korea – for that matter who even bothers to mention those Christian and others cruelly imprisoned in Iran to which Obama cannot concede enough and at the expense of American citizens without whose release no deal with Iran should ever have been made?

Media will regularly take sides over Muslims we hear for example of the unquestionably badly treated Rohingas in Burma, but for the last two decades scarcely a whisper from media about the rape, torture and murder, and genocide of whole Christian communities which, since they belong to ethnic minorities, have fallen foul of not so kindly Buddhist Burma’s horrible tendency to ethnic cleanse. It cannot be said enough that once outside the West, Christians are the most persecuted group and often enough where any Muslim majority rules. But it’s not only  Muslims. The atheistic Chinese government has had thousands of crosses torn off churches in the  recent months and the treatment of Christians in many areas continues unacceptable but who is protesting? Not the likes of Australia and its government whose trade and good relations with China is the prime consideration. Then there are Christians in Vietnam imprisoned and not allowed even communion or bibles. The list goes on and on. Who is protesting?  Giles Fraser and the social gospel Christians or the noisy student professional protesters of just about anything? The silence is deafening.

“GOODNESS” AS AN ABOMINATION

I don’t need to be a prophet to say with some conviction that a fair deal that currently passes in the West for goodwill and charity is little better than an abomination to God, quite outside any divine will for nations and is a work of self-delusion, self-indulgence and self-congratulation, an  unspiritual myopia that cannot see any larger view. There are forms of goodness like deeds of the church of Laodicea that Christ simply despises. The good works will never substitute for the hazy attitudes towards all and any ethics and beliefs nor would it buy any divine favours for normally materialistic, immoral societies – they might even court divine dismissal.

What has happened and will now happen may even be a mark of, in some degree, God abandoning a society that has abandoned all belief and loyalty, however broad, to inherited beliefs and tradition. Christianity is not good enough for the brave new world’s sense of righteousness. But let free of God, it will open itself to other than the freedom it thought to establish and represent. Arguably the downfall of the West is being played out before our eyes. It is said the migration is “of biblical proportions”. No one is saying that alarming lessons of a biblical kind might also be expected to be learned from it and likely too late.

[Though the subject is very different, I would encourage all readers of this article to go to my other site and read Something the Australia Press Doesn’t Want You to Know http://wp.me/p2v96G-GZ ]

 

SOMETHING WRONG WITH AMERICAN LGBT

TACTLESS  CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIAN RIGHT FOR ONCE

I usually think of Franklin Graham as a sensationalist, a tactless, open- your-mouth-and-put-a-foot-in-it type person and have criticized him on this blog accordingly. However…in the matter reproduced below from his Facebook, I am obliged to agree with him and even as a gay theologian. Currently my respect for American LGBT and American gay Christian attitudes is in rapid decline if not freefall. I detest, feel ashamed of and dissociate myself from what the LGBT (or should I write LGBTQI since the acronym ever extends?!) is uncritically and without protest allowing to happen. If democracy means anything I do feel conservative and perhaps any Christians in America have something to complain about and  fear from what is not too inaccurately being called a persecuting Gay Fascism.

Before anything else I would nonetheless emphasize I do consider that the record of American Christian attitudes, especially conservative ones, has often been plain unacceptable. Christians  have stood by while violence was perpetrated, they have turned a blind eye to the suicides and depression their attitudes and claims have precipitated, they have aggressively discriminated and many still do since one of the largest if not largest groups among America’s homeless are young gays disowned by “good” Christian families. I have mocked such things in my satire, Songs of Puritania on a Gay Theme   http://wp.me/p2v96G-7w

….Don’t tell me you’re born gay for gay equals sin
My own fourth husband would not let you in
To our house his walk is too close with the Lord,
And though I’m anti-abortion I give you my word
If our son turned out queer I’d wish him unborn….

Christians need to be careful they don’t seem to be (as some accuse them of being) persecutors moaning they no longer have the right to persecute). From one point of view one might even  have to say that “the mills of God grind slowly…” and American Christianity is reaping the whirlwind and,  despite all the current protests and prayers, doesn’t even have a right to divine assistance short of changed views and real repentance for the backlog of serious deficiencies.

TOWARDS UNDEMOCRATIC DEMOCRACY

Having said all that, let’s consider democracy. If I own a home or a business, as my property I should be able to do and say there most things I wish. If someone asks me to design posters, take photos, or even bake cakes with, say,”Heil Hitler”, “Worship Shiva as God” or “IS will save the world” involved in the work, surely I should have the right to refuse? And though it might be better if I were more open minded and on what’s a less radical issue, should I be forced to support images and slogans for gay marriages I don’t believe in? It should be my democratic choice as long as I remain polite about it. It’s obviously more complicated and controversial, indeed a matter for the laws, if I run a hotel and I don’t want gays as guests, especially so if there’s nowhere else they can stay. But  otherwise…..? How did it ever even come about that there is any otherwise?

CRAZY COURT CASES AND JUDGES

It could perhaps be  only through America where people demonstrate such group consciousness forever craving “acceptance” and “inclusion”, even hugs and kisses so as not to feel “rejected”, that Political Correctness supported by laws would arise to infect the West and create what effectively is a  new undemocratic intolerance. You must love, tolerate and approve me or I’ll sue you. And in litigious America just how and with a vengeance! I’ll even ruin you.

Two lesbians refused a cake (see below), not apparently satisfied they have already been the ruin of a Christian couple’s business to the extent they may even now lose their home, are happy to accept from a judge (whose own attitudes need serious questioning), a fine of $135,000 for their “hurt feelings”. Hurt feelings?!  Such poor, precious darlings! Did the Christian couple stand there cursing and swearing at them as doubtless at some point in their lives some straights on the street did?  If this lesbian couple have pretensions to being at all butch, then one feels like saying they should man up and not be so delicate! And all of us who have ever had any book or poem refused by a publisher had better get to court fast to make our fortunes! This is just raw vindictiveness and revenge – unless they cared to hand the Christian  couple the money for their survival, which I doubt they will be generous enough to do.

A COLLUSION OF LGBT and AMERICAN ATTITUDES

But where are the leaders of LGBT while this and other outrages sprout across America? Out at rave parties or inventing more unreadable Queer theory essays for academe? They are at least partly to blame for what has happened. Stuck on the mentioned American obsession with “inclusion” at all costs (that obsession without refusing which most of the world’s art and great deeds could never have been realized) they have theorized and argued about gay/queer in terms of similarity to straight society. In so doing they have made gay equality a duty to be imposed and defended rather than homosexuality a meaningful difference to be understood and catered for. Homosexuality is always greatly involved with the human difference without respect for which art and democracy can’t thrive but will rather be overtaken by fascists imposing their values. It was “gay” Greece supplied us some root aspects of democracy – Judaeo-Christian values did the rest. But an almost mathematical doctrine of equality is now helping to confuse and render intolerant the whole gay issue along with democracy itself.

We may also ask where are the Gay Christians akways so keen to establish their own rights, to protest the wrongs being done to fellow Christians? I realize that some of those Christians in trouble with the laws may be bible thumpers and bigots whose attitudes one might hope could change and achieve greater theological sophistication over time, but the more important point is this. It is undesirable and even dangerous to legislate against whatever is genuinely held by conscience, which is what is now happening. The backbone of any society and any democratic system relies upon people living and arguing from conscience as the history of recent centuries in the West surely demonstrates.

AND ANYWAY, WHO REALLY SPEAKS FOR GAYS TODAY?

The doctrines that leaders of LGBT have been promoting (and society including gay Christian groups has been imbibing when not half bullied or shamed into accepting) don’t necessarily correspond to what gays themselves want or believe.

A recent example was when that spoiled brat element in the character of singer Elton John was up in arms against, and even calling for boycott upon, the Italian gay fashion designers Dolce and Gabbana for questioning aspects of gay marriage as regards parenting. Gay actor Rupert Everett has likewise expressed severe reservations about gay parenting. If it were not for the issue of gay parenting I would myself be a more wholehearted supporter of gay marriage. It is solely a stress upon “equality” applied to homosexuality which has forced this aspect of affairs through the door of gay marriage. Personally I feel that if the sometimes toxic, laws-damaging obsession with equality/acceptance could be overcome (alas it seems too late), gay unions could be left to emerge as a more appropriate expression of the gay difference.

Short of a will almost to punish it is hard to understand what kind of persons gay or straight would wish to impose (as could now happen following certain Supreme Court decisions) on dissenting clergy the duty of marrying gay couples . Gay Christians of real  faith, those most likely to want a religious ceremony, would hardly wish to be joined amid the resentment and ill will involved. They ought surely to prefer to just live together and take it as a union anyway….in the early Old Testament cohabitation was marriage, there was no ceremony of the modern kind nor scarcely was there for many centuries of Christianity where like the Good Wife of Bath one just stood outside a church door for blessing. It’s only the legal details and personal rights like wills, taxes and so on make some kind of officialized union desirable.

 I am disheartened and appalled by the extent to which American establishment or just academic LGBT values and persons have dominated the gay world and influenced politics and laws besides. One can hardly get a word in as their egotism so reckons to dominate the whole field with megaphones. And they really are becoming, if they haven’t already become, just a materialistic, godless form of opposition to all religion, an apt vehicle of secularist agendas. Thin skinned they brook no criticism and so merely contribute to the kind of false liberalism in America and recently in England, that is even working towards calling any criticism of Islam “Islamophobia” and an indictable offence – in England one health worker was even stood down from work for daring to invite a Muslim to church, an act that was interpreted – in this day and age of ISIS executions as “bullying”! – as a case serious enough to go before a tribunal. So much for the healthy influence of American Political Correctness on the world. One cannot call some Christians merely hysterical for complaining that gays are contributing towards coming persecutions of the Antichrist! The situation is just very negative, read and describe it how one will.

Despite having a world first and published doctorate in gay spiritualities from any religion studies department anywhere, I have managed to be ignored and almost never mentioned or acknowledged by American gays whether secular or religious. I seriously regret this not because I am not “included” and “accepted”, but because I choose to believe I could have contributed something towards views that would have avoided the chronic polarization and damaging attitudes we currently witness. It’s too late now, and as I have written elsewhere, I long ago abandoned gay studies and research because of the indifference or opposition.

What I have done is retain my integrity. I am not convinced that in the face of what is happening American gay Christians are properly keeping theirs. They are called upon to protest.

PASTE FROM FRANKLIN GRAHAM’S FACEBOOK

Last night Aaron Klein, the bakery owner who declined to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple, called me with the alarming news that an administrative judge had ruled that he and his wife Melissa will have to pay $135,000 to these two women for “emotional suffering.” Unbelievable! The Kleins have already had to close their Oregon bakery business, Sweet Cakes by Melissa and do not have this money to pay. Aaron said it would financially ruin their family and could cost them their home. They have done nothing wrong, and their lives, along with their five children, have been turned upside down by this persecution. You can’t call it anything else. This is wrong, and it’s happening right here in our own country. Liberal judges and officials siding with the LGBT crowd are trying to make a point with the undeserved punishment of this family. This is America—we should have the freedom to live by our sincerely held religious beliefs. It’s obvious who is really being discriminated against here.

I think we need to help the Kleins. First and foremost, continue to pray for them as this nightmare continues. Secondly, if you would like to donate something financially to help them and other Christians going through similar ordeals, go here to Samaritan’s Purse PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS-USA fund. We’re all in real danger if something isn’t done to put a stop to this kind of deliberate targeting and malicious treatment of Christians.

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Help persecuted Christian couple in Oregon fined for refusing to serve lesbians
samaritanspurse.org

BRITISH DEMOCRACY: A POEM

  Democracy

 BRITISH DEMOCRACY: A POEM

Now reigns democracy of the godless sort
The new half blind, eccentric British kind
Devoid of logic and true sense of right
But owing something to the bullying mind.

In Pakistan the Christian poor are beaten
To a pulp [1] and elsewhere IS kills or drives
The kaffir out of house, but still, just PC
Or plain cowardly, the democrat connives.

Yet not with change of faith at home,
Judged work for rebels prone to agitate;
Best to ban Godtalk, crosses, prayers,
On pain of work loss or a charge of hate. [2]

From Polly T to Dawkins, secularists [3]
Make and ignore the wrong – they’ve had their way.
As silencing religious life suits well
They seize an advantage while they may.

Though from internal and external strife
Round faith was birthed much human liberty,
If atheist and theocrat oppose
The cross, lost freedom looms as destiny.[4]

Given naive thought and lack of vigilance
The Trojan Horses pass through open gates.
The night of era’s end begins to fall
A fate is sealed, the greater darkness waits. [5]

Souls cynical of things divine, disloyal,
Ungrateful to the past, in unbelief
Have yet to learn what are the effects of
God withdrawn, the no protection or relief.

NOTES

1] Pakistan’s political corruption and its persecution of minorities, especially Christian, is a byword, but specific reference here is to the outrage of a recent event in which Christians were extremely beaten by police. See Christian Post report http://goo.gl/9ZFzMD.

2] The case of NHS therapist, Victoria Wastney influencing this poem, involves a person stood down from work and put to a tribunal for having discussed Christianity with a Muslim and/or invited her to church. The Muslim woman had taken offence – calling it “bullying”!….As if… Under current British laws and attitudes which today tolerate wearing of hijabs before crosses, no “fair” tribunal will be bothering to remind the plaintiff that Christians are little other than bullied or discriminated against in most Muslim majority lands, refused all rights of worship in Saudi. The same day I wrote this poem it happened that Muslims fleeing Libya threw 12 Christians overboard to their death (at first some sources like Reuters couldn’t  even bring themselves to admit the inconvenient fact). The liberal West and  Marxists explaining everything by socio-economic conditions, or justifying anything as liberationist uprising,  fail to understand purely religious convictions and allegiences. Where Muslims enjoy power, hatred of Christians and Jews can be unbridled. Even the so-called rise of anti-Semitism in Europe is  mostly a Muslim import. Ironically it’s possible the “bullied” British Muslim took alarm at the thought of conversion as her faith requires death or at least total ostracizing of converts, but as ex-Muslim Ayaan Hirsi has insisted, Muslims need to reconsider the basis of their faith today. It’s hardly a hate crime if Christians in a traditionally Christian society politely suggested as much.  As the British should know, mission is even an obligation of Christianity (Matt 28:19), a religious right that Islam undemocratically denies and suppresses everywhere while demanding full rights for itself wherever it travels. Yet stress this and what Nobel prize winner Vargas Llosa recently described as an “apathetic and sceptical West” where Islam is concerned, is liable to dismiss  the problem. it will be “generous” at home at the expense of the many who suffer abroad.

3] Polly T is Polly Toynbee, President of the British Humanist Assocation, (but echoing here “Polly put the kettle on we’’ll all drink Tea”). Dawkins is vocal atheist, Richard Dawkins. Secularist agitation towards exclusion of teaching or expression of faith has come to a point reports show Christians are half fearful to admit or discuss their faith. (See http://goo.gl/iJ7jtJ).    Ultimately secularists cut off the nose to spite the face failing to realize how opposed to democracy many religions especially Islam (which means and demands Submission) can in fact be. It is unhelpful if the higher degree of infidel status represented by atheism seeks to silence the theists.

[4]  British democracy owes much to the struggle of religious dissenters with the religious establishment and democracy generally owes quite as much to Judaeo-Christian values as Greek democracy.  “Human rights” is an outgrowth of the concept of freedom of worship and conscience.  Western liberal thought largely fails to realize that, practically and often, the Muslim is a theocrat with either no sympathy for democracy and separation of church and state style beliefs, or sympathetic but with little or no scriptural basis to support it (Islam  means primarily submission and even peace is what ensues when Sharia law is imposes submission). It’s a situation which renders integration to the West difficult.

[5] Since my Beyond Dover Beach I have been stressing an end of era theme. We are presently at the end of the age of Pisces much associated with faith and Christianity.

The following article about persecution  http://goo.gl/T2Pcrg
is relevant to the blindness and folly of British and more generally Western treatment of the whole emerging religion problem

 

 

ABOUT CAPITAL PUNISHMENT: A POEM

StephanieBostonbomber The murdered Stephanie Scott and her fiancé                  Boston Bomber Tsarnaev

ABOUT CAPITAL PUNISHMENT: A POEM

Above mere Reason, Spirit breathes eternal law.
It’s Reason and diluted Christian thought
Believes true  mercy should preserve the serial
Murderer and the torturer, agrees with number
Studies to declare death no deterrent
To grave homicide.  As though such fact was
Relevant. Presuming mercy of the kind
Is absent from the soul of justice
Bound to  grant the peace and closure
Due associate  victims of a crime. Besides…
It’s irreligion does not feel or know
How blood, with Abel and the earth
Itself, calls out for cleansing and release
From every thing infecting land weighed down
By curse throughout its atmosphere. [1] Even stones
Cry out, said Christ, who never once spoke word
To cancel laws of death for death and sword. [2]

Unlike my other poetry published on McCleary’s Alternatives , this  quickly composed short piece (vers de circonstance which should perhaps have waited upon the form of a sonnet!) comes in response to the ruin of lives caused by the murder of Australia’s Stephanie Scott at Easter just before her wedding. Also the too rapid appeal from around the same time by American Catholic bishops against any thought of death sentence for the Boston bomber.

Why such concern given  that  historically Catholicism has been so easy with executions and wars? Basically because having controversially ruled against abortion on any grounds however reasonable, respect for life must now be applied to all cases across the board however unreasonable. Such ethical values are not really biblical; if they were they might admit of more exception and flexibility, but instead they are philosophical and mathematical from the pagan Aristotle in a way almost hostile to the spirit of religion itself. There is also a form of Christian agnostic or post Christian outlook that has made a substitute spirituality out of just being merciful to almost anything and anyone. This allows a sort of self-righteous congratulation at the expense of those left to suffer who may even finish deemed vengeful for desiring something more like justice and closure. Forgiveness is important but cannot be imposed by would-be ethical elites who only compromise the psychological health of those who have to cope lifelong with trauma and loss and for whom forgiveness is made still harder. In short, society should stop punishing victims in the name of a false, feel good, spirituality.

NOTES

[1] The blood of Abel cries out. Gen 4:10

[2] The Stones cry out Luk 19:40 “ I tell you if these were silent the stones would shout out” Reference here is not metaphorical. It corresponds to a biblical notion of a living world which has soul and is divinely indwelt. Those who live by the sword (death and war) die by the sword (Matt 26:52).

 

.

LIFE, DEATH (Ha Ha) and CLIVE JAMES

CJAMES1

TALKING ABOUT DEATH FOR TODAY

It is not customary to talk about death today. Australia’s own public intellectual, essayist, novelist, TV personality and poet, “the boy from Kogarah” Clive James, has nonetheless been prepared to talk about terminal illness and death in recent press and TV interviews. Also in his already much discussed Sentenced to Life,  a poetry anthology to be published on April 9th. James rightly maintains the death theme is universal – everyone will die! – and poetry is a good place to air the subject. The poet  himself is clinging to life, lingering and longer than he and anyone has ever expected with leukaemia (first diagnosed five years ago) and emphysema. His blood is changed every few weeks in Cambridge from where he regrets he can never again leave for Australia except as the ashes he wants distributed at Sydney Harbour.

The way that (outside of his quite accomplished poetry) James treats of death for the public benefit is nonetheless a very modern, new styled, new atheist one. Retaining his proverbial quasi-Oscar Wildean wit, Australia’s sage jokes about his condition and his obit and the fate of his ashes. Outside of literary production James is prepared to regard any marked concern with death as self-indulgence and says he’s too occupied with following Game of Thrones on TV and summoning energy for his own writing to be thinking about it.  It’s anyway a waste of time amid the useful clarity approaching endings bring, because there’s only the void, no heaven or hell to contemplate and “God has no leg to stand on”. He is thankful for life but he won’t say “blessed” in case there is any suggestion of God in the matter.

Everyone is entitled to their beliefs, but it could be argued that beyond the wit and laughter James is, along with the likes of Christopher Hitchens and Terry Pratchett, another poster boy cum humanist martyr on the path towards  a new trivializing of death and the big questions which are increasingly getting reduced to the sound-byte even if and when a few poems like Event Horizon may expend the effort to be solemn about the single fact that we are going absolutely nowhere. See http://www.clivejames.com/poetry/recent/event

BEYOND THE EVENT HORIZON WHAT THE HORSCOPE SHOWS ABOUT CLIVE JAMES AND LAST THINGS

A few things about James’ birth data (see below and click to enlarge) are striking for the kind of role he is playing and the beliefs he is purveying.

If we can assume the birth time is quite correct (the chart is derived from Astrodienst’s normally reliable Astrobank data) , it is fascinating to note that the base of chart degree, much associated with endings, is on the potentially fame and world connecting degree of 29 Leo, a fire sign. James’ ending  thus appropriately becomes a matter for international discussion and it is expected to be a fiery cremated one besides. That James will think and write about death is encouraged by the third house (writing) moon in out of sign conjunction with Pluto (creation/destruction). But the actual  joking about his decease appear linked to the precise aspect to the base of chart degree of the moon in Cancer at 29 degrees. Though James has some of the wit of Oscar Wilde with whom he shares an urbane Libran sun, looney laughs and laugh-to-cry has something to do with moon ruled, moony looney Cancer. Laugh to and at the last…

….Whether one should or not is another matter. The fact that shocking Uranus conjuncts Theotes (Divinity/God) makes for some very upfront (first house) shocking dismissal and profanity in that area if (on the basis that conjunctions are very for or against something) it wouldn’t make for great spirituality since at its highest Uranus is the symbol of the Spirit. Actually, something of James’ attitude towards deity is likely to be due to his status as an only child who early on lost his father. To the extent father figures are liable to merge with deity images this would encourage dismissal. God seems absent and/or irrelevant. In the ninth house of beliefs and religion, assertive, aggressive Mars in quirky Aquarius makes aspect – just – to the natal Sun whose general weakness in terms of aspect also bespeaks a father lack that could affect the spiritual outlook and almost certainly has done so.

James has clung on to life and surprised himself and everyone by, as he claims, already dying once (even several times almost) and coming back. Where is this shown on the chart? Despite being barely aspected, the sun as this would affect life and health is strong in its natural house, the fifth, and on what’s called a critical degree, 13 Libra. The clincher may however be that this sun is conjunct Anastasia (Resurrection). This person returns to life and, in the way conjunctions are very for or against something, James can return to life at the same time as he rejects all more spiritual notions of afterlife. It also helps for resilience, and absolutely too for being as “lucky” as James admits to be  in terms of worldly success and fame, that his Jupiter exactly trines his Pluto. Positive Jupiter/Pluto aspects have been traced by astrologers as almost the main requisite for success if one can judge by the lists in Who’s Who. 

The disposition to disbelieve in heaven and hell alike seems reflected by the way Jupiter (one’s faith and beliefs) square (i.e. afflict) the Hell asteroid while Paradise is not positively placed at 15 Leo. This is one of the six  so-called world points, but deemed the most unfortunate of them, in short in a position not reflecting or generating optimistic thought. It is nonetheless still the degree of Dante, whom James has painstakingly and rather originally as regards the treatment of rhyme translated. Ironically heaven and hell and last things are quite James’ proper subject and when the wit is forgotten the poetry is less likely to be so. And indeed James seems particularly keen to be recognized and remembered as a poet. Poesia oddly and unusually falls in the eighth sector of death and mysteries as does the name James which directly aspects the Midheaven of career, destiny, reputation. This is an aspect  involved with the fact of being well known and the likelihood of then being almost best known for anything to do with death….No joking!

Even James doesn’t expect to have much time now. April’s lunar eclipse falls conjuncts his sun (ruler of his fourth of endings) and lunar as opposed to solar eclipses are thought to demonstrate their relevance within 6 months of when they hit. But with Anastasia on the sun, who knows?

And indeed who knows about the beyond….intimately anyway? I have not myself visited heaven or hell but in my The Hell Passage: Inferno Cantos for Today, (see http://bit.ly/11dQkzS) I evoke and attempt some degree of critical assessment (both within the poem and in notes) of an alleged experience of the Beyond by several people. For reasons given I believe they must have experienced something of the sort, even if some details could reflect memory and cultural contamination. Ex-atheist Howard Storm who in My Descent into Death claims to have visited hell, commended the poem and hoped that many would read it….Last weekend I tweeted around 12 people either promoting or appreciating James’ views saying one shouldn’t be too sure of the void and suggesting they might care to look at my poem. Only one, but favourably, did so.

You, the reader of this article, can however go to the relevant material and pass it on if you believe, as I do and Clive James doesn’t, that final things are worth pondering and not to be fashionably trivialized.  (Influenced by the time I was once hospitalized in Melbourne, you might also like to read and share the poem Hadrian’s Question: A Poem of Life and Death  (at http://wp.me/p2v96G-kj ). Meanwhile and whatever, a happy feast of the Resurrection.

 

Clive James    click the figure to enlarge

FIFTY SHADES OF GREY….OR OF PARADOX : A SIGN OF THE TIMES

Grey

FIFTY SHADES OF GREY….OR OF PARADOX: A SIGN OF THE TIMES

 Fifty Shades of Grey, a film from the fifth most read book of all time (according to a Nielsen’s statistic) though beyond the breathlessness it’s not well written? Fiction almost overnight popular to the level of Harry Potter and the Da Vinci Code? A “romantic” novel or rather series of novels about Bondage and Discipline, Sadism and Masochism (BDSM) to entertain the public, more especially the female public, in an age of feminism and autonomy? Provocative material being written, acted, talked about and domesticated by apparently happily married people, if possible more ordinary than you are yourself ?….

Then too, the rich, damaged but sinister and alluring Christian Grey is played by an Irish  actor,Jamie Dornan, who in real life loves home and wants more babies. An Australian Weekend article describes the star as almost “frighteningly handsome” though it’s hard to see what’s so frightening in the almost boyish, half worried face that outside of the film the ex model prefers to hide with a beard. In interview Dornan’s humble hesitancy and self deprecation are not sexy – you could even imagine him as a submissive victim of some ancient or modern matriarchy!

So it all seems too paradoxical and a bit strange and if, like many, BDSM isn’t your thing, it could also seem rather unhealthy that shackling people, whipping, bruising them or drawing blood amounts to any sort of entertainment or expression of love. But I will suggest this whole Grey phenomenon could be stranger than strange and that what is hidden and least known in connection with it might be what is most significant.

CHRISTIAN GREY AND EDWARD CULLEN

The actual inspiration of the author’s work was (apart from the menopausal conflicts and fantasies to which she admits), the example of the also poorly written, extremely bestselling Twilight vampire series of novels from Stephanie Meyer. And a strange story attaches to that series. It had been triggered by an extraordinarily initial vivid dream of a charming, vegetarian, more or less innocent or cute vampire who then became fiction’s Edward Cullen, himself surely more accurately realized for cinema by Robert Pattinson than Dornan incarnating Christian Grey. But in the wake of completing the series its author  confessed to experiencing something inexplicable. Edward reappeared to her this time, terrifying her as apparently a blood sucker ready to kill her and not the innocent figure she had imagined (1). She has declined to write about this revised figure.

I don’t like to find myself on the side of conservative American Christians who seem unable to speak of anything sexual and erotic save in the most extreme, alarmist and confined of ways, but in this instance I have to agree with those who find Christian Grey a potentially bad idea and influence, one that is as much and more spiritual than simply moral.

The practical/moral objections have been obvious and familiar enough and could apply to porn generally whether soft or hard. The more you are turned on by Dornan/Grey and by kinks, say the critics, the less likely you will be satisfied by your too ordinary partner at home and a regular sex life. It’s hard to think that your body, your partner’s body or the Creator is glorified by messing around with someone’s body even if only in a charade of cruelty and contempt (and sometimes accidents and misunderstandings do happen). And within an already permissive society what sort of example is one offering to the young and impressionable who may take a fad and run with it in the wrong direction? (We have had a foretaste of that with Anne Rice’s vampire fiction which though the author dismisses her work as just imagination, has nonetheless helped set in motion an entire vampire/goth cult with at least some persons regularly seeking blood).

While all this may be true (at the same time as such moralism rigorously ignores that in cases of marked ignorance or repression some erotica/ porn might have an unintended educative value), more vital may be the ignored spiritual levels. Christian Grey, like BDSM itself, is at once in opposition to and/or perhaps in a sort of rivalry with religion whose symbols it is happy to exploit. The very name Christian Grey announces there will be some sort of religious connection, Christian’s partner’s name, Anastasia, means resurrection, and by the end of the series we gather that Christian will have been redeemed (sort of) by the pleasure/pain “sacrifices” his victim-lover has made to him. But the symbolism in almost any direction is dark. Although it is widely stated the film of the book is being premiered on St Valentine’s day, in fact its main American premiere is Friday 13th, likely an intended play upon popular superstition – a superstition nonetheless related to the theme of Judas and 13 people at the Last Supper and Christian Grey might be said to offer a parallel Judas path to salvation at a time when Judas is trendy thanks not least to the extravagant Lady Gaga.

The secular society of course cares not at all whether Christians are offended by exploitation or misuse of their symbols and doctrines, but if they are not that does not mean they may not pay in the long term for raising the devils for profit or entertainment. There’s always time for the Edward factors to show their real colours and the secular rationalist society is ignorant of the extent to which kinky sex practices can be black magical and have long been associated with evoking the dark side.

Society is still more ignorant of how the experience of responsible exorcism suggests that troubled (possessed?) individuals are strongly associated with parents whose sex lives had been particularly deviant. In the days when my doctoral studies on gay spiritualities took me in all directions, I noted that S/M gays, (a little known sub-set of the would-be all-inclusive non-judgemental gay community) were frequently seeking alternative spiritual experiences or in some instances even advertising themselves as masters who could bring you the demons.

AN END OF ERA SIGNATURE: ERIKA LEONARD AND OVID

But my esoteric speculations with their objection to the easy domestication of a “harmless” or “boring and silly” or “merely glamorous and trendy” Christian Grey fad goes further. There is something really odd about the Erika Leonard (aka) E.L.James phenomenon that strikes me. It is something that the conservative Christian critics don’t know and wouldn’t acknowledge any more than the secular society though I am prepared to say it’s a loss not to. It stops you from seeing you are almost certainly faced with not just a fad to criticize or flippantly enjoy, but a movement in the collective unconscious that’s at once meaningful and unhealthy.

The half Argentinean, half Scotch author was born with Sun in Pisces and moon in Leo….just like the super successful Roman poet Ovid. In both instances they are big time sexually provocative writers (albeit Ovid was a great poet while James represents pulp fiction). Both have attributed their work to imagination rather than extensive experience from life. In short, they present themselves as innocents in terms of example or influence even when that example and influence is enormous.

Interestingly too for “Christian” Grey, Ovid was born just before or near the dawn of the Piscean era which connects with Christ’s birth, while Erika Leonard writes at the very end of the same era, whose sign has a long association with betrayal and by one ancient tradition (and alleged revelation in the case of the late Jeane Dixon) with Judas. The sign itself has long been accorded the motto “serve or suffer” which of course gives it some affinities for any eroticisizing of pain. And I should say that among men as opposed to the large female audience and readership for Fifty Shades it is going to be Piscean males (like I have just seen Australian singer and actor Johnny Ruffo on Twitter) who will lead the band to declare what a wonderful film Fifty Shades is.

It was the pagan Augustus rather than any Christian who on the cusp of the Christian era banned Ovid to the Crimea for allegedly corrupting his generation with his writings. There may have been more to the banishment than just the moral issue (see my article  Ovid for Ever and Paul Janka for Sometimes at  http://goo.gl/0lqC1M,  but there is little question that Ovid’s The Art of Love glorifies seduction and infidelity to an exceptional degree and does stand historically at the gateway of what is popularly called the Roman decadence. In turn it is arguable that Erika Leonard feeds into what is most sick behind the scenes in our society’s urges – over 2 million recently rushed to see video of the burning to death of the Jordanian pilot that as against other channels America’s Fox News was determined to show– in the interests of instructing us in the brutality of ISIS. As though, if we were intelligent at all, we couldn’t and shouldn’t know that from report already!

The difference between the case of Ovid and Leonard is that Leonard is not going to be banished by either pagan or Christian. It simply isn’t the style of this end of era to face facts and call them what they are. Open to every lie and thus to every Trojan Horse, it is the decadently muddled way of the times to relativize or trivialize the seriousness of issues, to let anything and anyone through the door, even if need be calling the most radical permissiveness a belated form of Christian charity itself. People must now be allowed, accepted, approved in their every need and urge no matter how dark, odd or dangerous. No topic need be off limits, – it’s only the setting of boundaries that is off limits! This leads to a kind of Judas betrayal of real value, ideals and beliefs and writers, film makes, actors must take responsibility for what they attempt to make seem innocent.

Reluctantly I am inclined to agree with religious critics of Fifty Shades, that it might actually be better not to see this film. You are only voting for what helps nothing and nobody much beyond lining the author’s pockets. It’s not the same as attending the games of Rome in its decadence, but you could call it a step along the way.

(1)http://www.twilightgear.net/twilight-news-and-gossip/stephenie-meyer-reveals-details-of-new-dream-about-edward-cullen/2493

 

ICHABOD- PAPAL GLORY DEPARTING? : A POEM

Pope Francis Attends Weekly Audience

 ICHABOD – PAPAL GLORY DEPARTING?: A POEM

It’s far from Peter’s Square to Tacloban
But whether near or far, Beelzebub
Is having fun. From off the papal head
Not once but thrice have faithful crowds
Been forced to see how into a saucy
Wind with its own mind, whoosh,
Away a white biretta flies. [1]
Third time occurred where formerly
Destruction fell and multitudes still
Wait and long for healing of the memory.
And there, before due time, the pontiff
Left lest gusting winds and heavy skies
Prove harbinger of more typhoon or
At the very least delay.

It’s not as though even with a skull cap
More secure the suffering masses would obtain
Quite all the consolation so desired.
Rome’s Bishop says “I walk with silent heart”.
Faced with disaster there is no reply – alone
The Lord could give such he maintains
Because he knows all and was on the cross,
But in distress reach hands for Mary, call her “Mom.”

Yet why such reticence it’s fair to ask,
And ask of him whose faith is bold to post
Even atheists to highest bliss? “Christ’s Vicar”,
If that name were true, would know the answers
Of his Lord, would speak for times and seasons,
Any signs of end, declare like prophets
On the human plight and evil’s rule.
Then too, should not this Vicar own
Those powers like Christ’s at Galilee
To send back wind and wave, command
Wild weather’s forces to be bound?

But no, despite the goodness of the man
The welcome beacon of his honesty
The sometimes insight and the love,
He’s limited. There never was nor is
A special “Vicar” of the Christ. The kingdom’s
Keys were given less to Peter’s hands
Than to his declaration of belief. [2]

And now, as though too long false claim
Had grasped excess of privilege,
The forecast last of those to carry keys [3[
Renounces glory humbly. But now so late
It’s not enough and more divestment
There must be. The omens sound
The signs appear, the head will lose authority,
Rome’s throne fall vacant while the streets around
Lie open to barbarian hordes. Impatient
For world’s evil hour, the hell hounds
Which the leader hears, strain at the leash [4]
By God held back a little time, while
From the corners of the earth winds rise
To pluck from robes and caps their majesty.

NOTES

The title’s Ichabod means “the glory has departed” and was the name given by the daughter-in-law of the priest Eli who gave birth at the time the Philistines seized the Ark of the Covenant from Israel (1 Sam 4:19-22) in punishment, it was said, for an evil priesthood.

[1] The three occasions of biretta loss were Oct 2014 in St Peter’s square, upon arrival in Manila, Philippines in January 2015 and again (but the biretta was retrieved) as Pope Francis left the typhoon ravished Tacloban because a storm was approaching.

[2] In Matt 16:16 where Peter declares Jesus the Messianic divine Son, Jesus says Peter is the little stone (petros) but he will found his church upon the big rock (petra) of faith. Or so can be deduced from the Greek text although the Aramaic Jesus would normally have spoken (but raised near the Greek city of Sepphoris he would probably have known and spoken Greek sometimes) does not make this stone/rock distinction. Since however Peter’s declaration of belief was made in Greek-speaking Caesarea Philippi and where Pan was venerated below Mt Hermon, perhaps the confession was originally and defiantly made in Greek occasioning the little/big stone distinction. Since a Messiah should not initially be self- declared (something modern scepticism overlooks when it states Jesus never claimed to be Messiah) the early church necessarily regarded Peter as their voice and prime leader in some sense. But notions of a distinctly Roman Petrine authority is a late and political development. I even regard the tension over Peter’s status and role as curiously reflected in my data for Christ’s birth (see Testament of the Magi http://amzn.to/12eP5S8) in which, via the asteroids, one can see Rocher (Rock) and Stone significantly conjunct a world point, but in tension aspect (quincunx) to a conjunction of San Pedro, Roma and Isis, suggestive of the Isis-style Marian religion that much Catholicism has been, overtaking and in uneasy relation to Peter’s original declaration.

[3] According to the much disputed medieval Prophecy of St Malachy, Pope Francis should be the last Pope who defends the church during persecutions and times of the Antichrist. He is described as “Bishop of Rome” only – the informal Francis arguably assumes this role. As one of the possible omens, lightening struck the Vatican when the last of the traditional Popes, Benedict unexpectedly retired.

[4 The world’s worst hour is when the devil descends to earth (Rev 12:12). It is likely that the leader (i.e.the Pope) known, despite his liberalism, for a more hidden obsession with the devil, “hears” threatening sounds which speak to the role of purported last pope.