Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Apocalypse is Now!

“When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, 'There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and lowering.' You know then how to discern the face of the sky, and can you not know the signs of the times?”Matthew 16:2-4
Today I read yet another story about the grim news of climate change. I am not waiting for an Apocalypse because there can be little doubt now that the Apocalypse of Selfishness of which I have written is the Apocalypse of Now. The changes in climate that herald a drastic change in the Earth's climate that has welcomed humanity are now accelerating at an unprecedented rate and severity.

In Scripture Christ mocked those who could not see the signs of what was happening. Are the Climate Change Deniers guilty of the same shortsightedness and is the result going to be an ever acerbating destruction of humanities' habitat?

When I read and hear the rhetoric of the Republican candidates for President (all of them) I am reminding what Jefferson wrote:

"I tremble for my county, when I reflect that God is just." Make that tremble for the world. Of course the irony is that slaveholder Jefferson never acted personally to alleviate the evil that brought the greatest destruction in his country's history.

Yet, in three months we will be celebrating another holiday: Easter. It is the hope of Resurrection that fueled the growth of Christianity but Pope Francis has recognized that God's mercy and forgiveness is not just for those baptized Christians. It is for all humanity. There is always hope for survival, if not for the entirety of humanity, at least for each and every of humanities' members. Let us pray Francis is right.

Read and weep: "Climate Change Across the Map" NY Times 12/31/2015  p. 1
This is not a promo for my book "Quantum Christ" but if you are interested:

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Eve: A holy night indeed

Tonight is Christmas Eve when we celebrate the Nativity of Jesus Christ. The date was arbitrarily established a   millennia and a half ago. It is more than likely he was born sometime in late winter or early spring. However, the magic of this night are attending Midnight Mass; I remember the snow crunching beneath my boots as we walked from the car to the church. Many times it was to hear my aunt Pauline sing she was an outstanding soprano and once sang at Hyde Park for Eleanor Roosevelt.

My favorite Christmas Carol has always been O Holy Night. On this Christmas Eve I will share it with you. It celebrates the transfiguring nature of the Christian myth where human nature is joined by the divine. There are a couple of lines that truly nail it.

"Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
'til he appeared and the soul felt its worth."

And then it continues:
"A thrill of hope, a weary world rejoices,
for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn."

Pope Francis has astonished the world by preaching a universal message of love and mercy. He blurs the distinctions between Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and almost every other religion. He has become in many ways the Pope of All Humanity. This Christmas let us pray for the success of his mission and give thanks that he is with us.

And now, the song:

This is not a promo for my book "Quantum Christ" but if you are interested:

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Reichstag fire and Lee Harvey Oswald

I have been asked about my take on the Reichstag fire on Facebook  and I thought I had answered it last night but somehow it didn't load. Now a slightly expanded response. It's not something I have studied extensively but I think I know enough to make the following comment. I analogize it to the JFK assassination so hold on to your hats.

The Reichstag, the Germany's capitol building in Berlin was devastated by a fire in 1933 just when the Nazi's had gained control of the Germany Bundestag and Hitler had formed a government. Wikipedia has an entry on it in case you want some details. It corresponds to what I had read some years ago but goes deeper.

The issue is whether the person accused of setting the fire was an agent of the international communist conspiracy through the Comintern, a loan nut, or a false flag patsy planted by the Nazis. The result redounded to the benefit of the Nazi's who used as an argument for justification of giving dictatorial powers to the newly elected Chancellor, Hitler. From the Nazi's viewpoint it was either a total success of a devious plot or gift from heaven (or hell).

We have a rough analogy in our own time in Lee Harvey Oswald. Was he a lone nut assassin? Was he a Fidel Castro operative? Was he a foil or patsy for hidden (barely) US interests who regarded Kennedy as a traitor for his settling the Cuban Missile crisis without war and indicating that he was prepared to withdraw from Vietnam? To the extent the plotters may have wanted war with Castro, it didn't work. To the extent they wanted continued intervention in Vietnam, it did.

The military-industrial complex profited mightily from the Vietnam War. 56,000 Americans and their families paid dearly (not to mention hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese.)

In 1935, Sinclair Lewis wrote a novel called "It Can't Happen Here" which was a satire about a hypothetical  rise of fascism in the United States. Well that didn't happen here. Or did it?

When I look at the Trump message of exclusion and bias and cozing-up to the despot Putin and I realize just how much he is echoing the bias and prejudices of a significant number of Americans, I am concerned. Trump is not anti-Semitic. But his dream of a white restoration to power echo's the Nazi's anti-Semitism. He appeals to our worse impulses.

This is not a promo for my book "Quantum Christ" but if you are interested: