Author Archives: madblog

Lord, Have Mercy. People, Give Us a Break

Has anybody noticed we’re not talking about George Floyd anymore? Or even his murderers?

I don’t know about you but as of the end of April, I thought I was carrying all the burden I could. A global pandemic scared the crap out of me and every day I was managing the max amount of stress.

Apparently some people weren’t that worried, because they decided this would be an excellent time for total societal destruction followed by a Marxist revolution. I marvelled at their timing for about 40 seconds.

How I wish George Floyd had followed a pandemic stay-at-home order that day. We all watched the video of a cold blooded murder and we were all appalled. We wanted the murderers brought to justice. We agreed that now would be a good time to examine our society for the vestiges of racism. We planned peaceful protests as encouraged by our founding documents and principles to petition our gov’t for positive change. To remember our principles of justice and equality and to see that we commit afresh to living them.

But we innocent lambs go about our business as though there are no agendas waiting to pounce on our way of life, no -isms opposed to ours, no unprincipled powers who would use our good will to usher in their own power structures. There are.

They usurped our good intentions to drive us to their own destinations.

My friends by the droves sent money to a right sounding slogan. They sent money to a slogan. Unfortunately the money went to an organization which wasnt even a charity.

Let it be said that “Black Lives Matter” spoken by a white person is the most paternalistic and presumptuous expression known. If that isn’t an expression from the perspective of white superiority I don’t know what is.

It really was time to shut up and listen to grievances. Then act to correct what we could so the disenfranchised children don’t have the same grievances years from now. But that legitimate opportunity has been lost, co-opted and drowned out by people who Just. Want. Power. at any cost.

My question is this: how much can the public bear? How much longer before people just turn it all off, fetal-curled on the floor? I’m ready for some relief from man’s inhumanity to man, displayed 24/7 on megaphones outside our windows.

And if by chance we should miss a bit of outrage, one or two of our friends feels the need to have us join them in the pearl-clutch.

We can’t take this level of stress forever. Let us have something positive for just a minute.

How We Are Loved

Christmas is behind us and half a year away, but let me talk a little about the Incarnation. The birth of Christ has much to tell us at all times of the year, and we may even be able to see its significance more clearly in the absence of tinsel, parties, and colored lights.

That Almighty God chose this way– as a bsby– to send his infinitely precious son into our world is something we take for granted, but thinking about it yields much.

In mythologies the world over, gods enter the world of men as gods.

I grant there are stories of gods disguised as human beings, even doing so to learn the perspectives of lowly humans. Odin humbled himself and sacrificed an eye for humanity. God figures put people-masks over their glorious faces but retained their godhood underneath.

Only one became a human being, fully and without safeguards. He was a zygote with human DNA, an unborn child, a newborn, a dependent baby. Jesus was not disguised as a man. At the Incarnation, Jesus became one of us.

God does not thunder from on high and send lightning when you don’t obey. He does not float in nothingness and shake his smug and passionless head at your endless failure to achieve just enough enlightenment.

No, he waits at the curve of the road so he can see it stretch far into the distance, looking for you to return home. And when he sees you limping with shame, he runs to embrace you and welcome you back, celebrating with a feast for his whole dominion.

He was not detached. He was born helpless into a very poor family, subject to a powerful state. It is important to note that he remained subject to the established worldly powers right up to and including his execution by those powers.

Though He has every justification to shrink from us, divorce us, alienate us…He comes closer to us than any other conceivable closeness. God became one of us.

In the Mirror

This is a re-post from awhile ago.

The case against abortion rightly focuses on the harm to the unborn. But what does the abortion culture do to us?

It desensitizes us. I hardly need illustrate this point. A comedienne recently celebrated abortion via patriotic parody on Netflix. Basically nice people put on vagina hats, put vagina hats on their minor female kids, march them along to protest in the streets, enjoying the tribe vibe, then go back to work and school and friendly society sure of their moral superiority while nurturing a constant state of rage against their family and friends who believe that life is a right belonging to all human beings.

It dehumanizes us. We keep our human status, but we lose the context for what it is to be human. We lose the criteria for deciding what being human is. We lose that because we trash it. We must, if we decide to create castes in which some humans are human and some are not. If personhood must be relative, then we will end by re-evaluating all persons’ personhood, according to what scale I try not to imagine.

When we throw in with abortion culture and accept it as necessary, we reveal that we are rank elitists.

Elitists because we have decided that we have the right to declare who is human and who is not, who is a person and who is not, who is “viable” and who is not. Viability is an arbitrary and ever-shifting goalpost if there ever was one. And if the doctor was incorrect about viability, he will often impose non-viability without prejudice. This happens. We decide who lives and who dies.

Abortion culture makes us children.

When we grow up, we learn that things we didn’t plan for often happen. Sometimes we should have forseen the consequences of our actions, and sometimes unforseen things present themselves regardless of our actions. Whichever the case, we must meet life’s challenges, take responsibility, and make the best outcome we can, though perhaps no possible outcome is what we would have chosen. Life isn’t perfect.

The abortion culture has taught us that if we face a challenge that we find too great, or even too inconvenient, there is a panacea  which will take our circumstances right back to where they were before that interruption. No consequences are tolerated and if there are consequences we must be victims of an oppressor. Blame must be assigned. We have learned to expect life to clear itself up so we can get back to our comfort. It’s a childish perspective. The abortion culture infantalizes women and men.

Abortion culture relativizes killing.

Is this killing? Is this kind of killing justified? How can I make this killing OK?

It’s a bad place to find ourselves.

A culture which endorses abortion is destroying itself. Proverbs 8:36 declares that there are many who love death: Those who hate me love death. That culture has put death on the menu. It has made death one essential option. And once we approve of death as a tool, an instrument of expedience, a means to an end, we cannot put it away. We give death a kind of life and it may have its way with us.

I’m better than them

“In contrast to my family, I am not racist. I try to talk to them about their racism though.”

– social media post by a young friend whose parents walk the talk when it comes to meeting each person as an individual and actively caring about them.

If you have to diminish someone else in order to express your virtue, you have failed.

Imagine

If we sing a song all together

…which from its first phrase alienates all people of faith

…faith which built civilizations, particularly Judeo-Christian faith which created Western Civilization and gave us justice, other-centeredness, charity, the conception of human equality, the erasure of which would witness the rushing in of their opposites

…nothing supernatural to our existence, no consequence to our lives, no significance of our deaths; nothing but what we can see, no transcendence, no meaning, no purpose

…then goes on to wish for a world with “no countries”

…no nations, no borders, no establishment of lawful bodies which protect the weak from the powerful. In other words, anarchy and the rise of tribalism and brutal tyrants with no other qualification than raw power

…the mass of humanity suffering helplessly under warring megalomaniacs

…and we declare that “then the world would be as one”:

Then we advertise our allegiance to arrogance, slavish peer dependence, and simple stupidity. 

This is not a beautiful song. It was meant to be a message of hate for perceived social enemies. You may marvel at his talent but in this case, not his insight.  This is possibly the most vapid lyric ever put to paper. It is simple-minded nonsense which could only be wished for by the ultra-privileged, cushioned from the mundane cares most of us tend every day.

Listen once more. Try to notice who is left out of this supposedly united world. Anyone of any faith. Any poor person who looks to some lawful body to protect his access to necessities. Anyone under the crush of many of our world’s oppressive states. The victims, the powerless, the vulnerable. Anyone who clings to faith while immersed in an existence these singers would consider nightmare dystopia.

Because, you know, in places where they rejected the idea of heaven, justice, compassion and peace became the norm.

One world united under faithlessness, anarchy and oppression. A garden of delights for the pretty people, the rich, the right-thinking. Like the elite-signaling who sing it.

 

 

 

 

I Am Not a Bookbinder

Here is my latest post from my other life, my other blog.

Maddy Tree Books

For the last several years I have been making handcrafted books for sale. But I am an imposter. Let me tell you my crafter story.

I was a Painting and Drawing major at Philadelphia College of Art in the late 70’s to early 80’s. I earned my BFA but I left college not confident, energized and inspired but confused, exhausted and dispirited. What would I do with a degree in fine art painting and drawing? I had no idea.

It took years to re-orient myself as an artist, to free myself from head games, and to find what art I would do.

I promptly married my high school/art school sweetheart and we soon began a family. Painting was entirely put aside, and time and space for art was back-burnered.

Back to PCA. Among the long hours of studio classes there were the required electives. One semester I chose a bookbinding…

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Two opposing goals

There are two opposite goals at work.

Protesters exercising their Constitutional rights peacefully, within the law, voicing their objection to a heinous injustice. At the other end of the spectrum are dishonest opportunists wreaking havoc toward  destruction to achieve political agendas.

The first group’s goal is the restoration or establishment of justice, equality, order, lawfullness, peace.

The second is creating chaos in order to bring about a different kind of change, and I ask you: what change comes from violence, fear, destruction,and societal breakdown?

There is a very bright, good thing to be seen here. At least for the first few days, it was encouraging to see that Mr. Floyd’s murder was universally and unequivocally condemned. Everyone just KNEW it was wrong. Everyone was on the same page

Which shows  that we all really believe in justice, compassion and equality. We know evil when we see it and we all agree on that. We long for justice and lawfulness. We’re outraged at its perversion.

(Yes, everyone. Obama and Trump said exactly the same things. Rush had no tolerance on his program for anything but outrage for Mr. Floyd’s murder.)

And nearly everyone was supportive of real protests.

That universality is being drowned out now in favor of same-old-same-old. “F. T.”…black vs white, R vs D…and isn’t obvious by now? If you dont know that there are people who will use every crisis to engineer their political agenda, cynically and without any care for the victims, then you are willingly naive, and probably giving fuel to their fire. Those cynical opportunists may be few, but they are there and we have to be wise to them and make them powerless.

I will even allow that  there are people who are honestly thinking violent protest will bring about good change. They are wrong.  And I’ll assume that sometimes one kind of protest devolves into the other in spite of good intentions. I’ll also assume that there are police reactions which are just as lawless as the original crime.

Given all that, does it really make sense to support the violence and destruction? Or would it make sense to support actions that work toward justice, construction and lawfullness?

Is everything about Orange Man Bad? No! Do not let the good reform that can be achieved devolve into political S.O.P.

Do not take your eyes off George Floyd. It’s about him, and what we can do to bring about justice for him and for others like him. To make sure we become a society that doesn’t tolerate what happened to him — a just society.

That is done by bringing all those complicit to the force of the law. A police department and a city government that tolerated people like those police officers representing the LAW needs to be brought to justice and replaced from the ground up.

Excepting cynical forces sowing destruction and hate— what we ALL want is for the law to be lawful and just, applied equally.

It’s  about bringing about justice, Isn’t it?

Clueless Activism

Whether to weigh in or not. I’m off FB and formerly non-political IG is almost as bad.

I’m frankly nauseated by the torrent of black squares posted by comfortable white women. Wasn’t the goal to step aside so black voices could be heard? All down with that, but let me just post five times that day that I’m muted, and hashtag black lives matter, then replace that hashtag with something else, then another something else, then tell everyone to delete their black squares. Because you’re still shutting black people out.

White people literally could not shut up. But everybody has to know that I think the right things!

Virtue signaling. Paternalism. We don’t need to help black people speak.

White people, shut up! — if you want to let minorities speak. Black people do not need to hear the views of this white woman. Who cares? 

Besides I’d rather do something actual, than something symbolic. And giving money to—you don’t know who —for you don’t really know what purpose — because it has a right sounding name? Do your research. Symbolic, and probably destructive. Dumb.

Here’s my incendiary take. You may not want to read it.

If protests were honestly against systemic violence toward black people, they would be protesting outside Planned Parenthood facilities, which  kills 3 times more black children than other children, and locates its clinics overwhelmingly in minority communities. PPFA is committing a genocide against African Americans every single day.

A Quick Guide for the Atheist for the Necessity of a Good God

There is no legitimate moral claim without an acknowledgment of God. Here is a proof.

Do you believe that there is any act which is wrong? Wrong or evil without any doubt? Objectively wrong?

If no, then you can never, ever object to any act no matter how heinous, inhumane, or cruel. For all our sakes, I hope you didn’t say no.

If your answer is yes, you have confirmed the objective existence of a moral law, a full code of right and wrong, good and evil.

A moral law requires that there is a moral law-giver.

Yes, it does. Here’s why:

The moral law at no point seems as though it evolved from a random or amoral process.

When we examine the moral law at any point, we find that it has certain characteristics and lacks others. It is purposeful or systematic, not random. It pushes us toward self sacrifice and interest in others well-being. Morally, it compels us to choose the more selfless and less safe options.

It derives from a mind rather than from a mindless process.

The mind it derives from has clear preferences. It loves love and hates hate. It strongly prefers that we behave toward other human beings with things like kindness, love, mercy, and justice.

How do I justify that claim?

Let’s  go back to your agreement that there are some things that are just wrong. When we look inside ourselves for that sense of right and wrong, we find that there are innate, intrinsic convictions. Those convictions tell us to be kind, not cruel. To be fair, not unjust. To respect other people, not victimize or dismiss them.

It’s  not that we succeed in behaving according to those convictions, but that we all know they are there, that they do not change, and that we ought to obey them.

So where are we? We believe that there is an objective moral code. We find it inside ourselves and we hold everyone else accountable to it as well. We see that the moral code necessarily has a source which is a mind with sentience and preferences.

That code of preferences about our behavior, or its source, seems even to hold some authority over our moral choices.

We are now talking about a personal being with a mind and perfect, consistent moral goodness.

God.