Category Archives: Preachery

The Expurgated Version

bibles

~ ITEM: List of Verses Omitted from other Bible Versions (NIV, ASV, NASB et al.)

~ ITEM: On Bible Criticism and Its Counterarguments; and The Documentary Theory of the Authorship of the Pentateuch: Collection of Critical Articles

~ THE MORE THAT the Bible is translated, said C.S. Lewis, the less it is read. There are now so many boutique and niche-versions of the Christian Bible, it’s a veritable forest. We might also say that the more experts have their way with God’s Word, the more it seems to vanish into thin air, by their critical acids, pretending to be ‘objective scholarship’ of Biblical Criticism.

These ideas are partly why so many preachers say such weird and irrelevant stuff from the pulpit– they have the special inside knowledge, you see. The sheep in the pews are there to be patronized, talked down to, and baffled with this kind of BS.

It Gets Worse

But the nasty thing about a lot of modern Bibles? They simply leave some verses out, or in the footnotes, because experts. And they won’t always tell you what they’ve been up to.

Thing is, saith Binks, such edits depend on a teeteringly tall stack of assumptions about the Bible, and Julius Wellhausen-style ‘onwards and upwards progression’ arguments. I am no expert, and am instinctively suspicious of experts, and expertism in general. Partly because of problems like this:

“Wellhausen’s method is clear and straightforward. Every passage that fits his theory is authentic; all others are forgeries.”

Julius Had A Theory

Julius Had A Theory

What-now? Yes, you read that correctly.

Wellhausen’s method & theory itself depends on a taken-for granted 19th century theory of improvement & progress, that acorns come before oak trees, and (to make it very simplistic) we now are the smartest & bestest people ever, because we are alive now, and  we know so much more than the naive dolts who went before us. Especially the pre-scientific & pre-critical nitwits who lived & lied-up the Bible. It would have been  better, really, if they’d all been superior Germanic Biblical professors a lot like Wellhausen.

This is classical ‘Jumping Off Your Own Shadow’ cleverness, where your master-theory assumes what it has to prove, and does not include a proper examination of the hidden assumptions, presumptions, and biases implicit in, say, being a late 19th century German academic. This is a classical form of Ivory Tower Blind-Spot. It reminds me of a retired Episcopal Seminary professor who said, in my hearing, that given the way that saint, evangelist, apostle and eyewitness of Our Lord St. Matthew mis-handled the Old Testament, that he  “would have flunked my intro to the New Testament course.”

Words fail.

Then, all the like-minded modern experts gather together, echo each other, and assume anybody not as clever as them & Wellhausen are rather pitiable unserious persons, and to be treated as such, or simply lied to in general.

Looking At The Bible

We simply don’t know why some families of NT documents have omissions, differences, or variations. Nor do Biblical Scholars, especially the darned German ones, who have utterly buggerized & theoretized the faith & Bible as much as they have helped it.

As Pope Benedict XVI has pointed out in his two books on Jesus of Nazareth, even after we have criticized and analysed and crumbled the Bible, we still must unbreak it and re-read and know it as God’s Word. Deconstruction must lead to deeper understanding, or it is merely a con leading to destruction. Unwisdom.

Or, as a recently rediscovered speech & poem by J.R.R. Tolkien puts it,

Twenty years have flowed away
down the long river
And never in my life will return
for me from the sea.
Ah, years in which looking far away
I saw ages long past
When still trees bloomed
free in a wide country.

And thus now all begins to wither
With the breath of cold-hearted wizards
To know things they break them*
And their stern lordship they establish
Through fear of death.

* My emphasis.

A Few Speculations

For instance– even if we agree (‘cuz it’s shorter & simpler = Wellhausen) that the Gospel of Mark is early, might not the early Church very early on (in late apostolic immediate sub-apostolic time) have been guided by the Holy Spirit to edit the Gospel to add, fix, and clarify Mark, in accord with the faith, the creed, and the three other Gospels? So the runty-Gospel doesn’t look strange and incomplete, compared to the other three, the Letters of Paul, and the preaching, creed, and worship in the Churches?

Or, what if the scribes of Peter wrote more in an ‘updated edition’, as remembered from his preaching, with the last chapter?

Or, what if there was an early set of incomplete manuscripts, and a later completed one?

Or, what if the earliest (fuller) texts were destroyed or lost in various persecutions or invasions, and other texts (the incomplete, or uncorrected or partial texts) survived, because they were not in as much use?

That’s a very few “what ifs”, on one possibility, for one Gospel. So easy, a web-elf can do it. Oh, and, of course, everything that fits my theory is authentic; all others are forgeries.

Growl, Grumble

Leaving dozens of verses out of modern Bible translations as modern scholars have done in too many Bible mistranslations is hubristic, arrogant, and assumes too much that we simply cannot know, but must take on faith. And no, I’m not a KJV-worshipper– nor am I an unreflective Westcott & Hort, or Wellhausen fanboy.

Let’s be clear here: as against the witness of a good part of the surviving New Testament documents, experts have made their version of the Bible fit Liberal German theories of simpler=earlier. Anything that does not fit with the theory does not belong.

However, I do believe that the Spirit-guided evangelists of the Spirit-guided Church were indeed receivers of the promised Holy Ghost, who would bring all things into remembrance, whatsoever Jesus had taught the apostles, and to write it in the Spirit-sealed Word of God, all by the power and inspiration of the Risen Logos, the incarnate Word, Jesus Christ.

queen-james-gay-bible

Somehow, the Church prospered and grew and preached for over 1830 years (give or take) without the bizarre and too often destructive and high-handed ‘expertise’ of unrestricted theories and guesses about the Bible, which has led us to the ideological nightmare of “politically correct” feminist ‘Bibles‘, pro-Gay ‘Bibles‘, and the popular modern ‘with the suspicious bits left out’ versions.

Don’t trust the experts. Binks may be wrong, too. The truth may be larger, more interesting, simpler or more complicated than some German guy said. The experts do not have, or should not have, the final word. ~

~ Binks

It All Depends

kumbaya

~ IT ALL DEPENDS WHAT YOU think is actually going on– and therefore what needs to be said and done– on what you think is real and true.

For instance, if you were born in the 60s, and tend Leftwards, you think it’s all about getting people into the Kumbayah circle, generating positive feelings, and perhaps some weed-smoke, and the world will come together in peace, love, and flowers. The 60s were an optimistic time, and old barriers and conflicts were going to be fixed by the UN, and fine-sounding words, and becoming subtly Communist & worldly. This fulfilled that part of the European revolutionary spirit of the 1840s. Utopia, next stop! Happy happy, joy joy, everything is awesome!

Do You Smell Smoke?

However, what if the real situation is that we are in a burning Minas Tirith, surrounded by countless entrenched orcs, wargs, Nazgul, and other monsters; within the walls are despair, treachery, not enough warriors, and a fading spirit. There are a few hidden away in the burning city singing Kumbayah or the Gondorian equivalent, but they are worse than useless. Even worse? somehow, The Enemy is in control of the people running things. And there’s plenty of blame to go around, not just based on your habits of mind, group-think, or the alleged general consensus.

siegemt

Where’s your ‘Kumbaya’ now, puny mortals?

Wait, It Gets Worse!

Sadly, many of the churches of our time worship big government, the spirit of the age, and feelings over facts and faith. That is, the church militant– the church fighting the good fight here below cheered on by the angels, saints, martyrs and faithful ones of the church above– is making Kumbayah, not spiritual war, against the world, the flesh, and the devil. Think cops on permanent donut-break whilst the criminals run wild.

To a real extend, this is the fault of Rome. When the Roman Catholics get a sniffle, the protestants get double pneumonia. Vatican II was a mess. It replaced evangelism with ecumenism; truth with consensus (a.k.a. the pooling of ignorance & contradiction in search of truth); worship with self-regarding spectacle; a world-culture with a divided weak waffling ‘spirit’. A house divided cannot stand.

C’mon Rome– Kumbayah? Ecumenism with Muslim prayers at the Vatican? All happy times, and ever onwards and upwards? Great, big massive lies, with feckin’ bells hanging off them! Please, Pope Bergoglio: show me in the Bible where Jesus ever said that he came to bring peace, flowers, and Kumbayah, and that the march of the church is like a bunch of hippies skipping through a field of flowers. Where he said that we should surrender to other faiths, or to a worldly feel-good agnosticism.

lalaland-jaysu

La lalala lalalala la la, la

So which is it?

The one thing I know and feel in my bones is that the more we deny the fact of darkness in ourselves, the world, and in spiritual places, the more we’ve wandered into a self-decieving la-la land, while failing to recognize we’re in a minefield. In the fog. At night. Having no clear idea which way to go. And the darkness knows it.

The more we live in denial, the more we excuse ourselves from these time, OUR times, which require wakeful, wise, brave people to fight against and to name the evils around us, within us, and threatening us. ~

jesuskumbaya

Kill Killy Kill Kill

~ DEAR OLD Hitler loved it.  Because master-race. Purity. Even though he himself had a physical problem, and was part-Jewish.

Get rid of the retards, cripples, gypsies, Jews, homosexuals, socialists, communists, non-Nazi journalists, and all the other human debris and pests. Had a whole bunch of government programs to clean the gene pool up, including total war.

EuthanasiePropaganda

Everybody’s Doing It

Eugenics was quite popular with all the cool kids in the early 20th century, along with other horrid notions like enforced sterilization, abortion, breeding programs, euthanasia, and suchlike. They breed horses and flowers, right? And they shoot horses, don’t they?

After The Hitler, eugenics had to re-invent itself.. hence abortion, the pill, euthanasia (compassionate good death, if you want weasel-words) willing or otherwise, and all the other ideas & practice of The Culture Of Death.

In the West, even as our desire to baby is vanishing, our desire to have ourselves murdered is increasing a little, and  some governments are kinda into it, and trying to enforce it. No doubt this has utterly nothing to do with the uber-selfishness of many modern people; their lack of fear of God & judgment for suicide; and especially not the the catastrophically expensive wave of old people known as Baby Boomers now starting to need old-person drugs, care, facilities, and hospital-care– even as socialism is collapsing from over-spending on the social safety net. Ironic and tragic hilarity to ensue?

Oh, Canada

In Canada, Alex Schadenberg amongst others have been fighting cases across Canada to oppose euthanasia. The killing of old, sick, disabled, pain-stricken, depressed, and elderly people by doctors and nurses: sometimes with, more often against their wills, as the experience in Belgium and the Netherlands has shown over the past 25 years and more.

Please support his work as generously as possible, and be forewarned: euthanasia– like many other Liberal notions– is just as clueless, destructive, and full of what they like to call “unintended consequences”. Plus, huge piles of corpses.. some of them people you knew and loved.

Medicalized Murder: Oppose It Now, Before It Gets You. 

EPCC: Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Alex Schadenberg Blog

Binks

Bill 52 Grandma

Otic* Hamstering

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“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body…” 

1 Cor. 6:19-20

~ SAITH TEH BINKS…. Ear-hamstering. Really? Fut. The. Wuck.

However, just because I’d never contemplate it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t mean something greater than “Those Darned Kids” or the fleeing fads and fashions of the world. And also, sin and evil and stupid and lookatme and ‘protest’; and there is a part of us that is still in love with the barbarian within, which is what our ancestors were for hundreds of thousands of years or more.

But More Seriously

Still. In a world where kids are expendable, preventable, recyclable, exploitable, abortable, abusable, pornable, ignorable, and where many come from the horrible and life-blighting reality of divorced homes, a disfiguring conformity is really a symptom, and not the core of the heartbreak, alienation, and pagan defiance of such marks and holes.

I think these physical fashions to be ugly, and yet another part of me looks past the outer, and asks “Why? Why now? Why this?” The same with the passive living online, in games, or via The Shiny Things– so that life is almost always at 2nd-hand. There are reasons for such half-living, and why it’s so powerful and attractive just now.

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After the many & horrible social catastrophes of the 20th century, kids feel themselves afraid & alone in a cold, uncaring world which is profoundly not for them, not on their side, not reflective of God’s great “Yes” to all, young or old, rich or poor, male or female, who turn to him. Children are the great unwanted, inconvenient, decorative, murderable, expensive wee horrors. The message is loud and clear.

Despite all the riches and power and freedom and comfort and safety, our world is sever more spiritually dead. It’s a desert out there– sometimes burning, sometimes freezing, with little shelter or mercy.

Lord Jesus, have mercy. ~

Binks

* Otic = ear-related.

It's Just Like A Party.  Except....

It’s Just Like A Party.
Except….

Honesty, For Once: Slouches The Rough Beast

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~ ITEM: Harvard Group Is Hosting a Reenactment of a Satanic Black Mass; and, more from the Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club

~ ITEM: UPDATE– Letter to Harvard President Drew G. Faust about the Satanic Mass to Take Place on the Campus of Harvard

~ ITEM: UPDATE– Dawn Eden Chimes In– “Harvard can do better than give a platform to a “Black Mass” promoter who ridicules sex abuse victims“. Boom, baby. MUST READ. Further, Elizabeth Scalia, The Anchoress, blew the lid off this story. Read her coverage

~ IT’S LIKE peeling a rotting onion– finally, the vaguely Christian then Unitarian then not much of anything Harvard comes clean– the father of Lies, The First Rebel, the Accuser and Deceiver and Hater… is at the heart of the anti-moral Progressive spirit. A satanic ritual as allegedly dispassionate “cultural study”, because everything is relative, and good in its own way, and there’s no boogie-man under the spiritual bed.

So let’s “re-enact” a black mass (and mock the holiest things of Catholicism, of course)! Who are these idiots?– teens with a Ouija board at the start of a horror-movie? It’s the very height of pride combined with stupidity to call on darkness: because when you summon it, darkness may come, seeking souls to eat, and lives to wreck, and places to haunt.

It is the very presumption of the soulless modern experiment that one should live a life spiritually uncommitted, and that “being mostly good” is the very most that we can reasonably expect of anybody. In reality, supernature abhors a vacuum. Or as Jesus said, an empty soul is an invitation to darkness. We all have a choice to make, now, and for eternity– ‘none of the above’ is not an option.

So Inspiring

Remember: radical wrecker Saul Alinsky dedicated his book to the Arch-Wrecker Lucifer. For at the heart of destroying faith, family, and foundations is no good spirit, no redeeming Lord, but the Dark gibbering idiot, fallen archangel, grumbling grudge-muncher, and fool.

Forget playing your rock albums backwards– many of them (and our mass media) say cheerfully Satanic things when played forwards. Self. Me, my, mine. Rules? What rules? Don’t tell me what to do. YOLO. What is truth? Who says you can’t do that?  If it feels good….

Wanting to play at black masses is already satanic, and impious curiousity gone quite insane.. and wicked. Harvard reaches an anti-apotheosis.

Because Diversity & Inclusives

Let’s forecast the future– in the spirit of inclusion, future school curricula will include ‘exploring satanism’, as part of diversity (i.e., erasing every bright spot or remnant of innocence, Christianity, family, and morality from young souls). “It’s part of the program”– sorry, parents, think of the school as co-parents, since we have your kids for 1/3 of the waking day. You see them in the morning, and supper, and talk with them for exactly how long each day? That’s less time than they spend on their smart phones.

Pray for these addled fools at Harvard, that they and those exposed to such evil not be harmed, and be led to the Lord. Because such things are real, and not to be trifled with. Think of these folks as naughty kids in a dark wood when they hear a roaring beast close by.. that’s the spiritual reality of what they are at.

Vade retro satana

“Let the Holy Cross be my light /

Let not the dragon be my guide

Step back Satan / Never tempt me with vain things

What you offer me is evil / You drink the poison yourself.”

~ Binks


Via Steve Skojec:

“When he was 12 years old, St. Tarcisius, an acolyte, was beaten to death by a Roman mob that wanted to take the Eucharist from his possession.

The Sacraments of Christ being carried by Saint Tarsicius,
When a vulgar profane gang would have overwhelmed the Wholesome Things,
He willed to release his soul by being cut down
Rather than give up the Celestial Members to rabid dogs.

When threatened with a Satanic black Mass in their diocese — and the use of a real, consecrated host for purposes of desecration — the best the Archdiocese of Boston can come up with is this wimpy bit of nothing statement. Pathetic:

STATEMENT OF THE ARCHDIOCESE OF BOSTON

The Catholic community in the Archdiocese of Boston expresses its deep sadness and strong opposition to the plan to stage a “black mass” on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge.

For the good of the Catholic faithful and all people, the Church provides clear teaching concerning Satanic worship. This activity separates people from God and the human community, it is contrary to charity and goodness, and it places participants dangerously close to destructive works of evil.

In a recent statement, Pope Francis warned of the danger of being naïve about or underestimating the power of Satan, whose evil is too often tragically present in our midst. We call upon all believers and people of good will to join us in prayer for those who are involved in this event, that they may come to appreciate the gravity of their actions, and in asking Harvard to disassociate itself from this activity.”

**********************************************
Terrence C. Donilon
Secretary for Communications & Public Affairs
Archdiocese of Boston
Email: tdonilon@rcab.org
Work: 617-746-5775
Cell: 401-480-0171
http://www.bostoncatholic.org

You Have Nothing To Lose But Your Minds

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~ AS I’VE MENTIONED before, Professor Tony Esolen is a hero of mine, and a favourite author. This Dante shcolar is a true  preacher and teacher of truth, love, and goodness in a time of mass-delusion, hate, and toxic  & polluted souls. That means, a lot of people hate him for what he says, since it represents the civilization consensus of the past 10 000 years, and God and the Bible, and not the latest cultural or sexual fad.

Shut Up, They Explained

If you believe that truth, beauty, and goodness have a “best before’ date on them like bread or milk, people who stand for the stuff you consider to be stale and fit for the revolutionary dustbin of history, then anybody who asks if this is so, or dares question, or even undermine all the false assumptions of the progressive sexual, political, and social conquest is not a person, or representing a legitimate discussion, or diversity.. they are Enemy. Silence Them. Let no disturbing thought pull away the comforting baby-blanket of progress, especially amongst those privileged to be brainwashed at our finest and most hallowed institutions.

What Barbarians Look Like

This Winter, Professor Esolen was invited by some folks protesting the vile Yale “Sex Week” to speak on real love, and personhood. Hilarity ensued. Tolerance & Diversity @ Yale University? Not so much, akshully.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/sex-and-love-yale_626565.html?nopager=1

http://www.ivygateblog.com/2012/02/before-yales-upcoming-true-love-week-headline-speaker-published-fanatical-anti-gay-tirades/

Seriously– don’t worry so much about the Muslims seeking to enslave the West; right now, our own youth are being turned into barbarians inside the gates by politically correct professors who have instilled One Thought Only, With No Questions Allowed.

~ Binks

 

Question Everything?

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~ ITEM: The Danger of ‘What This Really Means‘.. Or, We’re All Nietzcheans Now

~ BINKS, FOR ONE, for one, would like to state my suspicions about the hermeneutic of suspicion: if people tell us to question everything, doesn’t that include the command to “question everything”? Or are we only supposed to question the stuff we’re told to question, but not the motives and meaning of the questioning itself?

“Trust me: Question Everything!” Really? Because you told us to? To what end? We’ve becomes suckers to the latest brand of smart-alecky snake-oil salesmen. We’ve failed to truly question generations of questioning “experts” over endless topics, from the best food to eat, to politics, to matters of faith and truth and all the Big Questions.

Salt, butter, eggs = evil! Breastfeeding? Evil! Coffee? Evil! The list is pretty long since the 1950s of things declared evil, then later actually good for you. Consider: en mass, we throw away our better judgement– and the wisdom of the ages– to eat false sugar, food that doesn’t feed, laced with chemicals, and wonder why we are fat or sick or diabetic or cancerous. Because an “expert” said so? Because a bunch of experts said so at the same time? Because some fake-food company has a food-like substance to sell?

Questions, Questions

Sometimes it is wise to ask about motives– especially the motives of those asking us to question everything, not so we can gain a better and deeper apprehension of the beautiful, the good, and the true, but precisely to “see through” everything– until we are blind, or have destroyed everything, or have become enslaved to the snake-oil of the moment. Questions are meant to point to answers; questioning everything forever is simply madness & destruction.

I vote with tested & healthy tradition– if it ain’t broke, don’t break it, and then claim you’ve got the magic fixit. That’s revolting, and radical, and mostly leads to blood & death. It’s how humans have mostly operated ever. It’s a political brain-fever to think you can and must make heaven on earth, now, no matter the cost or the body-count or the actual (usually) disastrous results.

Slow, gradual, wise change; learning, asking, pondering? Fine. Question & overthrow everything?

Why? ~

~ Binks

il_fullxfull-288241452

A Special Surprise

ZombieSign2

~ WITH THE SEEMING re-rise of The Walking Dead Season 4 (SPOILERS!)from the doldrums and whatever that mess was was Season 3, it looks like our pop-culture love of zombies isn’t entirely dead yet. As I’ve noted before, I find the whole thing very cool, interesting, and insightful. There’s a reason why the living dead bother and interest us more these days, than–say– giant gorillas, radioactive lizards, aliens, and the various fads and fashions (which have come and gone and come back) of scary stuff on the big and little screen.

Zombies have a relevance to each of us whether we watch the screens or read the books or not.

The spiritual season of Lent for Zombies. Actually, it’s only for zombies, as it were. How you doing, spiritually-wise? Need a little top up to your basic innate goodness? The Bible is having none of that. In Ezekiel, the prophet has a vision of God’s people, Israel– a valley filled with skeletons, bleaching in the desert sun. Deader than a dead man from Deadville.

Well now, there's your problem right there....

Well now, there’s your problem right there….

That is God’s diagnosis of us: we’re dead.

“‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’  Therefore [God tells Ezekiel] prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel.  Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them.  I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.’ ” [Ezekiel 37]

Our life flits by, and what wasn’t isn’t again pretty darned fast. Ask anybody over 20– time speeds up as you age. A car-trip that took 4,235 years when you are 8 and whining “Are we there, yet?”, zips by like nothing when you are 38. Yet even within that fleeting life, we are spiritually dead. Not in need of a little spit & polish, a little sprucing up– we’re zombies. Now, there are two kinds of zombies– those who know it, and those who don’t.

The spiritual fact is that Christ Jesus did not come to make good men even gooder, but to make rotting zombies truly alive again: to bring us out of our spiritual and moral and actual graves, alive & made new. To take dead men and women and resurrect them inwardly now, and physically after death. He became one of us, that we might become like him: eternally alive, not the living dead. A veritable zombie unpocalypse!

The risen Jesus is not a zombie: dead AND alive at one and the same time (sorry, snarky clever atheists and your ‘Zombie Jesus‘ meme)– that is a contradiction in terms, like a square circle, or any other form of words sounding possible simply because we can say it. He was dead, and now is alive forevermore. This is either the biggest hope for our dead race ever, or we are lost in in our sins and evil, and without hope, meaning, purpose, and goodness. Zombies.

Nah.. I’m Good

If you proudly think that you’re good enough on your own, thank you very much, then you’ve not really grasped the nature of the problem, or the cure. Imagine your deathbed, however many years hence. That’s only a few spins of the earth away.. the number hardly matters.

We comfortable, safe, healthy moderns are much aggrieved over “The Problem Of Suffering”. God– like a celestial politician, should get his big government out there to cure all problems, ills, and pains. You know, because that’s worked so well in our Western societies, now careening over a cliff of debt and birth-dearth from comfy people many of whom can’t even be bothered to make babies to replace themselves, or rouse themselves from an Angry Birds coma to fight against enemies inside and outside their society who seek to destroy it in the name of a blood-drinking moon-god, or statist utopia and free cellphones and condoms for all. Sounds like we’re zombies.

To those who know themselves dead, the death of death itself is good news. The cure of our zombie plague that we become alive again, and forever, if we receive the undying life our friend Jesus offers to us– that’s big. Heaven big. All of time & space big. Redeeming our longings and joys and memories and sins and failings and death big.

Are you dead? ~

2008-05-22-cheating-death

Paging Dr. Fronkensteen

I say, old chap, I am not, in fact, 'Frankenstein'. My name is Adam.

I say, old chap, I am not, in fact, ‘Frankenstein’. My name is Adam.

~ Genetically Modified Food: Bad; Genetically Modified Humans: Good

~ Rebecca Taylor is a clinical laboratory specialist in molecular biology. She writes about bioethics on her blog Mary Meets Dolly (MaryMeetsDolly.com, and blog)

~ MARY SHELLEY’S Frankenstein is about the man, not his monster; about the cleverly evil human intelligence seeking to do the unholy and horrid thing of making a creature in his own twisted image, with all the consequences of a false god making a monster.

For those who’ve read the book (free, here), a crucial thing needs to be underlined: the awesome subtitle– “Or, The Modern Prometheus“. Greek myth? Yup– the mythical Prometheus, perhaps full of good intentions, who first makes man out of clay, and later steals fire from the gods to give it to mankind. Yay, fire!

Not So Fast

Olympus is not amused. The gods punish the uppity titan Prometheus by chaining him to a mountain, where an eagle comes and eats his liver, which grows back every night. Forever.

Humans? The gods impart to us blind desires, so they never quite know where they are headed, what they are up to, or the consequences.. and yet have the terrible powers of fire, and technology. Talk about a toddler with a flame-thrower.

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Fire: heat, comfort, cooking, and all the good things we need. Also, the forge:  sharper and crueller weapons. Burning things (and people) down. Gunpowder. Engines. Tanks & aircraft & battleships and nuclear weapons. Yay, fire?

Remember: myths are not synonymous with falsehoods. A myth may be true, but not historical or factual. They can provide warnings, wisdom, tragic insight into human weakness, foolishness, and failure, and deeply thought out mysteries of life, the gods, and everything. The Greeks who gave us Prometheus also taught us about hubris & nemesis (overweening pride & fall), tragedy, human guilt, and warnings about human power and consequences.

Plus, spiffy hairdos.

Plus, spiffy hairdos.

What She Said

So: we humans are full of reckless power, and blind desires. A deadly combination. Much of the history of humanity and the things we make is that they are used to unmake us; or, our things begin to shape and remake us. Never moreso than the time since the Industrial Revolution, a tidal-wave of mixed blessings. We are fools with pride, power, and no clue.

So when I read the horrifying article above, all I could think of was a host of clueless genetic kindergartner Dr. Frankensteins, cheerfully tampering with ‘curing’ disease (i.e., indirectly creating new & impossibly destructive bacteria & viruses).. then, maybe, ‘fixing’ the appearance and intelligence of children… then, with how they act, what they believe, what they are for.. then, before we know it, we have the ultimate horror, flawed and sinful and imperfect humans controlling and making other humans for all sorts of ‘noble’ or nefarious purposes– it hardly matters which. It’s the logical extension of eugenics and abortion, which grew up together in the fascist 20s and 30s, and which has survived to this day under politer euphemisms.

And this is only what we know about. No doubt there are top secret dark labs and experiments which cry out to heaven for divine fire to smash them to dust. For in every sphere of activity or technology, humans are capable of Promethean deeds.. which always bear in them the punishment and foreseeable consequences and death and destruction we may not have directly intended, but directly brought about. We are Dr. Mengele, and Dr. Frankenstein, as well as Dr. Banting (diabetes treatment), or Dr. Lister (modern hygenic surgery).

Always smili

Always smiling.. such a happy monster, was Joe Mengele!

As the author of the article, Rebecca Taylor, concludes:

Whatever the cause, it is clear that genetically modified humans are on the horizon. The only way to prevent the genetic modification of the next generation is to engage the public. Society already perceives that genetically modifying plants and animals may not be the healthiest for humans or the environment.

If GMOs in our food make us uneasy, then genetically modifying our offspring should be unthinkable.

~ Binks

Go To Hell, All Of You..

inf.1.136.doreLost In A Dark Wood

.. BY READING DANTE– Binks is re-reading Dante’s Divine Comedy for Lent. I have yet to complete Paradiso (10th try), and it’s no good to get stuck in purgatory or hell.

I recommend the Dorothy L. Sayers translation, for her attempt to convey the lively sense and humble self-mocking humour of Dante, the Italian terza rima (almost limerick form, as it were), along with her massive scholarship and understanding of Dante and Christianity. I understand that some people need blandly modernish language to get started– for me, it’s as if someone redid all the great paintings in crayon, or the masterworks of Bach for kazoo. And yes, I laugh at PDQ Bach.

For Lent, I’d suggest you read and apply to yourself the various scenes Dante presents, and ignore the usual modern moral outrage about this or that sinner. Remember: Dante is first of all the soul in question, and then ourselves second; and if we were to make it modern, we can all figure out various people in politics, business, or pop culture who could fit as examples of the various sins in question– without ‘consigning them to hell’, which is finally God’s business. But The Divine Comedy is meant in part to be a mirror for our own souls in our pilgrimage towards or away from God, minding our own business first of all being a good spiritual principle.

I read each chapter cold, then the notes, then read the chapter again, with notes in mind. If you’re a visual reader, try the famous engravings by Gustave Doré which go with each chapter.

A blessed Lent to all of you. ~

~ Binks

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