Saturday, December 17, 2011

I don't even have a good reason why I liked Hitchens' work; I just do. Actually, one of life's more interesting moments came about when discussing him. I was at an event sponsored by the respected Acton Institute, and I mentioned that I respected him and liked to read him. You'd think I killed someone's cat or worse. The table, full of uber-orthodox Catholics, was stunned. I didn't say I thought he was a moral paragon; in fact, the difference between our worldview and his covers some distance. But he always makes me think, and I appreciate that. I may ever be one who admires the unworthy, but my intellectual world is better with him in it. Lucky for me, his words outlive him. I wonder what to make of this? Even the thought of taking this seriously is preposterous. But maybe that's the point.

Friday, December 16, 2011

5 Thoughts After Writing A Certified, Literary Piece Of Crap

5. Where's Tim Butler? Then again, I'm not sure he can help.

4. [Where is this story going, anyway?--ed.] Well, if I knew that, I'd tell you.

3. [You should kill some more people.--ed.] No, that's a cheap trick. [Like everything you write.--ed.] Touche.

2. I might try writing the seventh part to make it better.

1. [You really shouldn't speak so crudely; this is a family site.--ed.] Psssshhh. I can't even pass for Martha Stewart, much less Martha Washington.
Christopher Hitchens has died. I just wanted to say that although the words were relatively few, I enjoyed almost all of his in which I partook. It was Hitchens who convinced me of the evil of water-boarding. It was Hitchens who convinced me not to take solace in the temporary rise of the serial-liar Hillary Clinton. It was his frankness about the war in Kosovo that helped me to revise my thinking on the role of religion in postmodern life. That I need to explain. He had no patience for those who refused to acknowledge or consider the role sincerely-held doctrine could play. If he thought we were buffoons for believing it, at least he didn't view it as an accessory in those he mocked. In this way, he respected us. If I or anyone else had a tendency to compartmentalize or live as de facto secularists, he would remind us that he took such claims seriously, even in denial. I never finished God Is Not Great. Whether it was fear or anger, I can't recall. But the truth is, even if his righteous indignation was uneven, even if the very fact of it denied his atheism at a level he could not acknowledge, he mattered, as puny specks of dust go. He was a pleasure to read and think about. In politics, he shattered the worthless facade of pretended civility. If he thought you were a moron, he'd say so, in no uncertain terms. But it was never at the cost of ideas. If you earned such a label, it's because he judged you deficient in the consideration of some fact, or beholden to some irrational notion.
I would have loved to meet him. I'd have preached the gospel to him if he'd allowed me. We'd have a drink,--though surely not as much as he, I'd wager--and toast to civilization, or what's left of it. I'd have to admit that his hawkishness on Iraq got his foot in my door, and if I failed to see that as the natural progression of a socialism that never left him, I at least have to admire the desire to save the West, who does indeed have much to offer humanity. Even today, my strong inclinations toward an absolute military non-interventionism stem from that same desire, not the self-hating nihilism that stands in perpetual readiness to rebuke previous generations. Indeed, this society has had such an influence as to make the tag "West" geographically meaningless and misleading, a result both of us would cheer. Lord, have mercy on Christopher. Your image in him gave me food for thought, and gladness of heart.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

YouTube invited me to listen to Michael Jackson's "Will You Be There." Man, I love that song. I'm a fan of his music, I admit it. I wish I could give a wholehearted endorsement of the man. I hope all the accusations made against him are false. I hope he came into the LORD's mercy, and not His wrath when he died.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

This payroll tax cut debate is inane. Both Democrats and Republicans believe (or should) that cutting the payroll tax is a good idea. Just do it, then. President Obama needs to realize that the House Republicans want to attach the Keystone pipeline to the bill. Did he fail to notice that they won the last election? Does he really believe his re-election will be thwarted by hordes of depressed leftist greens? Nor do I see any reason or mechanism to stop those who wish to build the pipeline. Of course, he'll claim credit when it produces jobs. Nothing new there. It's not my job to correct the falsities of political machinations; I just know that electoral kabuki is pretty stupid when the people are out of work.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I admit it, I love what I've read of Ayn Rand. I read 'The Fountainhead' when I was maybe 13. I started 'Atlas Shrugged' but have never finished it. I read 'Anthem' at least once a year. But I'm not an Objectivist. I like altruism; I think the Gospel of Jesus Christ absolutely requires it. But the folly of the secular state that destroys the individual can no longer be avoided. The poignance of the critique at precisely that point isn't altered or blunted, no matter who else embraces Rand. Nor does an appreciation of Rand in some limited sense constitute an embrace of her amorality, either personally or philosophically. Mr. Carter needs to re-think this, and definitely apologize to Congressmen Paul and Ryan.
I read 5 more psalms today. I spoke too soon if I conveyed that I had put away the anger. After you've been slandered and cast aside, it's hard not to be. But I read the Catechism section on anger as a check and a warning. I don't want to hurt anyone, but I'm angry. Angry that no one called to talk to me. No one said, "You're going wrong." And then I find that I had done great harm, irreparable harm, that my last warning had been given. It was over before I spoke a word in defense or reparation. No, I don't wish harm. But you have harmed me.
"Take two psalms and call me in the morning." Well, it didn't work. I read five. Heck, at least I'm not sad. I can't say it's productive as emotions go. Just be glad I'm not Ali before the Terrell fight, because Terrell would die. Anyway, I've got nothing useful to say. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, December 12, 2011

God is enough, more than enough for us. We could spend all day thanking Him for the revelation of His love in Jesus Christ for the rest of our lives, and we could not exhaust the deserving. Because of this, how can we not say words of peace and pardon to one another who have only met because of Christ? I have heard that I am forgiven, but this state does not do justice to those words.
If I am not to be trusted, then I never was. Despite my errors, I am the same person. Shall I discard those momentos of happier days? As of now, they mean nothing. They must have signified something false, something unreal. What else can be my conclusion? Can the love which gave the signs their meaning be significant when it is so easily discarded? I admit, I do believe this unhappy state befits a much greater crime. Forgive me if I speak out of turn in saying so.