April 12, 2018
by Doug “Uncola” Lynn:
When I was in high school we had an English teacher who had the kids carry the ring of a toilet seat to the bathroom instead of asking him for a hall pass. Although this took place before the selfie and social media days, it was mentioned in passing as a humorous anecdote in a story printed in the school newsletter. In turn, it was picked up by the city paper, then a regional publication, and by the time the “story” hit the national news, it had been twisted into the teacher forcing the students into wearing the toilet seat around their necks.
That was my first personal experience with hot air expanding up through the media stratosphere before, quite unscientifically, converting into bullshit raining down from on high. It was like watching a game of “telephone”, whereby one media representative whispered “truth” into the earpiece of another, and onward up the line, until the national media was shouting “child abuse” through their collective bullhorns. Although each media outlet should have individually vetted the story they, instead, repeated the error of an earlier source.
Indeed, there are many reasons why lies travel around the world twice as the truth ties its shoes. When searching for veracity in a world of deception, it’s like a wind forever blowing in our faces. Fighting that gale is comparable to swimming the breast-stroke against a raging rapids, or rock-climbing in a bad hailstorm without a helmet: We get nowhere fast and end up with a thundering headache.
We stand at the edge of the abyss, at one-minute to midnight, in the black of a storm. Pummeled by crosswinds of lies, we hear the sounds of war drums in the distance as the roar of economic uncertainty, and waves of debt and currency fluctuations pound the shoreline all around.
Trump’s “smart missile” tweet to Russia was beyond bizarre. Either he’s lost his mind, is under severe duress, or he’s implementing multi-level strategies in unseen dimensions. In any event, the man is surrounded in ways that would make Custer’s skeleton tremble in the grave.
Either Trump is who he claims to be, or he is not. It’s Occam’s Razor versus nothing is as it seems. It’s hard knowing what to believe.
Earlier this week, upon the recommendation of a friend, I saw an afternoon matinee of “Paul, The Apostle of Christ (2018). Entering the theater with low expectations, I soon found the film to be far superior than some of the campy, low-budget Christian films I’ve seen in the past. The story takes place just prior to Paul’s martyrdom in Rome; which was a very dangerous time for the Christians who were hiding there.
After a fire consumed the city, the emperor Nero conveniently, and for purposes of political expediency, blamed the followers of Christ, using them as burning lamps to light his streets, to feed the exotic animals in his coliseum, and as scapegoats to appease the insatiable and ravenous raging of the plebs. Just like today, the powerful patricians in 66 AD established the narratives, administered selective injustice, and satisfied the commoners with bread and circuses.
In truth, I attended the movie looking for answers and ended up being challenged more than anything else. The film commemorated the Apostle Paul, Luke the gospel writer and physician, and other dedicated disciples, as choosing compassion over revenge, forbearance over impetuosity, and love over hate. In fact, when a group of young Christians wanted to take up arms against their oppressors, their elder leader told them that, in doing so, they would be forsaking the faith. Later, in rebellion, when the young fighters brashly stormed the prison, killed a guard, and found Paul and Luke in order to set them free, the prisoners denied the young warriors their glory, chastised them, and sent them away forlorn and disillusioned.
Although some of the events in the film were not expressly delineated in the Biblical canon, it is a fact that many early Christians, as well as those throughout history, chose to love and help those who hated them; in spite of being persecuted, falsely accused, and wrongly imprisoned. More than that, they submitted unto death believing it was God’s will.
As I watched “Paul, The Apostle of Christ”, I wondered if it might have been released as a psyop by the Dark Powers; as a means to trick guys like me into embracing the futility of physically fighting and, thus for God’s sake, surrendering my worldly dreams of liberty, justice, and revenge.
Nevertheless, we name our children Paul and Luke and our dogs Caesar and Nero today.
How did that happen? By the way of love?
Recently, in the thread of another blog post there was a discussion of Martin Luther and the Reformation, whereupon one of the commenters made mention of the Lutheran Augsburg Confession. Paradoxically, that document was created upon the request of the Roman Catholic Emperor Charles V, who desired to unite the divided Christians of that day in order to wage war on the invading Turks.
So I ask this now of Christians and non-Christians alike: Should we love our enemies or slay them? Which is right and how can one know for sure?