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Post-free America

I have to say I am down about America’s future. In just a few years we have lost so much. Not in lawsuits and court rulings but in our American core. Institutions which I once considered inviolable and sacrosanct are now shredded. The bedrock of civilization – the nuclear family – is jackhammered into pieces. Sexual identity is a plowed under patchwork of unidentifiable landscapes. Freedom of expression is roped and gagged, and the Christian religion of our forebears is now viewed with suspicion and labeled as fascist and bigotry. Truth itself is a manipulated set of facts and yelled statements. People have become little gods issuing edicts and final judgments from tiny hand-held machines. Accusation and indefensibility are the two sides of the currency we trade in today. I feel I am witnessing the fall of Western culture, and no one is lamenting. We are celebrating it as an end to the greed of the wealthy, the dominance of the white male, and the final equality we hope will emerge out of destruction. What will rise in the place of the greatest nation on earth will be either authoritarianism disguised as egalitarianism, or chaos celebrated as the crushing of old-fashioned ideas to make way for a new era of progress. I rue the day when the culture pivots toward the abyss of wishful thinking. We may never come back.

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Museum of the Mind

I talk to people about what I’m currently studying, whether it’s Don Quixote or the wildebeest of Africa. I may sound impressive at times with such fresh knowledge but I’m so limited. True, the museum of my mind has many rooms and they have often been stocked with treasures eliciting oohing and aahing. But, stay in that room please, because the other rooms have tons of things in them; they are just covered with the white cloths of forgetfulness. I wish I could remember what is under all those covers but I can’t. So, when you come to visit my ”museum,” don’t wander off. Thanks!

When Prayers Fall

I’m coming to you, God

like a crazy singer

Pouring out my heart

It’s running through your fingers

like little grains of sand

from an hourglass of time

I’m giving what I can

not asking for a dime

I just want to know

my life brings you some joy

I’m coming to you, Father

like a desperate kid

My pleas like so much water

Splashing at your feet

like tiny drops of rain

dripping from a cup

You’re catching them in vain

with two palms facing up

But I just want to know

my life has made you smile

“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passion unbridled by morality and religion. . . . Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams in letters to his Son, 1798

Some people seem to think that the only way to break the power of so-called white privilege, the corruption of politics, and the greed of Wall Street is through social revolution. We must remind ourselves of France and Russia and where their revolutions took them.

But a social revolution without God’s laws restraining and guiding people is a recipe for chaos and cruelty. If people think that in order to build a new house they must burn the old one down, their thinking is flawed. Destruction cannot lead to success, and uncontrolled fire cannot generate useful power. Rage satisfies bloodlust only temporarily. Anger is not air in a balloon which escapes with a hissing sound and then lies limp; it is a generator fed by the gasoline of self-righteous ego, a monster continuously prowling for prey.

Revolution always has to be brought under control by reason and a greater and orderly lawful power. If not it becomes tyranny, and the people suffer under its iron low-lying cloud for long periods of time.

True revolution is in the heart, and it is through the one who rebelled against religious hypocrisy and held fast to God’s commands — Jesus Christ. He took the rage of us all.

 

I think the greatest obstacle to current Western culture’s acceptance of Christianity is rooted in a deification of human rights. The cry for civil, human, universal rights is so loud and its stamp so indelible upon the Western psyche that any concept of the fallen nature of humankind, the need for salvation, the depravity of man, and other Biblical doctrines runs counter to that deification ideal. In the end, the so-called culture war not even about humanism versus Christianity; it is about being human itself. The exaltation of being human will always bring humans down rather than lift them up, which Christianity in fact promises. It eventually reduces humans to a level equal with animals, perhaps even plants or rocks. And, without a Creator who holds people accountable and who gives individuals a higher identity, anybody or anything can become dispensable on a whim. So, the gods of the Greeks and Romans (mirrored images of humans), eventually turn on each other, because the only thing that has any meaning is raw power, and the will (or gall) to project it.

Water Trinity

I’m water, 75 percent
Today I’m treading myself, trying to stay afloat
And I’m evaporating tears into heaven
and condensating to come down and try again
to be simply water
Alas, I’m steaming from an underground hot geyser of dark hurt or rage
and it’s coming to the surface of me in hisses and squirts of pain and relief
Now, I’m ice, skidding across myself with cold thin metal feeling-void blades
And I’m turning an shooting up shards of ice onto shocked onlookers and clueless gawkers
Yes, I’m water, 75 percent
But the quarter of me that is not
is holding back the dam, resisting the uncontrollable flood of emotion
Wishing away the growing clouds of nimbus and numbness
Playing it cool
Staying solid
Refusing to meltdown
Hardcore
Man of steel, no — flesh and brittle bone
Alone, misunderstood
I choose to join with the water
gushing from His side
Water and blood spray me whole.
Liquid, ice, and steam
The trinity of watery me

When God Sighs

I am here

dog-eared in the thick book of history

Born into a dramatic chapter along with you

surrounded by paragraphs long and short

In one sentence I sit

looking up as the Master Reader pauses

He puts his finger on one word

and sounds out the letters with silent lips

and an ever so slightly rise of the chest

That word is my life

What is the word?

And . . . was that a sigh?