Perhaps, Maybe, As If

…let us imagine together…


Terror-ism. Terror. Fear. Fear-ism. Are we afraid?

Have the bombs left us Terror-fied? Are we more fearful of the world and our place in it? Are we afraid that we and our children might be next? If so, then perhaps the Terror-ism has won.

Has our Terror, our Fear, manifested in hate? Not necessarily hateful feelings, but hateful actions? Are we responding by closing ourselves off, shutting others out, directing anger towards our fellows? If so, then perhaps the Terror-ism has won.

How do we defeat the Terror-ism? With violence? Violence begets terror. Violent-isms. Violentize the violent-ists. Terror with Terror. And the Terror-ism wins.

But if the Terror-ism wants us to fear, perhaps we should Fear-Less. Violent-less.

Be not afraid.


If we Fear-Less, perhaps we can love more. What if we embrace those of us who feel afraid? What if we hold and soothe those violentizers, those of us who want to respond with Terror, with Fearism? Does the Terror-ism, Violent-ists, lose?

If all I do is post my thoughts and feelings on Facebook, and ignore any ethical action of love towards those who need it most, have I done anything but attempt to justify myself before the Terror-isms, Violentizers, Fearmongers of the world? If I complain, or make cynical comments about those who post thoughts and feelings on Facebook, have I done anything but attempt to justify myself before the Terror-isms, Violentizers, Fearmongers of the world?

How do we resist the a/effects of the Terror-ism?

Dietrich Bonhoeffer on Stupidity

“Stupidity is a more dangerous enemy of the good than malice. One may protest against evil; it can be exposed and, if need be, prevented by use of force. Evil always carries within itself the germ of its own subversion in that it leaves behind in human beings at least a sense of unease. Against stupidity we are defenseless. Neither protests nor the use of force accomplish anything here; reasons fall on deaf ears; facts that contradict one’s prejudgment simply need not be believed—in such moments the stupid person even becomes critical—and when facts are irrefutable they are just pushed aside as inconsequential , as incidental . In all this the stupid person, in contrast to the malicious one, is utterly self-satisfied and, being easily irritated, becomes dangerous by going on the attack. For that reason, greater caution is called for when dealing with a stupid person than with a malicious one. Never again will we try to persuade the stupid person with reasons, for it is senseless and dangerous.

If we want to know how to get the better of stupidity, we must seek to understand its nature. This much is certain, that it is in essence not an intellectual defect but a human one. There are human beings who are of remarkably agile intellect yet stupid, and others who are intellectually quite dull yet anything but stupid. We discover this to our surprise in particular situations. The impression one gains is not so much that stupidity is a congenital defect but that, under certain circumstances, people are made stupid or that they allow this to happen to them. We note further that people who have isolated themselves from others or who live in solitude manifest this defect less frequently than individuals or groups of people inclined or condemned to sociability. And so it would seem that stupidity is perhaps less a psychological than a sociological problem. It is a particular form of the impact of historical circumstances on human beings, a psychological concomitant of certain external conditions. Upon closer observation, it becomes apparent that every strong upsurge of power in the public sphere, be it of a political or a religious nature, infects a large part of humankind with stupidity. It would even seem that this is virtually a sociological-psychological law. The power of the one needs the stupidity of the other. The process at work here is not that particular human capacities, for instance, the intellect, suddenly atrophy or fail. Instead, it seems that under the overwhelming impact of rising power, humans are deprived of their inner independence and, more or less consciously, give up establishing an autonomous position toward the emerging circumstances. The fact that the stupid person is often stubborn must not blind us to the fact that he is not independent. In conversation with him, one virtually feels that one is dealing not at all with him as a person, but with slogans, catchwords, and the like that have taken possession of him. He is under a spell, blinded, misused, and abused in his very being. Having thus become a mindless tool, the stupid person will also be capable of any evil and at the same time incapable of seeing that it is evil. This is where the danger of diabolical misuse lurks for it is this that can once and for all destroy human beings.

Yet at this very point it becomes quite clear that only an act of liberation not instruction, can overcome stupidity. Here we must come to terms with the fact that in most cases a genuine internal liberation becomes possible only when external liberation has preceded it. Until then we must abandon al l attempts to convince the stupid person. This state of affairs explain why in such circumstances our attempts to know what the people really think are in vain and why, under these circumstances, this question is s irrelevant for the person who is thinking and acting responsibly. The work of the Bible that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom declares that the internal liberation of human beings to live the responsible life before God is the only genuine way to overcome stupidity.

But these thoughts about stupidity also offer consolation in that the utterly forbid us to consider the majority of people to be stupid in ever circumstance. I t really will depend on whether those in power expect more from peoples’ stupidity than from their inner independence and wisdom.”

-Letters and Papers from Prison page 43

Remember to Vote!


For when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates his flock. He will put sheep on one side and elephants and donkeys on the other.

Then the King will say to the sheep, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

Then the Son of Man will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

While he is saying these things, the elephants and donkeys will look at each other confused.

And then the Son of Man will turn to them and ask, ‘And what about you?’

And they will reply “Lord, during every election we voted for the candidate that promised to keep our nation a Christian nation, and vehemently opposed the candidate we thought was the antichrist. We made sure your churches were well funded, and your people blessed with financial security. We made sure “In God We Trust” was on our money, and persecuted those who wanted to take your name out of the peldge of allegiance, or refused to say it. If people did not agree with us we called them racists, or fascists, or communists and we made sure to mock and ridicule anyone who opposed you. We warred against our political opponents to make sure they knew the truth of whose side you were on.”

Then he will say to those elephants and donkeys, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you argued about food, I was thirsty and you argued about drinks, I was a stranger and you cast me out, I needed clothes and you stripped me naked for political gain, I was sick and in prison and you argued about who should pay for it.’

They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.

The Turning of Lot’s Wife, by Scott Cairns

 The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

Genesis 19:23-26

First of all, she had a name, and she had a history.
She was Marah, and long before the breath of
death’s angel turned her to bitter dust, she had
slipped from her mother’s womb with remarkable
ease, had moved in due time from infancy to
womanhood with a manner of grace that came to
be the sole blessing of her aging parents. She was

And like most daughters who are beloved by both a
mother and a father, Marah moved about her city
with unflinching compassion, tending to the
dispossessed as if they were her own. And they
became her own. In a city given to all species of
excess, there were a great many in agony–
abandoned men, abandoned women, abandoned
children. Upon these she poured out her substance
and her care.

Her first taste of despair was at the directive of the
messengers, who announced without apparent
sentiment what was to come, and what was to be
done. With surprising banality, they stood and
spoke. One coughed dryly into his fist and would
not meet her eyes. And one took a sip from the cup

she offered before he handed it back and the two
disappeared into the night.

Unlike her husband–coward and sycophant–the
woman remained faithful unto death. For even as
the man fled the horrors of a city’s conflagration,
outrunning Marah and both girls as they all rushed
into the desert, the woman stopped. She looked
ahead briefly to the flat expanse, seeing her tall
daughters, whose strong legs and churning arms
were taking them safely to the hills; she saw,
farther ahead, the old man whom she had served
and comforted for twenty years. In the impossible
interval where she stood, Marah saw that she could
not turn her back on even one doomed child of the
city, but must turn her back instead upon the

To serve, to work, to worship…

One of the beautiful things about the ancient Hebrew language is its ability to create powerful meaning by playing with ambiguity.

The word word עבד or “avad” captures the quintessential essence of what it means to be human.

In service, we love those around us. In work, we love the earth we’ve been given, and in worship, we love the Lord our God.

For all find what they truly seek…

In a narrow place between two rocks there came to meet me a great Lion. The speed of him was like the ostrich, and his size was an elephant’s; his hair was like pure gold and the brightness of his eyes like gold that is liquid in the furnace…

Then I fell at his feet and thought, ‘Surely this is the hour of death, for the Lion (who is worthy of all honour) will know that I have served Tash all my days and not him. Nevertheless, it is better to see the Lion and die than to be Tisroc of the world and live and not to have seen him.’

But the Glorious One bent down his golden head and touched my forehead with his tongue and said, ‘Son, thou art welcome.’

But I said, ‘Alas, Lord, I am no son of thine but the servant of Tash.’ He answered, ‘Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me.’

Then by reasons of my great desire for wisdom and understanding, I overcame my fear and questioned the Glorious One and said, ‘Lord, is it then true, as the Ape said, that thou and Tash are one?’

The Lion growled so that the earth shook (but his wrath was not against me) and said, ‘It is false. Not because he and I are one, but because we are opposites, I take to me the services which thou hast done to him. For I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath’s sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man does a cruelty in my name, then, though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted. Dost thou understand, Child?’

I said, ‘Lord, thou knowest how much I understand.’ But I said also (for the truth constrained me), ‘Yet I have been seeking Tash all my days.’

‘Beloved,’ said the Glorious One, ‘unless thy desire had been for me thou wouldst not have sought so long and so truly. For all find what they truly seek.’

— C. S. Lewis, The Last Battle

It is finished…

To shame our sins He blushed in blood;
He closed His eyes to show us God;
Let all the world fall down and know
That none but God such love can show.

-Bernard of Clairvaux


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