Posted in Politics, Religion, tagged Assad, Barack Obama, Bashar Assad, Bishop Paul Yazigi, Bishop Yohanna Ibrahim, Blood, Chemical Weapons, Christianity, Civil War, Death, Eastern Orthodoxy, God, Greek Orthodoxy, Islam, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Jihad, John Kerry, Military, Military Intervention, Murder, Orthodox Christianity, Peace, Politics, Power, Prayer, Sectarianism, Sergey Lavrov, Syria, Syrian Orthodoxy, Totalitarianism, Vladimir Putin, Walid al-Moallem, War on September 9, 2013 |
Leave a Comment »
Today I pray for a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Syria.
Today I pray for the safe return of Bishops Yohanna Ibrahim and Paul Yazigi.
Today I pray for the people of Maaloula.
Today I pray for the innocent victims of war, no matter what their culture or creed.
Today I pray for those that have blood on their hands.
Today I pray for Bashar Assad, Walid al-Moallem, Barack Obama, John Kerry, Vladimir Putin and Sergey Lavrov.
And today I pray that the President and Congress will make wise decisions about if and how to intervene.
I believe that God can do all things. I believe that God created us for something better than killing women and children. And I believe that the blood of Jesus Christ is more powerful than war, politics, sectarianism, totalitarianism, jihad, chemical weapons and even death itself.
Read Full Post »
The problem with electoral democracy is that the skill set that you need to get elected is not the same as the skill set that you need to be a good leader. We use the political process to choose our leaders, and then we are shocked when our leaders turn out to be politicians.
Read Full Post »
Posted in Music, tagged Agriculture, Alcohol, Ancestry, Art, Copperhead Road, Country Rock, DEA, Death, Distilling, Dodge, Draft, Family, Knoxville, Marijuana, Moonshine, Muscle Cars, Music, Politics, Poverty, Rock and Roll, South, Steve Earle, Tennessee, Vietnam, War on Drugs on January 6, 2011 |
5 Comments »
In case you thought the part about being from Tennessee was a joke.
Read Full Post »
Posted in Music, Spirituality, tagged Acquittal, Bacchae, Bacchus, Celebration, Chaos, Charlie Crist, Crime, Criminal Law, Deity, Dionysus, Euripides, Florida, Genius, Governor, Humanity, Jim Morrison, Law, Liberation, Life, Maenad, Order, Pardon, Pentheus, Politics, Polytheism, Priest, Prophet, Religion, Rock and Roll, Rules, Spirituality, The Bacchae, The Doors, Transgression on November 9, 2010 |
4 Comments »
Outgoing Florida governor Charlie Crist has hinted at giving Jim Morrison a posthumous pardon for his Florida indecent exposure conviction.
I’d rather see Jim Morrison pardoned than acquitted, honestly. An aquittal would be an attempt to legally say “Jim Morrison did not do that,” and I don’t think that’s right. Jim pushed the boundaries intentionally. It’s what he was all about, the influence of Dionysus, the god who steps over the boundaries and pushes us through–breaks on through, even–to the other side.
As human beings and as a human society we have a deep need for that kind of channeled transgression. We need rules and order to survive and prosper, but we also need a way to break through and shatter those rules completely, to remind us of who we really are and what is really going on. We have to be able to grapple with darkness, to embrace the shadow side of our existence, to shake off constraints and boundaries. Pushing us to our limits, pushing us past those boundaries in every way, is what Jim Morrison’s life was all about.
And so I say hell yes he exposed himself on stage. I say hell yes he simulated fellatio. And good, and well done, and do it again.
But he should be celebrated, not condemned. If our society expressed through the state can not understand the context and the importance of Dionysian transgression, and the role it plays in keeping us sane and healthy, then we are all Pentheus, and we are setting ourselves up for a violent and savage downfall.
So nothing could be more appropriate than a pardon. Try him if you want, convict him if you must, but punish him? Smear his name? Nonsense. We’re not talking about a pervert in the parking lot, we are talking a high priest of Dionysus, a prophet of the God Who Comes. Jim Morrison brought the law of liberation written on tablets of vinyl. I can think of few better ways to honor him than to wipe his name clear.
So, hail the Lizard King triumphant! Euoi!
Read Full Post »
Posted in Spirituality, tagged Bias, Chrisitanity, Economics, God, History, Humanity, Islam, Monotheism, Politics, Polytheism, Propaganda, Reason, Religion, Spirituality, War, Western Civilization on September 9, 2010 |
16 Comments »
Only if you believe centuries of propaganda. For nearly two thousand years, the belief in only one god—monotheism—has had a monopoly on western civilization. That means that monotheists have been teaching about religion from a monotheist perspective, which is naturally biased in favor of monotheism. Monotheism’s triumph in the west was not due to its inherent superiority, its fundamental reasonable-ness, or its unique appeal to human beings. Monotheism triumphed over polytheism because of economics, war and politics. To modern western people, monotheism seems like the only reasonable option because monotheists have been saying it is for ages. It seems like the only reasonable option because for most people it has been the only practical option. But none of this has anything to do with whether it is actually a better option. If you say “polytheism is ridiculous” over and over again, people will believe it is true because they have heard it, they are used to hearing it, and more importantly, because nobody has been able to present the opposing viewpoint. There have been basically no polytheists around to counter monotheism’s distorted caricature of polytheism, so people have naturally accepted the only point of view that they have heard. Eventually, it has become something we all just assume to be true. But it is not.
Read Full Post »
Posted in Politics, tagged America, Civil Rights, Conservative, Conservativism, Earth, environment, Family, Gay Marriage, GOP, History, Homosexuality, Marriage, Nature, Politics, Public Policy, Republican, Republican Party, Same-Sex Marriage, Sexual Orientation, United States of America, USA on August 10, 2010 |
5 Comments »
The biggest failure of American conservativism is its dogged insistance on being on the wrong side of gay rights and the environment. Not for good reasons, either. History will not be kind.
Read Full Post »
Posted in Spirituality, tagged Alchemy, Aphrodite, Ares, Art, Artemis, Athena, Bacchus, Bhagavad Gita, C. G. Jung, Diana, Dionysus, Discovery, Divination, Drama, Druid Revival, Druidry, Ecofeminism, Ethics, Euripides, Gita, Gods, Great Work, Greek Mythology, Hera, Hermes, Hestia, Hinduism, Holy Grail, Hubris, Inner Work, Insight, Jim Morrison, Jove, Juno, Jupiter, Land-spirits, Liberalism, Light, Mars, Mercury, Minerva, Morality, Music, Mysticism, Mythology, Neo-druidry, Nymphs, Olympian Gods, Pacifism, Paganism, Pan, Pantheon, Philosophy, Politics, Polytheism, Psyche, Reincarnation, Revival Druidry, Rock & Roll, Rock and Roll, Salvation, Sin, Snakes, Tarot, The Bacchae, Theater, Theoi, Transcendentalism, Upanishads, Vedanta, Venus, Vesta, Vision Quest, Wheel of the Year, Wicca, Wilderness, Wisdom, Zeus on April 14, 2010 |
14 Comments »
I believe in the Hellenic gods. I have personally experienced their presence and their effect on my life. I think that worshipping an honoring them in a traditional way makes sense. I pray to Zeus, to Hermes, to Ares, to Aphrodite, to Hera, Athena, Dionysus, Artemis, Hestia and the other Olympians. And I believe that I should also be finding ways to honor Pan, the nymphs, and the other immediate, present land-spirits. I think that Euripides’s The Bacchae is one of the most intense, meaningful, and wise pieces of literature ever composed. I believe that classical ethics and the Golden Mean remain–as they always have been–the best and most reliable guide for human behavior.
I have a strong pull towards personal mysticism and inner work: I have a strong desire to explore the landscape of the unconscious. I think there is immense truth to the work of Jung. Somehow, rock and roll, Dionysus, the Holy Grail, Jim Morrison, and snakes are all tied up in this. And probably tarot, too. I believe that there is something to be accomplished, some Great Work, some journey. A journey outward into the literal Wilderness that is also a journey inward into the Wilderness of the human psyche. There’s something there that wants to be discovered.
I believe that the Bhagavad-Gita and the Upanishads, taken together, are an unsurpassed work of spiritual genius. Reading them is like drinking light and wisdom. I think that the philosophy of Vedanta comes the closest of any human philosophy to explaining the universe as we are situated in it. If there is such thing as enlightenment–and I have to believe that there is–then the path outlined in the Gita has to be the way to find it.
So what does that add up to? I don’t cast spells, or do any magic(k), or even really believe that other people who claim to are actually doing anything. I don’t celebrate the wheel of the year. I’ve tried, and it just didn’t click like I thought it was going to–it always seems like it should be relevant and emaningful and important to me but I never am able to make it be anything other than awkward and ill-fitting, like an outfit that looked great on the mannequin but just fits me terribly. I think. Or maybe I was somehow doing it wrong. I don’t believe in assembling a homemade pantheon of gods that I “work with.” I don’t think “working with” gods is a very good term at all, if nothing else because it fundamentally misunderstands our relationship to them and in a terrible act of hubris tries to convert them into tools for our use. I do divinations with tarot–and have often had uncanny insights–but sometimes I think the randomness of drawing cards causes me to miss the power and symbolism that the tarot has as a whole and in all of its parts. I believe in right and wrong, but I don’t believe that we need salvation from sin. I’m not sure if I believe in literal reincarnation, or literal life after death (I don’t deny either one: I just don’t know). I’m inclined to agree on a philosophical level with the revival Druids, but when it comes down to specifics, none of what they do really reaches out and grabs me. I’m not an ecofeminist. I’m not a pacifist. I’m not politically very liberal.
I don’t feel much in common with most people who get included in the boader umbrella of “paganism” or neo-paganism; I don’t even think that the broader umbrella is a meaningful category because it includes too many things that have nothing in common other than being-clumped-together-into-the-category. I’m not a Christian, but I have no fundamental problem with or hostility against Christianity.
So what, then? What am I? How do these pieces fit together? How do I move forward, given all of this? What’s the next step for me, spiritually? Who am I and what does this all mean? What does it mean for me as a father, a husband, a lawyer, a brother, a human being? How do I keep myself from getting pulled away into tangents and driven off-course and away from things I hold sacred by the countless diversions and slippery slopes and spectra of meaning and practice that all of these disparate threads seem to be tied to?
Read Full Post »