Do I really want to go back and finish a series that I started over two years ago? Do I have any other choice? Not really; it's just the "Monk" in me--tying up all those loose ends. So here goes.
I was trying to name and comment critically on the various custodians of the end that seduce us by offering the final word on what life and history are all about. And I began with the one that is dearest to my heart, the literal reading of the sacred books, especially the Book of Revelation. For that book and its commentators are the template for any grand explanation of what life and history are all about.
The others? They are but supporting characters in the unfolding drama; each taking the stage at some point to present its soliloquy, but yielding "in the end" to the word of God. The survivalists are having their day these days, what with the evil Obama ready to take our guns,our schools, our children, our whole way of life, in order to establish the world of socialist, godless, communistic fascism. Or not. And then there's the gospel of prosperity, dressed up in the garb of free enterprise, and hawking the books of Ayn Rand. The fact that the selling of the gospel of prosperity is what fills of the pockets of those who preach its message is an irony too sweet to bother its purveyors. The same can be said for the defenders of the Jewish state--you know, that ideal state of the chosen people that must be both kept in existence and destroyed at the same time so that God's word be fulfilled. Talk about living behind an ironic curtain! And that leaves us with American exceptionalism, which exceptionalism consists mainly of the incredible talent exhibited in choosing those traits that bolster one's view, and ignoring all the rest. That really does set us apart.
What do I offer in place of these false custodians? What I already talked about in a previous post--a living faith, one that is not concerned about the end, so much as it is concerned about the present, the here and now. What are we taking care of now? What are we doing now to take care of now, instead of doing something now to take care of the end, some future day?
Me? I'm going to read a little more of Stephen King, and then go meet my wife for lunch. Sounds like a plan.
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
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