Sunday, February 18, 2007

The war goes on

I told you so. Back in 2003 I warned everyone through my congregation's monthly publication that we had attacked a country that had done nothing to us, for reasons that were far from clear. Within a couple of months the perpetrators of this aggression had already changed their ostensible reasons for going to war. I am not blaming the troops. But I could never counsel any young person to join the military as things stand now.
So where can we go?
If we must "build a nation," the cheapest way out now is to build three. The southern one can become part of Iran. The other two should be independent states, the Kurdish state and the Baghdad state. Alas, the latter has no oil. But then neither does Spain, or Bulgaria, or Switzerland. Oil isn't the answer to everything.
Neither is democracy. In Muslim countries, democracy is simply a bit of sophistry, a ploy to "legitimize" the hierocracy which always follows. Not that democracy worked that well here when we had it. The first American Republic came crashing down in the War for Southern Independence. The second was slowly eroded away by foreign entanglements and Imperialistic adventuring such as Wilson's opportunistic intervention in the Europen war, just three years after he had his battleships bombard Vera Cruz. That republic was finally destroyed by the Great Depression, and replaced with an authoritarian regime organized around income tax. It still holds elaborate rituals called "elections," to give the appearance of democracy.
Am I a cynic? Not really. You have to admit there is some personal satisfaction in saying "I told you so," but I am not a cynic. I believe that the returning Christ will solve all of our problems.
Who could put any confidence in mankind? That is nothing more than putting confidence in sinners, and thus in the devil.
But the end will come. Forsan et haec olim meminisse ivabit.

Monday, February 05, 2007


The birth date that I share with Felix Mendelssohn and Horace Greeley was my 64th. There is so much to look back and behold. I can remember the house on Franklin Ave. in New Orleans where we lived with my grandparents from 1945 to 1956. The last time I saw that house was in late spring of last year. The trees in front were gone, and it had been painted pink. I did not see the house I lived in after 1956, out on Prentiss Ave. in Gentilly. I wonder if it's still there. But there was no reason to go that way. The last time I visited Valpo, many of the buildings that used to be West Campus were gone. That was the heart of campus activity in the early 60s. Passenger trains used to stop in that little town, at least the locals. I am now the senior member of my family. Sooner or later that had to come about. The seminary has also changed. There is a large chapel, and the wilderness which occupied the western third of the campus has been tamed. I have been pastor at Christ Church for 28 years now. I was circuit counselor for twelve of those years. And we maintain our traditional worship. That, at least, I consider an accomplishment.