Home Archive for category "Ponderings"

Haiku: Blue and White

Arab red flows free
We will trust in David’s star
Now God will love us

Coincidence or Reference to Failed Messiah?

I recently re-read A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, and at a certain point one of the characters mentions a legendary knight whose name seemed purposefully similar to a real historical figure.

“‘There was a knight once who couldn’t see, ‘ Bran said stubbornly, as Ser Rodrik went on below. ‘Old Nan told me about him.’…’Symeon Star-Eyes,’ Luwin said as he marked numbers in his book. ‘When he lost his eyes, he put sapphires in the empty sockets, or so the singers claim.” (pg. 730)

It might be a coincidence, but that reminded me of Simon bar Kokhba. I don’t think Martin is Jewish or anything, but the reference to placing sapphires in the eyes could be taken as being blinded by greed or ambition. Who knows, but I thought it was interesting.

A New Non-Partisan Christian Approach to Politics

I’m sick of politics. I don’t like what politicians do, how they run campaigns, how they fashion rhetoric, or how they divide the body of Christ for their own filthy ends. I get a little heartbroken when I think about how much money is donated by average folks to support the campaigns of politicians they like. For example, the campaigns of Barbara Boxer and Carly Fiorina for the 2010 Senate race here in California have raised a combined $23 million from the public (not to mention private funds being applied). Think what $23 million dollars could accomplish in Oakland or in Compton or in Watts! Poor minority neighborhoods lack adequate schools and services, but the general populace can afford to throw millions away that are used only to sway the most unintelligent and uninformed members of the populace in order to buy power. There is something astonishingly wrong with that picture. We are told again and again that that is simply how the game is played, but if so may God forgive us for ever walking onto the field.

It may get me in trouble, but I no longer think Christians should give money to politicians. It furthers a system wherein money is still the means of power, an evil incompatible with our faith. Furthermore, we deprive the poor of what they need so that we can afford for ourselves a piece of the political power broking. To borrow from John Chrysostom:

The gold bit on your horse, the gold circlet on the wrist of your slave, the gilding on your shoes, mean that you are robbing the orphan and starving the widow. When you have passed away, each passer-by who looks upon your great mansion will say, “How many tears did it take to build that mansion; how many orphans were stripped; how many widows wronged; how many laborers deprived of their honest wages?” Even death itself will not deliver you from your accusers. ( Homily 2.4)

Giving to politicians is the worst sort of wasteful largess, nothing is accomplished and no one benefits but the power-hungry. So here is my new non-partisan Christian approach to politics: Starve the lot of them out. If Christians refused to give money to politicians it would severely dent their resources and demonstrate just how dependent they are on corporate money and kickbacks. I wonder how much the world could change if all the dollars funneled into politicians’ hands went to feed the hungry and shelter the homeless.

Packing and Books

So, pretty soon the authors of this blog will only have one surname. Greene will go the way of the buffalo (can I still use the figure of speech even if the buffalo have now bounced back?), and the blogging team will simply be the Baileys. This means I have to pack all of my stuff up in anticipation of moving in with my bride-to-be. I’ve got to say, there might be nothing I dislike more than packing. Its boring, exhausting, and renders my books inaccessible. This last is a tragedy worthy of Shakespeare himself. HOW WILL I LIVE WITHOUT MY BOOKS! This reminds me of a thought I’ve had a few times about us bible nerds. We love books a lot, and maybe even too much. I’m ashamed to admit if the Godman himself asked me to sell all my books and give the money to the poor at the least I’d hesitate, and at the worst I’d probably argue. We love to talk bad about the Benny Hinns of the world and even the average American who we lampoon as buying too many TVs, expensive cars, and luxury item, but my question for you (and for myself) is: How much have you spent on books this year? I shudder to give an answer.

A Brief Ethical Question

Suppose that technology sufficiently advanced to allow for the creation of artificial intelligence, and self-aware human-like robots were created. Would it be ethical for Christians to create an imitation of the image in the first place, and if so, what would be required ethically in the treatment of such creatures? Could one satisfactorily argue that the appearance and behavior of such automatons, if sufficiently similar to actual humans, preclude the destruction and ill treatment of such creatures on the basis of the impact such ill treatment would have on actual humans in the prosecution of such treatment against the automatons. That is, couldn’t it be reasonably argued that violence against a sufficiently good simulation of humanity detrimentally affect real humans perpetrating such violence, and entrenching negative social behaviors that would not be tolerated or ethical against humans?

© Jeremiah and Ashleigh Bailey 2012