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1176Saturday's Belfast blog - coexistence

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  • Jon Kennedy
    Aug 16, 2014

      Text-only version:
      JONAL ENTRY 1571 | SATURDAY, AUGUST 16 2014

      Today's Scripture:
      God was manifested in the flesh,
      justified in the Spirit,
      seen by angels,
      preached among the nations,
      believed on in the world,
      taken up in glory.
      Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, through the pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and enjoin abstinence from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving; for then it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.
      — From St. Paul's First Letter to Timothy, chapter 3,
      from today's Orthodox lectionary readings.
      See the homiletical thought below. «

      Today's diary - life in Northern Ireland

      One of my favorite photos from last Tuesday's roadtrip was this one taken atop the unimproved road up to the top of Knockmany Forest. I've mentioned earlier that though Ireland was once covered by forests, most of them were replaced generations ago by farm fields and in some cases destroyed by English rulers looking for freedom fighters hiding in them. Having heard all my life stories about Little People living in holes and caves in the Irish woods, and shamrocks growing there, my spirits are always lifted when I get into Ireland's woods. And unlike Pennsylvania's much more extensive woods, there are no rattlesnakes (or even garter snakes), bears, or wild boars in these woods. (I was told during the conversation on this trip, however, that there is a plan now to reintroduce wolves into England's woods, so maybe even Ireland won't be free of menaces in the woods for much longer. Wolves are now common, again, in the wilds of many other European countries and in parts of the United States.)
      Last night's writers group meeting was a good time of sharing writing and thoughts about writing. Our next meeting is planned for the third Friday of September.
      Tonight: reader's vespers at St. Ignatius. «
      A closer look
      Links to news, features, and opinion pieces. See caveats, below.
      New film stars Jim Caviezel as a high school coach who lived 'A Wonderful Life'
      Coptic bishop: 'We're seeing heinous cleansing of Middle-East Christians'
      Basketball star Jeremy Lin confesses that his worst sin is pride
      CBN relays report that Robin Williams considered Christ while in rehab
      Tech: New gadget can be programmed to command Android phones
      ISIS genocidal massacres continue in Iraq despite US air intervention
      Now feminist liberal media are asking for free tampons for all women
      Feminist journalist: playing a boombox outside a window is rape culture «
      Christian worldview - coexistence
      (This department alternates with Writing stuff)
      The "coexist" bumper stickers widely seen on California cars (bumper stickers are not often seen here in Northern Ireland) always strike me as dumb and even in my less charitable moments and moods, infuriating. I always think, "over against what? Coercing those who don't agree with me to conform to my wishes? Forcing my opinions on others?" Of course all people of goodwill must be tolerant of others and their opinions and ideas, even if they're hare-brained or dangerous. Tolerant, never coercive against any other human being, but not ignorant and not unprepared to take a stand if the "others" are not as tolerant back.
      Who is this propaganda campaign aimed at? Back in the peak years of the Cold War the Communists both in the USSR and in this country made it apparent that "coexistence" was a propaganda tool in their cause, a campaign trying to lull people to get along with the Red menace as though it was not out to destroy the lives of people who value liberty, to make it easier for them to reach their goals. But now, is this a campaign to make Christians more tolerant of Muslims and secularists, and/or vice versa? Is it promoting relativism? Or is it a way of saying "shut your mouth and keep your opinions to yourself, the world's not big enough for people like you"? Or, "there is no truth, so don't be saying there is"?
      I suspect it is all of those and more, but would love to hear from others who have either other opinions or inside information about who and what are behind this campaign and what it's really about. «
      Today's video
      Today's quotes
      Never thought I'd have a quote from Bukowski, but even a broken clock is right twice a day.
      Obedience is necessary not only for monks, but for all people. Even the Lord was obedient. The proud and self-regarding do not allow grace to live in them, and therefore they never have spiritual peace, while in the obedient soul the grace of the Holy Spirit enters easily and gives joy and peace. Whoever bears even a little grace in himself joyfully submits himself to all direction. He knows that God directs even the heavens and the netherworld, and himself, and his business, and everything in the world, and therefore he is always at peace.
      — St. Silouan the Athonite «
      In the moral sphere, every act of justice or charity involves putting ourselves in the other person's place and thus transcending our own competitive particularity.
      — C.S. Lewis «
      Homiletical thought: It seems that the times Paul prophesies to Timothy in today's epistle passage are upon us, times of deceit and preferring lies to the Word of Truth. How commonplace it is that our leaders lie to us with neither remorse nor repentance, and their supporters dig in to support them even more ferociously, as though after accepting the lies they have no recourse but to lie for those whose trust was never merited but was given anyway, in the name of vain hope. So now we have change, a changed society with little hope for repentance. But our hope is in the Lord who can, if He has not given up on us, send repentance to those propagating the hope based on lies that our society has embraced, or replace them with new leaders who do fear the Lord. Pray for God's mercy. «
      §     §     §
      Jon R. Kennedy, C. S. Lewis Writer in Residence