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Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Wednesday December 31, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:07 PM

Personal Jesus

Columnist Cal Thomas
on Politician Howard Dean: 

What exactly does Dean believe about Jesus, and how is it relevant to his presidential candidacy? “Christ was someone who sought out people who were disenfranchised,” he told the Globe, “people who were left behind.” Dean makes it sound as if He might have been a Democrat. “He fought against self-righteousness of people who had everything,” the candidate continued. “He was a person who set an extraordinary example that has lasted 2,000 years, which is pretty inspiring when you think about it.”

Not really. If that is all Jesus was (or is), then he is just another entry in Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, to be read or not, according to one’s inspirational need.

C.S. Lewis brilliantly dealt with this watered-down view of Jesus and what He did in the book “Mere Christianity.” Said Lewis, who thought about such things at a far deeper level than Howard Dean, “I’m trying here to prevent anyone from saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I can’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God – or else a madman or something worse.”

For an excellent dramatic portrayal of C. S. Lewis, see the film “Shadowlands,” starring Sir Anthony Hopkins.

For Sir Anthony Hopkins
on his birthday
 —

Your Own Personal Jesus:

Mark Vonnegut in
British Columbia, 1970

The Jesus figure above is,
if not the Son of God,
the son of novelist Kurt Vonnegut
not a bad alternative.

As for “the sort of things Jesus said,”
consider this from a summary of
the younger Vonnegut’s
The Eden Express: A Memoir of Insanity —

“At one point, he decides that
his thoughts are responsible for
an earthquake in California….”

See the rather similar remarks of Jesus
in Mark 11:23.

For further notes on
theology, lunacy, and earthquakes,
see the previous entries, starting with
The Longest Night, Dec. 21, 2003,
and ending with the two Dec. 28 entries
below, both related to the recent Iran
earthquake (and, by implication, to the
quote from Robert Stone in the entries
Stone, not Wood, and Riddle). 


Sunday, December 28, 2003  7:29 PM

Season’s Greetings from the
Institute for Advanced Study,
in keeping with the theme of
the previous entry.

HomerTheBrave:

“Warren Ellis’ Die Puny Humans….
  Worth looking at.”

DPH leads to Sohma G. Dawling

who in turn leads,
 via r. sakamoto, to

Oppenheimer’s Aria.
For the aria, after you click on
the above link, click on the
picture at the resulting site


Sunday, December 28, 2003  2:00 PM

Hostages Freed, Iran Says

The Associated Press,
December 28, 2003, 11:46 AM EST

TEHRAN, Iran — Three European hostages seized in southeastern Iran earlier this month have been released, Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said Sunday.

The $6 million ransom demand was not paid, another Iranian official said.

Drug smugglers seized the hostages — two from Germany and one from Ireland — Dec. 2… as they bicycled to the city of Zahedan from

Bam….    

Detail:

Thank you, Ma’am.

(See The Magdalene Code, 12/26.
For the “Wham,” see Rosebud, 12/22,
and later entries.)


Another entry not without relevance
is that of 3/07.

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