Merry Christmas

Two thousand years ago Jews in Palestine believed John the Baptist to be the messiah who would end the Roman occupation. It must have been an unbelievable shock when Herod had him arrested and killed.

Apparently the Roman government perceived a similar threat in Jesus because his execution on the cross was uniquely Roman. But this time it would end differently. Eventually this man who began life like everyone else, as a newborn baby, would become the inspiration for Western Civilization. In his own time however, he embodied a victory beyond the reach of the Romans.

Pope Francis’s Tweets about Advent have influenced my thoughts about Christmas this year. The religion of my youth didn’t have much to say about its observance but I’ve learned that Advent is ‘a period of spiritual preparation for the coming of the Lord’. My interpretation of this is that Christianity is not simply a straight line from the birth of Jesus to his return at the apocalyptic end of the world. Jesus returns every year.

Obviously the religion that Jesus inspired addresses a different set of problems than those addressed by John the Baptist. However Christianity has more in common with Judaism than it ever had with the Mysteries. The Mysteries were a serious rival in the time of Jesus and they continue to compete with the Christian religion today. They tell of a different sort of fisherman from the one known in the gospels. The fisherman of the Mysteries is cruel and merciless. Robert Eisler took great care to make this distinction in his book, Orpheus The Fisher, but that’s a discussion for another time. Today there is a newborn babe lying in a manger.

“Christ is born for us, let us rejoice in the day of our salvation.” (Pope Francis@pontifex)

Canaan in the Desert Phoenix, Arizona
























































































































































































If the Election Doesn’t Kill You the Pundits Will Finish You Off

Sibel Edmonds thinks anyone who follows laws made by the criminals and perverts in Washington is too stupid to live. Furthermore, according to her, stupidity is the least of our problems. She thinks we’re perverts too. She theorizes that the evil in American politics comes from the grass roots and moves up, so everything from the corrupt electoral process to government pedophilia is our fault. After all, she reasons, if we really cared about the evil we’d go right out and fix it, and since we haven’t fixed it we must be okay with it. Then she somehow folds politics into this circular, moralizing, libelous rant, declaring that we must repent from our evil ways before we can even think about voting.

Aside from her problems with logic and her tenuous grasp on the nuances of the human condition, I think Edmonds’ belief that the electoral process is a joke has blinded her to what really happened in this particular election. I pity her for her blindness, however I can’t say the same about her uncharitable attitude toward the American people. For that I hold her responsible.

In the general election many of Bernie’s supporters voted for Hillary even though they believed Bernie should have won. They knew Hillary was flawed, but they did what they had to do because they understood the seriousness of the situation. This was not a sign of immorality. It was a sign of intellectual and political maturity. They had just come from Bernie’s campaign where they cheered for an open and generous approach to the issues and contributed their time and money to make it happen. How anyone could call that corruption is a mystery to me. I can only conclude that Edmonds, a first-generation American, doesn’t understand what she’s looking at. If so, I urge her to take another look.

We know how much trouble this country is in. That knowledge was the context of the election. In the end the trouble won, but anyone who was really paying attention would have seen the presidency taken from us in a million ways. Only the coldest heart would mock us now as our worst fears play out in Trump’s cabinet choices, especially when there are so many reasons to applaud us. We won in ways that we couldn’t have predicted. We’ve seen millions of Americans who refuse to blame each other for their problems and who would rather trust people than shut them out; we’ve seen the awakening of the Native Americans and we’ve recognized their importance to this land; and as we speak Bernie Sanders and his allies in Congress are changing the Democratic Party. None of these things would be happening without the political process. None of it would be happening without the American people.

I agree that the outcome of the election was a sick joke. I’m aware that our new president, the shadowy faction that put him in the White House, his cabinet, and the sycophants in the press are the worst kind of jokers. But the process itself and the people who participate in it are no joke.