Axver (axver) wrote,

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Religion and politics!

Today was one of those interesting days when I had quite a few LJ entry ideas and even wrote a couple out but still felt as if I was lacking a substantial entry. I finally settled upon this as my post: the two topics you're not meant to bring up in conversation due to controversy! Well, I am Axver, so what did you expect?

I think it is pretty clear that I have established for myself a world in my room. It is a world that stretches far beyond the boundaries of my four walls, featuring dedicated interest in current and past events, U2, literature, railways, geography, and the like, but is nonetheless a world I have created for myself that doesn't contain too much surprise, unpredictability, or dramatic emotions. Despite this, lately, I have felt both dramatically positive and negative emotions, the former in abundance, and while I can feel the walls of my world crumbling a little bit, this world is still devoid of dramatic spirituality - the kind that stimulates, discerns, and contains life as opposed to an intellectual spirituality that plods along steadily, tries to pin everything down, and doesn't feel much at all.

It's clear you can't contain God. Just a simple knowledge of the nature of an almighty being can tell you that you can't squash him into a box or make him suit the comfortable predictability of one's personal world. He works on a higher level that is less predictable to humans and that appears much more dramatic, especially to those who want to make him fit their own theology. When you establish a world around yourself that deters outside influence, you also negatively impact the reality, strength, and passion of the spirituality in your life. Incapable of containing God within my world and unwilling to step beyond my world's borders, I have left myself lingering by an empty well of spirituality. This well may be lined with books bursting with intellectual theology, but it does not reach waters full of life. My faith has run dry, and without water to stimulate it, even the theology is dissipating and vanishing. It's a bit of a predicament.

My greatest problem is that I am not sure of how I should choose to counter this. I do not necessarily see the answer being found in stepping outside my room. After all, the problem is internal, within my mind, not external, based upon my physical location or activities. I feel as if I need to do something, but I don't know precisely what that is, or in which direction I should take a step. I would much rather curl up with a book that establishes a neat theological system than step into the less certain, more faithful world where Jesus Christ preached a denial of self. Quite simply, I don't know what I'm meant to do differently, what will cause the well to spring back into life. If it weren't for this, I would be rather satisfied with the world I have established. Surely there is a way to realise the true essence of religion, something that cannot be contained by the covers of books and that inspires life.


Yesterday, desert_sky linked to this New York Times article and the following is an expansion of some of my observations I made then in comments.

'[Alberto Gonzales] vowed today to abide by the rule of law on behalf of all the American people ...'

Well what else was he going to do? Follow a personal crusade and lie to the world so that he can invade a smaller country? Oh wait, the last four years weren't a dream. Maybe we're about to see a new era in Bush Administration honesty! Rejoice, all of the nations, rejoice - we're about to see the rule of law!

Good grief. Shouldn't that be a given?

'... he said he absolutely disapproved of torturing prisoners to gain information.'

The fact he said this at all speaks volumes to me. If our claims to be civilised are true, then the usage of torture should not even be an issue - it should be as dead as the dinosaurs. Yet controversy continues to rage, with the same predictable answers coming from those in authority. Really, what else was Gonzales going to say? "I approve of torture and used it just yesterday on my eldest son to find out where the chocolate cake went"? Come on. With torture being revealed in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Guantanamo Bay, it's clear something is going very wrong. Something stinks and someone has to answer for it rather than continue to say "we'll launch investigations" and "we oppose torture in all its forms."

'"Do you approve of torture?" Senator Arlen Specter, the Pennsylvania Republican who heads the committee, asked him.'

I find it amazing this question was even asked. Do I laugh or stare in disbelief? Are we advancing, or are we regressing to more barbaric times where crude methods are used to achieve goals?

'... [Gonzales] assert[ed] that strictly adhering to the [Geneva] Conventions would have made it easier for terrorists to share information and plot new attacks.'

Let me get this straight - strictly adhering to the Geneva Conventions aids terrorists? Are we talking about the same Geneva Conventions? I have a major problem with just about everything the Bush Administration is doing to combat terror. Simply, you don't fight violence with violence. Waging campaigns of war - killing, destruction, and mayhem - in response to attacks by secretive organisations does not end terror, it creates more terror. Arresting people, holding them without charge, subjecting them to closed courts outside of public scrutiny, ignoring human rights, and utilising torture as an interrogation technique does not end terror, it creates more terror. Asserting one's superpower status rather than addressing grievances does not end terror, it creates more terror. This should be a bad joke or a B-grade Hollywood movie, not the reality in which we live.

Name the last time violence solved a problem. Oh, that's right, it just creates more.

Oh, and I'd like to tell all of you that everything negative is Australia's fault. Even Bush, taxes, and death. Just blame Australia. You'll feel a lot better.
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