Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Propaganda and the Death of Truth

In an age of 143 character quips and 10 second sound bites, the one yelling loudest and longest supposedly "wins". But what do they win? Has anyone ever really changed their opinion on an issue on the basis of tweets and sound bites? Look at who the social media blurbs are addressed to. "Liberals are really going to be mad when they see this!" "Conservatives just don't understand x, y, and z." Ninety nine percent of such social media sound bites are preaching to the choir. Liberals will not be mad, because they will not see the blurb, and if they did, they will not care. Conservatives will not be reading your brilliantly contrived propaganda sophistry, and if they did they will pick it apart in other blurbs you will probably not see, let alone read. Watching all of this going on in social media is like watching a comedy, but sadly, as with much comedy, the roots of that comedy are found in tragedy.. Welcome to the post-modern world. Behold the fruit of your post-modernity...

So this week, once again as they have done so many times before, the propaganda machines from all sides of the political fence are generating "drama" out of some issue or other; said drama calculated to advance the specific agendas, goals, and world views of the groups behind those propaganda machines. Emotions are appealed to on both sides and critical scrutiny and careful dispassionate rational thought and discussion is the casualty of the sophistry and "new speak" used to bend popular political and cultural will and thought into channels that feed the never ending lust for power and control of said groups. ...and all under the rubric of "news"... Of course "propaganda" is a word little used or understood. We can't talk about the nature of propaganda lest we expose the house of lies and deceit the propaganda machines have created. May God Almighty have mercy on us and deliver us from this scourge...

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Second Word

"Truly I tell you, today you will walk with me in Paradise..."

Accordingly it is almost impossible for us not to identify with the thief's request. Please, dear Jesus, remember us. Insure that our lives will have significance so that we will be more than bubbles on the foam of life. Jesus's crucified companion, however, does not ask to be remembered so that his life will have significance. Rather he asks, as the Psalms have taught Israel to ask, to be remembered when Jesus comes into his kingdom. Such a request makes sense only if Jesus - a man undergoing the same crucifixion the thief suffers - can fulfill such a request. We desperately ask to be remembered, fearing we are nothing. In contrast this thief confidently asks to be remembered because he recognizes the One who can remember...

Here in this crucified Messiah, we see the love that moves the sun and the stars. To be "with Jesus" means we are not "lost in the cosmos," but rather we can confidently live in the recognition, with faith, that God is not other than the one found in Jesus of Nazareth. How could we ever think we need more than this thief? Like the thief we can live with the hope and confidence that the only remembering that matters is to be remembered by Jesus.

Excerpt from: "Cross-Shattered Christ", Stanley Hauerwas; (Brazos Press,2004)