Obstacles to clear vision? –Robert M. Shelby, 8-11-11. [750 txt wds]

People with mere dollar-signs in their eyes may be less dangerous to our future than half-baked Christians with holy crosses in their eyes. I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, but if the crosses in my eyes impair my view, I shall not see the hills. Too many so-called Christians, I mean imaginary Christians, cannot see past the crosses in their eyes to the conceptual idol they have made of a god someone else reported to them. Gods artfully compounded of notions are no less idols than those made of wood or stone. Worthwhile faith deserves placement in no artificial thing manufactured by the manipulating of one’s mind or emotion by speech spoken or written, ancient or current. While truths can be wakened in mind and heart by verbal invocation or invitation, it is equally true that one can be wakened into an hypnotic state or dreamlike awareness by a kind of intoxication.

Who or what are these half-baked, artificial Christians I mention? Most Christian believers are actually Paulists. Theirs is not the religion suggested by Jesus but the one invented by Paul that supplanted and largely effaced Jesus’ teachings. It takes literary archaeology and reconstructive engineering to find the Jesuarian vision which has been long buried under the fabricated Paulist version. If you want to learn about Christian religion, ask no “Christians,” they know only the myth maintained by oral tradition and centuries of literary apologetics (i.e., rationalizations supporting the myth.) Spend no time reading the theologians, their heads are buried in the desert sand of scriptural assumptions. Deserts hold verdant oases but a few oases don’t make the world green and watered. Oases are far apart, some wells poisoned, some guarded by charlatans.

The Republican Party in this campaign cycle is threatened by a new movement of intense but misguided evangelicals: the “New Apostolic” type of pro-Rapture agitators. Almost, I said alligators! Rick Perry seems to be their figure-head, inserted into mainstream politics as a candidate. Talk about “blind leading the blind?” Here it is, the soft heads preaching hard hearted approach to Tea Party-like backwardism and abandonment of social progress. Give up all hope of good understanding or viable future, ye who enter that enfoldment of ignorantly false-conscious self-superiority.

Rick Perry looks presidentially manly. His good looks mask the tilted mind of a narrow, self-involved opportunist. He wraps himself in the flag of Texas and spouts secession when it suits him. He carries the cross of Jesus when it offers a core of ardent followers. His backers want government ruled by their scriptural superstitions. Some of them see the Statue of Liberty as a pagan goddess of satanic influence. They go off the chart in every direction, lost in their own misreading of symbols and biblical text. It will take all the wisdom Republicans can muster not to be derailed by these wildings. They have enough trouble ahead to tame the Tea Party’s callow caucus of raw libertarians.

Some few among us regularly knock President Obama for incompetence, seizing upon any occasion to cast shadows on him of their own dislike and doubt. Granted that one’s bias or commitment to an inimical agenda disbalance the basis for competent judgment and tilt its expression, it seems fair to find such judges incompetent to assess the president’s abilities. Obama should not be found lacking if every act of his strikes no telling blow for democracy or our economy. If you ever fenced or boxed, you know that two thirds of your strokes are defensive parry or tactical feint. Slashes, jabs and lunges are mostly evaded or parried and only a few successful strokes strike all the way home.This is true even for champions. And, as with chess players, one cannot start with a plan and stick to it. One must continually observe the state of the board and each move by the opponent and respond in consideration of foreseeable possibilities.

If, for instance, you begin by thinking, “I’ll double-advance a pawn, put out both knights and a bishop, then castle my king to his rook,” you’ll likely be checkmated by your opponent’s tenth move! So, strategy must be a flexible series of contingent possibilities imagined but held in reserve, to be deployed only as the board allows. Since the local citizen knows little of the president’s mind or what circulates in the air around him, the little critic wishfully projects his or her own blind “incompetence.”

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