World Domination Update
Secret Word of the Day:
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In this issue:
Rather than rant about the usual assorted strangeness going on—hey, if you want to know what’s going on, look out your window—saint expressed an interest to address two commonly recurring questions that both he, myself, and even Evil Matt are frequently asked. Those questions are, “what do [Branch Floridians] believe?” and “are [Branch Floridians] in any way supporters of David Koresh/Branch Davidians?” Obviously, these questions are asked by “outsiders,” and if you’re reading this, then you’re one of “us” and (hopefully) already know the answers. However, it’s always good to have a “reality check” to make sure we’re all on the same page.
“What do Branch Floridians believe?”
First, some semantical nit-picking.
We don’t believe anything. A belief is a point of view mindset that has locked the participant into a reality tunnel from which s/he rarely escapes. This is largely because “beliefs” are considered to be “true.” Unfortunately, “Truth” is a surprisingly subjective area. Most things can be demonstrated to be conditionally true. For instance, “2+2=4” is conditionally true, the condition being you are using “traditional” arithmetic. However, there are valid forms of math such as non-Euclidian geometry where not only does 2+2 not equal 4, but you can also take square roots of negative numbers or even divide by zero. I myself do not use—let alone understand—such mathematics, but I do acknowledge that they exist and are apparently valid within their self-contained “game rules.” Ideally, then, Branch Floridians are not so constrained or closed-minded as to miss (or ignore) the conditionality behind all alleged Truths and Beliefs.
Rather than “this is what we believe,” it would be more accurate to say, “this is what we consider to be accurate, until satisfactorily proven otherwise.” We are not so narrow-minded that once we are told something we run with it blindly without ever stopping to question its accuracy. That’s “dogma,” and dogma is quite possibly the most dangerous force on this planet. Dogma is the dread nemesis of our objective, “Think For Yourself.” Indeed, based on such an objective, it would be quite accurate to say that “we don’t believe things, we think them.”
Fine, fine, fine; so what do we “think”? Well, since the objective of Branch Floridianism is to “Think For Yourself,” that by definition precludes a group, or flock, mentality, and every member is expected to have a different answer to that all-important question. As saint is fond of saying, “I don’t want people to think like I do, I want them to Think For Themselves!” However, both saint and I are big “believers” in two factors we have seen to be constants found throughout the vast human experience, and these two constants are crucial to understanding Branch Floridianism:
1) All things are subjective.
2) There is an exception to every rule.
The leader of the Ismaeli sect of Islam ca. 1100AD,,
once said “Nothing is true. Everything is permissible.”
In the same vein, saint says “Nothing is absolute. Everything is
subjective.” saint has never claimed to have all the answers to anything, and I, for one, would kick his ass if he
ever did make such
an absurd claim. However, I do consider him enlightened and evolved in the matter, because realizing you
improvement is the first step in such a journey. Knowing your limitations is crucial in overcoming them.
“What I’m trying to say is, a man’s got to know his limitations. Know your limitations, Freddy. You are a moron.” —Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
In the same vein, saint says “Nothing is absolute. Everything is subjective.”
saint has never claimed to have all the answers to anything, and I, for one, would kick his ass if he ever did make such an absurd claim. However, I do consider him enlightened and evolved in the matter, because realizing you need improvement is the first step in such a journey. Knowing your limitations is crucial in overcoming them.
“What I’m trying to say is, a man’s got to know his limitations. Know your limitations, Freddy. You are a moron.”
—Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
“Are we ‘pro-Koresh’?”
Short version: No, but...
David Koresh was wrong about a lot of things. It’s easy enough to launch into an ad homonim attack of the man, but let’s stick to religion. After all, just because you’re strange, unsavory, weird, or even deviant doesn’t mean you’re wrong. Just look at John the Baptist: he wore a camel-hair jockstrap and ate bugs, but he had a message. Alas, that is not the case with David Koresh’s revelation. In this instance, his Biblical interpretations rank high on his list of errors. I have read his writings with an open mind, and I have genuine reason to think he’s wrong. Davidian dogma has been adequately debunked to saint and my satisfaction.
At least from our subjective standpoint.
Then again, if you take a different standpoint, namely that the King James Bible and subsequent interpretations by Seventh Day Adventist pioneer Mary Ellen White are inerrant and correct, then David Koresh was right on the money.
However, saint and I reject the last two criteria, so we therefore reject the accuracy of Koresh’s theology.
That said, and despite it, we readily acknowledge at least two things about David Koresh and the Branch Davidians:
They were sincere in their beliefs. Koresh was not a con man: he genuinely believed his own doctrines. Admittedly, they have their own internal logic, and if you play by those game rules they work. Of course, just because you are convinced something is true does not actually make it true—you can believe in something and still be wrong. But I say that because I happen to disagree with his interpretation of the rules, and no doubt he would disagree with my take on the TaNaK.
And admit it: they got wronged. Despite their shortcomings, Koresh and the rest of the Waconians IN NO WAY deserved the fate that befell them. At best, Koresh belonged in a padded cell— not a prison cell, or, alas, a coffin.
Although I do not agree with Koresh, I absolutely understand him, which is much more than either the ATF or the FBI could ever say. Yes, Koresh should ultimately have been arrested and then locked away in the Rubber Ramada, but there are much safer and saner ways to accomplish this end. The gross show of force raiding their compound on February 28th was absolutely unnecessary; if you wanted to get Koresh, just call him up and say “We’re doing a television special on the Book of Revelation, and we would like you to be part of a discussion panel.” Guarantee he’d have jumped at that, so just arrest him at the airport when he’s checking in.
Instead, we were given the largest law enforcement operation in our country’s history: almost 100 heavily armed stormtroopers go charging into a church full of women and children in a vulgar display of power and testosterone that was as ill-conceived as it was unnecessary. The negligence of this is only outdone by the FBI’s decision to later attack the compound with tanks and tear gas, doing everything in their power to convince the Davidians that this was the Final Showdown between Good and Evil while simultaneously shouting over loud speakers “This is not an assault!”
The outcome, given that approach, was inevitable.
Everyone with even an ounce of theological knowledge collectively shook their heads during the standoff at the asinine approach the FBI took to “negotiating,” and most (myself included) just knew we would have another Jonestown (or, more appropriately, Masada) if the FBI tried any shenanigans like, oh, attacking the compound.
The implications of all this terrify me—and hopefully any readers of this rant. Koresh was a threat only to himself and his followers, and while he should have been “dealt with,” there were much more appropriate and peaceful ways to have done this at almost every stage of the situation. Instead, the American public was given a first-hand demonstration that if you fall outside what the Government considers “acceptable”—and take a stand based on what you believe in your heart to be right despite opinions to the contrary—you will be publicly ostracized and severely punished AT THE VERY LEAST.
And that’s just wrong.
The Latest from Waco
The Waco “Warren Commission” Report
In late July, Senator John Danforth issued his interim investigation report into the Waco incident. The report is, in my opinion, fatally flawed due to its self-defined purview: “Senator Danforth and the Attorney General agreed that the investigation should determine whether representatives of the United States committed bad acts, not whether they exercised bad judgment.” (p.2 emphasis added.) In other words, “criminal negligence” (a direct result of “bad judgment”) was not one of the parameters of the investigation. Admittedly, the previous inquiries into Waco have found gross negligence by the government at all stages involved; my favorite assessment being from the ’95 inquiry: “Following the FBI’s April 19 assault on the Branch Davidian compound, Attorney General Reno offered her resignation. In light of her ultimate responsibility for the disastrous assault and its resulting deaths the President should have accepted it.”
However, Danforth was only concerned with tangibly (as opposed to subjectively) bad acts. Even then, he chose to ignore one of the most heinous tangibly bad acts of the entire affair: the ATF’s blatant violation of the Fourth Amendment (illegal search and seizure.) Although the ATF raid ostensibly was to serve an arrest warrant on Koresh and to search the premises for illegal weapons, said warrant at the time of the raid was not in possession of any of the Feds but instead was literally sitting on a judge’s bench unsigned. Danforth ignores this “bad act” and instead devotes his attention principally to whether the FBI shot at survivors, started the fire, illegally used the military, and covered their asses by lying through their teeth after the fact.
Not surprisingly, Danforth said of his report he is “100% certain” the government did none of these things.
Let’s just have a quick look at that.
1) Allegations that FBI shot at Davidians during the fire. The best evidence from this is the infrared FLIR film, which shows government troops running around with bright flashes of light in front of them. I myself have seen this film, there are clearly people running around on it, but the company that did the test says it could not see anyone, until just after the fire started. [Admittedly, I do not remember the time stamp on the segment I saw; it could have been during the conflagration, but I don’t think so.] Danforth himself is the one who hired the highly suspect Vector Data Systems to do the test on the FLIR film. Since Vector’s interpretation of the FLIR film has been called into question— primarily by every other expert who has viewed the film— so can Danforth’s conclusions, which are based solely on the dubious Vector analysis.
2) Improper use of the military. Since Danforth could find no proof that the military had a hands-on role, he concluded that everything was all good and dandy. As for their supporting role, much has been made (in more government-critical circles) about the ATF’s use of the military for their preparation of the failed raid that started the whole thing. Specifically, the ATF unquestionably made up charges that the Davidians—a God-fearing group of vegetarian teetotalers—were operating a methamphetamine lab. As such, the ATF was able to get military aid (at no cost!) that they would have had (at best) extreme difficulty (and an enormous bill) getting otherwise. Danforth admits he chose not to look into the abuse by the ATF of their absurd allegations that the Davidians were drug dealers, and instead has this to say about the consequences:
Even if there had been no such [drug] nexus, the Office of Special Counsel has concluded that law enforcement agencies could have obtained the same level of support from the armed forces. While ATF would not have been permitted to make use of the counter-drug administrative resources of JTF-6 had there not been a drug nexus, the active duty military could have provided virtually the same support through other means even without a drug nexus. Similarly, the National Guard could have supported law enforcement in the manner it did without a drug nexus, although obtaining such support may have been somewhat difficult under the relevant law and regulations.
That last line blows me away: Danforth effectively says that since they could have gotten the aid anyway, how they got it is ultimately irrelevant. I should try robbing a bank and see how far that excuse gets me: “well, I also could have gotten the money by investing in IRAs, and since I ultimately would have gotten it anyway, it doesn’t matter how I got it, does it?” Anyway, we now have proof that the Government believes that the ends justify the means. But you already knew that, didn’t you…
3) The infamous cover-up of flammable ammo usage. Danforth spends a great deal of time drawing distinctions between “incendiary” and “pyrotechnic” rounds; the latter were used, and are only “flammable” under certain circumstances. Since it is well known that Mt. Carmel was a fire hazard awaiting a match, I (though obviously not Danforth) think those circumstances were more than met. Danforth’s main claim is that three rounds were fired at a concrete bunker away from the main complex, several hours before the fire. This may be well and true, though it makes one wonder: if there’s no harm, then why were they lying about it? More importantly, Danforth admits that there are many unaccounted rounds of pyrotechnic and incendiary ammo, and he is still trying to find out what happened to those. Mostly Danforth attempts to explain the extremely late revelations of flammable ammo as government miscommunication, and apparently buys their lame cries of ‘mea culpa’ after the truth came out as simple ignorance. As for a “cover-up” Danforth found evidence that key people knew about this from day one; among these people were on-site commander of the HRT (Hostage Rescue Team) Richard Rogers. Again, Danforth explains away the “cover-up”, but makes an interesting admission when he does:
HRT commander Rogers did, however, sit silently behind Attorney General Reno when she testified to Congress in April 1993 that she had sought and received assurances that the gas and its means of delivery would be non-pyrotechnic. Rogers claims that he was not paying attention and did not even hear her when she made this statement, and Attorney General Reno notes that her statement was technically true because she sought and received the assurances before the operation. Similarly, Rogers attended the 1993 testimony of FBI Director Sessions, and did not correct misimpressions left by Sessions’ statement that the FBI had chosen CS gas because it could be delivered without pyrotechnics. Rogers’ failure to correct the misleading implications of the testimony of Attorney General Reno and Director Sessions was a significant omission that contributed to the public perception of a coverup [sic] and that permitted a false impression to persist for several years. Rogers attended the congressional hearings precisely to ensure that Congress was provided with accurate information. Instead, in the terms of the Attorney General’s Order to the Special Counsel, Rogers “allow[ed] others to make . . . misleading statements.”52 [here is the appropriate footnote, equally telling] 52Nevertheless, the Office of Special Counsel has determined that Rogers’ conduct did not constitute a prosecutable offense. The statements of Attorney General Reno and of Director Sessions were technically true, he did not have a legal obligation to ensure the accuracy of another person’s testimony, and it is impossible to prove that Rogers actually heard and comprehended the Attorney General’s or Director’s statements. Even if there were sufficient proof to prosecute him, which clearly there is not, the statute of limitations expired in 1998.
This last part is interesting: the statute of limitations has expired on all of this?!? So despite the fact that there is whole-scale deception going on, we can’t prosecute anyone anyway. Figures.
For those who don’t know, Rogers was also the on-site commander of the Ruby Ridge fiasco. The Danforth inquiry inadvertently pointed out something I was not previously aware of: there was another Ruby Ridge alumnus at Waco. Occupying sniper position Sierra One was none other than Lon Horiuchi, the FBI sharpshooter who killed Vicki Weaver and her daughter.
The Danforth report also makes a number of statements which are technically true but are still quite misleading—especially to an “outsider” not fully versed in the facts. An excellent example of this is Danforth’s discussion of Koresh’s terms for coming out: Koresh said he would leave after he had finished writing an exegesis on the Seven Seals of Revelation. Danforth (p. 59) seemingly dismisses this as not only a stall tactic (arguably true) but a hoax (undeniably false.) Although you would never guess it from the Danforth report, Koresh’s manuscript—or at least the part he was allowed to finish before being so rudely interrupted by FBI tanks—certainly exists, having been carried out by survivor Ruth Riddle. Click here to read it.
Wasting Another Court Opportunity
The civil trial by Surviving Davidians (and/or their families) against the Government in a wrongful death suit also reached its preliminary conclusions in mid-July. A 5-member “advisory” Jury found the government “not guilty” of using excessive force during the initial raid, or in contributing to the fire that ultimately ended the situation.
This just stuns me. If the jury does not consider the initial raid to be “excessive,” I shudder what they would actually think does meet that criteria.
A few facts, which either the jury was not aware of, or more likely, just simply chose to ignore:
Two of the Davidians killed during the February assault were 64-year-old Perry Jones and 34-year-old Jaydean Wendell. Poor Perry was standing by the open front door at the beginning of the raid, unarmed, and was helping Koresh plead for a peaceful resolution. He was hit in the initial, indiscriminant spray of ATF gunfire (as was Koresh, also .) Likewise Jaydean, who was at the rear of the complex, was shot through the wall while in the process of nursing her baby. Numerous Davidian noncombatants were wounded by random gunfire from outside, including 60-year-old Doris Fagan, who was cowering under a bed to avoid the melee. ATF “rules of engagement” designate that they may only fire their weapons at a clearly defined hostile target. I have seen footage of the raid, and at one point an ATF agent, hiding behind a car for cover, simply lifts his machine gun over his head and fires blindly at the building. It’s crap like that that kills innocent people. But apparently the jury felt otherwise.
Must’ve been a few of those O.J. jurors...
The jury’s capacity was only advisory, meaning Judge Walter Smith can do with it as he sees fit. I see no reason why the Judge will not ignore it: this is the same Judge who also ruled in the Government’s suit against the 9 survivors, saying they either actively or abettedly contributed to the killing of the 4 ATF agents during the raid. Smith ignored that jury’s findings, indeed reversed their essentially “not guilty” findings to suit his own agenda, and then grossly misused a firearms law in his sentencing of the Davidians—the Supreme Court recently overruled his judgment and agreed he had abused the law. [click here for a more complete explanation of Smith’s travesty of justice] Clearly, Smith has a conflict of interest here, and why he was allowed to sit on this trial as well is beyond me.
But then again, the entire government rationale behind Waco is, too.
A final Davidian injustice
For several years, surviving Davidians have maintained their own web sites: www.SevenSeals.com and www.BranchDavidian.com. I check up on them every now and then to see what they have posted. My surfing their sites is sporadic; not frequent enough to bookmark them; besides, no need to, I thought, since the addresses are easy enough to remember.
A few weeks ago, in preparing this Update, I decided to see what was up on their web site, and accidentally typed in an “s” at the end of Davidian, as in www.BranchDavidians.com. Boy, was I in for a rude surprise.
Some sick savage had bought the ’Davidians.com domain and was using it as a gay porn site.
Man, that’s just wrong... I mean, use your head: if you’re going to do a Branch Davidian sex site, it should be devoted to orgies (polygamy) and child porn.
As of 2006, the gay porn is gone and the domain is being squat on by speculators. Click here for details.
In Other News,,,
MariLewanna’s Legal Ordeal
While the surviving Branch Davidians may have gotten the short end of the stick in court, a Branch Floridian had something legally go her way. As most of you know, member MariLewanna was worked over by Brain Police last year at a Ministry concert, getting her arm broken for expressing affection towards Al “nasty hat” Jourgensen. In what was no doubt a preemptive move to prevent her from suing them for that, P.P.D. charged her with ‘assaulting a police officer.’ The matter was set to go to trial, and saint (per his ability to be in the wrong place at the wrong time in the wrong t-shirt) was going to have to testify. Ol’ boy even cut his trademark thumbnails for the ordeal.
Fortunately, the matter was dismissed, due in part to the Police’s unwillingness to cooperate with the defense’s investigation. It is even possible that they may be charged with contempt of court on the matter.
So MariLewanna missed a bullet on that and is free. Unfortunately, shortly after that decision, she disappeared, seemingly lost beyond the Borderline, and has not been heard from since.
Regarding this suspicious disappearance, one can only wonder; though admittedly with MariLewanna that’s usually the case anyway...
In a bit of impressive research, FireSkunk may have found some important clues as to the nature of the mysterious Cobcat.
Although commonly known as the “vicious man-eating cobcat,” our on-staff librarian found a text reference referring to it as the “viscous man-eating cobcat.” She posits this “viscous” nature may well account for why this elusive beast has yet to be captured: it can slip into the cracks between rocks to avoid detection.
She has also found contextual evidence that the beast is a hybrid: half cougar, half bobcat, but this has yet to be confirmed.
“Legitimizing” Junk Mail
We’ve had the “Dot Org” website for one year now, and to saint’s and my own amusement, we have begun to receive junk mail addressed to “Branch Floridians.” While we don’t really need things like postage scales or other office supplies (though admittedly, having a lifetime supply of Branch Floridian stationary and envelopes does have an appeal...) we both feel that the simple fact that such “snail spam” addressed specifically to “Branch Floridians” in many ways goes a long way toward validating and legitimizing our organization.
You knew it had to happen sooner or later: the Brain Police have started marketing their own money. Here is actual proof, the commemorative Lee Harvey Oswald 1 flax piece:
Note the offset printing on the date: the “22” is back and to the left.
Sermon on the Throne
When your [King David’s] days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I [God] will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, he will be My son. When he commits iniquity, I will chastise him with the rod of men, but I will not take My steadfast love from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before Me, and your throne shall be established forever.
—2nd Samuel 7:12-16
The problem with this passage should be immediate and obvious: it simply didn’t happen. The House/Kingdom/Throne of David has not been established “forever,” as even a quick survey of history shows. The Kingdom of David, Israel, effectively ceased to exist in 70AD, thanks to Rome’s crushing the rebellion and leveling Jerusalem to a pile of holy rubble. Indeed, it is possible to backdate the failure of this promise to 586BC when Babylon did the same thing. While there is currently a “Nation” (State) of Israel, it is clearly not a Kingdom, and has a Parliament/Prime Minister, not King of Davidic Heritage.
It is absolutely mandatory to stress that this is in no way a conditional promise. God does not say, ‘you will have a Kingdom forever if....’ In comparison, The Mosaic Covenant between God and the people of Israel is very much conditional: “If you obey the commandments of The Lord... then you shall live and multiply.... But if your hearts turn away... then you shall perish...” (Deuteronomy 20:16-17) Not so here: God merely promises David his descendants a House, Kingdom, and Throne forever, with no stipulations attached.
So either God lied (or at the very least, made a promise He did not keep) or is speaking in extremely obscure metaphorical terms that are, at best, ambiguous.
Indeed, the entirety of Chapter 7 is worrisome and puzzling, so before discussing the specific passage, lets step back for a look at it in context.
Chapter 7 sticks out of 2nd Samuel like a Klansman at the Million Man March. It is a jarring interruption of an otherwise straightforward historical narrative that chronicles David’s rise to and consolidation of power. The majority of scholars see it as a later insertion; I am inclined to agree, though I feel it is a later insertion of extremely early material. That, or it’s just sloppy editing. Or both.
This promise by God is given to David by the prophet Nathan (v. 3). Nathan is thrown in with no introduction or even genealogical reference, as if the readers should already know who he is. Nathan does get the “proper” introduction much later (chapter 12) and is a curious figure in his own right. He becomes a big supporter of Bathsheba (1st Kings 1:5-14) despite (or more likely because of) David’s adulterous affair with her and David’s subsequent murder of her husband, Uriah. While Nathan is credited with writing (or at least contributing to) the mysterious as well as his own memoirs (1st Chronicles 29:29, etc) here he is acting as a sort of ‘mouthpiece’ for God (2 Sam 7:5 etc.) and in this capacity gives the most curious and troublesome promise to David.
That promise is troublesome, not only for the reasons sited about the failure of the “Kingdom forever” aspect, but an earlier inconsistency in it. The “promise” starts off with God lamenting that “I have not dwelt in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent for my dwelling.” (v.6) This is a curious statement, given that previously a Temple had been built at Shiloh (1 Sam 1:7, 3:3, etc.) The apparent lack of knowledge of this suggests strongly that whoever wrote chapter 7 was unaware of this, meaning chapter 7 is from a different source and was inserted into this narrative.
Be that as it may, the chapter 7 promise seems to be a hindsight explanation of why David would not build a Temple but the task would fall upon his children (v.13) It seems to suggest that in gratitude for that, God would grant David’s offspring an ‘eternal kingdom.’
Like I said, that just didn’t happen, at least at face value, so either we are dealing with a broken promise, or an obscure metaphor.
If the idea of God breaking His promise bothers you, let’s consider the ‘obscure metaphor’ alternative. Three terms are used by God: ‘House,’ ‘Kingdom,’ and ‘Throne.’ ‘House’ most likely refers to ‘bloodline.’ Is the ‘bloodline of David’ eternal and unbroken? The last reliable reference to (legitimate) Davidic offspring comes from several early Church Fathers (Eusibius, etc,) writing in the second and third centuries. The lineage of Joseph (Jesus’s “father”) is given in Matthew and Luke, which (if correct) shows him to be of direct Davidic decent. It is known that Joseph had four “other” sons and at least 2 daughters (Jesus is repeatedly referred to as having “sisters”, plural.) There is even evidence of a fifth son. It is undeniable that the eldest, James, was a major figure in the early church, and that several of his children approached the establishing Catholic Church to make claims of authority—which were dismissed. These events are discussed by Eusibius etc. under commentaries of early church “heresies,” in this case “Nazarenes” (essentially Christians who wished to stress Jewish roots.) What happened to these “sons” of James is not stated, though it is not improbable to believe that the lineage continued on. Of course, whether these continuing decedents would know their heritage—especially after 2,000 years—is sheer speculation. I personally see no problem with the idea of Davidic offspring still being around.
Getting more into conspiracy theory, a number of groups, notably the Priory of Sion, have asserted that Jesus himself married Mary Magdalene and had several children, and groups like the Priory have alleged to maintain consistent records of this genealogy. The Priory’s last known/publicly acknowledged Grand Master, Pierre Plantard de Saint Clair, claimed just such a heritage. Of course, this is not only speculation but a major digression, so interested readers are referred to any number books on the subject (some good, some bad, some inadvertently hilarious) from which to learn more about it and draw their own conclusions. But regardless of whether it is true, it brings up a problem with interpreting the second metaphor, “Kingdom.”
“Kingdom” is a very charged word, and quickly the problem arises: is this a literal (Earthly) Kingdom being referred to, or a metaphorical (Heavenly) one? Jesus himself said “My Kingdom is not of the Earth.” (John 18:36) However, for those who wish to jump to that conclusion, here’s a quick reality check: if that is the case, then according to the 2nd Samuel passage, there was no Kingdom of Heaven until after David died and it was established for his children. That idea is simply absurd, so again, I believe that God (via Nathan in the Chapter 7 promise) was speaking of a physical, Earthly Kingdom.
Granted, there are probably ways to semantically niggle out of that, but again we have the last term to deal with: “Throne.” Even in terms of metaphor, we have the previous problem of reconciling no one on the Heavenly Throne before David’s death. I do not believe this can be done satisfactorily, even with some strong leaps in logic and some good LSD. It is certainly possible to have an Earthly Kingdom without a King on the throne (look at England throughout the years) but this promise in chapter 7 seems to link the two together, saying that both will exist simultaneously, “forever.”
Like I said, that clearly and unquestionably just did not happen.
Then again, God occasionally says things and later changes His mind on the matter; see my sermon on Jonah for an analysis of this phenomenon.
There are essentially two conclusions that can be reached from the apparent inaccuracy of this statement: Nathan was a false prophet, or the whole thing was made up by wishfully-thinking scribes who obviously had no inkling that things would get nasty in just a few short years.
Either conclusion is disturbing.
saint raises an excellent dilemma above, but the problem he poses is not insurmountable. In helping him research the 2nd Samuel passage, I found four texts (five, counting a Chronicles parallel) that, in my opinion (but not his) deconstruct the debacle. I do see his point in not including them in the above sermon, and agree with his feelings that they are more appropriate as a ‘rebuttal.’ As such, I have put my own exegesis in the ‘reader feedback’ forum. Readers uncomfortable with saint’s ‘lying Lord’ challenge are referred to it.
Sub Plot Theatre
Last time, we examined Jaws as a metaphor for the JFK assassination. This time, we turn our celluloid sniper scope on the Schwarzeneggar.
The Terminator: a Family Values film
The Terminator is a wonderful, heart-warming film that champions the trials and triumphs of maternal instincts and mother/daughter love.
You’ll remember that Sarah Conner had a miserable life. She was an underpaid waitress where all the customers abused her. Her social life was non-existent: the only hint of a boyfriend we see is a message on her answering machine saying he had to break their date. Her roommate was an inconsiderate floozy who kicked Sarah out so she and her boyfriend (a nymphomaniac named, suspiciously enough, Matt) could have sex. Even her pet iguana Pugsley didn’t love her.
Obviously, Sarah’s life is falling apart because she no longer lives with her parents. Weak family values equal a weak social situation.
But Sarah’s mother still loves her daughter. In the middle of the movie, Mrs. Conner calls Sarah to say hello and offer words of encouragement and maternal love to her daughter. And Sarah, in return, does care for her mother. When, despite all possible odds her life takes an even worse turn, she at least calls her mom to tell her that she is alive, well, and still loves her.
Ah, it warms the heart just to think about it.
Despite this, the movie does have numerous technical and script problems. For instance, the bit about the robot was extremely distracting, and the time spent on it was absolutely scandalous. However, the only reason Arnold Schwarzeneggar was in this movie was to serve as a box office draw, and since he is a loyal Republican (the party of family values) his choice is a necessary evil. As such, the film should be viewed as Republican propaganda for their “home” front.
I think it’s safe to say that the movie would be a lot better if it emphasized more of the mother/daughter relationship and had less of the robot in it. Still, all that does not subtract from the film’s glowing reaffirmation of Family Values, which unquestionably is the real point of the movie.
Ask Evil Matt
The evil one fields your queries, as channeled by shade via a Parker Brothers Ouija board.
An easy issue for Evil, with but three questions in his in-box.
Q: Hey, how does the 'flower behind the ear' thing work? If it's behind one ear, you're seeing someone, behind another, you're available. Which is which?
A: The Hawaiian tradition is for a woman to put a hibiscus flower behind an ear to show relationship status. The belief was that the heart was slightly to the left of the solar plexus (children saying the Pledge of Allegiance to this day place their hands slightly left of center for the same reason.) Therefore, a hibiscus behind the left ear is “closer to the heart” and shows that your heart has been spoken for. Behind the right ear means you’re easy meat for a horny Hawaiian.
Q: "Water seeks its level." This is a basic tenet of science that most of us know: if you have a U shaped flask and fill it half full of water, the level of the water will balance out to a parallel height on each extension of the U. Even if you tilt the vial, the level of the water on each prong will still stay parallel. With me so far? Good. If the previous tenet is true, then why is the Atlantic Ocean higher than the Pacific? I remember learning the Panama Canal has a series of 6 locks, designed to raise a boat from the lower Pacific Ocean to the higher Atlantic (or vice versa.) But if water seeks its level, and these two bodies of water are connected, how can one be higher than the other? This is bothering me; please advise.
A: Sorry, but the “sea level” is a constant around the planet, for the very reason you describe (“water seeks its level”.) As for the Canal, either you misread the information, are misremembering it, or whoever wrote it was an idiot. The locks are designed to raise boats to Gatun Lake in the middle of Panama, which is 85 feet above sea level. I even double-checked the math on this; there are 3 locks on the Atlantic side and two on the Pacific; both sets equal 85 feet in total elevation. Unless that’s just what THEY want us to think...
Q: You might know: where can I get copies of the J Edger [sic] Hoover sex pix?
A: Jeez, why are you asking me?!? To be honest, though, I doubt they exist. Although there is good (though not positive) proof of Hoover’s homosexuality (his aide, Clive Tolson, being the likely “companion” candidate,) the supposed photographs of this are another matter. The stories of the photographs ultimately originate from Susan Rosensteil, wife of mafia lawyer Louis Rosensteil. She claims to have attended a series of “orgies” at the Plaza Hotel with her husband in 1958. Also in attendance was Hoover, who was wearing “...a fluffy black dress, very fluffy, with flounces, and lace stockings and high heels, and a black curly wig. He had makeup on, and false eyelashes. It was a very short skirt and he was sitting there in the living room of the suite with his legs crossed. Roy [Cohen, another Mafia lawyer] introduced him as ‘Mary’.” Supposedly, photographs were taken of Hoover in this attire. There are also alleged photographs of Hoover fellating Tolson, probably taken at a different date (since, according to Susan, Hoover spent that party “playing” with little boys while another naked youth read from The Bible.) Since Hoover did little to curtail the mafia—indeed it was not until late that he even acknowledged the existence of organized crime in America—it has often been speculated that the mob had some type of blackmail evidence to hold against him, the photographs being a prime theory. While that’s all good for theory, in practice I have a major problem with it. Hoover’s paranoia was as extreme as it was legendary, and the man was not an idiot. I have enough trouble seeing him attending such a party in the first place, and absolutely cannot see him allowing such photographs to be taken there—or in any other compromising situation. Even if such pictures were taken surreptitiously, I believe they would have surfaced in the 25 years after his death. So I really don’t buy it. But I could be wrong, and if so, mea culpa.
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The Hedgehog Corner
By Harriet the Hedgehog
The Army of Hedgehogs
Harriet is getting in the swing of things world domination-wise by recruiting her fellow insectivores to create a phalanx of Hedgehog Shock Troops.
Way to go Harriet! Getcha a bag of mealie worms for that.
Know of a hedgehog willing to volunteer? Let know.
Anyway, that’s it for now, so you know the drill:
Trust No One
And Always Keep Your lighter Handy!
© 2000 (IV,iv)