Friday, May 19, 2006

How Familiar

How recognizable, how familiar to us, is the man...who confronted even with Christ, turns away to consider the judgement of his own conscience and to hear the voice of his own reason.



This man is with us still, free, independent, lovely, powerful, rational, responsible, brave, the hero of many novels and books in moral philosophy. The raison d'être of this attractive but misleading creature is not far to seek.

He is the offspring of the age of science, confidently rational and yet increasingly aware of his alienation from the material universe which his discoveries reveal .


In fact, this man had already received a glorious incarnation nearly a century earlier in the work of Milton: his proper name is Lucifer.


Iris Murdoch (paraphrased for brevity)
1919-1999

25 Comments:

Anonymous the glimmer twins said...

get over it -- both the Da Vinci Code and the Bible are works of fiction, you know that right?

5/23/2006 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger Darrell said...

WOW.

5/23/2006 11:04:00 AM  
Blogger Chuck Wade said...

Wow, excellent point glimmer twins. You've clearly exhausted the evidence and come up with the most logical conclusion. Thanks for that little insight.

5/23/2006 09:59:00 PM  
Blogger Bohemian Like You said...

From the preface of Da Vinci code:

"All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate."

I'm calling bullshit on the "it's just fiction" bit. Dan Brown knows exactly what he's doing -- and so do I.

5/24/2006 07:04:00 AM  
Blogger Chuck Wade said...

I totally agree with you bohemian. I kind of wonder if he did that just to sell more copies of the book because conflict definitely sells. However, whether he thinks it's true or not, we all know that people like our friend "glimmer twins" is simply looking for something to believe which is opposite to Christianity and they'll take anything, even if it doesn't make any sense.

It's funny the Da Vinci code claims that it is not fiction and he/she thinks it must be. The Bible never once gives any evidence that is meant to be fiction and apparently it is also fiction. So it would seem that the criteria of what is and is not fiction exists solely in the person reading it, certainly a faulty hermeneutic at best.

5/24/2006 09:16:00 AM  
Anonymous mrs darrell said...

I knew Tom Hanks was the Devil - that pasty look he had in "Philadelphia" convinced me years ago!

5/24/2006 03:26:00 PM  
Anonymous pork said...

Olbermann: Meantime, we noted here 24 hours ago that this seems to be an administration that is outwardly unsusceptible to irony or charges of hypocrisy. But even that Teflon coating is facing a heavy-duty fried-egg stain. While the Bush press office and responsive reporters and talk show hosts desperately continue to accuse the, quote, “mainstream media” of ignoring the, quote, "good news from Iraq," "The Washington Post" has revealed that for the last six months, the Voice of America, the U.S. government-run news organization, has not had a correspondent in Baghdad because it‘s just too dangerous.

You won't hear this on FOX.

5/24/2006 04:10:00 PM  
Blogger Rockel said...

From the Coen brothers' film, "Fargo" (1996):

"This is a true story. The events depicted in this film took place in Minnesota in 1987. At the request of the survivors, the names have been changed. Out of respect for the dead, the rest has been told exactly as it occurred."

5/24/2006 05:43:00 PM  
Blogger Bohemian Like You said...

Alas, Christian martyrs cry out from their graves by the millions, "Not the mocking! Anything but the mocking!"

Heh...you'll have to come heavier than that.

5/24/2006 09:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved scene in Fargo where William Macy's 'golly gee' character denies the deity of Christ by manipulating the contents and dates of Gnostic documents then omits the misogyny contained within them too.

Whoopps!!

That's a laugh riot. Of course, Steve Buscemi is a hoot too.

5/25/2006 07:10:00 AM  
Anonymous f. gump said...

mocking is as mocking does

5/25/2006 08:04:00 AM  
Blogger Rockel said...

I knew coming back here was probably a bad idea, and after this comment I'm gone.

Three thoughts:

1.
"Fargo" claimed to be factual film detailing an event in history... it was a lie. This idea is not new. It has been used many times to heighten appeal. It will continue being used. If anything, you can thank those protesting the book and the movie for its current success. Controversy sells, as Chuck noted. Two words: free advertising.

2.
"descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals"
I'd actually have to go back and reread the entire book (something I would not care to, and won't, do), as well as study up on "secret rituals," to prove this claim false. The theology, history, and philosophy may be incredibly out of line with that held by myself or any of you, but that is not to say that the description of the architecture of the Louvre is false or manipulated.

3.
"But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping."
For the love of God, can we please stop whining to ourselves about how much God didisapprovesf this book/film and realize that He has known that events like this would unfold, and will continue to unfold, and His wish is, and therefore ours should be, that none shall perish "but have eternal life"

Ok, sorry, four thoughts:

4.
Anybody actually see this film?

5/25/2006 07:27:00 PM  
Blogger Bohemian Like You said...

If Dan Brown had written a clever work of non-fiction using manipulated documents and dates to deny the Holocaust, he'd be crucified.

Yet, we are told to "get over it." "It's just a movie."

I dare you to tell a Jew those things next time David Duke spins his yarns or inspires young followers to rent "Triumph of the Will."

Nothing, if not predictable...

5/26/2006 07:05:00 AM  
Anonymous ray b said...

The deal about debating the interpretations and meaning of Christ and the Bible is a lot different than a debate about whether or not the Holocaust happened. The Holocaust of the 1930s/1940s is a fact and millions of innocent people suffered and died.

Bible scholars (many of whom Believe in Christ) have debated about what the Bible means and who and or what Jesus was for hundreds of years. It's a healthy debate. It gets ya thinking about God and man and life and all that stuff.

The Da Vinci Code is a work of fiction and apparently has inspired debate about various interpretations of the Bible and history. It is not the work of the Devil (or evil=ignornance) by a long shot.

My view of the United States, and what it stands for, is not negated by the fact that George Bush is the current President who has a much different view of the world and my country than I do. Your views and Darrell's views of the bible and your faith is not negated by what Dan Brown has written. Why ya getting so worked up about it?

I've seen Darrell's blog and his discussion about the Dixie Chicks and he dismisses (sp?) their music and their views on Bush. [BTW, I don't like their music either]. Why not just dismiss Dan Brown as well. So he questions the official Catholic view of the Bible - no big deal.

For those people who read his book or watch the movie and change their views on what they think the Bible and Christ are all about, so be it. They obviously had doubts about what they had been taught to begin with. What are you and Darrell so scarred of?

Most importantly: Is the basis of the Bible and Christ on such shakey ground that a Hollywood movie might implode Christianity?

5/26/2006 08:25:00 AM  
Blogger Just Charlie said...

As a christian who believes the bible to be absolutely true, I say with all sincerity, Well said Ray. Those who use the Da Vinci Code as "evidence" have fooled themselves if they think they are seekers. If their journey stops with Dan Brown, then that is their problem. Im not fond of people like Dan Brown who set themselves up as enlightened leaders for seekers, but Brown treads on intelectual ice so thin, its water vapor. Brown's disciples use "hand waving" more than any (real) explaination of Christ's resurrection. Brown's only offer is for those who've already decided not to believe.

5/26/2006 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger Just Charlie said...

Sorry to post twice...
i think the reason Christians get worked up, is because they might feel like Da Vinci Code type opinions are the mainstream opinions output by hollywood and no one likes to feel like some powerful outlet is trying to brainwash the masses. Ray, I suspect that you weren't thrilled about "the Passion". (who's reviews I might add were at least 50/50 (good/bad) vs. the davinci code's 20/80 ) The reviews alone have kept most of my friends away (irrespective of religious beliefs).

5/26/2006 11:30:00 AM  
Anonymous ray b said...

Yes, I'll avoid the Da Vinci Code and have no interest in the Passion of Christ - I've joined Net Flix and I have Jimi Hendrix on the Dick Cavett show to watch tonight...

5/26/2006 11:43:00 AM  
Blogger J-Sin said...

OH MY GOD GO SEE PASSION OF THE CHRIST IT'S THE ONLY TRUE WAY!

give me a break, get over yourselves. if your religion is so fragile that you must stoop this ridiculously low to protect it, then by all means continue...I hear there's some Danes that want to make a cartoon...

5/28/2006 01:09:00 AM  
Blogger David said...

BLY: Brown's said similar things about the contents of previous ho-hum "thrillers" he's written. Unfortunately, the cardboard cutout stereotype characters, stilted dialog, silly plotlines and sloppy descriptive narrative do little to ameliorate the fact that in each of the Brown books I've read 9yeh, if only I could recover the time I wasted doing that), the "facts" his whole narrative hangs on are... stupid and wrong.

After reading one Dan brown book on a recommendation from a friend (one I didn't know was subliterate at the time, cos he fakes literacy well) and thinking, "This guy can't write this bad ALL the time, can he?" and giving him one more shot, I decided to pass on wasting time with TDC.

5/28/2006 04:58:00 PM  
Blogger Chuck Wade said...

I have to agree with you David, this is the only Brown book that I've read and I seriously doubt that I'll read any more ever, it sucks.

Jason and others who think Christians may be being petty about this, it's not that we think that Opie, Forrest, and Dan Brown are going to be able to bring down Christianity, it's that he is telling complete lies, but they aren't just lies, they're offensive lies. It's not just that he's saying Christians are unethical, he's actually introducing another sexually immoral religion as the more appropriate way. I know it's really easy to make Christians sound like over-protective, paranoid idiots but perhaps that's a broad, far too over-reaching generalization? Maybe we're just upset because he's taken something which we take personally and seriously and made it into something ugly and horrible.

5/28/2006 06:30:00 PM  
Blogger J-Sin said...

because women having a place in christianity is just soooo wrong!!! the book isn't introducing anything that hasn't already been debated for quite some time. that jesus could have a wife shouldn't be a bad thing at all, if anything it attributes the connection with humanity that much more.

5/29/2006 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger Chuck Wade said...

No, again, you are trying your best to make the real point look stupid, were you a bully in elementary school?

Women absolutely have a place in Christianity, The DaVinci Code had nothing to do with that. Jesus set men and women free and in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, male nore female, etc (hint: that's not a quote from Dan Brown). No, the ugliness in the book is the idea that a pagan religion that worships sex is better than Christianity, that worhipping a woman (not just giving them a "place", is superior to worshipping God, the idea that the church has been involved in these great conspiracies from the very beginning, starting with the apostle Peter to somehow squelch this "divine feminine", that the biblical, historical and theological necessity that Jesus was not just human but devine as well is something that the council of Nicea just barely passed and up until then Christians believed that Jesus was just some guy.

I find that people who haven't read the book tend to think that the worst thing it says is that Jesus was married. That is the most insignificant of its claims. I wonder if you have either read the book or know much about the history of Christianity or its claims.

No, these claims aren't new, in fact they've been debated for almost the entire history of my faith, that fact however, does not mean that I should not continue to disagree with them.

5/29/2006 05:26:00 PM  
Anonymous dan brown said...

ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha, (all the way to the bank)

5/30/2006 01:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David Ernst Duke is a malignant narcissist and a Domestic Terrorist.

Dr. Duke invents and then projects a false, fictitious, self for the world to fear, or to admire. Dr. Duke maintains a tenuous grasp on reality to start with and the trappings of power further exacerbate this. Real life authority and David Ernst Duke’s predilection to surround him with obsequious sycophants support David Ernst Duke’s grandiose self-delusions and fantasies of omnipotence and omniscience.

David Ernst Duke’s personality is so precariously balanced that Dr. Duke cannot tolerate even a hint of criticism and disagreement. Most narcissists are paranoid and suffer from ideas of reference, the delusion that they are being mocked or discussed when they are not. Thus, narcissists often regard themselves as “victims of persecution”.

Duke fosters and encourages a personality cult with all the hallmarks of an institutional religion: priesthood, rites, rituals, temples, worship, catechism, and mythology. The leader is this religion’s ascetic saint. Dr. Duke monastically denies himself earthly pleasures, or so Dr. Duke claims in order to be able to dedicate himself fully to his calling.

Duke is a monstrously inverted Jesus, sacrificing his life and denying himself so that his people - or humanity at large - should benefit. By surpassing and suppressing his humanity, Duke became a distorted version of Nietzsche’s “superman”. But being a-human or super-human also means being a-sexual and a-moral.

In this restricted sense, narcissistic leaders are post-modernist and moral relativists. They project to the masses an androgynous figure and enhance it by engendering the adoration of nudity and all things “natural” - or by strongly repressing these feelings. But what they refer to, as “nature” is not natural at all.

Duke invariably proffers an aesthetic of decadence and evil carefully orchestrated and artificial - though it is not perceived this way by him or by his followers. Narcissistic leadership is about reproduced copies, not about originals. It is about the manipulation of symbols - not about veritable atavism or true conservatism.

In short: narcissistic leadership is about theatre, not about life. To enjoy the spectacle, and be subsumed by it, the leader demands the suspension of judgment, depersonalization, and de-realization. Catharsis is tantamount, in this narcissistic dramaturgy, to self-annulment.

Narcissism is nihilistic not only operationally, or ideologically. Its very language and narratives are nihilistic. Narcissism is conspicuous nihilism - and the cult’s leader serves as a role model, annihilating the Man, only to re-appear as a pre-ordained and irresistible force of nature.

Narcissistic leadership often poses as a rebellion against the “old ways” - against the hegemonic culture, the upper classes, the established religions, the superpowers, the corrupt order. Narcissistic movements are puerile, a reaction to narcissistic injuries inflicted upon David Ernst Duke like, and rather psychopathic, toddler nation-state, or group, or upon the leader.

Minorities or “others” - often arbitrarily selected - constitute a perfect, easily identifiable, embodiment of all that is “wrong”. They are accused of being old, they are eerily disembodied, they are cosmopolitan, they are part of the establishment, they are “decadent”, they are hated on religious and socio-economic grounds, or because of their race, sexual orientation, origin … They are different, they are narcissistic, feel and act as morally superior, they are everywhere, they are defenseless, they are credulous, they are adaptable, and thus can be co-opted to collaborate in their own destruction. They are the perfect hate figure. Narcissists thrive on hatred and pathological envy by relishing in their aspirations by masking anarchy with a well-developed smokescreen of order.

This is precisely the source of the fascination with Hitler, diagnosed by Erich Fromm - together with Stalin - as a malignant narcissist. Dr. Duke was an inverted human. His unconscious was his conscious. Dr. Duke acted out our most repressed drives, fantasies, and wishes. Dr. Duke provides us with a glimpse of the horrors that lie beneath the veneer, the barbarians at our personal gates, and what it was like before we invented civilization. Hitler forced us all through a time warp and many did not emerge. Dr. Duke was not the devil. Dr. Duke was one of us. Dr. Duke was what Hannah Arendt aptly called the banality of evil. Just an ordinary, mentally disturbed, failure, a member of a mentally disturbed and failing nation, who lived through disturbed and failing times. Dr. Duke was the perfect mirror, a channel, a voice, and the very depth of our souls.

Duke prefers the sparkle and glamour of well-orchestrated illusions to the tedium and method of real accomplishments. His reign is all smoke and mirrors, devoid of substances, consisting of mere appearances and mass delusions. In the aftermath of his regime - Duke having died, been deposed, or voted out of office - it all unravels. The tireless and constant prestidigitation ceases and the entire edifice crumbles. What looked like an economic miracle turns out to have been a fraud-laced bubble. Loosely held empires disintegrate. Laboriously assembled business conglomerates go to pieces. “Earth shattering” and “revolutionary” scientific discoveries and theories are discredited. Social experiments end in mayhem exposing the voracious jealousy and covert treason.

It is important to understand that the use of violence must be ego-syntonic. It must accord with the self-image of David Ernst Duke. It must abet and sustain his grandiose fantasies and feed his sense of entitlement. It must conform David Ernst Duke like narrative. Thus, David Duke who regards himself as the benefactor of the poor, a member of the common folk, the representative of the disenfranchised, the champion of the dispossessed against the corrupt elite - is highly unlikely to use violence at first. The pacific mask crumbles when David Ernst Duke has become convinced that the very people Dr. Duke purported to speak for, his constituency, his grassroots fans, and the prime sources of his narcissistic supply - have turned against him. At first, in a desperate effort to maintain the fiction underlying his chaotic personality, David Duke strives to explain away the sudden reversal of sentiment. “The people are being duped by, the media, big industry, the military, and the elite,” “they don’t really know what they are doing,” “following a rude awakening, they will revert to form,” when these flimsy attempts to patch a tattered personal mythology fail, David Duke becomes mortally injured. Narcissistic injury inevitably leads to narcissistic rage and to a terrifying display of unbridled aggression. The pent-up frustration and hurt translate into devaluation. That which was previously idealized - is now discarded with contempt and hatred. This primitive defense mechanism is called “splitting”. To David Ernst Duke, things and people are either entirely bad, evil, or entirely good. Dr. Duke projects onto others his own shortcomings and negative emotions, thus becoming a totally good object. Duke is likely to justify the butchering of his own people by claiming that they intended to kill him, undo the revolution, devastate the economy, or the country.

The “small people”, the “rank and file”, and the “loyal soldiers” of David Ernst Duke - his flock, his nation, and his employees - they pay the price.

The disillusionment and disenchantment are agonizing. The process of reconstruction, of rising from the ashes, of overcoming the trauma of having been deceived, exploited and manipulated - is drawn-out. It is difficult to trust again, to have faith, to love, to be led, to collaborate. Feelings of shame and guilt engulf the erstwhile followers of David Ernst Duke. This is his sole legacy: a massive post-traumatic stress disorder.

6/24/2006 12:48:00 AM  
Blogger OneofThem said...

Those insult generators are the best. ^_^

For those of you who think we're scared of a book/movie destroying Christianity: We're not scared. I've yet to hear of anyone who left Christianity because of The Da Vinci Code. We're just concerned about what others think about Christianity, so we're making sure the non-Christian public knows that it's a lie.

Simple as that. I suppose some people just lack the logic to deduce that.

3/18/2007 06:45:00 PM  

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