Monday, February 6, 2017

The Chances Of A Refugee Terrorist Killing An American Are 3.6 Billion To 1

The Chances Of A Refugee Terrorist Killing An American Are 3.6 Billion To 1

Alan: The calamity of American conservatism that has recently resulted in America's political dysfunction is that right-wingers believe it is not only good, but necessary, for perfection to prevail. 

Even if the odds against a terror attack are bizillion to 1, that ONE slimisimo chance will become the idée fixe whereby conservatives -- blissfully ignorant of "collateral damage" and stone-blinded by The Light -- will NEVER stop aspiring after ABSOLUTE PERFECTION even though perfection (as commonly understood in the the Abrahamic traditions is demonstrably destructive - and destructive on a large scale. 

It was, after all, the Abrahamic tradition that concocted the notion of divinely-ordained Armageddon and "The Return Of The Mahdi.)

Furthermore, perfection is impossible to achieve (which affords conservatives endless reason grievance and endless reason to meddle).

In their zeal to elminate The Very Last Chance that a terror attack might take place, conservatives prefer to unleash Armageddon, thus killing every American rather than the few who will inevitably die if Reason, Perspective and Proportion prevail. 

What's more, their blind faith promises such unfailingly complete protection that they believe -- without any need to think -- God will save them and bless them despite their pigheaded - and utterly reckless - obtusity. 

Typically, conservatives do not conceive this cataclysmic outcome consciously but that is because they cultivate a kind of unconsciousness rooted in the blazing, blinding light of Too Pure Principles.

"The terrible thing about our time is precisely the ease with which theories can be put into practice.  The more perfect, the more idealistic the theories, the more dreadful is their realization.  We are at last beginning to rediscover what perhaps men knew better in very ancient times, in primitive times before utopias were thought of: that liberty is bound up with imperfection, and that limitations, imperfections, errors are not only unavoidable but also salutary. The best is not the ideal.  Where what is theoretically best is imposed on everyone as the norm, then there is no longer any room even to be good.  The best, imposed as a norm, becomes evil.”  
"Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander,” by Trappist monk, Father Thomas Merton

More Merton Quotes

The quest for perfection (as commonly understood as a "mathematical-geometrical" phenomen in the West) is not only destructive, but destructive without limit. 

Near the end of the first act of Robert Bolt's A Man for All Seasons (made into an excellent movie that won "Best Picture" Oscar in 1966), Sir Thomas More, Lord Chancellor of England, is on stage with his wife Alice, his daughter Margaret, and future son-in-law, William Roper. 

Just leaving the scene is Richard Rich, later to prove the mortal enemy whose perjury sends More to his death. 

Rich has aroused the suspicions of all, and Alice, Margaret, and Roper urge More to arrest him because be is a bad and dangerous man. 

More refuses, saying that Rich has broken no law. 

Exasperated, More's wife bursts out:

ALICE: While you talk, he's gone!

MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law!

ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law!

MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that!

MORE: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you--where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast--man's laws, not God's--and if you cut them down--and you're just the man to do it--d'you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes. I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake.

Give the devil his due!

Render unto Caesar!

Do not think -- even for an instant -- that we can be free of the moral muck that fuddles us all... because that's the way we were made, by God!

And note well.

Yeshua is not telling us that we "may" render onto Caesar.

Nor is it the case that we "may" give the devil his due.

We must render unto Caesar. 

We must give the devil we do.

For if we don't give Caesar and Satan himself their portion, the quest for righteousness is straightway confused with self-righteousness and then, our small "self" expands to the size of The Universal Self and immediately we see ourselves as the ordained agents of God's Will without the slightest clue what complexities are involved in the fate of any human being - including ourselves!

In the story of the widow's mite, Yeshua does not tell us (as many commentators would have us believe) that "the little she has given is great in the eyes of God." 

Rather, Yeshua says flatly: “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the offering box than all the others. For they all gave out of their wealth. But she, out of her poverty, put in what she had to live on, everything she had.”

If the wealthy wish to give on a par with the widow, they would - as Yeshua says elsewhere - "sell everything they have and give the proceeds to the poor."

On some level, the truth may be "absolute."

But on God's good earth, we know for fact that the truth IS relative and we have it on good authority that the widow's two mites are, in fact, more valuable "than all the others."

Now we can fiddle. And we can dodge.

But all the many ways that "the rich," including myself (for in the relative context of humanity I am very rich) might explain our "accumulation," our "clinging" and our "hanging on" only sides us with the pharisees fussing about mint and cumin and dill.

Then enters The Master who tells us true: "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices--mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law--justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter..."

Go ahead. 

Read it all! 

I dare you.

Yeshua Excoriates Fellow Pharisees: "The Woe Passages"

"Love Your Enemies. Do Good To Those Who Hate You," Luke 6: 27-42

Compendium Of Best Pax Posts On "Too Pure Principles" And The Collapse Of Conservatism

It is the quest for perfection, a principle so dearly held that we rarely release it, that Javert (in Les Miserables) eventually commits suicide.

Although it is possible to view Javert's suicide as a sort of cold kindness, it also reveals that people who are prepared to commit suicide (or otherwise die) for their unbending view of "Righteousness" are also prepared, by the selfsame psycho-spiritual preparation that enables them to be "martyrs," to turn their suicidal urge outward and kill anyone (or everyone) in the world in order to breathe new life into their existentially necessary belief in Impeccably Pure Principles.

And so, we end up with one of the many paradoxes that lie at the heart of the profoundest truths and we realize -- to our horror -- that religion, when conceived in a context of philosophical or theological perfection, is the cruelest, most deadly force on earth.

"Is Perfectionism A Curse? Paul Ryan Tells The Truth"

Jenny McCarthy: Poster Girl For Self-Terrorization

"Self-Terrorization Is The National Pastime"

"Ebola Represents A Trivial Threat To Americans' Health"

"Shark Attacks Rise Worldwide: Risk Assessment and Aquinas' Criteria For Sin"

"Faulty Risk Assessment And The Epidemic Spread Of Self-Terrorization

Where Conservative Christians Go Wrong

It Is Important To Know These Things So Religion Doesn't Do You More Harm Than Good

What Too Many Christians Get Wrong

"Any Religion That Needs Fear To Thrive Is Bad Religion"

"Bad Religion: A Compendium"

Good Religion And Bad Religion

What's Wrong With The Abrahamic Religions: Absolutism, Scriptural Inerrancy, Bloodlust

Pope Francis On Fundamentalism: The Horror Of Turning God Into Ideological Pretext

Pope Francis: The Horror Of Religious Fundamentalism And What's Wrong With Religion

Bad Religion And The Abrahamic Tradition

Pope Francis Warns Against Rigid Seminarians: "There's Always Something Ugly Behind It"

Frank Zappa Prophesied A Fascist Theocracy. Barry Goldwater Agrees

Bill McKibben "The Christian Paradox: How A Faithful Nation Gets Jesus Wrong"

James' Epistle: "Judgment Without Mercy Will Be Shown To Anyone Who Has Not Shown Mercy"

"The Politics Of Horror In Conservative Evangelicalism," '09 Outstanding Academic Title"

Often, Stinginess And Cruelty Are Christianity's Paradoxical Effects

All 3 Abrahamic Religions Should Be As Ashamed Of Themselves As They Are Now Self-Certain

People Want To Be Lied To: The Convergent Horror Of Faithful Falsehood And Aggressive Ignorance

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