An Avataric President

William: The most foolish aspect of the executive branch of government is the belief that any one president can cause all the problems or solve all the problems. I think it is connected somehow to the notion that one avataric-incarnation can forgive everyone’s sins.

(to Ambreesh) I like this quote from your INFO page: Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious. I see McCain as an essentially vicious man. He was not too nice to his first wife once she became injured and less desirable. Then he picked up a better-looking wealthy woman from a wealthy, powerful family.

Ambreesh: McCain fought in Nam and was something of a war hero, or so they claim. Perhaps, his credo is `everything is fair in love and war.’ On a more serious note though, I noted with considerable interest your connection between the ill-conceived perception of democratic executive’s potential to effect a change and the notion in avataric-incarnation’s powers to forgive sin. Unless your use of avataric-incarnation terms is metaphoric and not literal, I’m afraid we’re seeking a very Christian blessing (forgiveness for sin) from a very abstract Hindu construct.

William: McCain was a coward, blanket bombing villagers around Hanoi safely from a plane thousands of feet in the air. America was not threatened by Vietnam. We had no business there. And we lost anyway so it was all an enormous waste, since Vietnam is communist today. The real heroes were the conscientious objectors who risked their careers and gave up citizenship to avoid the unjustified murder. McCain only entered the military because it was a family tradition and he hoped to seek his fame and fortune by such means. When he became a fashionable military escort for powerful people he realized that politics was an easy, soft route to wealth and power that any fool with a smile and a handshake could navigate. The only reason McCain opposed torture is because he was tortured himself and not because he is a person of justice and principles. Bush and Cheney were never tortured so they feel torture is just fine. And the only reason McCain was not executed when taken prisoner is because he was from an important family and was a useful bargaining piece in the chess game of war. Hence, McCain is a vicious man with no principles who rattles his saber of empty patriotic rhetoric. Patriotism is a virtue of the vicious.

I felt more politically correct this morning so I wrote avataric-incarnation but I meant Jesus. I see the Protestant version of Christianity as a sham and a failure which has caused far more problems than it ever solved. I am more sympathetic toward Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. I do not think there is some magic wand that can make everyone forgiven. I think every freewill choice as well was every choice of inaction is an indelible word inscribed by that invisible finger in the “handwriting on the wall” (by which we have been weighed and found wanting.) The only true forgiveness lies in never doing wrongs. The only true repentance is learning to recognize what is wrong and never do it to begin with. We are a society who loudly shouts EXCUSE ME every day as we elbow our way through the world and we conflate that with shouting with good manners. As far as “the evil that men do” I say that if we CEASE to exist, then we are gone so little matters except the annals of history, and if we have some form of eternal life, then we are doomed to remember for all eternity the good that we have done (which will be our heaven) and the evil that we have done (which will be our hell of bitter regret). And if we HAVE NO memory of this life, then it is not WE who were saved but something alien which is not us at all (and hence what is the point of hankering for some questionable afterlife of perfection when we ignore this life which we already possess?)

Protestant Christianity assumes its most virulent form of moral poison in the rhetoric of someone like Charles Stanley who sees the utterance of some lip-serving sentence to invite Christ into ones life as a MAGIC FORMULA which bestows upon the parrot who utters it something that he calls “THE ETERNAL SECURITY OF SALVATION” meaning that no matter what they may do in the future, whether they become a suicide, or a mass murderer or head of the S.E.C., they are GUARANTEED their salvation and nothing can rob them of that saved status. They way I see it, they are now morally bankrupt in a torpor of false complacency.

Amreesh: Since I’m neither American, nor have I ever been to the US, my understand of Protestantism and its critique there is only acquired, not experienced. However, what I gather is that the original Protestant movement of Europe, with its back-to-the-basics approach has evolved into a whole new hydra-headed species as an Evangelical collective. Is that true? I plead ignorance in finer spiritual distinctions made by different Christian denominations but given the kind of Evangelical creed that some American denominations are trying to export to countries like India, I have grave misgivings about them. Roman Catholics are no paragons of tolerance or diversity either when it comes to Eastern traditions but their propaganda is less virulent and at least they set out to do genuine service, not bring along some circus like charismatic faith healing. Orthodox Christian denominations, though, appear to be more at home in a multicultural surrounding. I was wondering what your take on it is……

William: First of all, the Protestant claim of being a “Bible-based” Church is totally fraudulent for one very simple historical fact that no one can deny. For the first 20 years after Jesus’s resurrection and ascension there WAS NO NEW TESTAMENT. Paul wrote his first epistle to the Thessalonians around 51 C.E. The Gospels did not begin to take shape until around 100 C.E. The EARLIEST known copy of the entire Bible in its approximate present canonical form is the Sinai Codex which dates to something like the 4th century (and contains the Greek Septuagint which differs significantly from the Hebrew Masoretic texts.) SO, when Jesus said “Search the scriptures for therein shall ye find eternal life” Jesus was talking about the Old Testament and not the New Testament. This would mean that everything which is validly Christian and salvific or saving must be found in the Old Testament or it is to be found nowhere at all. Now Martin Luther, founder of the Reformation, built his entire doctrine on salvation through FAITH ALONE (Sola Fides). But the word FAITH occurs only twice in the entire Old Testament; first in Deuteronomy ch. 32 IN THE NEGATIVE (paraphrasing) “Because of your FAITH-LESS-NESS my [God’s] anger has been kindled like a fire and like a fire it shall burn from the highest mountain tops to the base of the mountains and DOWN TO THE LOWEST SHEOL [hell/hades] and shall whither the fruitfulness of the land. The word in Hebrew translated as faithlessness (and as FAITH in the famous Habbakuk passage “for the just man shall live by HIS FAITH) is not Paul’s Greek PISTIS which means “substance of things hoped for” but rather means FAITHFULNESS to a quid-pro-quo contractual agreement or testament. God agreed to do certain things if his people observed certain things. Martin Luther took lifetime vows of poverty and chastity as an Augustinian monk. There are more verses about keeping ones vows and “better never to vow at all that to vow and not pay” .. far more verses about the importance of keeping vows than there are about FAITH. Luther knew that there was a Greek Orthodox church with monasticism which he found no fault with. Luther could have live out his lifetime vows among the Greeks. Luther was a dirty old man who could not endure the chastity and abstinence that he had vowed SO he re-wrote Christianity to see, among other things, celibacy as sinful and unnatural.


As Sartre said “We are doomed to be free” so, let’s all celebrate; whoop-dee-do!

But, what have we done with that freedom? And what do we continue to do?

It would seem that many use their precious-won freedom (won with the blood of saintly martyr-warriors) to watch Judge Judy, chef reality shows, and Donald Trump. I am so pleased that the gracious Lord created us “a little lower than the angels.” I am so happy and pleased that I feel we should spend more than usual this year on fireworks display to distract ourselves from the irreversible plight of the environment and the perpetual war, poverty and disease which plagues those peoples who are “less chosen.”


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