Thursday, April 19, 2007

A Baptist Preacher and a News Anchor

Murder, mass murder.
"Pastor what have you learned about people in the past 24 hours?"
"People are good"
"What about the murderer?"
"We don't know anything about him"
If you are a Christian, you of all people, should be able to say what is true about the murderer. But once again this pastor proves what Kierkegaard said, "When I look at a number of particular phenomena in the Christian life it seems to me that Christianity, instead of giving men strength -- yes, that compared to the pagans such individuals are bereft of their manhood by Christianity and are as geldings to the stallion.” We live in a day of an emasculated Christianity, it cannot maintain its own truth claims in light of the overwhelming force of popular culture. We also live in a day where in the face of horrific evil man has lost his nerve and has no capacity to understand it. Perhaps some might dare to call it "evil" but to speak of its origins or its ultimate meaning is a project that is swiftly marginalized under the weight of pop culture. It is in this respect that Nietzsche was right, God, for all practical purposes in this civilization, is dead. It seems the church at one point used to claim to "represent" God to humanity, but the Church now seems to represent man to man, and God, well we all know what happened to Him. And here's the absurd thing, two weeks from tragedy the news will be back to broadcasting banality, and popular culture will rush over tragedy like the wind does the desert sands. Ours is a silly world. We cannot accept the terms of our own implicit philosophies, for if we accepted them we would not truly be able to speak to tragedy, because if God is dead all that would be left would be the will to power. We don't even have that though, we have a sort of benevolent nihilism, that is because, in the end, we are all like Dostoevsky's Raskolnikov, and our own cultural conscience is making us sick.

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