Thursday, November 17, 2005

What's a Motto with You?

Occasionally, I change the motto under the title of the blog to fit my mindset or the current trend of my posts. After the tragedy of my R&R, I posted the motto “Vengeance is Redemption, Violence is Prayer”. An original quote from me, I caught some serious flack from readers that were put off by my apparent adoption of violence as a solution, or because I draw a connection between violence and religion. Many emails were sent with brief explanations as to the origin and meaning, but none satisfied the hardcore. So, here it is, the long explanation. Be prepared to be vexed.

Let me break some things down to fundamental pieces. Christianity is the primary religion of the west. Christianity is an Abrahamic religion being derived from Judaism. Islam is an Abrahamic religion also, having written its history in parallel to Judaism. Almost all of the people that have commented on my blog fall under one of these three religions, or have been raised in one of these traditions. On the surface, Abrahamic religions denounce violence in any form. But history and current conditions show that that claim is quickly forgotten. Abrahamic religions have spread throughout the world, not on merit, but by domination by the sword. The Bible records thousands of years of Jewish history that complements western history.

How is this germane? Boil down Abrahamic religions to their thinnest substance and what you have is a God commanding prophets and armies to eliminate peoples with extreme decisive prejudice. Many stories contain commands from God to have a city of people that have offended Him, wiped out as their justice. God even states that he is a vengeful God. Jonah, for example was a reluctant prophet, charged by God to warn a city to repent or be destroyed. Jonah resisted and fell out of favor with God who then promptly put him inside a fish. Jonah was then redeemed to the Lord by changing his mind, prophesying to the city, and preaching about the promised genocide if they refused to listen. Vengeance was the vehicle for redemption.

If vengeance, being the summation of the act, is redemptive then violence is the process through which it happens. Destruction of cities and genocide are not accomplished through peaceful means. By definition, these acts are violent. Prayer takes many forms; internal dialogs with God, ritual acts such as animal sacrifice, redemptive acts. Prayer is the method through which the supplicant begs favor of God for redemption. Vengeance has been brought about through violence, hence if vengeance is the redemptive act then violence is the actions taken. This means that all those people that chatsised me for my apparent pro-violence stance, claiming a religion as their basis for opposition, do so in ignorance of the religion to which they subscribe. I understand the desire people have to create a basis for a non-violent existence. I fundamentally do too. But rewriting religions, history, philosophy or selectively believing parts thereof, is intellectually dishonest.

In my personal situation, I apply this principle concretely. My children and myself have been greatly wronged and have been forced to suffer the unavoidable repercussions. I seek redemption through vengeance – an evening of the score. Many precious things have been taken from my children, myself, and my life at no cost to the thief. The reconning will not occur over dinner and a conversation. Without vengeance, we are victims and the perpetrator is rewarded for his actions to be encouraged to take again. Vengeance, we are scared to admit in American society, is a necessary course for the correction of misbehaviors. Like gun laws, without righteous vengeance the wrongdoers prey freely on the sheep. Not me, never.

Now, the current motto “Disillusionment is Mandatory” is not only a credo for my life, it is also a rule for reading this blog, as well as a command to the readers thereof. Enjoy, and unplug from the matrix.


Anonymous Findley Labrador said...

Like a wrongful death, a betrayal of the heart will push you through many emotions till you find peace with it. It's a personal grief, and healing will happen when you arrive at the point when you are ready to embrace it again.

I look forward to buying you a beer stateside.

Blogger rev. billy bob gisher ©2005 said...

wow. i cannot argue with a thing you said. as a warrior you know better than anyone the pain war brings and the sacrifice it asks.
i know because i have read you in depth, you would prefer if man did not take this course when other options are available. but you are there, and to retreat would cause more harm than to finish the job. you must fight now, it is unfortunetly the only sound option left to you. hopefully one day we will evolve in our thinking, and never again will humans be forced for whatever reason to take lives. i weep when i say this, but kick ass, finish the work, and come home safely and teach people about what you have seen, and of what you would like to see in the future. we need that even more than what is asked of you now.

Blogger Robert Chase said...

My children and myself have been greatly wronged and have been forced to suffer the unavoidable repercussions. I seek redemption through vengeance – an evening of the score.

I don't know if this is going to make any sense, since I don't know how to put it in written words....but you WILL have your redemption. It may not happen overnight, but it will happen. You have a chance to start over and if at the very least, you have a chance to correct whatever mistakes you might have made and now you know what to look Joel said, don't settle.
Take it from someone who for most of his life was bitter and angry at the cards I'd been dealt. I made peace with my past mistakes and now have found a woman who I adore. I may get pissed off at things still, but I am no longer bitter and angry at the world. :)

Another thing, your children have lost a lot though this too. They have the benefit of having a loving father to help them though the tough times. The old saying goes....."Time heals all wounds".....and I know that, given enough time, the three of you will be more than ok.

Blogger Jack Burton said...

Change it back.

Blogger rev. billy bob gisher ©2005 said...

i will not delve into the man's personal situation, that is not unlike tokoyo rose. and time will ease pain. living well will allow growth. right now the guy is in Iraq, and he is human, and in a conflict that is inhuman. divorce it is said will drive you nuts. what do you think Iraq will do?
have you paid close attention to john mccain?

Blogger Carnealian said...

I cannot agree more with what everyone has said here. All of us look forward to you coming home....maybe that will help you heal in some small way. You have to know how much all of us love you, even those that may have never met's still possible to feel that way. You have definitely been hurt more than anyone needs to be. You will have happiness, you deserve it. And you have many "dates" with me that you are obligated to fill when you get home.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As being one of the ones who gave you flack for your last sub-title, I want to thank you for your explanation. Even if I do find it unsatisfactory.

I do still feel that it is wrong to subject all prayer and all people who subscribe to one of these three religions into a category as if their actions were pre-determined or even justified by the catechism of their religion today. Religion has evolved, as has people's beliefs regarding their religions.

I am not denying that some do use parts of religious arguments, texts, and histories to justify their own violent ends. I am not closing my eyes to that. But so many others pray and hope and meditate for peace and peaceful solutions. This cannot be discounted. So not all prayer is violence, and not all who seek vengeance will find redemption. Your statements do not hold true for every situation. And so I feel the claims are somewhat arrogant attributes to your own misguided system of belief. You sometimes use your position in Iraq to justify your thoughts. I understand that we are all influenced by what we see around us, but if Iraq were representative of the world, I think we all might have found a tall cliff to hurl ourselves off of quite some time ago.

Another thought I have on this concerns the historical/biblical evidence you offered in context of your points. I just feel people are different than they were a thousand years ago or however long ago, when those words were written. I honestly do not read the Bible. I agree with you that many people use it not only to justify violence, but to distort this book in order to justify their feelings on any subject. Most of what these people preach is harmless. And the book is harmless itself. I will always believe that people cause violence, not words or prayers. Those who choose to act violent are the violence. Words in a rap song do not cause children to be violent and kill...

I have more to say, but class now! Hope you all have a great day.

I pray that history is linear.

Blogger Abby Taylor said...

I'm all out of advice. I used it up trying to fix the Reverend to no avail.

I like reading what you write.

Blogger brainhell said...

Your thoughts on this are interesting. I understand your point. Like you, I also seek less violent world. I am not a member of any Abrahamic faith.

Blogger Dorman said...

again, never said prayer is violence. I said Violence is prayer.

Thank you all for your support.

Blogger rev. billy bob gisher ©2005 said...

abby i am fine, the whole deal today was a setup. it was a love letter to tina, and a slight thrash to the guy who sits under this guy now,trying to make him realize sissy here is giving way more than i ask of him.this guy needs love, and he needs to come home soon. we got a mess over there we made. we cannot let this happen again.

Anonymous you did better this time. sissy was not throwing a blanket over everyone. we need to get where religion is a help to those who want it, not an anchor around our neck in high seas.

Blogger daveawayfromhome said...

There is the Ideal, and then there is Reality.
Religion, however much it may be about God, is not God. It is an institution(s) run by Man, and we are not ideal, by a long shot.
History, too, is man-made, and frequently paints Man as having done God's work, whatever the reality may have been. Imagine what the Nazis might have said about their pogrom, had they won.
As for violence, they say it should be used as a last resort, but where's the end. Some people can only understand violence, and just as dangerous, some cant understand it at all.

In the end, everybody does, or ought to do, what they have to do. Do what you have to do.

Anonymous ~j~ said...

The Universe is so dynamic, a static set of right and wrong rules cannot create a true morality.

Fortunately, we can figure out for ourselves the best thing to do at each moment.

Unfortunately, sometimes the best thing to do is well within the bounds of evil.
For example, murder is clearly evil, yet most recognize that killing in self-defense is not murder. Most recognize that a soldier defending his home is not committing murder. Most recognize that killing for food is not murder (except those plant murderers the Vegans!)

ALL morality is situational.

I believe very strongly that the vast majority of times, good intentions do not justify evil deeds.

Usually this type of justification is the “last refuge of the scoundrel” and should receive very critical review before acceptance…

Still more strongly do I believe that the ends do not justify the means. The means must justify themselves.


Because the means are all we have any control over.

Despite extreme efforts to control outcomes, randomness finds its expression - there is no guarantee that the means we choose will generate the ends we desire.

Choosing evil means to generate good ends is playing a risky game of chance with other people’s souls.

And the gods don’t like it when we horn in on their territory!

Blogger Carl said...

God is psychotic.

God tells us "vengeance is mine", and then sends man out to do His dirty work.

God slaughters His people (Noah) to start over again, yet the next time, He sends down His Only Begotten with a rag and soapy water.

My suspicion is that Jesus is really the Father, and that God is like that creature from the old Star Trek episode where the alien uses the Enterprise crew like they were his G I Joe dolls with the Kung Fu grip.


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