Wednesday, March 08, 2006

"A Terrible Love of War"

I just share so much in common with your president Bush! See, I don't read. Bush is probably better informed than I because I have no fancy schmancy white house staff to pablum feed me what they've read.

So that's probably why it's taken me 6 months or so to finish A Terrible Love of War by James Hillman. It examines man's seemingly endless obsession with war. His last chapter entitled "Religion is War" talks of the role of religion as a source for war.

While he describes the relationship between the major religions of the world and war, he focuses primarily on Christianity in the U.S. because, as Hillman opines, "There is much to fear! First, the sheer numbers of believers among the population; second, the literalism of their belief, and, third, the impregnable innocence of belief, as if the commitment to the doctrine of love prevents awareness of the facts of war and the terrible truth of a militant monotheistic psychology enacted by Christian civilization."

As I mentioned before, there's an insouciance among our current leadership at the tragedies suffered by victims of war. Even the great number of deaths and horrendous suffering endured in a natural disaster such as Katrina is salve on the wounds of the victims when our Oil Tanker Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, soothes them by assuring, "It's all right, don't you see, it's okay, this means that Jesus is on his way!"

(I can just hear Mr. Rodgers singing, "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood"!)

And, as I also alluded to previously, if in our reckless, devil-may-care bully foreign policy, a preemptive strike on some nation turns out to be a gross miscalculation by the religious fanatics who lead your government and results in thermonuclear war which fries your momma and your children, well...that's okay! That's just the fulfillment of biblical Armageddon.

If that bothers you, try not to let it, because it's the doctrine our leaders believe in and feel compelled to try to bring about. We "elected" 'em and we continue to allow them free reign because they haven't done anything outrageous like stain a blue dress. So, fuck your momma, spouse and kids if they go down in a holocaust. Take heart in knowing that if an apocalyptic event is successfully triggered by the neocons in control, you will not have died for nothing, you will have fried for their loving god!

Oh Jesus! Seems I've gotten sidetracked from my original intent, to wit: In that last chapter of his book, Hillman quotes an excerpt from a Mark Twain poem that he did not want published until after his death. Perhaps, as the author suggests, Twain didn't want to upset those Christian lambs with whom he was friends?

Here it is, a part of Twain's "long narrative poem on the relation between lamb-like religion and the wrath of war."

O Lord our God,
help us
to tear their soldiers
to bloody shreds
with our shells;
help us
to cover their smiling fields
with the pale forms
of their patriotic dead;
help us
to drown the thunder
of the guns
with the shrieks
of their wounded
writhing in pain;
help us
to lay waste
their humble homes
with a hurricane of fire; ....

Nice, huh? Very nice.
God bless America!


Anonymous said...

Man, you are on fire today! I just love when Condasleezzie gets all Jeezie on us. Religion & War, hummm, can one exist without the other? Well, maybe one (war), but apparently not the other.

Dada, one of my treasured finds is Mark Twain's "Letters from the Earth" (reports from Satan about the damned human race). Now, without unpacking my books, was that the source of your Twain poem? D.K...........

P.S. I'm gonna miss you next week. Yes, the whole D.K. family is escaping for a week of back-country camping! No phones, faxes, computers, aaahhh. Careful packing & food prep begins tomorrow. I'll trust you to keep the world together while I'm out of touch & catch up soon as we return, OK?

enigma4ever said...

Thanks so much for posting on this and quoting Twain...good on you for remembering this great poem...

( well, DK...not gonna miss anyone else ???, hrumph...well we will help hold the world together while you go- I will stock up on Elmers and Duck tape- that should work..)

Oh, DK have a great time...Enjoy

Anonymous said...

e4e, are you kidding? How am I gonna make it thru those long camping days, hiking & campfires & I hope no bears or rain, without thinking of all of you ? But it'll be good practice for the apocalypse, huh? Need to hone my BBQ skills & boy-scout quest for fire stuff. Husband thinks we'll get XM satellite radio reception, so I can blast out near-by campers with Mike Malloy in the evening, you know kind of spreading the gospel of truth. Yes, I'll miss you ALL! D.K.

dada said...

D.K. - the portion of the poem quoted was in Hillman's book, so I'm not sure where he got it. I believe it's entitled "The War Prayer". As I understand it was written in response to one of the robber barons who upset Twain by saying this is a "Christian nation."

Gee, we're sure going to miss you next week. I had to laugh at your husband saying you will be able to pick up XMSR in the wilderness and you, of course, taking it to the extreme--by playing Mike Malloy!

But as god warned me in the grocery store the other day, "Take care of yourself". Obviously, your visit to Nature is indicative of it's calling, most often answered by extremist folks, much like yourself who enjoy Nature by communing with it for a bit.

But there's the other extreme, i.e., those that like to blow shit up and kill things. They carry guns, and as we've seen illustrated by our dear NRA Veep, it doesn't take much to miss the pigeon and hit the person. Especially if they're 'asking for it' by playing that most wonderful spokesman of Air America Radio, Mike Malloy.

So for heaven's sake, have a great time, but 'take care of yourself'! Maybe don't play the XMSR too loud?

Anonymous said...

I promise I will only turn up the volume if we find ourselves near some drunken off-roaders who wouldn't be able to understand Malloy anyway. Then we'll move camp the next day. Oh and if I see anyone who remotely resembles your grocery-store god-guy, I'll pay strict attention to his warnings. Nature is a glorious enough god for me. It's a full-moon week, too! D.K.