The other morning, as I was reading articles in my computer room, I heard a woman scream. Immediately, my attention was wrested away from my writing, I sat up straight, and waited in silence, listening for any clues that someone was in danger. My heart began to race. (more…)
30. January 2011
I can still vividly remember walking through run-down Neapolitan suburbs (or, the closest they could get to them, anyway) as a seventeen-year old, firmly within the grasp of an LSD trip. As I walked through the tall, unkempt grass and weeds, they brushed against my knees as though greeting me with a handshake. The summer sun was looking down upon me, and the rays felt as though they were shining into my body, as though I was illuminated, and radiating life back into the universe. Though I usually noticed the garbage on the messy Italian streets, that day it seemed less prominent, if not unnoticeable, and nature’s technicolor vibrance jumped from objects which would have been previously considered not only ordinary, but drab. I was, at least I felt, as though totally connected with reality, as though something that I had lost along the way had suddenly been found, and I was home. (more…)
23. January 2011
Last year, I learned that the CIA had directly participated in a scheme against Osama Bin Laden, involving the use of fabricated video evidence. Their fake video, consisting of a campfire drinking session, was intended to destroy Bin Laden’s credibility with devout Muslims, by making it appear as though he had been breaking Sharia Law. And if the drinking wasn’t enough to turn Osama’s followers against him, “Osama” spent his time in the video bragging about homosexual conquests. (more…)
4. January 2011
Must an increase in empathy signal a decrease in law?
Let us consider, for a moment, that someone has wronged you by stealing your car. When the person is caught by police, you have the option to press charges, but then discover that your neighbor–whose wife is dying from cancer, after they both lost their jobs–stole your car out of desperation to rush to meet her in the hospital, since he thought she was about to die. Begging your forgiveness with tears in his eyes, the man sinks to his knees in court, clasps his hands together, and looks at you directly. At this moment, moved with compassion, in an act of mercy you allow the man to walk free.
Compassion, then, is our friend. A placing of ourselves in the shoes of others, imagining their hardship and deciding–in some particular instance, to side with them, to recognize that had you been in their position, you would have been desperate as well. And this empathy, in many cases, is noble. (more…)
1. January 2011
It’s not uncommon, these days, to see misinformed Christians parading around in favor of pacifism, as though Christianity demands that Christians can’t defend their families, as though we as a society must abandon moral stances, capital punishment, self-defense, and our right to bear arms. Going even further, some ignorant Christians even seek establishment of hate speech legislation, believing that dangerous ideologies shouldn’t be morally challenged or honestly discussed in public. As a Christian, few beliefs irk me more than these.
Fortunately, if we take a close look at Jesus’ teachings, quite the opposite can be proven about His commandments. For instance, one of the most widely-bungled teachings of Christ concerns the concept of forgiveness and non-retaliation, as most clearly stated in Matthew 5:38-42: (more…)