by Frank Schnittger
Mon Dec 22nd, 2008 at 01:38:54 PM EST
And all the angels and archangels came singing "Obama is the highest"! Right down to his dodgy Hawaiian US birth certificate and his slaying of the son of Cain - is Obama recreating the Christmas Myth?
Meanwhile, back in the Temple with the High Priests...
Pope says combatting homosexuality as important as saving rainforests - The Irish Times - Mon, Dec 22, 2008
Pope Benedict said today that saving humanity from homosexual or transsexual behaviour was just as important as saving the rainforest from destruction.
"(The Church) should also protect man from the destruction of himself. A sort of ecology of man is needed," the pontiff said in a holiday address to the Curia, the Vatican's central administration.
Can an inspirational figure ever have been so badly served by his alleged chief followers? How can the greatest advocate for human love be used to sow hatred and division? Is it an historical inevitability that the greatest advocates for peace will have their message twisted to support innumerable wars, pogroms, and witch hunts? Do we have to be utterly cynical about all attempts to change the world for the better?
Is Christmas, or the Winter Solstice, an appropriate time to look forward to a rebirth of our humanity regardless of our religious beliefs or the lack of them? Of course the disillusion of the winter of our discontent will always follow the spring shoots of new hope. But even if hope and disillusion are inevitable bedfellows is it not right that we should hope again, even if only for a season or two? Can we claim to be progressive if we have no concept of, or belief in, progress in human history?
I will personally be pleasantly surprised if Obama manages do much more than slow down the massive ship of state currently heading in the wrong direction and slowly turn it around to a more favourable course. His window of opportunity for massive legislative and institutional change will be quite short, even if he grasps the opportunity with all the skill he has shown to date. The challenges we all face do not lend themselves to being resolved in the time it takes to move from one electoral cycle to the next. The most we can hope for in the next year is that the recession bottoms out and that some green shoots survive the winter to grow again.
Which brings me back to Christmas, because for me it is not about praising Messiahs; ancient, or modern, or engaging in witch hunts against whoever or whatever we wish to denigrate as deviant in the current order. It's about taking some time out, at the end of another year, to think about what we have personally achieved in the last year, and hope to do in the next.
For me the achievements of the past year have been mostly about helping my children achieve their chosen goals and giving them whatever support I could. A few personal projects have come to fruition, others have fared less well, but overall it hasn't been a bad year. I've enjoyed reading, writing and arguing here and elsewhere on Lisbon, the Irish economy and politics, European affairs and the US elections. I've met some great people through ET at he Paris meet up and in Dublin/Madrid. Hi Melanchthon and Metavision! And many thanks to Jerome, Afew, LEP, Fran, Geezer and all who helped organise the meet-up.
I don't do Christmas cards because (a) I'm too lazy, (b) it saves trees and (c) they don't say anything except I'm thinking of you. So this diary is my way of saying "I'm thinking of you" to all my friends and adversaries on ET who have crossed swords or shared virtual pints with me during the year. I hope you have a good one and that some of your dreams for the next year come true.