Posts Tagged ‘Extremism’


The writing of Galatians is Paul writing about coming into his own. The balance within the community between extremes, and coming to the Via Media (middle path). Preston Manning wrote in his leadership book about two pillars of the Christian political world in Canada- Woodsworth and Aberhart- they were two sides of the same coin. Woodsworth with the Social Gospel was focused on the community transformation; Aberhart was focused on personal transformation. Both necessary, yet one movement emphasized only a piece of it.

That is what Paul is laying out here, the danger of extremes, and the danger of exclusion of one piece or one population:

Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me. I went up because of a revelation and set before them (though privately before those who seemed influential) the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure I was not running or had not run in vain. But even Titus, who was with me, was not forced to be circumcised, though he was a Greek. Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery— to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you. And from those who seemed to be influential (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—those, I say, who seemed influential added nothing to me. On the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised (for he who worked through Peter for his apostolic ministry to the circumcised worked also through me for mine to the Gentiles),and when James and Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given to me, they gave the right hand of fellowship to Barnabas and me, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. 10 Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.

-Epistle of Galatians 2:1-10 (English Standard Version)

The early apostles saw Paul’s change not in his words, but in the journey he had walked. The balance of personal and communal transformation. The balance, not slipping to far into any one ideology. There was movements within the early gatherings of extremes as well…much like we wrestle with today. One would say extremists only exist on the right end of the political-theological spectrum. This is a misnomer, for extremism exists in all types of belief systems and ideologies. Taken to extremes social conservatism and progressiveness can create harm. Now stop the pearl clutching on either side, for it is true.

The horror of eugenics existed and still exists in both extremes. It can take on anti-lgbttq2+ rhetoric, ableism, anti-migration/immigrant, anti-semitism, Islamophobia, or the simple act of so demonizing the other viewpoint they are no longer seen as humans. It is in professionalism that uses coding as the be all and end all for the individual. That is they are nothing more than a number, whether in social services, affordable housing, public education, health care or the justice system. It is about moving language away from citizens to tax payers so that only those that are of the “haves” matter in society. It is about letting a circumstance become the definer of the individual instead of their Imageo Dei. That is, that it is okay to create a caste hierarchy of existence, and such violence is not a problem against the opponent. It also creates an atmosphere of group think, where to protect standing one will succumb to this belief structure.

 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party.[a] 13 And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?”

-Epistle of Galatians 2:11-14 (English Standard Version)

Yes it is not only the outside world that is responsible for curtailing hate. It is within our own movements and institutions. Those pesky ethics, morals and values need to be front and centre. Now I hear some clamouring that there isn’t an issue with this in the Christianities– poppycock (yes a good theological word). The rise of populism, propped up by what is termed the “Religious Right” in North America has seen a rise in hatred. Now the reader will go, yeah but you said it wasn’t right or left.

This is true, for hatred comes from all corners. It comes from those that see any group as less than. It is about overzealous environmentalists that do not see the impact or accept it is okay for a segment of the population not to live. It is those that believe forced sterilizations of persons with disabilities or aboriginals is okay. It is the religious right, upholding those that do not hold to their base values and saying “God’s elect” that allow Nazis back in our streets undeterred.  Historically, the rise of the Klu Klux Klan, and today the centre of a revisionist Christ at the core of many white supremacy/alt-right movements. It is progressive faith movements that create a space where leaders feel they have to be disingenuous to who they are because a partner has emerged into their true self whether trans or in the spectrum, even if the partner does not identify on that end of the spectrum. Not knowing you can love, and be friends, best friends, but romance may not be there anymore…or for those questioned who continue within the relationship because they emerge into their own as well. It is allowing blatant lies and cover ups to exist to protect one’s own political or religious power. Regardless of the harm being done- from frauds to bullying to sexual harassment to rapes, because we have elevated a leader or leaders to a messiah like position.

Paul risked all by calling  out Peter, the one given the keys to the Kingdom. Think of the courage that took knowing it could lead to a termination of his association with the movement he had converted to. It truly was a “going for broke” mentality to ensure integrity of leadership.

 We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; 16 yet we know that a person is not justified[b] by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.

17 But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! 18 For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor. 19 For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness[c] were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.

-Epistle of Galatians 2: 15-21 (English Standard Version)

A trImage may contain: outdoor, text that says "#i Happiness can be found in even the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light. J.K Rowling @YahushuaJourney"ue lesson for any movement as a gut check. If in the process of attempting to craft a new world, one is called into the darkness…then it is darkness you are reaping. Harm you do to achieve the goal, it is harm you are birthing. The old adage of the ends justify the means, is one of Empire, not Transfiguration.

Transfiguration means, even if it takes longer, it is about communal transfiguration and independent transfiguration not as independent events. They are interdependent lights that burn brightly into the darkness.

Will you be that light in the darkness at the doorstep?

 

 

 

 

 


The conversation/debate on what to salt of the past and the present for the future continues. It is no different than debates that rage today. Look at eugenics, there is passive ableism in the ban the plastic straw movement as the “cult of enviro-extremism” above all else. Not led wholly by science, but by whatever MBA has designed for best advertising (that is not a solution of reclamation, and what is causing more harm, how to reduce but support all parties ability to, well, drink)… to active atrocities such as provincial government and school board policies that see those with disabilities as less than, and those that walk the journey with them as not cognizant of having the same supports as others because it is the “life chosen”. Let that settle in as you hear the words that come, and some discourse for the 21st century around them.

It will also be hard to ingest, when you see how clearly the true intent of the teaching had been used even back then, twisted, to literalist laws that created caste systems of “worthy” for aid and esteem and those to be cast aside or “not worthy”. A myth that still perpetuates today. I could just imagine Brother Jesus (or any of the saints) speaking out on the anit-vaxxer campaigns. Debunked science that stated vaccines lead to disability. Or to be more direct “your entire argument is the worst thing in the world is not a horrible death by measles/small pox or being patient zero in such a calamity—but to be neuroatypical.” Try to tell me eugenics is not alive and well. The scary part is the drive within parental choice of health care and refusal of care of children how much is driven out of the Christianities. Pause and think as you read the discourse on what was causing harm to the people of Jesus’ day. Pause and ponder what has been twisted to harm our world today.

Who is the outcast/untouchable of our modern caste system?

21 “You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder’; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister,[e] you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult[f] a brother or sister,[g] you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell[h] of fire. 23 So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister[i] has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister,[j] and then come and offer your gift. 25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way to court[k] with him, or your accuser may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. 26 Truly I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.

-Matthew 5:21-26

Anger to murder. That literal law is fairly clear. The outcome action of murder was covered in the Hebrew Bible in the eye for an eye, etc (the pro-life explanation of death penalty support). But what if its more? Avoid escalation. Use collaboration. Discuss. Open up the view points, look for common good. Know that when an offense happens, once the debt is paid it is paid, but that does not remove the kernel of what caused the original murder. What started the anger or pain that began the plotting?

What allowed you to see the other as the most vile thing possible in the world? What allows you to see the other as deficient? What allows you to hide behind laws passed that state a caste system of value for the person? It is seen across political spectrums still today, and administrators may say “yes it is needed, but”…apologists for the existing system come in all forms, even from those that may require the system do more. It is beaten in apathy. How do we understand so much about abuser cycles? It happens so much communally, we allow it to be accepted.

The root of anger is the battle for belonging or superiority.

What battle is the one worthy?

What wolf as the ancient teaching goes should we feed?

27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.[l] 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to go into hell.[m]

31 “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I say to you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

-Matthew 5:27-32

The most abusive texts ever used. The only way to cease a marriage is due to adultery. Failing to realize that it is adultery upon the “property” in the ancient marriage contract-the woman. These are the words challenging the status quo of the day, and are still used within circles to say that the only way to dissolve a religious marriage is due to infidelity.

Really? Or is it the challenge that the only reason the marriage contract existed then was to ensure propagation of breeding rights, and the just payment to family, and insurance shame would not be brought upon the selling family by the woman being cast out? Essentially, it was all about purchasing the one you believed would create the best-off spring for your family legacy. What kind of practice does that sound like?

The teaching here is driving home the point the contract is not about this. It is about care, belonging, home, family whether or not children were possible. It is about equity, equality, and justice. Why else would he bring right hand in? The dominant hand used for assault (domestic violence) or the eye (seeing that leads to forcefully taking something else)… and even the legal mechanism being a farce for it leaves one party less than the other.

Are the words burning? The inequity of the world back then? Does it resonate in our world today? What would the words be in these teachings today? What is the literal law of the land that perpetuates violence, hatred and less than-person-hood?

What do you hear from your world?

How does the circle of accountability need to be drawn wider?

How does the circle of healing need to danced?

How does the circle of belonging change for your living room?


Johnny Power was the Thunder in thunder and lightning (lightning being the Speedster)…the muscle in the new Great Crime Fighters before the new Bionic Knight emerged. Third of three to hold the name. The first went down due to a bomb in a singing thong on a giant robot and the second died at the end of the scythe of the supernatural entity finally exorcised from reality who went by the name Ripper (sometimes Jack was the rumour).

This was the third…who stood the ground during the dark times, and cheered a little inside when the O.G. B.K. came back to silence the anti-heroes and renew the heroic age. The rumour that caused two new members, George and Dragyn, and the rumour that it would come. The cause of the extra-terrestrial exodus to Earth. What inevitable caused the vanishing of the weird old man and the mayor (yes he realized that Shotgun pointed out many times the term old was subjective).

BUT the ashram got a case of noro-virus that took out Speedster, the new Bionic Knight, and Dragyn (who knew reptillians were able to catch it?)—and George, well he had a habit of vanishing when needed. Shotgun offered to come to help him, but really what could the old guy with the shogun that fired rubber rounds do to help in this case?

The case?

It came from out of the water. Everyone was looking to the sky, so maybe it wasn’t the big bag prophesied in the McDonald’s. It was a bad though. One that rankled the environmentalist lobby (bunch of wankers who lacked science degrees, but it was all about marketing) who were being ableist with their ban the straw bullshit, while governments dumped raw sewage into the oceans. Oh and let’s not forget the fun hiking clothes they wore and the process of creating stainless steel, but Johnny pulls his mind back from the rabbit hole of anger. The mayor had two special needs twins that if the ludicrousness of the ban the straw had been launched with her around he could only imagine her blasting of it on safety grounds, and the targeting of a specific group via passive-aggressive legislation that showed underpinnings of extremism not usually seen in uber-lefties, but when the alt-right and uber-left circle about they connect in hate stupidity.

Now exploding out of the Pacific Ocean was the end result of uber-hate-stupidity. A giant extra-terrestrial something dripping in human fecal matter and other flushable (not a plastic straw in sight) threatening to decimate the Island. Shotgun scrambled all he had in Johnny. Johnny knew he could do it.

It was his time to shine.

His time to step into his legacy name.

The thing from below was scaly and shiny.

Razor teeth.

Fire in the eyes literally.

“What could you have done to help stop this thing old man. It needs the full power.” Johnny Power whispers under his breath. Although as see monsters went, it was only a step up from the rubber suit of the original Godzillas he had snuck out of bed to watch on late night CBC as a kid. There was some choppers, and voices. The military was rolling out.

His trench coat flapped in the wind as he streaked towards whatever it was. Some were saying it was a new life form. At times like this the lad wished he had the vision powers of Superman, not just flight, strength and invulnerability.  The code of the G.C.F. was fairly clear if it was living, subdue not kill. Part of Johnny hoped it was.

There. As he drew closer. The sound of a gears creaking. It was a robot.

A smile crossed his face. He could only imagine what Shotgun was saying at this moment. Yeah it would be fun to have the others with him, but truly with it coming out both ends, no one wanted them in the field. Even heroes deserve a sick day.

His fists slam into the sternum. He feels metal crunch. Bodily fluids from the ocean slap against him. Johnny grits reminding himself to keep his mouth closed. His mind raced and it unfolded in his mind. It wasn’t just the feces and other flushable had covered this thing. Something had animated the garbage from the ocean. He could feel the energy coursing through it. Shotgun hadn’t foreseen this happening, but he had kept going on about using science to do proper reclamation and cleaning work, well whatever was attacking had found away to use humanities own crap (literally) against us.

But…

Smash into the centre. The energy burned like fire on a marshmallow over a fire pit before being added to s’more completion. Power thanked whichever gods gave him invulnerability as he punched through to the centre. If the energy is drawing crud from the ocean to make its form, what if?

His home.

The prairies.

The story of the abandoned bunker just outside Balzac.

Time for flight.

A loud grunt. He feels something oozing over him as he flies upwards. Took about an hour to make it, so if adjust for weight. A 90-minute flight back to the province.

Clearing into canola country and the land of oil.

The bunker would be coming up. The monster’s energy had continued increasing the heat. Battling to hold its form together.

Johnny’s eye stung. He did not want to know what had mixed in with his sweat that ran into his eyes. A shriek into his brain that drove through like a hot dagger through flesh.

“WE COME!”

Johnny and monster fall downwards, into the sealed bunker he feels the energy burn. But he cannot burn.

The stop.

The form collapses.

A slew of sludge, garbage and other debris.

Not realizing he had been holding his breath as he crumbles to his knees Johnny exhales.

He looks at the burns on his hands. Pulls the smoking fecal covered coat off him.

“I did it.” Legacy. “I really am Johnny Power.

The dagger shot into the brain again.

“THE LAST OF YOUR KIND.”


It has been awhile since I have written a mass recommendation for group change theory work. The last time was Irshad Manji’s (2005) The Trouble with Islam where I encouraged groups of all stripes to read this memoir calling for transformation, and then compare/contrast it to their own journeys—that is replace Islam with whatever belief system one held and see where growth and transformation was needed no matter how regressive or progressive the system was.

There is a cancer in the city’s corridors of power. It is a cancer that is spreading…a system that is corrupt as it is incompetent.

The cancer is a toxic mix of neo-Nazism, white supremacy and a hate group that literally seeks to wipe away everything that is modern and urban, and start all over again in a primitive, Far Right nirvana that will only accept so called “Aryans”. And the organization that is supposed to be preventing this? The organization that is, instead indifferent to this spreading Cancer—or, perhaps, even secretly assisting it?

                                                                                               -(Kinsella, A Recipe for Hate,  p.241)

Today I finally completed Warren Kinsella’s (Dundurn, 2017) A Recipe for Hate is a downright masterful, mystery allegory weaving a mystery tale form the 1977-79 Portland, Maine growing Punk scene, into an allegory for our world today. Yes, I wish I could say it was simply a timepiece mystery, but Nazism and systematic hate appear to be harder to exterminate than 21st century bed bugs.

This is a book I encourage people to read. If you can only read it by yourself, fine, read and process the story. Listen to the rhythm of its soul and what it means for us today. Which character (s) resonate with you? Why? Which do not? Why not? When does this happen in your own life? What instincts may this tell you about yourself in knowing whom to trust? Who has darker secrets at play?

If you can read it in a book group even better, explore the character and system dynamics laid out. If the book group is part of a broader ideology or belief system even better. For the conversation can even deepen:

  • When is our organization like the Punk scene?
  • When do we become the organization (police, schools) that is supposed to stop the spreading cancer? Do we succeed or fail? Or are we frozen?
  • When are we the hate? Or, like the history of the skins, do we allow a segment to be co-opted by the hate?
  • What old hates still fester in community? What new ones go unsaid?

At the root, it is a well written mystery, that will keep you turning the pages. Which is what good fiction is supposed to be. I am not going to reveal many plot points outside of the broad strokes, because I want you to experience the roller coaster with unfiltered eyes.

Truly though, when you enter the story and reflect on any or all the questions, individually or better in a group conversation over coffee my hope is that it becomes the tiny ripples in the pond that change…change our trajectory at this point in history where we are secretly and quietly feeding the cancer once more. Change it to where we finally are the chemo that destroys it and the system moves to recovery and rebuilding in healthier ways.

Basically, know that hate exists. It permeates between what we have seen in the past. It exists across all ideologies and belief systems. It needs to be destroyed. Full stop. We are in this together, neighbours and family.

Let love win, and if it is only this once against systematic cancer hate…then it has won big.


To my friends in the Great Crime Fighters—give the bastards hell!

-Susan Kobwash-Saturn, Mayoral Candidate 2017

 

Hours until voting polls open.

Media coverage going crazy.

K rips underground piping to create a weird looking pentagram and crucify the young new Bionic Knight to it.

Johnny Power’s stamina is running low. His coat shredded, his t-shirt. Face and fists bloodied.

A rallying call went out to extremists of all stripes to join with the Church of the Killer Face with Susan’s challenge to the provincial government to strip them of official religious and non-profit standing.

Overnight an extended emergency session of the Provincial legislature was held to debate an all-party motion and bill.

Shotgun with bowie knife in one hand, double barrel sawed off in the other (that is no longer firing rubber bullets).

S.W.A.T. and riot moving in. Tear gas everywhere.

The province refuses to postpone the city vote.

Blood and sweat sting his eyes as he gets the paramedics to the crumpled form of Speedster with piping through her abdomen. Shotgun looks at them as he provides cover fire. “Get her out of here. Start sealing that wound, her speed will save her.”

“She’s almost dead.” One young paramedic bellows over the explosions and gunfire.

Shotgun raises his knife. “The lass dies, I will forget I am one of the good guys, capeesh?”

Both paramedics nod as they begin to cut the pipe.

Arch-Deacon Lived looks out on the carnage, glances at his watch. None of this will matter in a few hours when the citizens re-elect him. It is after all civic politics and no one cares enough to vote out incumbents, he just had to live through this. But he knew that K would not allow him to die.

Shotgun drops some crazed church member or other extremist as the paramedics’ load Speedster and speed away.

Choppers and cameras are everywhere.

When the word’s reach his ears.

“The government has voted to repeal the religious and non-profit status of the Church of Killer Face. Citing they actively work against human rights, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The members are at the very least culpable for organized crime, and at the worst terrorists. Full authority has been given to the Great Crime Fighters to bring all members into custody by any means necessary.” The reporter was young and hiding behind the police line, but the words were music to his old ears that were getting deafer by the minute.

He noted the advancement of Power. Getting closer to K. If they could take down the monster the rest would surrender.

_ _ _ _ _  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

I hear the radio softly playing Toby Keith good as I once was as I walk the house. Ancient naval tradition before a battle, to walk the ship and know that the captain may not come back. My twins slumber, in past life I was a pastor. It was saner to be an investigative journalist and continue with my super heroics.  Did not matter where on the theological-political spectrum the church fell we ran into battles over inclusion. Battles that I gloriously fought when I was not a father, and had allies stand with me to ensure inclusion would happen, at least for a time until the religious found a way to fire me or drive me out.

But when it came to my own children. No allies stood with us. Public firings followed. Shunning where we thought we had friends that would no longer talk to us, hell they would actively run from us when seen in super malls. The more progressive the religious the more harm they actively did against us.

Yet we persisted seeking community. Needed a place to rest and renew after walking through the valley of death daily. A life built beating the odds, rescuing the oppressed, bringing down the oppressor. Within and without costume walking in the darkness. Having my life and limb threatened. Being exposed to God knows what in the midst. Watching my friends die, being unable to save family when addictions and the darkness seized them. And asking myself why bother? What good am I when I cannot even save them?

My hands tremor now.

There is shooting pains in my brain.

My brain in different areas have shooting pains.

The flashbacks are the worst.

Those moments…

When power did not matter.

When magic could not solve.

When I was not fast enough.

Good enough.

When death rode victorious anyways.

I feel her hand on my shoulder. “I didn’t mean to wake you.”

“The Premier just called.” My soul, my lightning rod, Susan said.

“And?”
I already can feel the answer in her. She knows sadly the voters won’t vote out the Arch-Deacon, but…” They did the right thing.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be, it is about time you stepped out.” Susan said.

I told her on this journey when I came back from my last quest I would be what I vowed to be. There were others. Now the city is staring into the void of evil and the soul of evil is holding the heart of what is good and squeezing. “I…”

She kisses me tenderly on the neck. “Hun, I will see you afterwards. We will sip coffee and discuss what is right with the world. We will put our kids on the bus for school, and we will make love.”

I gently kiss her hand. She was always the strongest of us. I feel the blue energy flicker in my eye. Pen is stirring and moving to my coat.

“And then we will go vote, and this city will have a new mayor.”

She kisses my lips gently, I kiss back hard and long.

Grab my bomber jacket on the way out.

_ _ _

 

K lands on the charred ground.

Johnny Power looks at him. He is tired. He is sore. His invulnerability is not Superman levels, it is tied to his stamina, which is depleting.

“Ah. You are not the one I know. Like the runner, a legacy. There was a time the Street Avenger’s were the only ones. I ended them.” K said.

Johnny’s fist swung and connected with the villain’s jaw. A lip splits. K licks the blood.

“No, you didn’t, they beat you, and we will too.”

Flames erupt around Johnny, he feels his skin beginning to blister. The screams escape his lips.

The shotgun pellets slam into K.

The flames vanish.

Johnny collapses trying to get the smoke and searing out of his lungs.

K laughs openly as he looks at the broken down former villain, who he once called ally. “Some old cowboy thinks you can kill me?”

“Like the song says ya Nazi ass, should’ve been a cowboy!” McKay leaps with his bowie knife out.

K forms a psychic knife in his right fist and swings out towards the older man’s left temple.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Susan and I had always used music to calm out nerves. We also used it to connect to pieces of our story. Walking into traditions that have harmed us and finding belonging is hard to process. But there’s a song by Brad Paisley, we held to. As I step onto the road behind the police line, Pen resting on my left shoulder watching the scene.

Shotgun being heroic. Saving the kid, Johnny Power.

Bodies.

I hate death.

I hate evil.

I lowly whistle Me and Jesus have it figured out. Two separate constables try to stop me from crossing the line. I drop them with a stun bolt from my pet dragon the size of a—well his name sake—Pen.

I watch McKay’s Bowie Knife hit K’s forearm deflecting the psychic dagger.

My friend hits the hard ground and groans as he rolls out of a blast of fire.

K is a sociopath.

K was a supra. A tri-kinetic (pyrokinesis, telekinesis, and telepathy) who was genetically engineered by the Nazi’s during World War II to be a key piece of the last solution.  What is happening today he was built for. Glorious chaos and death of hate.

Shooting pains in my brain.

Flashes of images of friends dying. Those I couldn’t save. Smells. Voices. Sounds.

I freeze slightly.

My eye catches the child who the ring found. Strapped into a pentagram.

Not much older than me when the ring found me.

Her words that started this ring in my ears. “Where’s my brother?”

Seems like a fair place to start.

“Where’s her brother K?” My voice has a tremble in it. The boom of the Bionic Knight is gone. I regret those I could not save, I strive to forget those dark times.

I stand staring at evil.

I feel the pain of those around me.

The hatred that keeps driving the battle.

The dualism that one must be right, one must be wrong.

I remember history reading of the vote for World War II in Parliament where the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation could not vote as a whole, not because of not seeing Hitler as evil that needed to be stopped, but rather the complexity of war to do it.

J.S. Woodsworth could not fathom the loss to the poor who would be used as the front-line troops, the millions made by munitions manufacture. While Douglas and the rest of the party held those fears, but they feared more of the evil mounting in Europe crossing the Atlantic.

Complexity. Critical thinking. Holistic. Seeing all sides of an issues. Discourse.

But then, there is times when one must simply look at evil and go.

No more.

K laughs. “The broken Knight believes he can stop me.”

Susan called it my cheeky grin that would cross my lips when folks would tell me that I couldn’t and I would just to prove them wrong. I believe that is the grin on my lips now.

“Not broken. Bionics on.”

The blue energy rips through my very being….

To Be Continued


Lectionaries are designed within liturgical/mainline churches to have the entire Hebrew Bible and Christian Testament heard within the community in a 2 or 3-year cycle depending on the lectionary used, Other liturgical prayer book resources will take a daily reflective practice for the person through the whole of these two scripture compilations usually within a year.  It is unique that in this part of the lectionary cycle this is the reading that came up in the Roman Catholic lectionary, in the midst of the rise of fascism, Nazism, extremism (at the point of extremism the qualifier of right-left or religiosity is removed for it is simply about hate, power and control, nothing more).

But, this reading also struck on my own renaissance of the past months with my Trekkie ways (that many previous posts have touched upon) and it reflects the Healing Journey of James Tiberius Kirk as seen in the Star Trek II to VI.

As you hear the words of the gospel whether you read within your heart or with your lips, may they embed upon yourself. And the old Franciscan idiom of living it as nature before moving on touch upon your soul:

21 Then Jesus left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Gentile[e] woman who lived there came to him, pleading, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! For my daughter is possessed by a demon that torments her severely.”

23 But Jesus gave her no reply, not even a word. Then his disciples urged him to send her away. “Tell her to go away,” they said. “She is bothering us with all her begging.”

24 Then Jesus said to the woman, “I was sent only to help God’s lost sheep—the people of Israel.”

25 But she came and worshiped him, pleading again, “Lord, help me!”

26 Jesus responded, “It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.”

27 She replied, “That’s true, Lord, but even dogs are allowed to eat the scraps that fall beneath their masters’ table.”

28 “Dear woman,” Jesus said to her, “your faith is great. Your request is granted.” And her daughter was instantly healed.

-Gospel of Matthew 15:21-28 (New Living Translation)

Brother Jesus is a prick in this telling, let’s be honest. The man that has been teaching to rest in the love does the dance of ignorance based on race superiority. His non-chalant I am not here for you people, does come across as a supremacy statement at first blush.  Especially with a child’s life hanging in the balance. It would definitely be jarring for his disciples to hear.

Jarring because it was Brother Jesus espousing what they held to be true of their beliefs as the children of Israel. The Messiah was there for them not those who were actively supportive of the Empire.  I mean one of the many rumours (or truths depending on the narrative of Jesus’ early life you follow) is that Roman soldiers raped Mary and Jesus was the result, but was blessed, others would hold he was born directly from God, and many other stories as the Gospel of John tell us that would be too many to keep up with. Yet the gentiles, or Empire were non-Jews, mostly in this age they were ones that had sold out Israel, battled with Israel, or were Romans in general who only saw Israelite’s outside of the wealthy and religious leaders (that could be used to keep control of the people) as property to be used and/or abused as they wanted.

This is not even touching upon the general view of women across all nations at this time. A view that Jesus’ circle had shattered with their egalitarian equality, equity and justice.  Yet when this woman came upon them and they reverted to old ways. The ways that Jesus mimicked.

“Only Nixon can go to China”

-Spock, Star Trek VI: Undiscovered Country

 

Within the cold war height of hysteria, Star Trek’s original crew was in their movie arc. It was this future used to reflect the destructive ways that seeing American or Soviet as the other or capitalist-communist as the other and building fear would lead to.

Within Star Trek it was the Federation-Klingon Empire.  Star Trek II saw Spock give his life to save the Enterprise, quoting the famous line, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one. And the genesis bomb went off on the planet Spock’s body was left to rest on.  Kirk had found he had a son, David, yet his best friend, his moral compass was left behind dead.

Now, as we go through quick touchstones of the others. I do encourage you to watch the movies and see other gems available, as this is just quick points and not as in-depth as could happen with these storylines.  As another aspect these movies could touch on would be the grief cycle of 5 stages, or the U theory of change, but again, those are for another time.

This is the journey of healing and transformation as the inciting incident of this arc was Spock’s death. In the third film, it is revealed that Spock’s essence is within McCoy. The Klingons want genesis, David and Saavik find a reborn Spock due to the Genesis bomb (life from lifelessness).

This is the rising action that sees Kirk and crew determine the needs of the few or the one can outweigh the many. They break Federation protocol, steal the Enterprise and head back to Genesis to get Spock. Before ultimate win though, the Klingons kill Kirk’s son, David.

Blind rage and grief move from a Cold War battle with the Klingon Empire, to a personalization of hatred for the other within Kirk.

Star Trek IV has Kirk and crew using a stolen Klingon cruiser to go back in time to save humanity from our own shortsightedness as the Klingon Empire sabre rattles for the “war criminal Kirk” to be turned over to the Klingon justice system.  But saving the universe must come before politics as the Crew on their newly christened HMS Bounty go back in time to well, bring back a lost species to communicate with a probe—the Humpback whale.

As Scotty would chime before the jump forward, “We got whales here!”.

It is truly a connecting of the Cold War of the `80’s into the Star Trek universe. It is also a trip where Kirk gets to experience Spock’s new entry back into his life, and learning what it means to be a person of two worlds…both Vulcan and Human.

In fact, the outcome of his Federation court martial is to be stripped of his admiralty and given to be Captain of the new Enterprise A. That is even the Federation realizes the best place for Kirk is as a captain of a star-ship out there exploring and discovering, much to the anger of the Klingon Empire.

Star Trek V has Kirk entering into a search for God thanks to Spock’s half brother Sybok. But the challenge of the search for God is a loss of pain. It is within this journey that Kirk begins to understand that pain is not what is the problem, but when Sybok takes the pain he takes the learning, the growth, the understanding. The intangibles that created who each of the crew were.

Also it raises the question when they are face to face with the entity pretending to be the Creator. It is petty, mean, and separatist. It is the being that extremism creates to give credence to their hatred. Kirk sums it up greatly on his transformational journey at this point, “Why is God angry?” Truly, if you are seeking wisdom, answers and truth. If you are seeking to love and include…then yes, why is God angry?

Which brings us to the end of the rising action and to the climax in Star Trek VI where this exchange happens between Kirk and Spock about the Klingons:

Spock: They are dying.

Kirk: Then let them die.

Sound familiar? Almost like the disciples with Brother Jesus. All this personal discovery, learning and transformation. Yet when the climax came to make a choice, Kirk almost took the path of the comfortable instead of healthy change. Yet it is within the Undiscovered Country that Kirk reaches the point with the Klingons that Jesus brought his disciples to with the woman in 15:28:

28 “Dear woman,” Jesus said to her, “your faith is great. Your request is granted.” And her daughter was instantly healed.

Kirk was at peace and heading to retirement, as was many of his friends on the crew. The denouement. Then the final resolution of his life was seen in Star Trek VII: Generations as he saves the Enterprise-B and falls into the Nexus, and then with Picard and crew will save the universe again. He imparts this wisdom to Picard: You are where you need to be. The best place, the Captain of the Enterprise, do not let them take it away, do not let them promote you. Stay there for it is the best place. Completely understanding the need to find your passion, and then live it and not let your ego or others building the ego to create a false you that removes you from that path.

Even with detours as seen in Kirk’s life can get back on track, things will thrive and grow. Healing will happen. Transformation and release of the pain associated with your own story. The shadow blocks can be removed for a better world, that begins with a better you.

Much like Kirk.

As Brother Jesus played a mirror for his disciples in how they were still not getting it.

And as trite as it maybe you will live a life, that will make your own part of the world a better place for you being a more complete and you- you.

Do you choose this you?

“It was fun.”

-Captain James T. Kirk, Star Trek Generations, last words.


            The challenge of life today is trying to understand the world around us.  What is new?  For one thing the rise of Fundamentalism that leads into Extremism, which lends itself to violence.  Why? Simple, we as a people want to be able to brag that we are “right”. At the heart though when we look at the paths, there are many rivers that feed many wells to aiding individuals to experience the Holy Mystery.

            These rivers all come from the same source in my opinion, whether we use the terms Nirvana, Brahma, Truth, Allah, YHWH, Jehovah, Shiva, God, etc. it is the same HOLY MYSTERY. All the same source, and each religion and/or ideology is the context attempting to explain the unexplainable.

            Blasphemy? To some, but I think the essence is that we as a race/species, need to be able to accept that which we can agree upon, or as the Dalai Lama states it, The Religion of Kindness, and just let got hat which we cannot agree upon.  Let us work towards transforming our world for the better.