God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!
Katharine Lee Bates, 1893
Ah, what does it mean today to be an American? What is the American dream? It's more than boundless indulgence. It's more than self-idolizing 'human rights.' It's surely more than pleasure, than selfish greed, lust, or movies. And it's a lot more than just a good job, health insurance, owning a home, two cars, three kids, and enough to pay for their college education. It's a lot more than social climbing materialism.
Ms. Bates wrote about the true American in her lyrics to the national hymn, "America the Beautiful."
O beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!
"More than self their country loved." An true American has deeper causes in mind than his own financial success. "May God thy gold refine," indeed. Think of these words: "till all success be nobleness, And every gain divine." Can thoughts be more meaningful, more beautiful, or more needed?
And in one of her less-known verses of the poem, she says,
God shed his grace on thee
Till selfish gain no longer stain
The banner of the free!
The failure to love, to love something bigger than oneself, I think, is the root cause of American failure today. People lack nobility. People will not be denied their selfish desire for prosperity, for any reason. Whatever the cost, even if it costs nationhood itself, selfish people demand their material and social advancement. It is their birthright, they believe. America owes it to them. That's right. America owes them. And now the whole world believes the same thing. People believe that by being born on earth, anywhere, they have the right to all America has. Moreover, they feel what America has was actually taken from them! In a pure, Satanic spirit, the masses of the world cry out in hatred of America, and demand that she turn over all the goods to the have nots. "I've been wronged!" is the mighty chorus of the darkies and the indigenous. "America is evil!" they shout.
The Mexicans are the ensemble on center stage right now. But, they were brought there by greedy, traitorous Americans. The Mexicans have been used by fraudulent, compromising Americans who thought more of their own business, their own "gain" than they did of their country. The Mexicans, in their confused mania, have been socially stripped, raped, and paraded in psychological nudity--all through the absolute selfishness of politicians, who have thought only of their own political careers, while they cast the country in the street--to be trampled upon by foreign fools.
Americans have betrayed their own countrymen. Americans--in Washington, in state capitols, in local businesses, have lied, cheated, defrauded, and disgraced this magnificent, God-given country of America. America is in a state of profound shame. The paralized liars in the courts, in the legislative halls cannot comprehend the situation. They are blinded by their own compromising characters. They have become unable to perceive reality, while they profess to be proclaiming rationality, compassion, and realism!
"We can't just sent the Mexicans home!" Yes we can.
"Our business would fail!" Let it fail. Start over. Build again.
"Someone has to plant the onions!" Do without them, or plant them yourself.
The answer to every objection to law is in fact self-discipline. These questions and answers have been the same from the beginning. They have been simply ignored. Now the situation demands that legislators address the problem, and they are proving themselves wholly incapable, unworthy, and traitorous.
Mexicans are deceived, deluded, doped, and otherwise abused. They should be revolting against the government of their own stinking, rotten, filthy country. (Anyone who has ever been there knows what I'm talking about.) If the American government wants to show "compassion" on the Mexicans, then finance a second revolution!
Either that or invade Mexico, take over the country, and correct the idiotic selfishness that has reigned there for the last 200 years. Instead of bleeding America to death, the morally retarded dupes in Washington should cut off the head that bites the hand that feeds it. The Mexican government is antiquated beyond reason. It cannot sustain itself in modern times. Two years ago, half a million Mexicans marched on Mexico City to protest the rampant crime in the country. It is a lawless land. The people live in fear. Mexico is another Iraq, at our back door step. The media keeps all this out of view, but it won't be kept out of view for ever. Mexica is a polluted hell-hole, and deserves to be routed. It is infectious and malignant, and America is suffering the consequences.
Of course, no real solution will transpire. None of these suggested radical moves of will happen. The plodding error of man will continue in its crippled, mindless path. I only hope that the American businessmen who hire illegal Mexicans would have conscience now. Their conscience is our last hope. If they might take heart again, and be a true American, and put the country first, their own false lives second, they might not only regain their own dignity, and the trust of their fellow Americans, they might even come off as heroes. They might be remembered as patriots. Thank of that! Modern media is very generous with a refulgence of praise for the slightest necessity. For doing what's right, even only because you were caught doing wrong, the papers may make a saint of you. They praise you for "apologizing." If motive of social sainthood won't move you, then just think of you children, or your grandchildren. I say to businessmen, your failure of character is ruining the country. Your lack of vision, your weakness, is destroying what it means to be an American. You children will inherit the whirlwind.
Raise the flag--the meaning of the flag, and all it represents
while there's still hope, even in the midst of apparent failure!
Even when it seems you have lost the battle! Raise the flag!
Rally around the flag! Uphold the meaning, high and mighty.
Americans, the country you once loved and honored no longer is. The vision is passed. The "patriot dream" is faded into economic preferences. The only thing seen now is selfishness and greed. Freedom is divorced from the ideal, and vicserally glued to materialism. Capitalism, void of direction and principle, has lent itself to the evolution of dictatorship just as surely as Marxism demands it.
The largest protest in Los Angeles history, March 25, 2006. A gran mal of cultural duplicity,
as Mexicans manifest the crossroads in American history.
The weak and feeble hands of the Senate are overcome by avarice and endless compromise. There is no firm and steady hold on the country. The representatives in Washington simply do not represent the people. They represent whomever contributes the most to their campaigns. It is a vice, the politicians life. A vice, not of the body, but of the mind and spirit. The capitalist wants the most capital. The most capital comes from the biggest market. The biggest market is the world. Capitalism thus contributes to globalism, and the New World Order.
It is capitalism without concscience, aggression without direction (--worse, with acute social autolysis), and control without purpose. "It's the economy, stupid," said worlding Bill Clinton. Yes, it's money, not patriotism, not nationalism, not the country--if you're like Bill Clinton, if you are amoral hedonist. Apparently more people in Washington are like him than they want to admit. "Progress" means the evolution of America--into something it never was, nor was ever meant to be. It will not long be a nation, but simply an international business arbiter. That will be the extent of "sovereignty," just a vote on this trade agreement or that trade agreement.
The Mexican problem is not about immigration, but about labor. Labor is not about rights, but about profit. Profit is not about patriotism, but about men without loyalty. "My business would fail!" some people say. "I have to hire illegals." In other words, "I have to have slaves. I have to have the cheapest labor possible." Otherwise, they couldn't afford this or that, and they'd go out of business.
So, go out of business! Fail! The grand spirit of America was always distinguished by starting over! Ah, but no one's up to it now. Everyone wants his "rights." No one wants to give up one penny--except the brave mothers whose sons are voluntarily serving in the military to bring others freedom and a better life. No one wants to sacrifice one thing, except those who give their lives on foreign soil, to help people of another race, another religion, another country, to find a happier existence. How agonally ironic, that the home folks of America won't give up a cent to preserve and protect their own country! What cowards our military defends at home! What an immature, selfish population!
But it's all over now. The hordes of lost Mexicans will be accommodated here. They will carry their foreign flag in every city of America, and be honored for it, by law. No one will be allowed to express one sentiment of resentment toward them. Decades of Communist legislation in Washington, Democrat liberalism, the ACLU, and now greedy Republicans, etc., have had their final effect. Decades of legal manipulations have destroyed the meaning of the Constitution. No, it's not a North vs South conflict, as in the Civil War. It's a war between unscrupulous businessmen and careless Americans who think they can get by with using cheap labor. It's not really slavery, but it divides the country on the same issues.
This time is looks like "the South" is going to win. The slave holders are going to get their way. This time, it's at the cost of the American national identity. The meaning of the country is quickly fading away. The soul of the country feels so irreparably guilty, and is so prone to a desperate self-righteousness, the very spirit cries out, "Come! Rape me! Take everything I am, I have, or ever will be!" This is Washington. This is the courts. This is the spirit of the people. "Please, let me forgive you! Please break my laws so I can forgive you.!" Well, "Just shoot me!" like the TV show said.
So, patriots, I say this with great sadness, your America is breathing its last. That wonderful country you loved, you fought for (and people are still fighting for--they think), is on its way out. It's just a dream in your head, just a memory. Ichabad--the glory is departed. You are just a Romantic now, dreaming of the old days.
Let me be first to welcome you--to Indian Country.
Emiliano Zapata (1879-1919), a man of the people.
March 29, 2006, at 9:00 am, Bad Eagle officially declares war on los generales de la Ciudad de Mexico. The problem is not immigration, not the feeble, traitorous US senate, but a mobster-run government in Mexico City. The enemy is not the Mexicans, but the incredibly corrupt and wicked families than run Mexico. The immigrants are actually fleeing the misery of Mexico. Amnesty? In America? The idea that amnesty applies to illegal immigrants here is rational only if the truth is recognized--the truth about Mexico City. Mexican people have been used, abused, and otherwise misled in the greatest ethnic farce since Martin Luther King.
Mexicans have their own government to address. They need to be patriots of their own country. King at least addressed problems on the home front. He wasn't protesting the treatment of Tibetan monks by the Chinese government. Mexican protests are pitifully out of place here, the people are confused, and suffer from acutely misdirected anger. Their problem is Mexico City, not Washington. Their anger must turned on their own leadership. King believed racial integration was the path to equality, but the Mexicans don't care about ingetration. In fact, they'd rather be Mexican all the way--in America, with all the rights of American citizens! They are exceedingly confused, and the US government, as well as Mexico, is confusing them.
Mexico exports more than 1.8 millions barrels of crude oil a day, making it one of the top ten oil exporters in the world. (Mexico aspires to be the number one exporter to the Unites States.) Mexico is not a country without wonderful resources. It is a country with astounding civic corruption and environmental pollution. 26% of the population (106 million) live on less than $2. a day. And according to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), Mexico is not significantly affected by the glorious globalization envision by the Council on Foreign Affairs. The great regional treaties like NAFTA and GAFTA had not worked wonders at all. The northern states of Mexico, the most polluted, have experienced the most benefits of foreign investment (in cheap labor).
People inside Mexico cry out in fear. "One of the biggest problems in Mexico is insecurity, the population lives with fear not only of thieves, corrupt politicians, and bush [sic] but also face injustice from abuse of power of authorities and the police. It is very dangerous for a population to be fearful of its protectors the police force. Mexico has to improve its deficient police force, and must improve the reputation of current police officers." MIEPA: Mexico/Economic Policy Analysis 2005. Mexico is all about drugs, like many Latin American countries.
It is as if the whole people of Mexico are just one fat sheep to be shorn. Everyone uses them. Their own miserable government uses them.
Where is Zapata when you need him? The greatest need in Mexico right now is another revolution. The first one, in 1910, was all about land--the relationship between the people and their land. The government had gradually taken ownership of all the land. Power was invested in only a very few men. It was a grand socialist dictatorship under General Porfirio Diaz When the Mexican people rose up and broke the power of Diaz, they did not maintain the ideals for which they had fought.
Emiliano Zapata (right) and his brother
Eufemio. True Mexican patriots.
An unusual commentary on this is found in a movie, The Professionals (1966), when a left-over Mexican revolutionary (Jesus Raza) laments that a revolution is like a woman. She's beautiful, and you are in love. Then the affair gets old, and you see her as she really is. What you need is that first love again!
We all do. America is quickly forgetting the nature of her own revolution. America is quickly whoring out to the highest bidder. Our pathetic senate has become the public enemey No.1. The US Congress has betrayed the American people at the most fundamental level. Our government does not represent the people, but the interests of business. Nationhood, sovereignty, are no longer valued, by law.
But let Mexicans be patriots of their own country. The most patriotic thing Americans can do for America is to encourage Mexicans to be Mexican patriots. They should all be sent back to fight for the honor of their own country. They should be more like Iraqis, willing to fight the enemies amongst their own. The mass of Mexican immigrants here in America are betraying their own country, Mexico. They are giving up. They are fleeing Mexico, yet waving the Mexican flag. This is a heartbreaking tragedy of foolishness. No people have ever been so duped, and made an international joke. They misunderstand patriotism completely. It isn't a show of a flag. It is fighting for your country!
And while America is promoting all this patriotism, Americans must be ready to rise up against our own corrupt government, which has obviously lost it's way, abandoned its principles as a republic, and betrayed its people.
It's not about Mexicans. It's about law. It's not about labor, business, or "rational solutions." The issue is about law, and law alone. The current trend is Congress is to bend to meet circumstancial needs. Essentially, the President and Congress are saying that, if enough people break the law, enough times, then you have to change the law. If enough people tresspass, then you just have to give in. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, in a happy disregard of the law. Join those who have broken the law. They are the law now. The land is no longer yours. If enough foreigners horde their way in, then your country become theirs.
But it isn't about being humane to illegal people who have come, willfully, illegally into another country. It's not about accommodating them because they are "contributing to the American economy," as President Bush asserts. It's not about recognizing immigrants as "equal" under the law they have broken. It's not about maintaining the American economy through changing the laws.
Do they look like American patriots to you? LATimes/Al Seib
It's about the covetous poor, who believe America owes them everything, and about liberals who want to see America changed into something it never was, and was never meant to be. It's about the triumph of America's enemies. But just because many Mexicans are quite willing to work does not mean that they are worthy, and that they are exonerated from breaking every law of the land. Their 'wet backs,' however strong, have nothing to do with the issue. Illegal immigration is an affront to the very idea of nationhood. That Mexicans have found allies (i.e., avaricious businessmen) inside America is no cause to honor them, no cause to justify them, and no cause to reward their aggression. It is cause rather to imprison the businessmen as the traitors and treasonists they really are. They should be deported to Mexico, forever. And every law Congress changes to accommodate the businessmen and the Mexicans is evidence against the Congressmen as well. They are the fundamental traitors of the country. They should be imprisoned for life.
The Mexicans have taken their own risks, willfully. America owes them absolutely nothing. If there is a concern that American produce will fail without Mexican labor, then let it fail. Let Americans plant their own onions, or do without a little extra flavor on their hamburgers. No foreigner has the right to force himself on another country, and to expect full rights as a citizen, just by being there. This is the most arrogant attitude in the history of nations. To sanction it, to encourage it, is suicidal for the nation that would indulge such "irrationality."
Marching for American citizenship? LATime/ Al Seib
Because some businessman puts his business above patriotism, because some weak soul decides to hire an illegal in order to get ahead, or even to survive, is no cause to respect, honor, or "legalize" the illegal immigrant. The Mexican came on his own accord. He has no logical right to claim or to demand anything. The idea that he does is utterly ridiculous, and has nothing whatever to do with human rights.
The historical crossroads are here. The Mexicans have crossed them. America is crippled and paralized. One principle after another has been trampled upon. One constitutional concept after another has been obliterated. One law after another has been transgressed, until it has become clear that America is on the road to being a different country. The America that was, will soon no longer be. The very concepts of nationhood are eroding before our eyes, at this very moment, today, in our nation's capital, Washington, DC. And it's a bi-partisan effort.
All this, to say nothing of the crime, disease, and economic burden illegal hordes of Mexicans have brought to AMerica; to say nothing of the incredible security risk created by the open borders; to say nothing of the preposterous idea of the Spanish language being forced in the face of Americans.
It's left to the American patriots to protect America. That is our privilege, if we are willing. When the laws are made against us, then we'd better hope we have enough dry power to survive.
DEPORTATION: It's like another politically incorrect term, some leftover from the '60's, from the civil rights crowd. What an evil thought, deportation. What a cruel, unfeeling, inhuman thing. In the congressional debate about the Mexican problem, the word "deportation" will therefore receive little consideration. It is too desperate, too radical, too unkind. (Bush is calling for "civility" in the debate.) But, how did the simple word come to have such horrid associations?
The Jewish Holocuast of WWII. The Nazi's "deported" Jews, and others, from their homes of generations. The Jews were citizens, even intermarried to a small extent. The Jews were deeply ensconced in the different countries of Europe. By the 1930's, Jews could rightfully say they had helped create modern Germany, such as it was, or was supposed to have been. To "deport" such people who had documented presence in Cologne since the early 4th century AD, is like cutting off an arm or a leg, to say nothing of what it feels like to those deported! To uproot anciently settled people and to send them to a foreign place is unthinkably cruel-hearted.
Thousands march and rally to express their opposition to
congressional bill HR 4437, designed to strengthen the en-
forcement of immigration laws, in Los Angeles, March 25,
2006. Phil McCarten/Reuters
The Jews never tried to dominate Germany. The Jews never tried to control Germany, to make Germans into Jews. The Jews never tried to lead Germany into international wars based on in-house Jewish debates about morality, human rights, etc. Deportation was indeed 'criminal' in it's nature. Property, family, investment, etc., all was ripped away.
Of course, the Mexican situation today is not comparable. There is no analogy. Illegal Mexicans have not settled in the United States for 1600 hundred years. Illegal Mexicans have not created the culture of America. Illegal Mexicans have not contributed to the fabric of what it means to be an American. The Jews that Hitler deported were not illegal immigrants. Mexicans are.
Hitler wanted the Jews out, forever. And the Jews had no country to go to then. Americans simply want the Mexicans to be legal, and to be American. No more Spanish touch-tone phone options, no more Spanish billboards, no more Spanish advertisements, and no more Spanish TV and radio stations. If Mexicans don't like it, they are free to go back to Mexico. It is not illegal to be Mexican, but illegal to be 'illegal.' That's all.
The aversions associated with the word "deportation" are therefore misapplied to illegal Mexicans. What was done to the Jews was immoral. Deporting illegal Mexicans is not illegal, but the only moral, responsible thing to do. Anything short is a compromise, and an encouragement of more illegalities. Mexicans to not have a "right" to be American. It is an opportunity, a privilege, or a grace of sorts.
So, when we are speaking of people's "rights" and human civility, let's not abstract the ills of the Jewish Holocaust and apply them indiscriminately to every human crisis. Sometimes the circumstances are similar, sometimes they are not. We do disservice to every nation, and to the Jews as well, when we blindly apply Holocaust rhetoric to all humanity, all the time.
A story to stop all other stories.
A young Christian family has seen the worst of it. A young pastor, Matthew Winkler (31), was apparently murdered by his wife, Mary, in their parsonage in Selma, Tennessee, Wednesday, March 22. Pastor Winkler was the pastor of the Selma Church of Christ. Their three children (girls, ages 1, 6, and 8) apparently did not witness the murder, nor know of it. They were taken by the mother to Orange Beach, Alabama, where they were all found the next night (Thursday). Today, Friday, Mary Winkler is said to have made full confession of the murder. (See: CNN story and videos.)
Wife charged in pastor's death. This undated family photo provided by the
Tennessee Bureau of Investigations shows the Winkler family of Selmer,
Tenn. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation issued a statewide Amber
Alert on March 23 after Matthew Brian Winkler, a West Tennessee pastor,
was found shot to death and his family missing. Tennessee authorities said
they would charge his wife, Mary Winkler, with first-degree murder on March
24. AP/Tennessee Bureau of Investigations
That's it. (Or is it?) Just this much of the story is incredible enough. Everyone inteviewed has conveyed the image of a perfect family. Neighbors say they were a beautiful example of goodness, and the children were exemplary. Certainly, we will learn more of the mother's cause and motive, in the near future.
But, the fact that it could happen, at all, is stunning to all who fear God and take the name of Christ. Is there no power in the name of Christ? Is there no trust in human profession? Has it no meaning at all? Never mind what the motives and causes turn out to be. Is there no difference in the human being who professes Christianity?
Perhaps we can learn something from the Bible. When St. Paul was in Corinth (ca. 40 AD) he was especially endowed with power. "God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: so that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them." Acts 19:11,12. But there were some other spiritual 'entrepreneurs' in town, and they tried to use some of Paul's techniques. There perceived there was power in the name of Jesus Christ, when it came to exoricism. Since exoricm (of the debukim--demons) was their profession, they were always looking for new and more effective ways. They tried the name of Jesus Christ.
"We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth," they addressed one demon. The demon responded, indeed.
"Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?" Acts 19:13,15. The demoniac (the man in whom the devil resided) immediately proceded to physically pound the exorists, and they fled, stripped and bleeding.
So it's not really the name of Jesus that carries magical power at all. This is a critically important fact of faith. That is to say, it is faith in the name of Jesus that invokes power, not just using the name as some magic forumla.
So, how much can we expect from a human being professing the name of Christ? How much difference should we look for?
A man in Afghanistan is facing death for his profession of Christ. Here in America, a Christian mother, a wife of a Christian minister, murders her husband. This is ineffable.
Apparently, the Almighty has lent His name to us quite freely. He has subjected His honor to the very cursed. Though the grandeur and dignity we bring upon ourselves by the profession of that most holy Name (hashem, to be specific) can be eradicated in a moment, though the ennobling power of His name can vanish in a thought, still He freely offers its power to us.
It is a most staggering prospect, to know that the Creator should so imperil His honor--to the point He should allow humanity to murder Him--in full denigration and satanic ardour. The logistics of this story are overwhelming. But it has to be true. We crucify the name of God constantly!
Ah, but it is inevitable. This is humanity. This is earth. This is the curse. A story like this one, about Mary Winkler, should bring deep humility to American Christians. This is the white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant nightmare. This is worse than the homoexual scandal that has cursed the Catholic church and all the priests and parishoners. The story of Mary Winkler is the Alamo for American Christianity. Custer's Last Stand. This is it. Does America have the power, or no? Does Christ live, or no?
The report is that Abul Rahman, an Afghani man who converted to Christianity some fifteen years ago, is facing the death penalty in Afghanistan now. In a court case about custody of his children, this religious beliefs came to light. The senior Muslim clerics say "Execute him!" It's against Shar'ia law for a Muslim to reject Islam. It is punishable by death. (Apparently not so clear in the Qur'an, however.) Moderate Muslims say the man should be allowed his freedom to choose. The way out may be to declare him mentally ill, according to Moayuddin Baluch, advisor to Afghan president Hamid Kharzai. This would mean Rahman would have to be released.
Abdul Rahman, in custody. An official said Rahman may be "mad," and "he doesn't
talk like a normal person." "I believe in Christianity. I believe in the Holy Spirit.
I am a Christian," Rahman said. FOX NEWS. Sound insane enough?
Got that? In the Islamic world, mental illness is the best defense for "Christianity." In a world where killing is principal, belief in Jesus is considered insane. Where vicious murder is honored and ubiquitous, the idea of Christian love is idiocy.
But what's more idiotic is Wolf Blizter's take. On CNN last night, he was essentially accusing President Bush of not intervening! That's right. Liberal devotee, Mr. Winsome Wolf had it that everyone should be outraged at the injustice! Why, how dare President Bush not intervene! Of course, these remarks of Mr. Bearded Banality are not included in the rushed together CNN transcript, but I heard them. "What's the President going to do about it!" Blitzer said, before the commercial break. (At this point in time, President Bush has in fact expressed his concern. He is "deeply troubled." That should pacify liberals, since that's Hillary Clinton's most famous line.)
Got that? The liberals, who absolutely hate Christianity, who wish to remove all emblems of the Christian religion from public view, who wish to denounce the reading or teaching of the Bible in public schools, who wish to ban all prayer in public schools and public assemblies, who wish to deny God at every opportunity, want President Bush to rise up and protect a Christian man in Muslim Afghanistan!
But that's not what they want at all. They just want to criticize and condemn Bush in every way possible, at every opportunity. This is true mania. This is obsession. This is fanaticism. This is the liberal religion.
I used to think conservatives like Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter were a little over the top themselves, when they daily rant against the idiocies of liberalism. But the truth is, professional liberals have so perfected their hypocrisy and deceit, and intensified their ceaseless barrages, that many peopel don't get it. They don't see how odious and useless liberalism really is. It offers nothing but negativity. It is counter-productive, completely.
It is a good thing to read Ann Coulter's How to Talk to a Liberal, If you must (2004). It's just a collection of her op/ed articles, but, you can see, again and again, how liberals behave, and how they think. There is such a thing as a defined liberal agenda, and the lock-step behavior, and the benumbed thought patterns that go with it. Ann's not just harping out of her pathological aversions. She's faithfully pointing out the concrete warp of the liberal enterprise, and the truly ridiculous 'thinking,' the specious reasoning, and the odious fabrications the liberals indulge in. Ann's not just about sarcasm and wit. She juxtaposes the obvious truth with the then obvious deceit of the liberal message. What she says is true, every quip.
So, let Wily Wolf howl at Bush. Let liberals rush to defend Mr. Rahman, Christianity, and freedom. Let them lavish all their noble sentiments on an Afghani man far away from America. Then let's see how far they go before they realize their utter and egregious deceit will expose them too clearly before all. Let's see how quickly they defend the next Christian in America.
President Bush stuck to his guns during the attacks of liberal opinion pushers (not true reporters) at Tuesday's press conference. He iterated the positions he had presented just the day before in Cleveland. Iraq part of a larger plan, one that has the safety of America in mind. Bush is committed to the protection and safety of the America people. Why? September 11, 2001, and the attacks and slaughter of civilians--on our own shores.
In his second press conference of the year, President George W. Bush answers
reporters questions, Tuesday morning, March 21, 2006, during a news briefing at
the White House. White House photo by Paul Morse
But it was too 'manly' a speech. The press was incensed. Who could combat such heroic machoism but an 86-year-old woman, a life-long liberal, Helen Thomas. Ah, the motherly counsel, the irresistable appeal of age and maternal authority. But in this case, it took the form of Helen's usual rudeness, disrespect, and flamboyance, just kicked up a notch. It was shameful, but, President Bush, macho as he is, deferred to her with all courtesy and dignity. He did not lose his control for a second, despite her petulent improprieties. (Tell me women don't get by with murder! It's a price machoism always pays.)
Was it just another case of a woman trying to control a man? Was it another act of Lysistrata? Was it the feminine protest to war, and the attendant horrors?
President Bush pointed again to the horrors of September 11. It is stunning how so many liberals are so dedicated to forgetting this outrage. Americans were slaughtered on our own doorstep, in our own house, yet liberals either seem blind or happy about it. It was our just deserts, in their twisted minds. They have the superior view, the larger view, the right view, they think.
"I censored myself for 50 years when I was a reporter,"said Thomas [in 2002], who is now a columnist for Hearst News Service. "Now I wake up and ask myself, 'Who do I hate today?'" Her short list of answers seems not to vary from war, President Bush, timid office-holders, a muffled press and cowed citizens, pretty much in that order. So writes Sarah H. Wright.
Helen Thomas, in a rare smile.
She's been on Bush's case for
a long time.
The indulgence of a witty old lady? Or a pronounced philosophy of liberals? Is 'doom and gloom' a defined tactic, used to faithfully, so constantly, that now even conservatives seem to have been infected by it? Even conservatives rise in the morning with multitudinous tasks of correction. Even the positive approach of Republicans is tainted with negativism due to the ubiquitous poisons of media and liberal pestilence. It is as if the conservatives can't get anything done for the nagging, dragging cowl of the iron-clad kill-joys on the Left. The Republicans have to constantly through bones to the insatiable ingrates and ravenous ridiculers. Liberals know no bounds, rules, or respect. At least not the ones constantly vying for media exposure in the liberal press.
But no matter. Bush is true to his convictions. A rare, strong man he is. Surely, all can admire him for that. He stands by what he believes, regardless. In spite of the disrespect shown him, the vicious lies, the endless denigration, the juvenile vituperation, Bush keeps his cool and sticks to his guns. Yes, there are major concerns about some of his decisions, but, there is a deep integrity in him as a person which is no doubt incomprehensible to lesser souls. Indeed, this is surely what they hate about him, more than his ideas. This integrity they lack, completely.
This is no illusion. No matter how many lies are told about him, and how often they are repeated, and how long they are sustained, a few minutes of his noble behavior under fire dispell it all. They are weak. He is strong. They hate him. They're scared of him. He seems to understand, and he does make allowance for it. He doesn't act like they act.
Lysistrata had an interesting idea. The fictional lady of an ancient Greek play thought that if all women would deny conjugal relations with men, men's murderous aggressions could be controlled. Her circumstances were intense. In ancient Greece, wars were constant as modern sports, and women stood continually in great jeopardy of losing everything. They could either watch their men kill each other, or try to do something about it. Women could not enact or enforce laws, so, they were left with the one immediate influence they had over men: the physical pleasure they offered by nature. Lysistrata forms a league of women who all covenant to withhold sexual pleasure from men, until the men stop killing each other.
Lysistrata, and female power.
Aristophanes' comedy Lysistrata was first produced in 411 BC. It is based on the circumstance of the Peloponesian Wars, the seemingly endless struggle between Athens and Sparta, beginning in 460 BC, lasting until the end of the 5th century and the Ionian War (412-404). It was a living reality for Aristophanes, who, by the way, distinguished himself as a playwrite by using contemporary people and subjects in his scripts. (Thucydides wrote the first 'history' of the wars in 431, before the conflict was even over.)
Of course, we would not look to ancient Greece for intruction in righteousness, but there are a few interesting points of iniquity worth noting. In the Greek way of thinking, women were actually a curse. Yes, a nasty ordeal imposed upon man women were, and all due to a dispute amongst the gods. Prometheus had been a great lover of the human race, which, in the beginning, was all male (--the projection of a homosexual myth-maker's disposition, no doubt). Prometheus of course gave fire to man, among other favors. Zeus became envious of the affection between man and Prometheus, and devised the awful curse of woman, manifested in the person of Pandora. Ever after, mankind, that is, male-kind, would be plagued with the piquant and petulant frustrations concomitant. Women were here to stay, and, as Aristophanes employed them, could be a telling influence for good in the affairs of men. This, of course, assumes that peace itself is desirable, and that heterosexual pleasure is fundamental. A bit of an odd take, considering the rather ill-defined concepts of sexuality rampant in the ancient environment.
Lysistrata, from the Hertzhaimer-gymnasium trostberg
Interestingly, in the modern world, we also witness continal conflict. However, no one has suggested abstinence as the path to world peace. In fact, never has sexual promiscuity been urged upon society with greater force, through media and even law. And even the primitive social conditions fostered by Islam have failed to "control" men. The attempts to hide all feminine attraction with burdensome robes has availed abstolutely nothing. In fact, it seems to have encouraged more violence, not only among men, but violence of men toward women. So, certainly visual abstinence in itself is ineffective.
Of course, there are those godless academics who in their self-righteousness have declared sexual abstinence as the very cause of male aggression and violence. Why, sexual frustration is expressed in blood and guts, sports, and even auto racing. This is the liberal take on history--on European history, anyway. This is the way in which the liberal decries the Christian religion, particularly the Catholic religion. True enough, St. Paul does not encourage celibacy, and in fact condemns those who advocate it (1 Timothy 4:1-3). Yet, this little fact is always overlooked. Be that as it may, it is an obvious irony (i.e., hypocrisy) that modern academics would find fault with Catholic doctrine (albeit ill-founded doctrine) and yet write off Aristophanes' Lysistrata as nary a comical suggestion about the relation of sexual energy to social ills.
Who knows? Maybe Aristophanes was a homosexual. Lysistrata is projection of his "feminine" wish, or some double exposure of sexual frustration--namely his own. You might think liberal homosexuals would bring that out.
Onawa Lynn Lacy (Navajo) is Miss New Mexico, 2006. She is the first American Indian woman to ever hold the title. Onawa (23) is from Gamerco, outside Gallup, and will represent New Mexico in the Miss USA Pageant next month, April 21, 2006, in Baltimore, MD. The politics of the pageants are pestilential, more so now than ever, and one has to admire the girls for their willingness to subject themselves to it. Since the time of Esther, we know that beauty queens are capable of preforming heroically.
Onawa Lynn Lacy, Miss New Mexico, 2006
When I first found out about Onawa, I was thrilled, of course. I was also frustrated with the strange and curious absence of stories and photos about her. As an Indian, I was suspicious, of course. Maybe the pageant crowd didn't take so well to an Indian girl. (I know my Comanche mother was elected a high school band queen back in 1938, in Walters, Oklahoma. The conductor, Mr. Edwards, told her the community would not accept her because she was Indian girl. They substituted a white girl.) Inispite of all the hoopla over liberal "diversity and equality," principally displayed by featuring Negro women, or any ethnicity but American Indian, I was prepared to believe that there was a marked negligence regarding Miss Lacy. Hopefully, however, it could be, that I was just a little ahead of the publicity race. I did actually send some emails and made some calls to inquire. There have been improvements since I first picked up the story. New Mexico is not a pageant state, I've some to learn. All the more reason to appreciate the appearance of an Indian girl as representative.
Onawa Lynn Lacy (r) with Congressman Tom Udall, nephew of the famous
Morris Udall, long and deep friend of Indians.
Onawa Lynn Lacy is a student at the University of New Mexico, majoring in English and American Indian Studies. She will in fact earn two bachelor degrees. She is a pre-law student. She is very humble and honest in speaking of her circumstances. She is not a pretender. She says, "many people are curious to see how a young Navajo woman from rural New Mexico will fare against the veteran pageant contestants from those hardcore pageant states." Indeed. "This was a really big leap for me," she said. "Being able to cross that line, it's a big step. Not a lot of people were able to do that." Growing up a tomboy in Gallup, N.M., Lacy said she never saw herself competing in pageants. She knows how to slaughter sheep, among other "rural" skills.
Onawa, with her family elders. A beautiful sight, indeed.
A very natural girl, Ms. Lacy. From the earth. Thoroughly beautiful. It is a rather remarkable social phenomenon that such a young woman should suddenly be placed in such august circumstances. She is conscious of her situation. That in itself shows power within her. Yes, she has needed support and coaching. There have been solilcitations by those in charge of her affairs. But how far will nature take a girl? That is a most interesting prospect.
Whatever happens at the Miss USA pageant, Onawa has already pronounced a message of hope for Indians. It is a participation in the greater circle of things, and yet it is confirming to her as an Indian girl. In cannot be otherwise, nor should it ever be. She will be open to learn from all her associates and colleagues, most of whom will no doubt snear and scoff at her humble origins, and her natural grandeur as an Indian beauty. Even if they keep all this under the cuff, and profess a refulgence of appreciation and accommodation, something tells me Onawa will know, and she will deal with it all gracefully, elegantly, and nobly. The only affirmation that really counts in the heart of an Indian is that from other Indians, especially one's own.
(Funny how, sometimes, the world has to take note of you before your own people do.)
It is fitting now, that with Purim, we end this strange tour of the feminine world. Fitting that we end with an Indian beauty. This world tour started on Valentine's Day, and ends with Purim. We have sought out greatness in women. What is really valuable? What is characteristic? Hopefully, Onawa will feature these things in her future life. She has just begun. May the Creator bless her, her efforts, and her influence. May she understand the talent she wields, and turn all things heavenward. Tsah mahn ue suka. Tsahtue oo.
Onawa with a co-chair of the Miss USA pageant, Belia Alverez, and with NM Governor Bill Richardson
Purim is here. It starts sundown, Monday, March 13. It is an ancient Jewish holiday dating back to the time of Xerxes (Ahasuerus), Emperor of Persia. Purim (that is, lots, or something like dice) referes to the circumstances when the arch-enemy of the Jews at the time, Haman, had the diviners, the astrologer, and the prognosticators, cast lots for an entire year, apparently to attain knowledge of the best time for Haman to hatch his genocidal plot to eliminate the Jews of Persia. By the month of Adar (March), it was determined that Haman should bring the plan before the Emperor.
This is all in the book of Esther, in the Bible. Haman was exposed, hung, and the Jews celebrated! The story has has a wonderful meaning, and happens to be the only scriptural holiday for exchanging gifts of thanksgiving with friends and family, and with the poor. (Esther 9:17-24).
But, there are two rather stunning women in the story, which, given our recent tributes to women of the world, ought to be noted on this special season. Both of these women risked their lives for what they valued. Vashti, the first wife of Ahasuerus, refused to be treated as an object public 'show and tell.' She valued her own personhood, and would not be treated as property to show off or brag about. What brought on this seeming dramatically cocky disposition is a matter of speculation, but she stands as probably one of the first genuine "women's rights" advocate of history. Yes, it cost her the throne. It was a dramatic sacrifice, and one wonders what moved her to such a decision. It shows remarkable self-consciousness and a stark differentiation between beauty and personhood. Vashti chose the latter, though she was spectacular to look at. Perhaps the continual weight of being looked at become too burdensome. "There's more to me than my looks!" she was screaming out. Her action of refusing to appear before the royal guests was louder than anything every coming out of Hollywood, scripted by all those miserable pretenders. They've sold their souls to iniquity and debasement, for the most part. Vashti saved her own, by sacrificing what everyone wants: the glory. She preferred personhood.
One of the happiest faces I've ever seen.
A Jewish girl I know. I wonder if she is
like an Esther in modern times? .
The other girl in the story, yes, pretty much a girl, was Hadassah (later called Esther). She was the winner of the first international beauty contest in recorded history. (Esther 2). Now, she had it made. Chosen the most beautiful women in the world, chosen to the the new bride of the Emperor--this was rather impressive, to say the least.
But, in time, she too was faced with a terribly dramatic choice. She also had to chose between trusting in her beauty to protect her, and doing what was right, regardless. Now, her cause was a bit different from Vashti's. Vashti stood up for women's rights. Esther stood up for the Jews. Noble causes, indeed. Both women had self-possession, and used their own will over and against convenience. In fact, in Esther's case, she likely risked her very life. In this, she perhaps exceeds the character of even Vasthi. And Esther risked all for her people, for a larger, more vulnerable cause. In the case of Vashti, all women are women. Vashti's cause was universal, and personal. But Esther's cause was for a unique people. Not all people are Jews. Only a relatively few. For this, Esther stood up.
Voices From Theresienstadt is a one-woman drama weaving the stories
of five fictional Jewish women, using poems and text by Ilse Herlinger Weber.
Where is Esther today? Who is Esther? An interesting search, indeed.
Emperor Ahasuerus looked for her in all his realm.
Yet, it was more than just for the Jews. It was for morality. It was for truth and justice. For this cause, it was in fact for the world. In a most remarkable way, the moral issues of the Jews form the history of the world. The dialectics, the dialogues, and the discourses of the world are essentially 'in-house' Jewish issues. Few people recognize this. There are even Jews who prefer not to see it this way, because it seems boastful, and offensive.
Well, I'm only an Indian, from Oklahoma. But, I see it this way. Not to offend or endanger any Jewish people, but, I really believe the Jews are the only people in the world with a mission. They were created for a purpose, a special purpose. No other people hold this position on earth. No other ethnicity has such a purpose in essence in the genes. No other has even claimed such, not anciently. (Modern social causes are not actually comparable, at all.)
Being Jewish is a grand and great calling, and one burdened with great sacrifice and suffering. The story of Esther is a remarkable one, and every young girl should be taught the lessons found in Esther. Espeically pretty girls need to know the truth about this matter of beauty. While most do sell out in some way, in some terrible way, for the fame and fortune, there are those that don't. Esther was one of those.
In our eastward tour of cultural femininity and romance, we end up in Mongolia, land of the ancient war lords. Mongolia has remained isolated from the rest of the world since its glory days in the 13th century and afterwards. They found their descendents morphed into the Magyars, out on the Great Plain of Hungary. But that was their westward movement. What of their Eastern travels? Most people traditionally view the trail as leading across the Bering Strait, and down in to continental America. Their descendents over here? The American Indians. This is the original non-Indian myth of origins. Of course, each Indian tribe here has its own story of origins, but, over all, the most of the non-Indian world accepts the Bering Strait migration. (I suppose the three most immediate physical clues are the similarities in the visual appearances (and physiognomy), the pentatonic wooden flutes, and that peculiar little dark blue birthmark on the bottoms of the babies, which mark disappears as the infant grows. The Navajo have such a mark at birth. (Me? I had to be different. Mine was bright red.)
I have always believe that Comanche people were mysteriously connected to the Mongolians. Our eons of isolation in the Souther Rockies was like a preservation period, perhaps an incubation period. When we discovered the mustangs, the Spanish horses, it was as if our Mongolian genetic programming click in immediately. Almost over night, we became masters of horse culture, and created the largest, exlusive hunting empire the continent had ever seen.
So much for warriors and horsemen. What of the women?
Well, she can still fight. There are many discriptions which, if read inncently, sound as if they are precisely describing American Indian women. And there's a modern Mongolian Women's Lawyer association! Mongolian women have made their voice heard in America, in the ears of Laura Bush. Well, yes, the country is a bit backward, for the most part. It is isolated, and hosts rather harsh conditions. The number of people in the country is only a little over two and a half million. The land covers an area about the size of Alaska. That's not what we would call typical Asian conditions. Not exactly crowded.
Grandmother and granddaughter.
It is a bit of a lonely place, it might seem, and certainly alcoholism is very common among the youth of populated areas. Social conditions always seem oppressed when nomads and plains people are compared to modern social standards of living.
Young Mongolian Lutheran family. Very few Christians in the
capital, Ulaanbatar, with over 700,000 people.
Are Mongolians particularly interest in the world around them? They've never shown the same impetus as the Kahns, that's for sure. They are content in isolation. They're relations, mystical or genetic, to Magyars and Comanches seem far distant to them. Perhaps this matter should be revived.
Traditional dress. Unique, indeed. The Third Race.
In traditional anthropology, the Mongols were considered the base gene of the Mongoloid race, accounting for the descendents of Japeth. (Genesis 10) The other two base genes were the the Caucasoids (from Shem), and the Negroid (from Ham). This may be considered a bit romantic by todays standards of genetics, but, there is still a persistent notion that these are the three races. J. Philippe Rushton, the Canadian psychologist, certainly believe in this notion.
So that would give Mongolian women control of one third of female attraction power in the world. So why are their endless lines of Mongolian models on the fashion runway? I think maybe they don't really care. They're not into it. They have other concerns. All that's left for the photographer are the ancients, and the traditionals.
Eskimo "medicine" woman
Two modern Mongolians, of the Comache line.
Another unique cultural species of femininity is found in the the Oriental woman. In the Western mind, the image of this species is dominated by the Chinese woman, or perhaps more specifically, the Japanese woman. In both cultures, there are two distinct categories, the traditional, and the modern. The modern image, of course, is the Westernized woman. The traditional Oriental woman is the one Americans met in the 20th century, and the one Europeans met since the 13th. To the present day, the traditional dress of the Oriental, both male and female, is as desired and enduring as the traditional dress of the American Indian. The Oriental look is simply unique, and quite beautiful.
Of course, we speak of more than clothing. The role of Chinese women in history, for example, is virtually untold story. Yet, the first impressions of the Chinese in American culture are difficult to erase, as are any first impressions. Many people remember the infamous foot binding of Chinese women. This ancient and cruel practice did not end until 1911, when the new Republic banned it. It had started in the 10th century BC, believe it or not, and was a dominant cultural characteristic. It was imitative of some courtly lore about a concubine who danced with very tightly bound feet. No one has interpreted this lore as the premiere of ballet, but it probably should be. It became a cultural status symbol, and millions upon millions of Chinese women in history suffered terrible deformities because of it.
Interestingly, the Chinese are also to be credited with the development of opera as well, though it developed much later. When the Mongolians took over China (a period known as the Yuan Dynasty, 13th Century AD), they surpessed intellectuals and despised literature. The Mongolians, however, loved music, and the Chinese ethos found expression in musical dramas. (In the 13th century, Europe was deeply preoccupied with the catholic mass. Secular drama was long in coming.) There are 116 dramas surviving from the Yuan dynesty. Phenomenally, females played female roles. This was unlike anything in the west until the Renaissance. Of course, historians speculate that Chinese drama dates back to the second dynasty and its "Golden Age" B.C. 2205-1766, so women participants may have distinguished Chinese drama even much earlier than the Yuan Dynasty.
I have found no evidence that the Chinese used young boys to play or sing women's parts. This is a profound statement about the woman's role in China, at least ancient China. Compared to the repressions in the West, and even in the Middle East, China seems extraordinarily advance in this aspect.
Women certainly had power among the Mongolians, and in their rule over China. Perhaps this is a peculiarity in history, but it is notable in any case. And certainly, warrior women, if that's any indication of equality, are rampant in Chinese lore. Crouching Tiger/Hidden Dragon, a modern film (2000) aggrandizes the prowess of women, to a fault.
So in the end, we find a people quite willing to excell in western ways, but maintaining perfect respect for ancient ways. It is a curious thing, perhaps, yet, American Indians can certainly identify with it, albeit with much more reluctance on the modern ways aspect. Chinese do not fear extinction nor cultural obliteration. Indians do.
Oriental people express their personal emotions generally with much more subtlety than westerners. The unique structure of the eyes seems to afford them the impression of secrecy, or privacy. However, when one become acclimated to the Oriental way, the emotions are perfectly clear and obvious. It is only in the "clash" of cultures that the Oriental was deemed "sneaky." This is a psychological illusion.
There have been many dramatic romances in western media, all about the western male's approach to the Oriental female, from Puccinni's Madam Butterfly to Marlon Brando's Sayonara. There is been little, however, about the Oriental male's appeal to the western female. Perhaps that indicates something of who's in charge of American cinema. Are there Chinese films about American blondes going wild over a Chinese man?
A true modernist. If we could read her mind, what would
she be thinking about this article?
Yes, Hindu women. We continue eastward. In Sanskrit, the word for the great river is sindhus, which means simply, "river." When the Persians encountered the river, and the people, they pronounced it "hindu," with the soft, breathy "h" sound. Hindu does not, historically, designate a religion. It designates a people. People of the river, or, on the other side of the river. (In the English language, the word "Indian" was first used, albeit mistakenly, in reference to the indigenous people of America. So, "Indian" means American Indian, in English. The people of Hindush, or Hindustan, the Asian subcontinent, are Hindu.)
A young Hindu bride, in stereotypical adornment.
Now, what sort of people are we talking about when we say Hindu? The "indigenous" are known as the Dravidians. Their civilization dates back to some 5,000 years. They were invaded by Aryans as early as 1,500 BC. There were mass intermarriages in time. Only the south part of India remained independent. (Later, when the southern peoples regained the northern regions, many of the mixed race were declared outcast, or, no caste. These became later known as "gypsies." They migrated westeward.) Neither Persian nor Greek culture penetrated these deeper, southern regions. Nevertheless, India has been invaded repeated, from all sides, since the beginning of written history.
Religion is synomymous with the Hindu, indeed. Strange religion. Incredibly complex religion. Todays image is still intensely exotic. We might say, heathen. Profound heathenism persists. Magic, occult, polytheism, animism, and superstition permeate the regions of the subcontinent. Many practices appear grotesque to Westerners. (In the earlier 20th century, there were reports of human sacrifice still persisting in the remote regions of northwest India. And who can forget Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom? The Kali cult is central to the movie.)
Hindu women consider the bindi or Kumkum as a symbol of
divine fortune (sumangal). This is a Havyaka Brahmana Lady
of North Karnataka with her large dot and a necklace made
with gold coins.
Adding to this complexity, is the science and technology of modernity. India today is a nuclear power, and Hindu people live all over the world, and operate great businesses in the west. They are a very intelligent and industrious people. Yet, in the home country, people are known for massive numbers in abject poverty. Starvation, disease, malnutrition, and illiteracy are rampant. Yet religion thrives. People believe. People are believers. They always believe something. I had a Hindu acquaintence once tell me that religion keeps people in poverty. He was an economics major at Emory University.
India hosts a unique culture, with perhaps the oldest written language (Sanskrit) surviving today. Philosophy, theology, superstition, mysticism, all are part of the identity of the Hindu. Today, Islam and Buddhism form a major part of the religious environment.
Hindu actress, Aishwarya Rai
So what can we expect from a Hindu woman? Arranged marriages are the norm. That puts romance in a special perspective. Even though today's Hindu image contains strikingly beautiful "Hollywood" types, we have to point out, India deals heavily in sex slavery. The population is exceedingly burdensome. Generally speaking, the women of India are considered in a suffering condition.
The land was never known for self-control as it pertains to reproduction. (Today the population has exceeded one billion!) It seems rather like an ancient fertility cult. Self-torture, however, is a grand pastime. The local cults practice all manner of bodily affliction, and appartently this kind of thing is the essence of heathenism. It seems, however, that in general the Hindu people have a real sense of beauty, despite the absence of public hygiene and simple concepts of material reality. Of course, they are religious. Unfortunately, for them, as well as for the rest of the heathen world, they weren't aware that the only "religion" that promoted respect for the body was the ancient Hebrew religion.
A Hindu woman, begging. "Poverty is the worst form of violence," Mahatma Ghandi
Pardon the confusing image of the Hindu people. Rudyard Kipling, an English missionary, said it all in "The White Man's Burden."
Take up the White Man's burden--
Send forth the best ye breed--
Go bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives' need;
To wait in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild--
Your new-caught, sullen peoples,
Half-devil and half-child.
Sound a bit politically incorrect? The darkies of the world need only consider Christ. Are we in, or out? Do we believe, or disbelieve? If we believe, we must thank the white missionaries. I wonder if anyone is willing to really address this matter, openly and honestly?
Women never had it better under any religion but the Judeo-Christian religion. Not every heathen culture was brutal to women. American Indians weren't. But, just the same, all must consider their beliefs, especially at this time in history. What beliefs encourage respect and health? What beliefs encourage violence, brutality, and cruelty? What beliefs rob people of their health, their food, and their happiness? What religions are content to see their millions of adherents in starvation?
What religion was the United States of America founded upon? Need we be reminded?
To the East, we pursue further the woman. What of the Persian woman?
Anyone familiar with Biblical history will immediately think of Vashti, Shahbanou of ancient Persia, wife and queen of Ahasuerus (Xerxes). Ahasuerus reigned at the apogee of the Achaemanid era, ruling 127 provinces from Indian to Ethiopia. Vashti, however, like a modern Iranian woman, stood up for her rights one day in the mid-5th century BC. (See, Esther 1:1-22; 2: 1-4). Her beauty was transcendent, but she refused to be displayed as a mere object of wonder. Her independence cost her the throne, but, she is remembered as one of the first women's rights advocates in history. She set a grand pace for all women thereafter.
I call it objectivity. Vashti was not a slave to her own beauty, nor to the power it inevitably wielded. She was independent. Persians have always been known for objectivity. Only now, under the iron cowl of Islam, do they fail in their ancient, lofty status.
Today, coming out from under that cowl, we find Iranian women first in line in reform. Women's rights are being defined in the Muslim world by Iranian women. Even the luri, the Persian gypsy women, often dispense with the veil. And now we have the trauma experience by the Persian pop singer, Deeyah. She is pushing the envelope, so to speak, as she strips off her hijob (robes) in a rock video. "The Muslim Madonna," she is called. Another riot on the way? (A rather primitive expression of freedom on her part, perhaps.)
I attended the international Iranian Studies Conference of 2002 (at which I delivered a paper called "David and Darius, the origins of internationalism"), and I met some modern Iranian "feminists." There was a panel discussion on social models, and one woman advocated a French model for feminist reform. I thought, "Heaven forgive them!" I later talked with Janet Afari, and urged her not to allow such an advocacy. "Iranian women are Persian women. Since when do the Persians need social models? Iranian women need no such guidance. They will create their own process, and it will be superior to anything preceding it." Dr. Afari kindly responded, "Well, we need a little help. A little help."
Dr. Janet Afari, Professor of History, Purdue Univeristy
I notice that Iranian women outside Iran have entered the typical western mode of sexuality and powers of the visual image. Iranian girls have become international beauty queens, more and more. Suesan Rajabi, Miss Colorado, 1966; Samira Esmaeili, Miss International Sweden 1999; Shahrivar Shermine, Miss Europe (Germany), 2005; Romana Amiri, Miss World Canada, 2005; Nazanin Afshin Jam, Miss World Canada 2003, and on.
That's fine. That's wonderful.
Luri, or Persian gypsi women.
However, I look for a Vashti among them. It is a little early yet. Iranian women are only now rediscovering their powers of beauty. It will take a few generations for a Vashti to evolve from them. But when she does, she will once again hold beauty in its proper sphere--under her own control. She will not be a slave of attractions, or the servant of attention, or a puppet of the business. She will have deeper, more transcendent values. She will be in control, even to her own hurt. She will sacrifice to uphold truth. She will not think of herself, but of all women.
Iranian women demonstrating for their right of freedom!
Ahasuerus (Artaxerxes) was sorry for ousting Vashti, whom he really loved. Then he had to hold the first international beauty contest in history, to find a replacement! As it turned out that a young Jewish girl, Hadassah (Esther) took the crown. She was also a transcendent woman, and quite worthy of the role Vashti had created. She maintained the same control over her own destiny. She master her own beauty.
For this, we again look to the Persians. (Even if they happen to be ethnically Jewish!)
Deeyah. Why, the girl could be Hindu!
The Greek woman is an embodiment of rather lively imagination. She is a vortex of ancient myth and the supernatural, and seems yet today an active conduit of the same. From time immemorial, the Greek psyche was laden with creative fantasy, and it seems that the Greek woman inherits it all, in her immediate presence. A formula for strange romance seems ever abiding in her.
Irene (Lelekou) Papas
A dramatic exposition of her powers is in the young widow in Nikos Kazantzakis' novel, Alexis Zorbas, better known as the movie, Zorba the Greek (1964), directed by Michael Cacoyannis. The part of the widow was portrayed by Irene Papas (Lelekou), actress and singer. As the story has it, she is recently widowed, and not interested in any other men in the village. She lives on the edge of the town. There is intense superstition about her, due to her circumstance, and she is essentially outcast. Of course, she happens to be young and beautiful. This is an irresistable lure. (Perhaps a strange version of the Hester Prynn, in Nathanial Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter, 1850).
In the Greek story, a young man becomes absolutely enamoured with the young widow, beyond his control. He is mesmerized by her, to none of her doing. She has no regard for him, to his utter dismay. When she shows interest in a foreign visitor, a new man in the village, the young love-stricken man kills himself in dispair. The men of the village, of course, consider this her evil influence. In fact, they considered his passion for her nothing but a spell she cast on him. They are convinced she is wicked, and eventually, they come to stone her. Finally, one of them cuts her throat.
It is a horrible experience for an outsider to see, but, it is the way of the village. It is the way of the Greek folk. The lore of the country is predominant and irrevocable. It is a tragedy, in stone, and by stone, as it were. A perpetual statue of the psyche, carved and recarved in each generation. It is a drama acted out again and again. It is basically about men trying to master the overwhelming power of a woman. The natural charms of a woman are sufficient to influence any man, but add to those charms the supernatural, the gods, and you have more than a man can generally handle. Death awaits such a woman. (Usually, there is much misery on the way.)
Irene Papas, scenes from The Guns of Navarone (1961).
Superstition and romance are a powerful draw. In John Cuthbert Lawson's Modern Greek Folklore and Ancient Greek Religion (1964), we find an invaluable reference for observations of the way in which modern and ancient folklore operate in common Greek culture. Lawson's approach is that ancient Greek religion can be best understood through the folklore that still exists in modern times throughout the Greek countryside.
Of course, not that Greek culture has ever been regarded as exemplary in the framework of the Judeo-Christian religion; not that Western culture has ever looked to ancient Arcadia for moral instruction; not that the paradigm of human sexuality is found in Greek mythology; but, on the contrary, the archetypes of fantasy and foul play are thither enshrined.
Papas, at the Parthnon, lighting
for the 25th Olympics in Barcelona (1992)
And yet we mustn't associate all the ills of romance with the Greek woman. No, the worst of it comes from Arab culture, at least in the Greek folk mind. To the Greeks, the Arabs (araphdes) were always dark foreigners, and were directly associated with demons, and specifically, the vrykolakes--the vampires. That's the lore surviving in today's vernacular.
The widow in Zorba the Greek represents the worst of it, the beauty, the sadness, the supersition, the violence, and the passion. The marked woman, the stigma, the mystery, the romance. And yet, there is no witchcraft involved. It is all in the superstition of the men. It's in their minds. The woman is perfectly innocent, but simply trapped in social circumstances beyond her doing or control. A victim of birth, perhaps. She can only play the cards dealt to her.
St. Paul regarded the Greeks as "too superstitious," (deisidaimonesteros--fearful of daemons or supernatural spirits) when he spoke to the people of Athens at a shrine of Ares, i.e., "Mars Hill." (Acts 17:22. Perhaps there were just too many stories, too many myths, too many gods to be concerned about. The believer was burdened to the point of spiritual impotence, really. Translated into modern moral terms bound within normal sexuality, we could say there were too many images of women floating around. Too many attractions. Variety becomes a vice, multiplicity chains, and the many, master. By contrast, one God, one woman--that would be the forumla for better romance. At least, longer lasting romance.
Alas, we've become Greek all over again. In today's society, not even the supernatural can keep a man's mind focused on one woman. There are a thousand other women gauging his riveted eyes out. Every inch of the woman appearance is a market place, and female attraction itself is a multi-billion dollar business. Fashion, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, surgeries, all reap very rich rewards from mesmerized men. (Yes, that's right. Men pay for all this, one way or another.)
And today, the Muslims bury their women in black robes, and beat them in the dark. Is that the alternative? My, whatever shall we do with the woman?