Friday, 08 February 2013
For context, please read:
I'm going to think out loud here. This is a pretty incredible man. He is smart, honest, extremely detailed. In his own view, he is impeccable. He has good values, he has a kind of self-righteousness. And he is going to bring change to the LAPD, by basically murder. So, in his view, this seems quite reasonable. Well, why not?
First of all, his manifesto seems to confirm the worst about the Police dept. You always knew there was racism there. You always knew there were some who enjoyed brutality.
Well, can we fix the world by force? No you can't.
God will fix the world by force eventually. In Dorner's manifesto he states:
I grew up in neighborhoods where blacks make up less than 1%. My first recollection of racism was in the first grade at Norwalk Christian elementary school in Norwalk, CA. A fellow student, XXXX if I can recall, called me a nigger on the playground. My response was swift and non-lethal. I struck him fast and hard with a punch an kick. He cried and reported it to a teacher. The teacher reported it to the principal. The principal swatted XXXX for using a derogatory word toward me. He then for some unknown reason swatted me for striking XXXX in response to him calling me a nigger. He stated as good Christians we are to turn the other cheek as Jesus did. Problem is, I’m not a fucking Christian and that old book, made of fiction and limited non-fiction, called the bible, never once stated Jesus was called a nigger.
Yeah, I believe that's the problem: you're not a Christian. I guess if we don't believe in God, we have to become God to make things right.
Fiction and limited fiction: I know what you mean. Some parts seems extremely mythological. On the other hand, Luke says he clearly investigated "everything from the beginning" in order to convince Theophilus (who was probably a Roman Governor) that he could be certain about his faith. Luke says:
1 Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 3 Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.
I have started to investigate the historicity of Luke and it's deep waters so far. Note also that the bible makes many mention of eyewitnesses:
For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 2 Peter 1:16
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched - this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 1 Jn 1
Personally, I find the healing in Acts 3 to be hard to disbelieve:
1 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer--at three in the afternoon. 2 Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, "Look at us!" 5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. 6 Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9 When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
So, I still have hope that the things written here are real and not fiction. I am willing to go with the facts on this. I think man needs God. Honestly, I think creation has no good explanation, and I do understand evolutionary theory at more than a lay level. I think God is the foundation of our ethics. Why don't we become murderers if someone wrongs us? Because we are servants of God, God will avenge.
I see the importance now of God's vengeance. It is really God's vengeance that keeps us from retaliating against injustice toward us.
Was Jesus called a nigger? Not specifically, but certainly the system was after him because of his honesty, and standing up against the religious authorities who were abusing their power for their own gain.
But the amazing thing about Jesus that makes him unique is that he never killed anyone, nor did any of his apostles. He preached the "truth that he heard from God":
40 As it is, you are determined to kill me,
A police officer is a servant of the law and of the people. He is not a servant of himself or of his own name. By murdering innocent people, you are violating the law of the state, and the moral law of God.
And why didn't Jesus kill anybody? Because he was not at war with "flesh and blood", but to disprove and annihilate the very power and essence of evil. And the final stamp on his victory over evil is his death strangely. The very method of his "defeat" was his launching pad into victory.
It's too bad you didn't take the right course. You have some great ideas on how to reform the police department. Why not make a documentary and release it on youtube? Why not get the press involved? Why not appeal to the the mayor, the governor or at least the people? If your cause is righteous, you would get support from some. You could have even been the chief of police eventually.
But you threw that away to become a murderer fighting for his own name. Don't you think it's ironic that you've destroyed your own name?
The good news is that since none of us can really do it right, since we cannot even begin to approach the perfection of Jesus, Jesus imparts his victory onto us, so that we don't have to rely on our own perfection or "good works" to be right before God. None of us could do what he did. Therefore, I thank God for covering for my moral failure.
Chris, I invite you to become a Christian and to be saved. I think this is what life, in the end, is about.
Friday, 28 December 2012
A pretty fascinating and revealing incident occurred today. I've been taking online math courses on MIT Courseware - studying for these in the morning at Starbucks has proven to be a ritual I really look forward to - to tune out the world and think about the pure and the profound and the abstract ... Anyway, my iPad was nearly out of power, so I made sure to put my i-device charger in my bag in case I needed it. I had studied for over an hour when this little black kid (cute actually) about 8-9 years old comes up to my table and asks me "can I use this?" pointing to my power supply. I say "sure. go ahead". He plugs in his iPhone like device and starts manipulating it. I go back to my studies, but some part of my brain is asking "is it weird that the kid wants to use my charger? Yes, well, little kids do ask strange things". About ten minutes pass and the kid unplugs the charger and starts leaving. I react and say something like "where are you goin with that!" At that moment, the kid starts running for the door of the crowded Starbucks. I think he's stealing my charger. I get up and make a instant decision - am I going to pursue him? Yes! I start running after the kid outside the Starbucks, under the overhang of the mini-mall. The kid is fast. I turn on the gas, namely I go to my max running speed. I am impressed with how easily it comes to me - I am nearly 43 years old, with gray hair on the sides, yet the peak of my performance is pretty available to me due to weekly cardio workouts. I whistle and yell and shout "Hey" in a loud, booming voice. I hear the kid scream. I suspect he may be trying to play the situation to make it look like I'm out to attack him so as to draw the support of crowds, but I can't be sure. He runs into one of the office buildings. There, I see a black man inside, about thirty-five years old, and a black woman too, presumably his wife. There is a van nearby. I think the man is some kind of contract laborer doing an installation in one of the offices. The man comes out and starts yelling at me:
"what are you doing running across the mall at full speed? Running after a kid?"
"He took my power supply"
"I can't believe you're running after a little kid"
He's yelling. I try to explain, but the man is not listening to me... I understand that people lose their cool before coming to their senses. He starts walking toward the Starbucks confused and angry. I say "Hear me out on this one". He says "i'm waiting. We're going to go into Starbucks and hear what other people have to say". I say "sure - let's go ahead". He wants some witnesses. A good idea. We walk into Starbucks to the place where I was sitting. One guy nearby nods that he saw something, but overall it seems no-one is that interested or aware. I tell the man my story of what occurred. When I got to the part when kid ran, he seemed to realize I was not lying. He starts walking back toward the office he came from, but with the power supply in his hand. I follow him - I need my power supply, but more importantly, I need this guy to understand me. He gets the kid out of the office and brings him outside and starts to chastise him. The kid is in tears. He gives me the power supply. I say "is there anything else you need from me?"
"Ok, you have a good day"
Then I walk away. I am certain I did a good deed and caught a kid in the act of stealing. I go back to my desk at Starbucks with an elevated heart rate - hard to get back into Calculus with your mind spinning. I put the power supply in my bag, and discover - another power supply. In other words, I never used mine, never took it out. I had assumed that the one that the kid used was mine, but it wasn't. It belonged to the kid. I realize I've made a mistake and immediately walk outside to find the kid and his dad. The wife is outside too. I shout "hey - I made a mistake"
"That's our charger", he says.
"Yeah - I need to apologize. Let me apologize". I wanted to apologize to the kid.
I hand the charger back to the father. I don't remember how he signaled this, but he was not interested in my apology or me in general. I walk back to Starbucks and began to think
So, what happened here?
The fact that the kid started running when I confronted him was highly suspicious - it was way out of social protocol. By the way, when accused, don't ever run. It makes you look guilty, and without ever needing a trial. How about running while being a black youth in an upscale white/asian neighborhood? That's even worse, because there's those stereotypes you have to deal with. Would I have pursued the kid if he was say Chinese? White? When I introspect on myself, I answer "yes". If I see any kid stealing my stuff, I'm going after him. I don't care what race he is.
Why did you think the kid had stolen your power supply?
Well, it was early in the morning, and I was somewhat fuzzy. I had prepared to use my power supply that day. It was a reasonable assumption to think I had used it - particularly in the absence of any information.
So, why then did the kid run?
This is interesting. I can only speculate. The first theory that came to mind was this: the kid belongs to a different world. Maybe it's the inner city. In that world, adults are not to be trusted. If man comes after you, he's out to harm you. Don't stop to tell him the truth - the truth may get you in trouble. Run.
I lived for 2 years in the "hood" as they called it, and feel comfortable with Black people in general. In the hood, or among the poor, parents are often authoritarian. Good and bad are defined by what makes the parent happy, maybe depending on their mood at that moment. It's not about conforming to a system of laws, or rules that you can keep such as "always tell the truth", or "obey your elders" that will earn you rewards. Me, I'm from a different world. In my world, telling the truth is advantageous and can cause one to avoid punishment. In my middle (or upper middle) class society it ultimately pays to confess. I can afford to do the right thing. Maybe the kid cannot. Maybe his father treats him harshly.
Another theory is that the kid figured he he could easily avoid a confrontation with me, an older authority figure by simply being small and nimble. After all, I was sedentary and in my books, and buried in my coffee. The room was crowded and noisy. He could just slip away and not deal with me. I wouldn't have the will to follow. He didn't suspect that this old man would become a fast moving behemoth, loud, determined, and from whom he could not escape.
Consider this - what if the authority that I represented was not me, but rather was the police, and he felt he could just "run away". That could get you killed. No, a person (of any race) must submit to their elders and figures of authority. They must be truthful and answer questions. But that's not the end of it. A person must also distinguish between good authority and bad authority. Before a good authority, you must submit. Before a bad one, you must not appear to be an enemy. You need to discern those different contexts and act appropriately.
That may be a lot to ask from a 8 or 9 year old kid. I really do pray that this event turns out for the best for him, as well as teaches him a valuable lesson.
However, I don't want to teach him racism - but this is nonetheless a fact. People will judge you by your color - they do not know you. They do not bother to do the work of knowing you, and thus disconfirm their theories (perhaps that too is a sweeping generalization). Honestly, growing up black must be a completely different experience than what I know. You get put in place by peoples subconscious understanding. An incident like this, fueled by misperception, digs up the inner reality of the parties involved. In fact, you might be able to say that our beliefs created the situation: My fear of the world and my expectation of theft caused me to see "stealing". The kids fear of me caused him to see me as a threat, when I wasn't one. We responded in kind and were locked in a cycle of confirmation of our own false beliefs. Only the truth could set us free, and it did after a time, by only after some investigation, communication, and humiliation.
Some might say "don't you know that majority of all violent crimes are committed disproportionally by blacks? Shouldn't you be suspicious?"
I don't know if this statistic is true or false, but I don't think it matters. Martin Luther King said,
"I have a dream that my four little children will on day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."
When he said this meant that we should not view people statistically - it doesn't matter what the average behavior of the group is - we are to do the hard work of discovering the truth about individuals. And that requires work, only after the veil chaos has been removed, and the light is able to shine in.
With that I say that the intentional falsification and distortion of reality is one of the great evils of our time. You see it most clearly in today's political rhetoric. There are people who believe that the Government is coming to take away their guns and freedom because of some master plan of the United Nations. These paranoid fantasies must be sort of empowering - they make one feel important, and they probably are profitable for some organizations. But they have great cost. You can see that in a moment of ambiguity people to "see" what they have been told and subconsciously believe. When that occurs, those lies and neo-lies may bear the fruit of violence. Freedom of speech is a wonderful thing, but only because it allows many conflicting voices to be heard. When a group or individual gets locked into hearing their own voice, there can be a violent collision of realities.
So, I say to you, tell the truth whether it benefits you or diminishes you. Respect your elders and persons of authority. Be able to discern those who are good from the bad. Be open to that which may falsify your beliefs. And please say a prayer for that kid.
Tuesday, 02 October 2012
Please consider if the US drone strikes are worth terrorizing innocent Pakistani's among the militants. Maybe we need to write our officials to let them know we hold them accountable and demand more information. I think robotic warfare, because it is disconnected, is ripe for abuse.
Thursday, 02 February 2012
When I heard of the Citizens United Supreme court decision to remove limits on corporate spending to support political candidates, I had an unusual instinctive reaction: I felt grim. That's not typical for me. I felt grim because I thought that there would be a long-term evil consequence to this choice. I thought that the supreme court had possibly been bought out. I thought that it no longer served the people of the U.S., but had been taken over by big money interests. It made me feel that the integrity of the nation would be been weakened, that a river had been unleashed that would further erode the national character.
Generally, I don't write about politics. I'm a Christian, aspire to live like one, and includes that I don't put my faith in things such as the country, the government, or that everything is going to turn out OK. But nevertheless, in this election year, I feel that it is important to talk about the problems of America as I see them. I have love for America and what it stands for - but I cannot deny that it too has a corrupt soul. So my hope is to write about this in order to find the theological in the political.
This is what I hope to do in these series of entries:
- To learn the facts about What Citizens united is
- To learn why the justices decided the way they did
- To give concrete examples of how the power of money has created corruption
- To proclaim that the love of money is America's primary problem
- To provide possible solutions
Thursday, 21 July 2011
Three young hikers ages 22, 27,21 were recently swept over the edge of Vernal Falls in Yosemite, most certainly to their deaths. My mother has told me the story (several times) of how in her youth, she was hiking up to Vernal Falls during the "heavy water" season and could not move further because of the intense violence of the water. Now, my mother is the kind who experiences fear easily, sometimes to crippling effect.
I'm a bit like that too. It's real interesting when you hike in national parks to notice people who seem totally at ease near thousand foot cliffs and such. These things terrorize me. My father had fear of heights too.
Some people also seem to need to meditate on their fears and on disturbing facts. I'm one of those. I think in some ways it is an attempt to heal reality, perhaps to put a scab on some broken piece of psyche.
Take a thought experiment for a moment of what was going through the mind of the the young people who went over the falls. It is clear to me that these people did not think that going over the falls was a "real" thing. They had crossed over the metal gates and apparently were standing in the water posing to take a picture. Apparently, people were yelling at them to get out of the water.
They were part of an Assyrian Christian church group from the Valley that had taken a day trip to the park. It seems one of their members, a man, had held his child for a moment over the falls as a kind of "taunt", and the child was screaming in his arms. After this it seems, the youths entered the water. The girl slipped, one of the guys tried to save her, and another tried to save him in an instinctive reaction. They were in the water 5 or 6 seconds before going over the falls.
At that moment, their mind had made a complete reversal. Suddenly they were standing in the same room as death. Death was not on their minds a moment before - I imagine that there was peer pressure in the group - pressure to show that one was not afraid of awesome power of the river. I suspect these people were concerned about what their peers thought of them. They did not want to be called a "coward" by their "uncle" (I am imagining this). No. They wanted to call the others "cowards" who had walked away. This peer pressure was stronger than the force of the crowds yelling at them. They had made a bet - a bet that they could stay in control.
This reality had disappeared and was replaced by the realization of their wost fears. The ground, which once held them to the earth, was removed and replaced by a dynamic fluid. They were freed of the earth that rooted them. How at that moment they longed for the earth, and reached out for it with all their strength. They looked toward the shore, and may have seen the frantic looks of those looking at them. There was nothing that could be done. It was time to give up hope. They had to resign to the "will of God".
Once they had been observers of nature, separated from it - they looked at it from a higher ground. They were above it. They did not feel small in the presence of it's majestic beauty. They did not stand in awe of the terrible power that it's beauty sprang from. It did not move them to feeling like mere mortals. It did not move them outside of their peer group and into the presence of God. Their consciousness remained with their peers.
But now, once separate, they had become part of nature. They were being absorbed into it's majestic beauty. They were flowing like force of nature, and soon they would be flying. There is a 317 foot drop to the bottom of the falls. From this we can know they were weightless approximately four and a half seconds.
What you experience at the bottom of the falls is probably where consciousness ends. I think when there is too much violence, the mind checks out. That, plus the lack of oxygen, is probably where they had attained complete freedom - freedom from laws, from warnings, from common sense and all the things that prevent us from standing directly in the presence of God and the great unknown.
Ok. Wonderful... What use is this? I think we are all like this. Most of us are preoccupied by our little lives, our jobs, our standing among our peers, maybe were worried about being called cowards. Some of us are standing near raging rivers. We do not realize their potential for danger. Maybe, bystanders have been yelling at us to get out - but we are slaves of some kind pride and that means everything to us right now. There is a present danger to which if you don't take heed, you will lose control. Some of us are not aware of our mortality.
Be awake and do not ignore the small reality in the back of your mind. Be wise. Be humble. Give fear, reverence to God. Repent, and show some respect.
weblog entry from revelife@revelife