Tag Archives: suffering

Back from Beyond


This was quite a hideously interesting break from blogging.   I got a lot of work done that I would not have otherwise and also fruitlessly banged my head against several things that cannot be changed.  I got over a couple things, took certain items to Goodwill, and attempted to work for the greater good.

This attempt did not render me able to fly or even make me look good in spandex.  Much to my disappointment.

I have started in on the incredibly long Section IV of Jack Crabtree’s Lecture, The Ethics of Sex in the Bible.  Jack has asserted that he has an animal-like body, that is an inferior (“a less noble, less eternal, and less beautiful”) facet of his self.  Which God gave him.

On purpose.

Homosexuality is so much worse than Gnosticism, after all.

Anyway, whilst I finish that post, here is a passage that has been on my mind the last week or so.  It is from the book Letters and Papers from Prison, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

There is no longer any need for God as a working hypothesis, whether in morals, politics or science.  Nor is there any need for such a God in religion or philosophy (Feuerbach).  In the name of intellectual honesty these working hypotheses should be dropped or dispensed with as far as possible.  A scientist or physician who seeks to do otherwise is a hybrid.

At this point nervous souls start asking what room there is left for God now. And being ignorant of the answer they write off the whole development which has brought them to this pass.  As I said in an earlier letter, various emergency exits have been devised to deal with this situation. To them must be added the salto mortale back to the Middle Ages…But that is the council of despair, which can be purchased only at the cost of intellectual sincerity. It reminds one of the song:

It’s a long way back to the land of childhood.

But if only I knew the way!

There isn’t any such way, at any rate, not at the cost of deliberately abandoning our intellectual sincerity. The only way is that of Matthew 18:3 i.e. through repentance, through ultimate honesty… God is teaching us that we must live as men who can get along very well without him. The God who is with us is the God who forsakes us (Mark 15:34)… God allows himself to be edged out of the world and onto the cross.  God is weak and powerless in the world, and it is exactly the way, the only way, in which he can be with us and help us.  Matthew 8:17 makes it crystal clear that it is not by his omnipotence that Christ helps us, but by his weakness and suffering.

…Man’s religiosity makes him look in his distress to the power of God in the world; he uses God as a Deus ex machina.  The Bible however directs him to the powerlessness and suffering of God: only a suffering God can help.

Why must God suffer?

Why is the Dying God the only one who is of value to Bonhoeffer and not the Warrior King- who created the universe by telling it had better exist or it’d be sorry- who brought you into this world and can take you out of it?

Perhaps it is because, as Aphrodite embodied the lovely desire of one for another, the Dying God Jesus personifies empathy.

I’m not going to argue about what aspect of history triggered the story of Jesus here.  But as the story stands, not even Jesus could save all humans from hell.  He couldn’t even make their lives on earth less nasty brutish and short.

But he could feel what they felt.  He could suffer too.




the ultimate sacrifice

So, I’ve been away for a bit. My car broke down unexpectedly and I had to move sooner than I expected. It was lame and I didn’t get to write a bunch of angry posts about our DLF John Mark’s article like I wanted. However, I did get the house I was staying in minimally clean for my cousin, who’s coming back from the war, and who has both OCD and PTSD…

Although not as clean as I had hoped.

And since then, I have driven across the US in a giant rental car- moved into my current living situation (near all my family and relatives)- reduced the amount of pointless clutter I had in storage here in my home area- and faked my way through several religious services that burned my soul like they would have a vampire’s.

Or. You know. Like molten metal burning the flesh of a North Korean Christian.

As they die for a God who cares so much about humans that he orders genocides whenever his panties get in a bunch.  And had to torture his own son to death before he could feel better about the whole thing.

And probably never existed in the first place.

(The Eyes of the Tailless Animals.  Soon Ok Lee.  She is not an apostate like me. Go read it. )

I was given a bottle of Vitamin B complex and a finch in the week following one of these services. I apparently looked really depressed.

I do not believe that Vitamin B complex will make me happy about God again. But I have been avoiding it anyway. Just in case.

(Picture me moping in a corner with a tiny black rain cloud over my head)

I like the finch.

I have not officially told anyone about my shifts in perspective.  Although I suspect people are talking.

My baby sister and I played Ninja Turtles and watch Hoodwinked and climbed the pine trees in the rain. And I sat with my little brother while he did Saxon Math and teased him so that he laughed and stopped fighting with my mom and sister.

He also imprinted on my Lemony Snicket books…? And has been reading them one after another and asking me stuff about the plot.

Dishonesty has its perks.


I’m probably back to business now.

And, because you were all dying to hear about the oddities of my subconscious, here is a dream I had, a few days before I moved.

I dreamed about a young man. He was moving back to his home area- Amish Country.

A horrible, horrible man lived there.

This man had died.

When the young man was in Amish Country, it turned out that they were going to take the man’s soul far away, into the land of death, so that he could never hurt anyone again.

The older brother was angry and determined. He was the one driving the van. A neighbor- an established man with a family- saw what they were doing and joined them. He was stronger than the terrible man, heavyset and good natured. He was in the back of the van, making the terrible man go with them. There were some other people there- and me- and the younger brother. The younger brother was disconsolate- on his knees weeping- sad and afraid. We were leaving everything- homes- families- and were going to be trapped with this evil man forever, imprisoning him in the land of death. I was kneeling with the younger brother, trying to comfort him.

We all got out of the wrecked van, and were going over to get in the van. I got out last. I tried to shut the door of the wrecked van behind me. Mangled as it was, it bounced open again. I tried several times. The crowd of onlookers was shocked and frightened by the bouncing door. They couldn’t see me. Like the others, I was dead.

I turned away and went to get in the van for the start of our journey.


The pictures of time and space are rearranged,
In this little piece of typical tragedy.

I forgot to
I forgot to let you know that…

Forgiveness is
The ultimate sacrifice.
Eloquence belongs,
To the conqueror.


What is in us that turns a deaf ear to the cries of human suffering?!!!


-System of a Down, Sad Statue