“Blasphemy and Democracy”

Last evening’s reading of Anastasia Colosimo’s article, “Blasphemy and Democracy“, in The Wheel Journal, presented those two words in a fashion I had been without. Rather than attempt to make known this 25 year old’s thoughts, let me simply offer a few quotes:

Anastasia Colosimo

Anastasia Colosimo

“In this sense, the notion of “blasphemy” becomes without effect, since religious conviction is relegated to the status of one opinion among others. Therefore, it is entirely logical that the offense of blasphemy should be abolished in contemporary democratic societies.”  ~ pg. 16

“Since it is no longer possible to speak of a ban on blasphemy in secularized societies, confessional groups have adopted the language of modernity and make ref- erence to “offense against believers.” From a dead-end debate between a reli- gious argument (the ban of blasphemy) and a secular argument (the freedom of expression), the debate becomes a sys- tematic one between two human rights, namely the protection of others—or the protection of the feelings of others— and the freedom of expression.”  ~  pg. 17

 “What I find problematic, on the other hand, is the idea of offense to a group. First of all, it has transformed our perception of blasphemy by inventing the figure of the “offended believer.” But also, more generally, in regard to racist language, it contributes to sending each person back to a group identity, back to one’s tribe.”  ~  pg. 19

“Most of all, I think that for believers, the best way to “combat” blasphemy today is not to yield to the growing “sentimentalizing” of the faith, which is nothing more than a perverse effect of continuing secularization. The combat must be one of reason enlightened by faith and, in that sense, it is rst of all cultural, and should incline us to refuse the evil temptation of the ghetto.”  ~ pg. 19

Bonhoeffer: “capable of any evil and at the same time incapable of seeing that it is evil”

Dover Beach

Dietrich Bonhoeffer.jpg

“Upon closer observation, it becomes apparent that every strong upsurge of power in the public sphere, be it of a political or a religious nature, infects a large part of humankind with stupidity. … The power of the one needs the stupidity of the other. The process at work here is not that particular human capacities, for instance, the intellect, suddenly atrophy or fail. Instead, it seems that under the overwhelming impact of rising power, humans are deprived of their inner independence and, more or less consciously, give up establishing an autonomous position toward the emerging circumstances. The fact that the stupid person is often stubborn must not blind us to the fact that he is not independent. In conversation with him, one virtually feels that one is dealing not at all with him as a person, but with slogans, catchwords, and the like that have taken possession of him…

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Nikolai Velimirovich: “God listens more carefully to what his heart says”

Dover Beach

st-nikolai-velimirovich01“Why does it say: he prayed with himself? Why not aloud? Because God listens more carefully to what his heart says than his lips. What a man thinks and feels as he prays to God is more important to God than the words his tongue forms. The tongue is capable of delusion, but the heart does not delude: it shows a man as he is – black or white.”

– St. Nikolai Velimirovich

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Isaac Syrian: “This Nativity night bestowed peace on the whole world”

“This Nativity night bestowed peace on the whole world; So let no one threaten; This is the night of the Most Gentle One – Let no one be cruel; This is the night of the Humble One – Let no one be proud. Now is the day of joy – Let us not […]

https://lifeondoverbeach.wordpress.com/2015/12/25/isaac-syrian-this-nativity-night-bestowed-peace-on-the-whole-world/

Questioning Confidence

True to form, I know both this confidence and a questioning of things. Occasionally, I’ve known confidence in myself, while, most of the time and typically below everyone’s radar, I question myself. Over my years, I have steadily learned a harmony between my confidence and self-questioning.

10675509_10152583422212621_3239365316713853228_n Learning, in all cases, means to practice. By doing so we enlarge self. As implied, questions underpin self-assurance by opening our eyes to unnoticed potholes, or badger holes hidden in tall grass. Confidence requires a willingness to, not only, question how they see things but to question ourselves.

To question is not to disprove that idiot’s stance nor our own. A question is to open and not to slam a door in someone’s face. A question aimed at or away from yourself must be an encouragement to be honest and look beyond how I see the truth.