“CRAZY FOR GOD”
Christopher Edwards’ book by this title recounts his experiences with The Unification Church (a.k.a.) The Moonies.
Being “Crazy for God” was actually encouraged by those who indoctrinated him into the cult. It’s a phrase aptly
descriptive of modern religious extremism.
The nihilistic annihilators of 9/11, and others of their ilk, are inspired to commit suicidal acts of genocide in the
name of religion. Their sick piety is derived largely from the teachings of an executed Egyptian radical, Sayyid Gutb,
described by Paul Berman in the New York Times (3/23/03) as “Al Qaeda’s Philosopher.” Having studied in the US,
he had a long list of things he hated about our civilization, but what he hated most and what he taught must be
eradicated by any means necessary, however horrible, was the separation of church and state. And yet, the
realization of his philosophy through “divinely sanctioned “ atrocities, such as the assassination of Egyptian President
Anwar Sadat and similar instances of suicidal genocide, illustrates tragically and exactly why the separation of faith
and state is so necessary and desirable!
When it comes to our own religious fanatics, we tend to be dismissive or amused when they, for instance,
vociferously demand that we put God and Bible reading back in school. Or, when they really do go “Crazy for God”
and murder people because of their beliefs, there is a tendency, even then, not to be critical of their religion. There
is a general assumption that any religion is better than none at all and that all passion, even passionate desperation
and violence, are understandable within the context of someone’s religious belief. David Koresh, of Waco fame,
for example, gained many sympathizers because they thought, “at least he stood up for what he believed”
– never mind that what he believed was completely insane and that it resulted in ultra-abusive coercion and
unholy terror. -- Bill Joyner
“WORK, FOR THE NIGHT IS COMING”
My favorite authority on work is Claudia Shear, author of BLOWN SIDEWAYS THROUGH LIFE. In a blistering
satire, she critiques the roughly sixty odd jobs she held and/or abandoned while her own dream of being a
performer was put on hold. By transforming her work experiences into a remarkable book and then into a
successful one-woman play, she perfectly demonstrates how to “make a medicine of the illness.”
Through it all -- the labor, the humiliations the compromises, the achievements and, of course, the paychecks
-- we work in order to survive, whether we work for someone else of for ourselves. Most of us need the stability
and the satisfaction that comes from having some kind of a job; and at times our job is just working through a
transition and finding another job – probably the greatest challenge of all, managing the opportunities and the
dangers of a full-blown life crisis. Me, I’m a great believer in continuing some kind of a paying job, no matter
what else is going on. It could be “stop loss” work, an interim job, whatever there is to do. If nothing else,
it keeps you in practice. And as much as I hate searching the want ads and filling out applications, even that
is good practice. As for self-employment, all I can say is that we’ve all got our own demons to face there,
because we’re on our own, no one to blame – unless you can afford to hire someone or otherwise convince
them to share the load.
One more piece of useless advice: Let’s say you’re working with or for someone else – first and foremost,
respect them and strive for the achievement of mutual goals. If there is a personality conflict which cannot
be worked out in a professional manner, complete your current work thoroughly, without rancor or complaint,
and plan for a more compatible arrangement elsewhere. Our best work is always done when there is mutual
trust and respect.
-- Bill Joyner
My own work history has been varied and chaotic, emulation is not suggested. Nevertheless, I can offer some
insights from my experience in the world of work.
Having slept off a 16 - hour watch at L’Ambiance, Penny and I went walking. Then I went to New College,
dropping off 2 bikes for repair and tanking up on expresso at The Four Winds Café. The pure delicacy of orchid trees
blooming on a full moonlit night reminded me of virgin love. – BJ
Saturday, March 22, 2003
The world is at war with itself – again. Troops advance through sands of exotic mystery. Children are in deep distress.
All are excited and fearful of ominous change. Some are mad as hell that the conflict is going so relatively well
– the ones who hate George W. Bush.
Lust is a rush. Love takes its time, possessing the courtesy and the patience of restraint, as in the concept that we are
constrained by the love of God. -- BJ
Excerpts from HOW CAN WE COMMIT THE UNTHINKABLE?
By Israel Charney and Channon Rappapor
Just as I was falling in love with words, I fell out of love with numbers. Just barely passed math in high school,
vowing never to tangle with any more useless equations. Almost immediately, I paid the cost, being told in the Navy
that my math scores were too low to qualify me for going into the area of my first choice, aviation photography.
Nevertheless, I just sort of coasted along with this persistently erroneously notion that numbers didn’t matter,
avoiding them in college by opting for science courses instead, assuming that my chosen field, religion, had
nothing to do with figuring anyway. But again, I figured wrong. After being in the ministry for awhile, a good
friend invited me to teach philosophy in his place during a summer session at Christopher Newport College
in Virginia. There, I rediscovered, in grappling with the reasoning of Descarte and other seminal thinkers,
that mathematics is inextricably related to our understanding of the universe. -- BJ