Monday, May 17, 2004

True Colors 

OK, so I haven't posted much over the last few days. Part of that is work, but mostly it's because my brain has been out of focus lately, and I couldn't get my thoughts together well enough to write something worthwhile. Yes, work has been stressing me out, but things there have been getting better and I am starting to get used to it. I think what has my brain in lockdown isn't just work, or all the bad news that keeps coming out of Iraq, but instead a general sense of unease over where I am going in life, career, school, relationships and all that kind of stuff. Having a ten-year high school graduation coming up soon can do this to you.

All of these scattered thoughts are bouncing around in my head, and I was having trouble knowing what to write down here tonight. I was looking to see if there was anything online that would grab my attention, so I was scanning various news sites and blogs of interest looking for anything that stood out over the den of noise. Nothing. It looked like I was to be stuck in my writing and thinking block.

I did come across one posting over at Lex Communis, originally from Mark Shea, about how the American prison guards at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison could be so stupid with their abusive actions. Shea's take is that we are not seeing the prison guards as they really are, but instead we are seeing their sinful actions, and what is needed is repentance. Very Catholic perspective, I know. However, I would like to believe the first picture in Shea's post of the now-famous PFC England, in a nice pose with an Iraqi boy, is the real her instead of the second, more famous picture taken inside the prison.

As for me, I grew agnostic, and bacame Protestant in my high school years. I'll be the first to admit I can let the Christian side of me get a little rusty, but I'm starting to feel the need to amend that. I sometimes feel politics intrudes into religion, and it turns me off. It's too bad really, because dicusssing religion, God, the supernatural, ect. shouldn't have to turn into political warefare.

Sometimes I get frustrated with friends and acquaintances. I need to remember that if they to something to hurt me or something destructive, those actions may well have been wrong, but I'm not seeing the person's true self. Even if you're not a practicing Christian, I think that is a good perspective to keep in mind.

You are right about Shea's position - his point is that when we see Lindy England holding the leash we are not seeing who she really is. She really is a child of God who is innately good. The "real" Lindy is the young woman with the Iraqi child giving her real nature - the person she really wants to be - an opportunity to see the light of day.

As one gets older, one begins to see the truth of this position. Sin is hard. Sin - be it avarice or addiction or self-love - takes effort. It warps as surely as the ring warped Golum, and yet Golum loved the ring.

Note that this is a fundamentally religious or spiritual perspective, but it has real world or political implications.
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