Wednesday, April 21, 2010
One of the religious traditions which has held my attention over the years is Gnosticism. It is a slippery phenomenon, but at its heart lies the shock of recognizing that the world made by a single, powerful, benevolent, wise Creator can be, well, nightmarish.
The Military Channel has an investigative program on Cortez' conquest of the Incas. A lot of time spent on detailing the practice of human sacrifice. Spanish records assert that over a four day period, 20 thousand captured soldiers had their hearts cut out on the altars of the temples in the capital. Skeptics have since suggested it was Spanish propaganda. Recreating the situation, the investigators discover that it was indeed quite plausible. Using a flint knife, the priest opened the victim up beneath the sternum --matching all the images we have--and reached in to rip out the beating heart and offer it to heaven. The body was then rolled down the steps, as the next victims ascended these same steps. All in well under two minutes each.
With the required and deeply stupid moral equivalence, a Mexican professor points out that Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed hundreds of thousands in an instant. Oh yeah. Just the same thing. Apparently the heads were cut off for display on skull racks and the bodies were eaten.
But the program asserts that it was the Aztecs' bloodthirsty imperialism against their vassal tribes which finally brought them down. Without the enthusiastic help of so many of these subject peoples, the 300 Spaniards --even with their guns, germs and steel--could never have taken them down alone. Plus, the Aztecs' own religion depicted them living in their final days. They had an ideology that reconciled them to their downfall. (Just as we do.)
Speaking of which, I read about how Scandinavian newspapers pixelate or actually whiten pictures of Africans who are accused of crimes, so that they appear to be a white males. Camp of the Saints, anyone?
And at home, Barry Hussein O and Company are creating a national debt beyond imagination.
Now have in place a massive, really massive, legal framework to control health care. Have decided that insulting allies and bowing (literally) to foes is a foreign policy. Have suddenly discovered the importance of civility in public discourse (except for Teabaggers...and George Bush for 8 years). And I await immigration amnesty to be next. America feels like it is disappearing before my eyes, being undone by alien pod people in charge.
Some days it feels to me nightmarishly like the end of the Roman Empire.
at 2:43 PM