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English | Page 31 of 33 | Vox Clamantis In Deserto

On Rising Again

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I just came across an old note to remind me: “Do not gloat over me, my enemies! For though I fall, I will rise again.” Micah 7:8

Romans 8:28

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This morning I was listening to WAY-FM while showering and their verse of the day was Romans 8:28: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

This verse is so often quoted as a platitude, but is that really the correct syntax?

I know that Greek and Hebrew scholars toil thoroughly at deriving the right balance of literal and conceptual meaning, but maybe they too are swayed by their desire to polish a bit. Although considerably less unpalatable, maybe a more realistic syntax is “And to those who are called, we accordingly know that God causes all all things to work together for the good of His purpose.”

Realistically speaking, isn’t it a bit egotistical to think that our benefit is somehow more significant than God’s master plan?

Lewis v. New Orleans, 415 U.S. 130 (1974)

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Back in the 1970s, Louisiana had a statute making it “unlawful and a breach of the peace for any person wantonly to curse or revile or to use obscene or opprobrious language toward or with reference to any member of the city police while in the actual performance of his duty.” After much procedural harangue that included affirmation by the Louisiana Supreme Court, the United States Supreme Court held that such statute “is not susceptible of application to speech, although vulgar or offensive, that is protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments. Cohen v. California, 403 U.S. 15, 18-22 (1971); Terminiello v. Chicago, 337 U.S. 1, 4-5 (1949); Gooding v. Wilson, supra, at 520. Since [the law], as construed by the Louisiana Supreme Court, is susceptible of application to protected speech, the section is constitutionally overbroad and therefore is facially invalid.” Read the full opinion on Google Scholar.

Edmund Burke on Moral Duty

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Two intrinsically-linked quotes from Sir Edmund Burke:

1) The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

2) Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.

George Zimmerman Trial

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George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin BOTH used bad judgment, but why is it that only Zimmerman’s judgment is scrutinized? The “girlfriend” testified that Martin was the one who initiated verbal contact. Recently someone tried to tell me that Martin was within his First Amendment rights to say whatever he wanted to. But by that same logic, Zimmerman was within his First Amendment rights to assemble where he wished. But it was Martin who created the confrontation between them. And Martin could have chosen to explain that he was visiting a resident and that would have diffused the situation. Let’s not forget about Trayvon Martin’s poor judgment.

Iron Chariots

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What are the iron chariot in our lives? To what extent do we deny ourselves our birthright?

In Judges 17:16 we read that the descendants of Joseph were too numerous to reside only in the hill country “but all the Canaanites in the lowlands have iron chariots.”

But Joshua responded “Clear as much of the land as you wish, and take possession of the farthest corners. And you will drive out the Canaanites from the valleys, too, even though they are strong and have iron chariots.”

Our iron chariots aren’t obstacles; they are the objective such that when we are strong enough to defeat the chariot we will be strong enough to exercise dominion in the promised land.

Vox’s Earlier Elucidations (2000 – 2007)

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Knowing little dreams lots.

My hindsight is so good, I should walk through life backward.

Sometimes I’m the head, sometimes the tail. But even the tail leads when the horse finds it necessary to back up.

Take me for what I am, but believe in me for what I will be.

Understand as it is, imagine as it can, strive as it will.

We are accountable not for what we are taught but for what we learn. (In other words, we are not accountable for being taught bigotry or racism or sexism or xenophobia, but we are accountable for learning those behaviors.)

If you’re not facing challenges, you’re not pursuing your destiny.

Not all pictures in life are drawn with the same shade of crayon, and some ill-deserving bastard will always have the deluxe set.

Pain speaks louder than healing and agony argues with wisdom.

A hurt that cures is better than a hurt that endures.

If we’re supposed to make lemonade when life brings us lemons, when life brings us plums, should we make prune juice?

Money doesn’t buy happiness; it buys entertainment and sometimes, diversion, either of which is preferable to mindfulness of unhappiness.

Only once we have been shattered can a higher power guide us through the reassembly.

There is no “I” in team, but there are twice as many “eyes” as there are players and an “aye” in the middle.

Go big or go home, but make sure you don’t bet the farm or the cow.

Go big or go home, but be judicious in going all-in so that there will still be a farm and a cow waiting if going home becomes necessary.

If you keep fishing in the same old sewers, you’ll keep catching the same old shit.

The essence of our “best” is not whether it can be somehow improved upon at a later time. Today’s “best” will produce tomorrow’s “better still” which will expose shortcomings of yesterday’s “best.” Our “best” is only our “best” as long as we cannot improve upon it until tomorrow. That is, the essence of our “best” is not whether it can be somehow improved upon at a later time. Our best is cognizable by our inability to improve upon it today‌.

Everything I write is completely original, and any thoughts attributable to another person are entirely coincidental — unless you believe in collective unconsciousness, in which case it is just another expression of the same original thought — unless you subscribe to the notion that everything that is written has already been written before, in which case you have to ask, is the dog chasing its tail or is the tail taunting the dog.

A word is worth a thousand sentences (to an etymologist).