One can only imagine how uncomfortable that passage from the scriptures must have made him feel. Or how about the Sermon on the Mount?
"Blessed are the peace makers
For they shall be called Sons of God."
I imagine being confronted with the words of Jesus Christ might make old George just a tad uneasy. The prayers that were offered up by the youngest members of the Kennedy clan, in Teddy's own words, were the most touching part of the entire day:
"That human beings be measured not by what they cannot do. That quality health care becomes a fundamental right and not a privilege. That old policies of race and gender die away. That newcomers be accepted, no matter their color or place of birth. That the nation stand united against violence, hate and war. That the work begins anew, and the dream lives on. We pray to the Lord."
Lord hear our prayer.
After the mass had ended, and Kevin and I headed into town to get a cup of coffee, I was almost stunned by the good cheer I felt. Ted Kennedy's funeral was truly a joyous event. Truth be told, it was damned-near therapeutic! The politics of joy as opposed to the politics of fear. There ain't nothin' like it in the world, Baby!
Surely Bush and those like him must realize that the teachings of the Prince of Peace are so diametrically opposed to the agenda of the modern-day Conservative movement, that it has gone beyond parody. Seriously, that entire movement has devolved into a gross spectacle sport - the ultimate reality show.
There must have been an audible sigh of relief emanating from the Bush Mob when Senator Kennedy breathed his last breath. The headlines his death was sure to produce meant that - for one brief, shining moment - the public spotlight would be deflected from what had been the major story prior to early Friday morning - that the Bush administration had politicized national security.
The bad news was broken in the form of advance publicity for the soon-to-be published memoirs of Tom Ridge, Bush's former Director of Homeland Security. The most comical aspect of all this are the expressions of astonishment by so many people by Ridge's revelations: that he was instructed to raise the terror alert level at various moments when the administration was in the midst of - shall we say - a "Bad News Week"? How can it possibly be that someone like me - who did not even finish High School - was able to put two and two together while the so-called "Liberal media elite" missed it entirely? What's wrong with this picture? What is astonishing is the fact that in their efforts to terrorize the Amercian people, Bush and company were aided and abetted by none other than Osama bin Laden!
What everyone with half-a-brain understands by now (but what was then apparent to anyone paying attention) is the fact that it was essential for bin Laden's long-term goals that Bush be reelected in 2004. The guy was a virtual poster boy for al Queda recruitment. It didn't take a master's degree in geopolitical strategy to understand that in the videotape released on the eve of the 2004 election, our man Osama was trying to frighten the electorate into voting for Bush. As history painfully shows, his strategy worked beautifully. It is apparent that bin Laden would agree with the assessment of P.T. Barnum who long ago observed that no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.
There are some on the left who are trying to portray Ridge as some kind of heroic figure. Let's be as blunt here: his revelation that he was ordered by then Attorney General John Ashcroft to heighten the terror alert color code in the hours leading up to the '04 election is too little, too late. He should have alerted his country at that very moment what these despicable people were up to. Had he done so,m he would have saved us four more years of what was already the most incompetent, corrupt administration in the history of this republic. Five years after the fact, Ridge is merely exploiting the corruption - which he was a willing participant in - in order to sell a book. He's not fooling me for a minute.
This is merely the tip of the proverbial iceberg. President Obama says America needs to "move on" and has insinuated that an investigation into the crimes of the Bush administration is not in the best interest of the United States. He is as wrong as he has ever been in his life. Were George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney allowed to get away with the crimes they committed against the American people, it would set a precedent too dangerous to even contemplate. It would literally give future corrupt chiefs executive the license to break the law - any law - he or she deemed inconvenient to their particular agenda. As the old, tried and true saying goes, we are a nation of laws - not of men (or of women). Not only is a special prosecutor in order, it is years overdue.
The stark contrasts between the ideals of the Progressive movement and the right wing's backwards and greedy ideology were out in public yesterday for all to compare and contrast at Our Lady of Perpetual Comfort Church in Boston. The differences were so obvious, you could not have missed them had you tried.
from Room 203 of the Comfort Inn
Conjectures of a Guilty Bystanders
by Thomas Merton
Speaking of Kevin Swanwick....He has started his own literary blog that you ought to have a look at. Here's a link:
The guy is good!