December 06, 2016

Imagined Open Letter to Americans from an Imagined Muslim

A dream to read, were it but real:
To My Non-Muslim American Friends and Neighbors:

I am a Somali Muslim deeply ashamed by the action of the Somali Muslim who stabbed nine people at a Minnesota mall in September as well as a similar action by another Somali at Ohio State recently.

Americans are right to want to limit immigration from dangerous regions of the world, and if I were a target of potential Muslim extremists I would feel the same way. As it is, I fear the backlash of non-Muslim Americans more than I do Muslim extremists, partially because in America most self-radicalized Muslims do not target Muslim communities. But also because there's an infinitely higher potential for my people to be insulted than for Americans to be killed.

Many in the media have reached out to us and written stories about our fear of backlash and for that we are profoundly grateful. But you are telling only half the story.

I don't want it to be a one-way street. I want to reach out to Americans and tell them I understand their fears and their fears are legitimate. I don't want to play the victim card because I believe in the end Americans are a fair people and to the extent we Somalis refuse to acknowledge the obvious it only leads to more fear and Islamophobia.

I therefore am in favor greatly limited immigration from majority-Muslim countries having a problem with extremists.

Islam is a religion of peace and I want to further that peace by not having extremists infiltrate my mosque and community. I am a devoted Muslim who wants to reach out to my non-Muslim friends by being willing to accept that fewer of my relatives still in Somalia will be allowed to come to the U.S. This is the price to be paid for having extremism in lands where state and church are deeply interwoven.

Moreover, I understand statistics. I understand that there is a much greater risk in taking in 100 Muslim refugees than 100 Canadians. I don't take it personally! I notice in my own country that in some cases women are afraid of men because of past domestic abuse they'd suffered. I don't take it personally if a woman I don't know assumes the worst of me merely because I'm a man and she's suffered abuse from men. I would say she's using her God-given intelligence!

I don't take it personally, just as I would not take it personally if a doctor tells me I have a greater chance of having a stroke than my neighbor. I don't blame the doctor and call him biased against my weight or age. Radical Islamic terrorism is an idea and a sickness every bit as dangerous as heart disease. I could resent my doctor, or I could make improvements that will further my health.

I believe Islam has a bright future, but not if we continue to allow the migration of dangerous forms of Islam to Western countries. We are then just contributing to our own demise, or at least the demise of peaceful version of Islam. 

December 04, 2016

So True

Amy Welborn nails it:
Over the past few days, protests have broken out over the country, centered on the meme #NotMyPresident. The anger, shock, dismay and yes, grief, is on full display.
When I look at this on the news or on my social media feeds, I see, above anything else, a spiritual vacuum.
There is room, of course, and if your conscience demands it, an obligation to express hesitation and opposition to a stated program of action with which you disagree or feel some aspect of your life to be threatened by. But even so, most people would, you know, wait for the person to actually take office and make decisions to make a judgment on how to react to that. To engage in this kind of protest at this stage is nothing more than attempts at intimidation.
No, what I sense goes deeper, and it’s not just the events of the last couple of days that lead me to that, but also the spiritual dimension of what I wrote above.
It’s too much. It shouldn’t be that important. 
But for some reason, it is. Why?
Well, when God has been chased out of your life, when the transcendent is simply what you make it to be, it is almost inevitable that the inborn yearning that we have for certainty in identity, belonging and meaning will be transferred.
Basically, this: If the election of the head of the executive branch sends you spinning and feeling distraught because the president doesn’t represent your values and moves you to disrupt your life to cry out  #NotMyPresident! …the presidency is too important to you. It’s become an idol.
It is possible to have high expectations of our leaders’ competence and abilities without deifying them or expecting them to embody your personal values and be crushed and outraged  and moved to violence and hatred when they don’t.

December 03, 2016

Lileks in NR

Funny stuff from James Lileks in National Review
All my right-leaning friends in Minnesota — both of them — went for Trump, and they haven’t held my disinclination to take a berth in the Trump Train against me. (By the way, can we call those who got on the Trump Train early enough to get a sleeping compartment “berthers”?) We’ve turned the Etch-A-Sketch upside down, given it a good shake, and decided to bond anew over the final repudiation of Hillary Clinton. 

Whether you were a supporter or a doubter, your dark evil heart has enjoyed the sight of some liberals taking the election like an Ikea bookcase hit by a semi. The brutal repression of the Reagan years with the know-nothingness of Chimpy Bush combined into one thick smirking bolus of malignity! America is doomed? Our feeling about their panic is both cruel and refined, so naturally there’s a German word for it. But however much schadenfreude you felt toward the weeping Hillary hopefuls as they watched Donald Trump paint over the glass ceiling like the windows of Grand Central Terminal during World War II, the reversion of some college students to thumbsuckery of the literal sort was even more delightful. 

You heard reports of events like this: 
Self-Care Drop-In Healing Place
For those who have been psyche-wounded by the election of the Ochre Horror, the Susan B. Anthony Room in the Shirley Chisholm Wing of the Betty Friedan Building will be open for medication and reinforcement. There will be stuffed animals, Play-Doh, pacifiers, small beds with bars on the sides and mobiles suspended overhead, blankeys, and a bucket of stage blood should you wish to smear yourself and scream at the moon. (A small, gender-neutral picture of the moon will be provided.) 
Or, reports like this: 
Protesters, Protesting Imminent Violence, Are Proactively Violent against Violence 
Several dozen masked people, protesting the imposition of fascism on America, joined up with the Committee to Destroy Israel and smashed dozens of windows downtown. At first, police thought the riot was caused by Never Trumpers and dubbed it Billkristolnacht, but the presence of many hammer-and-sickle T-shirts led them to believe otherwise. 
They have a name: bitterclingers. But what do we call them right now? “Never Trump” doesn’t work at this point, because it’s like jumping out a plane without a parachute and shouting “Never gravity!” Here are some suggested terms: 

Optimisticons: “Hey, I wasn’t for Trump initially; I was for Scott Walker. In fact I actually am Scott Walker. Now we have to make the most of this, and maybe he will sign good bills. If he does join us for entitlement reform, a Mt. Rushmore addition would seem a fair trade.” 

Skepticons: “I still think he is, when you get down to it . . . What’s the word? Trump. That’s what he is. He’s going to tweet ‘Sad!’ at someone at 3 a.m. and we’ll lose a military base on a Philippine island. I hope I’m wrong, but I wouldn’t mind being absolutely right.”

Read more at:

Trump and Mother Teresa: Separated at Birth?

I saw a sour grapes headline in the WaPo lamenting that Trump got more credit over saving a thousand jobs than Obama did with millions.
There's likely some truth to that given Obama's auto bailout, and I think the lack of credit is due to a combination of things:
  1. If something doesn't get properly publicized, then it didn't happen. And Trump is a thousand times more a salesman than the aloof Obama. If a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it...
  2. People want stories, not statistics. Without individual faces and a names attached to someone whose job was saved it doesn't break into our consciousness.
  3. Most people would prefer to see actions taken, even if the actions prolong economic pain. I'll never forget when John Updike reviewed a book on how FDR's policies lengthened the Great Depression. Updike basically said that because FDR cared, and was trying, that was worth more than shortening the Depression. You could see that as saying that love matters more than economic pain.* Or that people are more governed by emotions than logic (God made us humans, not robots.) Or that people are just much more influenced by stories than statistics.
Free trade has done more to lift millions of Chinese and Indians from poverty than all the charitable programs put together, and yet you never see any acknowledgement of that from any source: not any Christian church, not America-first Republicans, certainly not pro-labor Democrats.

Charity begins at home, they say, and so touting the benefits to Chinese and Indians of free trade isn't going to be too persuasive understandably.

* - one of the complaints about St. Mother Teresa was that she showed love to the dying but not adequate medical care. 

December 02, 2016

Denying Reality

I saw in the Columbus Dispatch where the mother of the OSU attacker is suffering from a similar syndrome as the Boston bomber mother: refusal to believe her son was capable of the acts attributed.

It's interesting that happened in two mothers of Muslim migrants. Very anecdotal of course and I'm not sure how often this occurs in non-Muslim mothers of sons who do heinous acts but there are at least a few explanations:

1. Strong desire to not believe bad things about your kid, thus you protect yourself with denial.

2. The apple didn't fall far from the tree - that is, the tendency to disbelieve reality was how their sons were raised thus making them capable of heinous acts on the basis of delusions.

3. Muslim migrants feel, in general, so disconnected from the culture that they have zero confidence in institutions like the police, media, government, etc, despite receiving the assistance that sprung them from hellholes like Somalia.

I hope the explanation is the first one.

December 01, 2016

Victim Mentality

"The Victim Mentality Kills" was the headline from a National Review Jim Geraghty email.

I thought it hyperbole.  Victim mentality can have some pluses, namely as a way to combat legitimate injustices, such as the way blacks are often treated by police (although BLM is a long way from MLK). But the downside is devastating: it ruthlessly kills gratitude and nourishes a passivity and blaming others for everything.

And now it seems positively dangerous, especially in at-risk populations like young Muslim immigrants. This WaPo piece reads like parody:
Artan spoke calmly but seriously about his acute awareness of what he saw as major American misconceptions about Islam, his religion. From memory, he ticked off examples of Islamophobia that garnered media attention, such as the police being summoned because a man in Avon, Ohio, was speaking Arabic in a parking lot or when a college student was removed from a plane after he said “Inshallah” in a phone conversation with his uncle.
Wow.  An incident in Avon, Ohio and a college student removed from a plane.  That's it?  Proving that if you want to nurse a sense of grievance, you'll sure find something.  Short of abolishing sin, there's gonna be no way to placate.  There needs to be a shaming of the victim mentality. A grievance industry set up against the grievance industry.

Geraghty writes:
What comes through most is this whining sense of victimhood, that he’s forced to commit these atrocious, barbaric attacks on innocent people out of a righteous sense of self-defense to protect his feelings.

“I am sick and tired of seeing my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters being killed and tortured EVERYWHERE..."

See, Muslims aren’t being killed and tortured everywhere. It would be nice if someone close to him had told him that, and if fewer people helped fuel that rage-inducing falsehood. If he ever bothered to read a book or the news about places like Syria and Iraq, he would have learned that Muslims are mostly being killed and tortured by fellow Muslims. Who does he think are the majority of ISIS victims? Who does he think are blowing up mosques from Iraq to Yemen? Who does he think blew up those Muslims in the hospital in Quetta, Pakistan, or the Syrian refugee camp in Jordan, or set off the car bombs in downtown Kabul, Afghanistan, or the minivan filled with explosives in central Baghdad? It’s not Westerners! You don’t see American communities churning out waves and waves of gleeful suicide bombers!

Burma? Burma? If you’re so mad about that, buy a plane ticket and go on a rampage over there. What, you think the students at OSU secretly control the levers of power in Naypyidaw? (That’s the Myanmar capital, and don’t feel bad, I had to look it up, too.)

He’s convinced he and his fellow members of his faith are victims of an aggressive, malevolent West.
He believes this while attending class at Ohio State University. Nobody’s oppressing him. No one’s imprisoning him without charges, trial, or appeal. Nobody’s trying to kill him. No one’s closing his mosque, or banning his faith. He’s got a better life with more opportunities, freedom, and material abundance than probably 90-some percent of his fellow Muslims around the world. And he still thinks he’s a victim of a malevolent America, and that everyone around him is a legitimate target for retribution.

Is this guy a jihadist? Sure. Even worse, he’s a whiny Millennial jihadist, who thinks that everything in life is so uniquely unfair to him, and that he’s unjustly victimized everywhere he goes. In an interview with the campus newspaper this summer, he said, “If people look at me, a Muslim praying, I don’t know what they’re going to think, what’s going to happen. But I don’t blame them, it’s the media that put the picture in their heads.”

What, the unfair picture that any pious Muslim could be sympathetic to terrorists, a ticking time bomb, and full of murderous rage against everyone around him? Yeah, you sure showed us, pal! Allow me to float the theory that some people around this guy warily treated him like he was a nascent jihadist because he acted like a nascent jihadist.

Update: Oh great:

November 30, 2016

Revoking My Right to Vote

I voted for arguably one of the worst presidents in the last 40 years (George W. Bush).  I also did not vote for Trump, and although it's absurdly early to speculate he may end up doing well based on the Jim Geraghty piece below.  If Trump turns out decent I probably should never vote for president again!
We may quibble with a few [of Trump's cabinet choices] here and there, but overall it’s a really good group, particularly considering the perceived limited circle of connections and talent around Trump during the campaign. By and large, this is a pretty darn conservative cabinet, and one that’s sufficiently experienced, professional, knowledgeable, and prepared for the massive tasks before them. In fact, if any of the other 16 Republican presidential candidates had won, it’s easy to picture some of these same names appearing in those alternative Republican cabinets.

What’s more, there’s still quite a bit of experienced managerial and legislative talent walking through the lobby of Trump Tower these days: Mitt Romney, David Petraeus, Rick Perry, retired general James Mattis, Representative Marsha Blackburn, Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin.

Perhaps most surprising is that some of the figures most loyal and visible during the campaign haven’t been named to any cabinet positions yet: Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, and Chris Christie. (There’s the rumor, not yet officially announced, that Ben Carson will run the Department of Housing and Urban Development.)

During the campaign, quite a few conservatives uncomfortable with Trump noted that they would feel better if Mike Pence was the guy really handling the details. We might be getting something akin to that scenario:
Trump’s choices so far have reflected Pence’s politics -- potentially proving helpful on Capitol Hill, where the Indiana governor and former House Republican leader has long been expected to help Trump most. Pence’s devotion to conservative principles -- and his relationships with powerful groups, including the Heritage Foundation -- have allowed him to help Trump navigate a Washington terrain that is unfamiliar to the billionaire business mogul who just ran his first campaign for any office.
A top Pence aide said Tuesday that Trump and Pence consult on all Cabinet picks -- Pence even got a close friend, Representative Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) into the mix for Treasury secretary, though that nod ultimately went to Steven Mnuchin -- and that they communicate throughout the transition.
As for the relationship, the aide said they can look like something of an “odd couple” -- but the balancing works. Pence, the aide said, was the only person who would have had the discipline to make it through a gauntlet like that campaign and not lose faith.
Do you recall the Obama administration’s “stray voltage” theory? The gist was, “the president purposefully overstates his case knowing that it will create controversy… Controversy sparks attention, attention provokes conversation, and conversation embeds previously unknown or marginalized ideas in the public consciousness.” Part of it was a cynical calculation to let an argument about a presidential statement ensure a topic stayed front and center in the public’s mind; there’s also the side effect of ensuring that a brouhaha about a presidential statement overshadowed actual policy decisions – decisions that may be more consequential, but are less dramatic and interesting to the news media.

Almost like, say, a president-elect declaring he wants to strip away the citizenship of those burning the flag.

If the incoming Trump administration really is using a variation of the “stray voltage” approach, and Democrats really have an uncontrollable impulse to focus on the controversial statement du jour, the Trump administration could end up being stunningly effective in policymaking. A lot of seemingly dry and boring regulations can be repealed, executive orders withdrawn, rewritten, and issued, legislation passed by GOP majorities in Congress and signed, all while the political world froths at the mouth about the president’s latest Tweet or denunciation of the media, or theater performers, or anything else that comes to mind.

You can enact sweeping, dramatic changes to Americans’ lives under the radar. As our friends at the Weekly Standard noted, the charter school movement grew enormously over the past 25 years, in large part because it wasn’t a big, Washington-focused political battle. Today, “43 states have charter-school laws, and approximately 3 million kids attend almost 7,000 charters across the country.” This happened without any giant federal legislation or heated governmental clashes in the national spotlight.

Could this really happen? Could the next four (eight?) years really turn out to be a golden era for conservative policy?

Maybe I can't be too hard on myself. Maureen Dowd wrote this summer about how impossible it is to cast an informed vote:

November 29, 2016

No Good Deed...

I recall it being a big surprise when at our workplace there was a big effort towards forcing employee engagement scores up via a lot of torturous activities and meetings. I thought: this is simple, we got this. Just give all perfect scores on engagement and we'll be free of the nonsense. Only that didn't completely turn out that way, at least verbally. (In practice, since our engagement scores soared, we haven't been punished as much.) But verbally we were told that high scores would not obviate the need for constant attention to engagement. There was always room to improve.

I thought of that while reading Pope Benedict remark that a Pope must not always be applauded or there is something amiss. He must be martyred, if not physically then in reputation or whatnot. The world, by definition, can't be in sync with the Pope much as we employees can't, by definition, be fully engaged.

The Bible teaches that goodness is always persecuted, so the adage "no good deed goes unpunished" seems biblical enough, and for Central Ohio to take in so many Somali refugees (second only to Minneapolis area), we were due to get hit.  And so we did, at the OSU campus.

Feels miraculous he didn't kill anybody. It sure hits close enough to home. Last year the guy was a student at Columbus State, which is in a downtown neighborhood I walk through at least twice a week at lunchtime on my way to St. Pat's.


One of the more puzzling anecdotes about the life of Christ was where Jesus was found in the temple by Mary and Joseph after three days. And yet one could see the teaching potential and the greater good in it. Mary feels anxiety and distress and finally finds Him and is reassured. Could that not be a lesson for her to trust God, a trust she would need exponentially multiplied during the Crucifixion? And perhaps she exhibited and telegraphed that trust in Him as he was going along the way of the Cross, and perhaps that was the difference-maker for him as far as avoiding the temptation of giving in to despair or the exhaustion, fully human as He was and subject to the same temptations we are.

A recent reading from Revelation (ironically meaning "unveiling") serves to remind me we're not owed the immediate gratification of "seeing" God or understanding everything:
The direct vision of God is the great hope of biblical spirituality (Ps 11:7; 42:2) and the preeminent blessing of heaven (Mt 5:8; 1 Cor 13:12). Seeing the face of God points to a profound personal intimacy with him; it is an experience of knowing God that is the fulfillment of human existence. Tradition calls this the Beatific Vision (CCC 1023–28).
As a kid, I thought that God should condescend to us to the point of appearing to each of us personally, via a mystical experience, and thus show proof of His existence. There's definitely a sense of entitlement in that, but also an ignorance that it may not even be in our best interests to have a personal experience of God like St. Paul, given that the cost is awfully high. More is expected when you receive those sorts of visions, and Paul was expected to give his life, his reputation, and health, to the point where he "gloried" in the cross of Christ.

God's wouldn't ask of us faith unless it was good for us, but I guess that takes faith.  That's one of the pure beauties of the Catholic Church for me: the Church teaches that faith is a gift given to us in Baptism whether we are conscious of it or not, while for most Protestant denominations faith is an emotion at best, or something you've developed on your own at worst. Unless faith comes to us in an unconscious manner, it doesn't feel as much a gift, and it doesn't come to us more unconsciously than it does with infant Baptism.

November 28, 2016

Wine Quiz

I've never had any of these, but I took a quiz here to determine wines I'd supposedly like:

November 26, 2016

The Importance of Little Truths

The mainstream media's pious eulogy for Fidel and Trump's counterpunch statement (in which he called a spade a space) reminds me how deeply satisfying the truth can be even when coming from such a flawed instrument.

Hearing the truth in many instances is a sort of a luxury item inasmuch as not seeming
necessary. Part of the art of diplomacy is allowing people to have their small fictions for peace-of-mind purposes. But currently the rage is authenticity uber alles, even when coming from a phony like Trump. Because, he's so phony he comes out the other side, like how if you're so rightwing you almost left-wing. (See here)
The thirst from plain-spoken Middle Americans to hear Islamic terrorism named *Islamic* terrorism struck me as somewhat self-indulgent. Yes terrorism is primarily Islamic, but there's no reason to rub their noses in it especially seeing how it seems to serve no strategic interest.

Similarly with Castro, I'm not sure how much difference it really makes to opine other than for the cathartic effect for those "on your side" (in my case, with people who have read history and aren't Communists, reasonably minimal standards).

But I think with Trump I misunderestimated how important it is for many people to hear their view expressed; my father-in-law is a case-in-point. He was a very early Trump supporter based largely on Trump's political incorrectness. Like what baseball guru Bill James said.

There is admittedly a tonic in hearing the sacred cows of the Left gored. My tendency can be too Spock-like; people are animated by emotion and are not robots and Lord knows I'm certainly animated by emotion enough, in particular after reading how Shelby Steele ascribed white guilt as the reason we voted for Obama. I became infinitely annoyed that Obama was thrust on me because ancestors of some Americans in a hundred and fifty years ago held slaves. Steele's views look significantly less true now, given how it seems we just have a fetish for outsiders, with Obama looking like the ultimate outsider until we doubled-down on the Trumpster.

If there's a hierarchy of truths to defend, then the time spent debating those lower on the list (like Islamic terrorism or Fidel Castro's saintliness) seem distractions -- except when they aren't, that is when people are so fed up they vote in a "trump l'oeil".

I recall it was the great Tom of Disputations who said that if something is very important to someone else, even if you think it shouldn't be that important to them, it should therefore be taken seriously because they are human and highly prized children of God.

And even for the secular types, in a democracy, how can you ignore what is important to the mass of men?

I'm Semi-Famous Once Removed!

Words that I coined will now live for eternity:

By the way, you can hear Hambone (aka "Rene") plug his book here on a local radio station.

November 22, 2016

My Memoir*

There was a break in the weather on June 20th. The city of Hamilton's Water Works station recorded a high of 75 that day after a week in the 80s and 90s. It'd been a hot June with the promise of more to come.

On Friday the 21st the temperature inched up to 79; the next day would hit 91 and the day after 93. Like animals that can tell a coming hurricane, my mom could feel the heat coming back and told me, in no uncertain terms, that the rent was due and I had to come out. She wouldn't be carrying a nine pound baby in the heat of summer, so labor began on the 21st and ended conveniently before the heat of the 22nd's afternoon.

I was born with certain expectations and predilections but failed to enunciate them adequately to my mother.  I became a writer due to that early lesson: crying nonsense just doesn't get the job done. You have to be articulate, to plead your case, to explain what's wrong. And I didn't, not at all. All I did was cry, cry, cry. Endlessly but with impressive repetition, like how foreigners keep saying the same foreign word as if you could understand them the tenth time better. I couldn't use English to describe my dislike of the bottled milk, but I think it was causing me gas pains, best I can tell. I can't recall.

It was months before relief came when a doctor who spoke tears understood and translated. I went on some sort of different formula, the details unspecific but perhaps not earth-shattering. Calm was restored. The wisdom at Woodstock, six years later, was "stay away from the brown acid", but my wisdom acquired earlier was "stay away from the bottled milk."

But I'm getting ahead of myself. The birth itself occurred at 9:12:47 Eastern Standard Time, which is when I accomplished my first (the haters say "only") courageous deed, that of forsaking the amniotic fluid (and thus being, essentially, a aquatic animal) and breathing that rich combination of oxygen and nitrogen and fossil fuel pollution we call air.  And thus I became a land animal overnight, or technically, over morning.

I spent my first day resting comfortably when I obviously should've been learning to read so that I could say words like, "I think I'm allergic to that damn milk." At the very least I could've gotten a jump start on a savings plan since I wasn't getting any younger.

But a certain laziness gripped me, perhaps not unique to my sex, and I slept a lot, dreaming of those prelapsarian days in my mom's womb where I was essentially a "professional student", discovering my immediate surroundings, experiencing different types of food, and learning out how to pick my nose.  My payment was free food and room and board.  A sinecure.

I was surprisingly gifted in the womb, but this was not widely known. They don't give scholarships, six-figure jobs, or multi-year football contracts to those, like me, who show exceptional promise pre-birth. I'm not bitter, really, but I am a victim of societal prejudice against those still on the amniotic fluid. You'd think I wasn't a person or something then!

Fortunately nowadays they have soccer camp for pre-borns, which involves mothers hiking to distant athletic fields and yelling words of encouragement to their little ones along with words of discouragement to the refs. "Offsides, no way! Just because I'm a little more pregnant than she is shouldn't count..."

Again I leap way ahead. I have about 100,000 more words to write concerning my initial day of life, but we got this.

Here I am playing Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 while still in the womb!
It's not bragging if it's true!

Here is a modern day mom having her unborn practice soccer. 

* - A note of explanation: It's come to my attention that narcissism is the new black.  We just elected a president with no other discernible skills but for an admirable facility with bankruptcy laws.  I know I can be more narcissistic too. I know I have it in me because I'm a blogger for heavensake. So I've decided to write a memoir in a series of over fifteen-thousand blog posts in which I describe the history of my life in real time.  Ideally, it should take the average reader 24 hours to read about each of my 24 hour days.   Don't be daunted, this'll be great; We're I'm going to make blogging great again.  (I almost used "we" instead of "I" - I'm a budding narcissist but I've got the goods, trust me!)

November 21, 2016

A November Hike

King Readings

Beautiful readings for the feast of Christ the King today. The first line in the first reading about David becoming king immediately caught me:
"Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron, and said, 'Look, we are your bone and flesh.'"
This is part and parcel with by far my favorite view of Scripture, the marital view. "Your builder has come to marry you" as it says in Isaiah, as well as the Pauline teaching of the one Body of Christ made up of us (just as two become one in early marriage). It just doesn't get better, news-wise, than God not only created us, and forgives us, but wants to marry us and become one body with us.

This 2nd Samuel verse was an Adam and Eve reference and how the tribes basically are going to "marry" David, much as we Christians would "marry" Christ.  And sure enough, I see Fr. Barron jumped on this as well:
Having come to David, the elders of the tribes say, “Look, we are your bone and flesh” (2 Sam. 5:1). They cannot mean a physical, tribal connection, for these are not men of Judah, but they do indeed assert that David is the head under which a kind of mystical body can form. No one familiar with the Bible can miss the connection between this language and the words used by Adam of Eve: “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh” (Gen. 2:23). What the elders of Israel are proposing is a sort of marriage between themselves and David, a joining together of what had become separated, a union that will result in fruitfulness. Most Christians will recognize the link between this description of David’s relationship to Israel and Paul’s description of Jesus’s relationship to the church: “He [Christ] is the head of the body, the church” (Col. 1:18); and “now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it” (1 Cor. 12:27).