Posted by: HAT | January 10, 2010


I read a book yesterday (OK, speed-read) that I’d had for a few weeks because I knew I’d see the owner today and thought I’d best be giving it back. The Family by Jeff Sharlet. (There’s a video interview with the author at Democracy Now.)

It’s possible that from reading this blog someone wouldn’t imagine that I might have felt the Wobblies were bona fide heroes (yes, I DO have a copy of Songs to Fan the Flames of Discontent), and that I might have already shed more than a few tears over the massacre of the communists in Indonesia in the 60s, and the genocide in East Timor. So reading this book was like watching a horror movie in slow motion, finding out that things were even worse than I’d thought, and what I’d thought was bad enough.

I appreciated the concluding paragraph very much, with its opposition of “deliverance” to “salvation.” Inadequate consolation as it was.

Because of course, I want “the idea of a world that would not only abolish extant suffering but revoke the suffering that is irrevocably past” to be the truth. And I want Jesus to be on its side. And whether that even begins to be reasonable — and goodness knows, there are plenty of reasons to doubt it — is completely beside the point.


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