a cry towards the absurd

The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.Camus
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Posted by John Prince on Tuesday, November 19, 2002 at 07:37:05 :


I read Hard truths message regarding terrorism on your forum and I thought maybe I start a new thread here. I had written this on the occasion of the September, 11 attaks and sent it to various newspapers and politicians, but to my knowledge none of it has been published.

Here it is, (by the way, after reading this maybe you also have a new concept about the innocent civilian in the message by hard truths):Dear Sir/Madam,

This was a terrible tragedy and I am deeply saddened by hearing of the death of so many
people. However the most important question remains unanswered: How can bloodshed
like this be avoided in the future? By aerial bombing in Afghanistan? By killing Osama
Bin Laden? I doubt it.

I don’t claim to have the complete solutions, but I do have some thoughts that should be
seriously considered.

Many Church Services have been held to farewell those who have died and many have
gone to Church who would not do so ordinarily. But why did God let this tragedy
happen? Is he not the Almighty who can protect us from all evil? Why didn’t he?

How many even of regular Churchgoers have read the Bible and know the laws of God?
The target of the attack was the World Trade Centre, so most of those who lost their lives
probably worked in the financial industry or worked very closely with the financial
world. This is the Word Of God regarding the financial world:

Ezekiel 18,13: Who ... lends at interest, and takes profit; shall he then live? He shall not

Could this be the reason for what has happened? Is God, after Jeremiah 10,24 correcting
us here in just measure but not in his anger, lest he bring us to nothing?

You say it is impossible that God would do something as horrible as this. But this has
happened before. Read the story of Jehu in 2 Kings, 10. It is gruesome. Jehu kills all the
worshippers of the Phoenician god Baal. He invites them for a great sacrifice into their
temple, puts guards around the temple and sends men in to kill each and every one of
them. His instructions are, ‘Go in, and slay them; let none come forth.’ (Verse 25) And
the guards at the doors he had warned, ‘If any of the men whom I have brought into your
hands escape, he that letteth him go, his life shall be for the life of him.’

Would God do this to a Christian nation like the US? God called Nebuchadnezzar, the
destroyer of Jerusalem, the destroyer of God’s holy temple, his servant! Jeremiah 25,9:
‘Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north,’ saith the LORD, ‘and
Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land,
and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will
utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual
desolations.’ So God has brought much evil upon his followers before. Why? Because
they have not listened to the word of God’s prophets who spoke God’s word to them,
‘Turn ye again now every one from his evil way. ... And go not after other gods to serve
them, and to worship them, and provoke me not to anger with the works of your hands;
and I will do you no hurt.’ (Jeremiah, 25,5 - 6)

Are our ways evil in the sight of the Lord? Is our society doomed, if we do not change our
ways? Why is it that the Western World, but in particular the United States, attract such
hatred, not only from fanatical Moslems, but also from some of their own “Children”.
Why did Timothy McVeigh commit his horrible crime, why are US School Children
shooting their peers and teachers within the United States?

Let us take a look at one of the chapters of the Bible which tells us in the most direct
manner of what our economic relationships should be. It is Leviticus 25: From verse 9 on
the Chapter describes the Law of the Jubilee. Every 50 Years all land that has been sold
shall return to its original owner or his heir free of charge.

How can we possibly do this in today’s world?

Let me remind you what our Lord, Jesus Christ, answered the Pharisees, when they asked
him why Moses had given them a divorce law, if they should not divorce their wives.
Jesus replied: (Matthew 19, 8 and Mark 10,5) ‘For your hardness of heart he wrote you
this commandment.’ Laws have to be adjusted to the people and the circumstances. The
law of Jubilees according to the letter of Leviticus 25 is impractical today, but we still
have to act in its spirit. What was the land to the people of Moses? It was the means to
what we call a livelihood today. Doesn’t this mean that our farming land, our factories,
our means to produce the goods which we consume have to be distributed anew every so
often, every fifty years. But doesn’t the farming land and the factories not belong to
someone? God says in Leviticus 25,23: ‘The land is mine, for you are strangers and
sojourners with me.’ The land and everything that is needful to keep mankind alive
belongs to God, not to people. It is our playground, but every so often we have to restart
the game. When we play Monopoly there is an end to the game, when everybody except
one person is bankrupt. (Play it according to the rules, if you don’t believe this.) Then we
pack up all money, all title deeds, houses and hotels, and at a later time we may start the
game again. Don’t we do this in reality also? We cannot pick up a house and put it into a
box, but do we not use guns and cannons, don’t we send aeroplanes to fly over them and
bomb them, to remove them from the playing board, the earth. Is war the equivalent of
packing up the game? Does it have to be? Is war, civil strife and unrest, God’s way to
force a Jubilee, if we don’t do it ourselves?

What would have happened, if Adolf Hitler, instead of going to war, would have done
what the West - German government did in 1948, three years after this horrible war,
namely a currency reform. They did away with the old Reichsmark and every West -
German citizen obtained 40.- DM, and the country started anew. It was said about Adolf
Hitler, that he spent so much money that he had only the choice between bankruptcy and
war. Was there really no other way?

Hitler wanted to go to war, but the question remains: if the economy can force a people
to persue a course of action against its will do we not have to say that the economy is
stronger than people? In The Bulletin/Newsweek 25.10.1994 Mr. James Carville, advisor
to President Clinton, is quoted from the Wall Street Journal saying, ‘... if there is
reincarnation ... I want to come back as the bondmarket. You can intimidate everybody.’
Can you believe this? Instead of a human being, flesh and blood, he prefers to be a pile of
paper, or some bits saying 1 or 0 stored away somewhere on a computer, because this is
stronger than the US government!? He must have known in his position. Is the market
really stronger than our governments? Why is the Australian government against the
Kyoto protocol? Why are governments all around the world losing their assets to pay for
their debts?

But if the economy is stronger than even our governments, it is stronger than humans, or,
in other words, it is superhuman. God said to Adam and Eve (Gen. 1,28): ‘... have
dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing
that moveth upon the earth.’ We shall have dominion over everything that is upon the
earth, but still there are these papers, these certificates, that move through the market on
the earth that are stronger than us, something that has dominion over us? What are they
then, if they are above humans? Are they our gods? The gods whose command we follow
much more than the Word of Our Father in Heaven? The gods whom we follow at least
five days a week, if not more, while we follow God only on Sunday morning, if at all?
Many think that the first commandment is irrelevant to them, because they find it hard
enough to believe in one God, how could you believe in more than one? Men can make
gods. Aaron did it in Exodus 32, and the children of Israel worshipped it and brought it

The first commandment is the most important commandment, because it concerns God.
‘I am the LORD thy God, .... Thou shalt have no other gods before me.’ Exodus 20,4,
says: ‘You shall not make yourself a graven image or any likeness of what is in heaven
above, ... you shall not bow down to them and serve them, for I the Lord your God am a
jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth
generation ....’ What do the German Stockmarket Investors do when they go to work in
the morning into the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, going past the statues of the Bull and the
Bear, which have been erected there in 1985 by the sculptor Reinhard Dachlauer. Are
these not their idols, or the idols of the Western World? And are we not giving them
more power than our own governments? Is this an offence to God? Has God visited our
iniquity in New York? Where the towers of the World Trade Centre the temples of a
strange god, who ruled and still now rules our everyday life? And when these towers
collapsed were the persons buried in their rubble from the priesthood of this strange god?
(If you don’t believe, God would do this, read 2 Kings 23, 15 - 20)

Is it impossible for our governments to govern in the spirit of Christian love? What is
Christian love? In Pre - School our children learn that they have to share their toys, but
does that mean, that the neighbour can take Dad’s BMW for a spin? President John F.
Kennedy said that it is possible to feed every human being in the world. There is enough
food for all. He did not do this, however, because he rather geared his country’s financial
resources towards the race to the moon. Maybe his country would be more loved and
appreciated today by others, if he would have given them food, instead of trying to
impress them with his country’s power. Is food not more important than toys? When our
children go into High School, they learn the law of the economy, ‘Survival of the fittest!’
Does this not mean, ‘Death of the majority’ also, if only the fittest survive? Timothy
McVeigh seemed to have thought so. According to the ABCNews.com site he was
obsessed with survivalism. He was very intelligent, he had even won a Scholarship for
College, but he dropped out and joined the forces. Did he take ‘Survival of the fittest’
literal? What do we mean when we say that?

Timothy McVeigh did well as a soldier and was promoted earlier than others who had
joined with him. He fought in the Gulf - war and boasted about killing Iraqis and
providing security for Gen. Schwarzkopf! He must have been an excellent soldier, but
was he the best, the ‘fittest’? He tried out to become a Green Beret, which I suppose is
some sort of elite soldier, but he failed, he was not the ‘fittest’, and he could not take it.
Did he become mad, because he could not live up to the standard of our weekday god,
and be the ‘fittest’? He demonstrated against the government in the siege of David
Koresh and his followers. There are many other obscure cults in the US. Young people
killing themselves to get onto a spaceship to live a better life after death is only the tip of
the iceberg. Do these people turn to these religions to look for superhuman help, because
they know they are not the ‘fittest’? Do they feel they have no right to survive, without
this help? Is this the reason for shooting sprees at American Schools?

But how could our countries be governed better than they are today? Are they governed
well at the moment? Thirty to fourty years ago people in the Western World appeared
very happy and carefree, unless they got drafted and sent to Vietnam. Compare the
Beatles with Eminem. What better musical gift could there be for a person of budding
sexuality than ‘I saw her standing there’? But no good can be achieved by forbidding
your children to listen to Eminem. There is not even a point in blaming Eminem for his
music. If he would not strike a chord in the heart of Western children, he would not be
successful. It is us parents who make our children feel this way. In the sixties, jobs were
plentiful and many people did not worry about qualifications. They left School as soon as
they could, earned some money and enjoyed life. Today children sit at School in the
knowledge that even if they achieve high marks, the benefits for their efforts are far from
secured. Further School is competition, we are all enemies, we do not love our
neighbours. Have you seen these stickers on young people’s cars saying ‘No Friends!’?
Isn’t this horrible?

What brought about this change? Was there bad weather, drought and tempest, that
destroyed the crops in the Western World and caused suffering? ... No. Was there a war
during which key factories were destroyed so that the prosperity of the sixties ceased in
the Western World? ... No. Were there aliens from outer space, who destroyed factories,
or crops, or did something on earth to change living conditions? ... No. Why then is it
getting harder and harder to ‘survive’ in the Western World? What could it be except
mismanagement? Most say, ‘It is the economy?’ but what or who is that? Is this not our
man - made god, whom we serve and contemplate most of our waking life? Is this not our
offence to God? Does our Capitalist religion yield what it promises? Maybe, but do we
really understand the promise? I think we have all reason to worry about the fact that the
majority will die, if there is ‘survival of the fittest’ only. This was a term coined by
Charles Darwin regarding animals. Darwin himself also believed that the law he found
applies to people, to the difference between rich and poor, but should it really? Is it not
this what sets humans apart from animals, that we overcome the cruelty of nature as far
as humanly possible. Does Medicine not serve that purpose? We don’t say to the sick,
‘You are not fit enough, you shall not survive.’ Why should we say so to the poor?
Because the economic law, the law of a superhuman being tells us to do so, because a
strange god tells us?

How else could we govern our countries in a just way? Justice is an ideal and we call it
an ideal, because it is not real. Injustice does exist. It is very real, everywhere you look
you can find injustice, if you look hard enough. The really existing opposite of injustice
is not justice, but happiness. Happiness can be real. Here is an example. Is it not unfair
that James Packer is inheriting Millions of Dollars and gets all the coaching he wants
from the man who knows best to turn them into even more Millions? Why wasn’t my
Dad like that? Nobody in his right mind would call this justice, but what are we going to
do? Do we want to live as they did in the Soviet Union? ... No. Do we want to live like
they do in the People’s Republic of China? ... No. So, I suppose, we are happy with
James Packer getting all this money as long as we got a job and can make a living. But
will we always have a job? Quite a number of us don’t. We teach our children of life -
long learning and that it is very unlikely that you can remain with one employer through
all your working life. Aren’t things getting harder and harder?

Could we handle the opposite? Uriah Heep, in Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield,
complains that he went to a School where they told him in the morning that labour was a
curse, and in the afternoon, that labour was a blessing. Do we need to labour, just
because God said to Adam in Gen. 3,17 to 19, ‘... cursed is the ground for thy sake; in
sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat
bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and
unto dust shalt thou return,’ because he had eaten of the forbidden fruit? In Gen. 8,21
God says to Noah, ‘I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake....’
Remember the ground, the land, our means to make a livelihood? It is not cursed. What
would really have happened, if Adolf Hitler, instead of going to war, would have done
away with the old currency and given everybody 40.- DM of the new currency. If he
would not have gone to war, Germany would not have been destroyed. All the people
who worked on construction for decades after the war to rebuild a completely
demolished country could have lain on the beach all day, everyday. Surely there would
have been something to fix here or there, but nothing compared to the work needed to
build the country Germany from scratch. While these men would have done hardly any
work, Germany could have produced the same food, that these people bought for money,
the country could have given them accommodation, cars everything they actually bought,
everything the country could have had ready for them, even though they would have had
no money to pay for it. Could the Germans have given it to them for free? Why not? Is
this unjust? Probably. The workload to provide for the people should have been
distributed more justly amongst all Germans, but the principle is important.
Unemployment can be a blessing, not a curse. It is the blessing of Technology to make a
life of leisure possible, and it is our inability to comprehend this and make it work, which
turns it into a curse, and turns us into our neighbours competitors and enemies.

I think our endeavours to avoid future terrorist attacks should go into this direction, to
build our countries in the fear of God and not in the fear of a Stockmarket crash. The
people working in the financial industry are to me better paid dole bludgers. In my eyes
they do not contribute anything to society. They don’t produce anything. They would
disagree and claim, that everything that happens in our society is made to happen by
them. I do not agree, but no matter whether this is true or not, the point is, it should not
be true! Do we want to be ruled by a stack of papers, or some bits in a computer saying
either 1 or 0? Don’t we want to be ruled by the government which we have elected. All
major decisions, particularly those that affect the livelihood, the jobs, the quality of life,
of the citizens should be made by the government with deliberate intent, instead of
leaving matters to a soulless and merciless god called the market. Only then can we love
our neighbours, instead competing and fighting with them. Companies could downscale
operations, because their products are not needed to an extent that the factory has to run
at full capacity all the time. The workers at such a factory can work less and we still are
blessed enough to be able to give these workers everything we used to give them while
they were working. But this cannot be done by the market, even though it is of
superhuman strength, it can only be done by men who take responsibility and are
respected by the citizens who can in their organisation bring happiness, which is often
perceived as justice, to every person. Only then can we live in peace, when our world is
organised in a prosperous and stable way.

When I look back at my life, I see that all the bridges which I walked collapsed right
behind me. The price of a home has risen from about three annual wages to ten annual
wages. Many people are happy about this, but can they sell their homes? They have to
live somewhere. And how are our children meant to come up with half a Million dollars
for a home? Are they meant to stand by and wait impatiently for us to die?

Even if Christian love between all men cannot be achieved, because not everybody is a
Christian, we have to respect that other countries chose to run their affairs different from
our way. Globalistaion is a worth while ideal (it is not real). However we have to be clear
what we are aiming for in this. Globalisation should involve something like a global
currency, and world wide trade agreements. A person doing a job in Taiwan should earn
the same rewards and work under the same conditions as a person doing the same job in
the US or Europe. Think of all the non - renewable fossil fuel which would be saved on

These are, in my opinion, the issues which need to be addressed, if attacks like these are
not to be repeated. Revenge will only create more hatred. The US have been at war for a
long time. When was it the last time, that all American soldiers were on American soil,
all their military aircraft was inside American airspace, all their Navy vessels in their
waters? This nation is at war continuously like ancient Rome. And like ancient Rome at
the peak of its power they have been successful to fight their wars abroad and not in their
own country. They have been flying missions in Iraq for a decade, they have killed many
Iraqis, and Libyans and people of many other nations, and now that someone has carried
the war into their own territory they cry murder. Shame on them. Of course this was an
act of war, what else could it have been? The answer to war is not more war, but peace
with our fellow inhabitants of this planet and peace with God. ‘Vengeance is mine; I will
repay,’ saith the Lord. (Rom. 12,19, also Deut. 32,35)

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