Wednesday

A Fable

     A hunter pursued a wounded hart into the ruins of an ancient city. Hot on the trail, the man rounded a corner of the antique streets and found himself confronted by a griffin. Neither were prepared to fight, but both were too proud to surrender the hapless quarry.
     “Depart, dumb beast,” shouted the hunter, “lest I slay thee.”
     “As for dumb, O Hunter," replied the griffin, speaking the tongue of man, “thou canst hear thine error. And if thou wouldst take my life, thou art more than I take thee for.”
     The hunter, a practical man, wasted no worry on the griffin's power of speech, and returned, “Thou say thou takest me, but thy beak lacks the point of thy words. Fly!”
     “Babbler,” quoth the griffin, “thine only point is the tongue in thy mouth.”
     “Mine arrow will make my point, in thine heart. Save thy breath for flight.”
     “So many words, thou upright pig. But the bones of thy father are dry in my nest.”
     “And the hide of thy dame swaddles my babe.
     “The babes of men lay for nine seasons in their own filth.
     “And griffins are born in feces.”
     “But they are born griffins.”
     “Look about thee, beast. Even these ancient walls bespeak my power over thee.” And so it was, for cut into the stone was the image of a mighty hero, strangling a griffin.
     The griffin sneered in response. “If griffins carved in stone, thou wouldst see men under their talons.”
     “But griffins cannot carve stone.”
     “No, rather thy flesh.”
     “Yet thy blood this day shall flow.”
     “Not so freely as thy boasts.”
     “The wind blows from thy direction.”
     And so they contended, each winning his point, neither losing ground. And as the two contended, the hart covered ground, too.



5 Comments:

At 07:35, Blogger TRUTH_FINDER said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 07:56, Blogger TRUTH_FINDER said...

Hi Jack,
Considering this nice story a symbolic story, I hope neither of us would be a hunter nor a griffin. I am not in a position to contend with anybody because my mission is just to inform, with love, other brothers and sisters in humanity with what I do belive is the truth and the right way.

Highest Regards,
Youssef

N.B. If you think this is not the right place for this comment, please remove it immediately.

 
At 17:22, Blogger Jack H said...

Greetingss Youssef --

Be at peace. I meant neither of us, in this little bit of fluff I've tossed to the wind. I think I've indicated that this site is primarily satire, with intersticed musings of a more serious character. Both of us, I'm sure, understand the uselessness of quibbling. I try to take a lighter tone, or a more oblique approach -- which is almost universally open to misunderstanding, but there it is.

I respect your earnestness and civility, and I trust that in the appropriate forum, I share it. Concidering the ground of our introduction -- religion -- that there may be misunderstandings or sensitivities is to be expected. My faith teaches the obligation only to present what we call the Word -- there is no obligation to convert. I know there are passages in your own scripture that are analogous. The incivility comes in the urge not to converse, or convert, but to conquor. Such an urge is universal to human nature, but not all religions teach it. Here is where we must differ. As I have said -- meaning no offense, but meaning it with absolute sincerity -- the commandment of Jihad is clear, and what am I to do with that?

I am the unbeliever against whom the Prophet is commanded to "make war," and whose "home shall be Hell" (Sura 9:73). Moslems are told to "fight the infidels who dwell around you, and deal rigorously with them" (9:124). "Do not yield to unbelievers, but strive against them in a strenuous Jihad" (25:54). "Whether unarmed or well-equipped, march on and fight for the cause of Allah with your wealth and your persons" (9:41). "Fight against (the idolaters) until idolatry is no more and Allah's religion reigns supreme" (2:189, 8:40). "Fighting is obligatory for you, and you dislike it. But you may dislike a thing although it is good for you, and love a thing although it is bad for you" (2:212). Allah "has promised all (Moslems) a good reward, but far richer is the recompense of those who fight for Him; rank of His own bestowal, forgiveness and mercy" (4:97). Only the blind, the lame and the sick are exempt (48:17).

I could go on. I would no more attempt to teach you your faith than you would teach me mine. We know what we believe. And quibbles about translation aside, there is a Christian exegetical principle, that a doctrine is established not on a single verse, but by the witness of two or three. There must be scores of verses that teach Jihad. I am, by definition, an enemy of Islam -- not by my terms -- I would not have it so -- but by its own. This is the opposite of what the historic Christian faith teaches. (I do not mean the Roman Catholic state in history -- it was a secular power in religous garb; I mean only what may be drawn from the clear words of the Bible. This is a complex subject, which I won't go into.)

Clearest, and most troubling, is the commandment: "When you meet the unbelievers, smite at their necks; at length when you have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them), thereafter is the time either for generosity or for ransom until the war lays down its burdens" (47:4). I take this on its own terms. The beheaders in the news are not heretics. I think they understand correctly the meaning of the Surahs. I don't find beheading itself offensive -- it's just different than what the Western mind is used to, in this century. No, what is offensive is that the edict is against me -- against those, against all, whose faith is not Islam.

There is a moderate element in Islam, that preaches peace. I think authentic Islam preaches the peace after the conquest, though. Moderate Moslems, I believe, have to explain away, rather than accept, the martial origins and urges and commandments of the Koran. Again, I would not teach you your own faith, but my opinion is informed by a vast body of commentary from classical and modern Islamic scholars. Just as I disagree with cultists who pervert the Gospel, so may you disagree with those Islamists in the news. But they are "cultists" not because they twist the Koran: I think they get it right. If I were Moslem, I'd be a Jihadist. I don't see a difference between Moslem and Jihadist, except that the former may be disobedient to the commandemtns of Allah, to conquor.

As you are a cultured and peaceful and gracious man, you would disavow the excesses of bloodshed we all know about. For my part, I could not adhere to a faith that mandates it, as I believe Islam does. Jesus is called the Prince of Peace, but he comes back with a sword. However symbolical that may be, it has a literal truth. We must always allow that complexity is not the same as contradiction. So, Jesus is a "Jihadist," too -- but not now ... rather in the Last Days, and not for Mohamed or Allah, but for Himself.

And so there it is. Again, it comes down to the imponderable of election. You have made an informed choice, and are Moslem. I have made an informed choice, and am Christian. Because we are men of probity, we wage our campaigns with words. But in every case, I will condemn those who commit violence in the name of Jesus. If you do the same, than we are in agreement on this point, as well.

I think I'll pray for you, to be saved. I was not born Christian. I concidered Islam, as a young man. But somebody must have been praying for me. I'll do the same for you.

Pax --

Jack

 
At 08:45, Blogger TRUTH_FINDER said...

Dear Jack,
Your comments are realy rich in contents and requires sharp mind and wide knwoledge to deal with.

I also have already prayed for you. So, let's see whose prayer will be accepted.

I wish if you were a Moslem, you would be a great Jihadist, Won't you?

Please give me little more time to post a simple reply.

Highest Regards,
Youssef

 
At 14:03, Blogger Jack H said...

Glad to hear from you. I thought about it later, and realize I don't think I was as clear as I could have been. Of course Islam isn't responsible for the foolishness of it's followers -- but we've been over that ground. Western Civ is just mostly decandent, and right-minded people can only abhore that. It's the same with the barbarism of honor killings, on your side, I'm sure. It's never a "we're better than you" argument -- it's a quest for what is true.

Anyway, I've moved the serious stuff off this site, which was meant as a lark, a site for absurd humor. It's reposted at forgottenprophets.blogspot.com.

Thanks for the compliment -- I'd like to think I would be a great jihadist. :-) As it is, I'm as humble a christian as my ego and human nature will allow.

Best,

Jack

 

Post a Comment

<< Home

Humor Blog
Top Sites

  • Copyright © 2009