Charlie's Blog: March 2016


Easter Reflections On The Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.

I can understand why an atheist does not believe in the Resurrection. First of all, it is an unusual event. Second of all, most unusual events like spontaneous combustion and Bigfoot turn out to be a bunch of lies. Third of all, in a world of misery and evil, it is hard to believe that God even exists or that His answer to it all is to come and get Himself killed and then rise from the dead. I agree completely with those who say that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. The people I don't understand are the ones who live and work in the religious realm who try and reduce the Resurrection from a real bodily event to a symbolic spiritual event experienced purely in the minds of the Apostles. You can find these heretics in various places of liberal Christianity, but it is most disturbing when one of those places is among the members of the Society of Jesus and Catholic institutions of higher learning.

Belief in the bodily Resurrection of Christ is not an optional thing in Christianity. I won't go into the substantial evidence for the resurrection as others have already done this. Atheists may not believe, but they can't say it is for lack of evidence. They may not find that evidence compelling as I do, but I can say that no amount of evidence would ever suffice for them. As a former atheist, I can say that atheists are atheists for the simple reason that they cannot deal with the problem of evil. Then, they go and commit evil. Basically, God does not exist because He allows atheists to exist.

My main concern is with the religious heretics who deny Christ's resurrection. Why? To be more precise, why do these people work in a religious profession? Why are these people priests and prelates? To me, it is like a meat eater who works in a vegan restaurant. Why pretend to believe in what you don't believe? And why not avail yourself of the much easier life in places where the lack of faith and promotion of heresy are tolerated and supported?

I have already touched upon this issue in a previous post called The Episcopal Church. The reality is that the reason these heretics who deny the Resurrection and other doctrines like Transubstantion remain in the Roman Catholic Church is because of the most obvious reason. They are evil. They belong to the Devil, and they do the Devil's work which is the corruption of Christ's church. It is already public knowledge that priests, prelates, and religious violate vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience. Many of them are practicing homosexuals and others have preyed upon minors and children. I am currently reading a book that alleges that powerful priests and prelates in the past have engaged in satanic rituals, and my research on the matter has led me to the conclusion that these allegations were not idle speculations. It pains my heart to discover these things, but it does not diminish my faith. If evil can make such a target out of the Catholic Church, then the Church must truly be from God.

Back before Good Friday, I pondered to myself why Judas Iscariot did what he did. My view of the man was that he started from a good place and fell. St. John the Apostle dispels that silly notion.
But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, said, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and given to poor people?” Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it. 
JOHN 12:4-6 NASB
Knowing a bit about John's Gospel, it was written last of the Gospels and didn't waste time with a simple retelling of events like the other three. John gives us information the others leave out, answers certain questions, and is written with a different purpose in mind. With this passage, he answers my question. Judas was not a good guy who became bad. He was bad from the start. He was an agent of the Devil, and his intent was to destroy Jesus. He was a like a spy or a double agent.

Most people live in service to their own sin or evil. Others live in service to an evil greater than themselves. This distinction is an important one. Judas Iscariot lived in service to Satan. He did not betray Jesus merely for his own ends. He betrayed Jesus for the sake of the Devil.

This is controversial stuff because many people don't actually believe in the Devil. They believe people do evil because they are off in the head or weak in their character or adhere to an ideology like communism that leads to evil. Somewhere, the good got misdirected into evil. But to live in service to Satan and sacrifice oneself to a greater evil is the purest evil there is.

The reason we have such a distorted image of Judas is not because of what he did before his betrayal but what he did after. Overcome with grief and despair, he tossed away his pieces of silver and hanged himself. Had he held on, he would have been witness to the Resurrection. His life would have ended differently. He could have come back from the darkness. But as it stands, I agree with our Lord when He said that it would have been better if Judas had never been born. There is only one thing worse than not existing, and I will leave it there.

The selection of Judas as one of the twelve should serve as both warning and consolation. There have been other Iscariots after Judas, and the history of Catholicism is replete with these evildoers who have served the Devil while pretending to serve God. These people pretend to believe while doing what they can to undermine the faith in their subtle ways. One of those ways is to reduce the Resurrection to a mere idea devised by the Apostles in an act of pure fideism. What matters is not that Jesus rose bodily from the dead, but that you believe that His ideas of social justice rose from the dead. This is simply crap. Why would I ever allow myself to be tortured, mutilated, and executed for something as ridiculous as this?

Once Jesus has been reduced to a mere idea, that idea can be changed. And that is the poison the Iscariots pour into the lives of the faithful. The body and blood become mere bread and wine again. The miraculous becomes myth. Death is still death. And Heaven is merely the last pleasant thought you have before your life is extinguished forever. If that is all Christianity amounts to, I don't want it. I'd rather be a bleak atheist again. Fortunately, I do believe that the Apostles died for a real event and a real Savior. Christ is truly risen.



As the Baby Boomer generation heads into retirement, and hopefully irrelevance, the time comes to reflect on their legacy. What did those born between 1946 and 1960 do with their time here on this earth and what did it all mean? If the generation scarred by World War I was the Lost Generation, and the generation that rose to the occasion to defend freedom in World War II was the Greatest Generation, then what buzz-phrase can we honestly apply to the ladies and gentlemen born in the triumphant post-war birth explosion as the United States captured the whole planet’s imagination as the newly crowned Leader of the Free World? The answer is simple and more than a little disappointing: the Worst Generation. The phrase “Baby Boomer” won’t stick because it only describes their births, not their legacy. Those of us heading into retirement today are without question the Worst Generation and the first generation to leave an America and a world for their children worse off than when they found it.

I use "X" as the tile of this post because it is the label given to my generation born during the 1970's. I am a member of Generation X. I am sandwiched between the Baby Boomers and the Millennials. I have tasted some of the prosperity of those Boomers, and I now taste the misery of the Millennials. It puts me in a weird position. I remember going to college and paying for it with part time work and my folks letting me live at home. Now, you can't even pay for college with a full time job and living at home. Being a Gen Xer has given me the viewpoint of someone who has witnessed things going from good to bad. Boomers are out of touch while Millennials are either angry or clueless.

This exchange in a combox captures the anger: 
MILLENNIAL: I cannot wait for baby boomers to start dying off in large bulk, so that the world can move on and be a better place. Sadly by the time that happens, I will be in my 50s. They are, hands down, easily the worst generation since the dawn of man.
BOOMER: WE older folks think you are just a bunch of spoiled little worthless brats - who don't wanna work either.
That is one vicious exchange. I can agree that Boomers are the Worst Generation. Basically, they spit in the face of their parents, and now, they filch the prosperity of their children. This is something I have said before on the C-blog. The animosity between these generations will become more acute as these Boomers max out Medicare and Social Security. For Millennials, if they have Social Security, it will be garnished to pay off the remainder of their student loans. That is one miserable future.

The most galling part of this generational conflict is when a Boomer wants to lecture a Millennial about being "spoiled worthless little brats." Now, this invective properly fits the Boomers but not the Millennials who have come of age in the worst economy since the Great Depression. The Boomers have essentially pulled off an economic rape of the younger generation, and now wish to absolve themselves of the crime by blaming the victim. Self-awareness requires virtue, and the Boomers do not have this virtue.

Now, I had hope that the Millennials would learn from the excesses and vices of their parents, but I realize that this is foolish optimism on my part. I believed that hard economic times would produce a generation like the Greatest Generation, but it hasn't. The Boomers were a spoiled brat generation with prosperity. The Millennials are simply a brat generation without prosperity. Where Boomers were lazy lottery winners, Millennials are lazy welfare check recipients.

Where does Generation X fit into all of this? The answer is clear when you contemplate the nihilistic nineties. This was the age of Nirvana, Nine Inch Nails, and Pulp Fiction. It was a time of material prosperity but spiritual emptiness. Nothing embodied the spirit of the time better than the tragic life of Kurt Cobain, a person blessed with fame and fortune but so empty inside that he ended his life with a shotgun blast to the brain.

Where the boomers had marijuana and LSD, Generation X went straight for heroin. When the history of my generation gets written, I suspect the "Empty Generation" will be our moniker. Xers are the older brothers and sisters of the Millennials. I remember my twenties being a time of opportunity and promise but also darkness. Millennials don't know this darkness. Where did this darkness come from? Why did it exist?

Cobain's suicide note contains this cryptic but telling passage:
I have it good, very good, and I'm grateful, but since the age of seven, I've become hateful towards all humans in general. Only because it seems so easy for people to get along that have empathy. Only because I love and feel sorry for people too much I guess.
These are not the words of a spoiled brat. Cobain mocks himself as an "erratic, moody baby." He expresses remorse for the misery he has caused and also for the sadness his death will bring. But he also believes that people and the world would be better off without him. He is filled with self-loathing and emptiness. His heroin kit is at the scene, and he could have easily gone out with a painless hot shot of smack. But he chooses the shotgun. He chooses the violent way out like Hemingway.

There's nothing to admire about Cobain. But you can feel sympathy for a man with a profound emptiness in his soul. Boomers like Morrison, Hendrix, and Joplin went out on excess. Their hedonism destroyed them. Cobain was killed by his own sadness.

We can argue that Cobain was the exception, but we saw the same emptiness in the grunge music of other artists of that time. Cobain was not alone. Others would destroy themselves with heroin. Economically, the nineties were a good time to be alive. Spiritually, it was living death.

The survivors of the nineties are now in middle age. What can we make of Generation X today? The simple fact is the X-People lack the particular vices of the Boomers and the Millennials. Xers are not ungrateful, but they are also not foolishly optimistic either. This comes from the knowledge that they are worse off than their parents but have it better than their younger siblings. When I talk with people in my age bracket, we shake our heads at how bad Boomers and Millennials are. I feel bad for those going through this recession, but I also acknowledge that prosperity has a corrosive effect on the soul.

The Boomers enjoyed great prosperity and indulged themselves. Millennials were given the shaft economically, but they have a steady stream of mindless distraction courtesy of the internet. This is why they can be so optimistic even though there is no reason whatsoever for this optimism. Millennials are simply stupid. They possess the attention span of a gnat. Boomers were about indulgence. Millennials are about distraction. Xers were about reflection. They came of age before Facebook and smartphones.

I don't wish for Generation X to sound superior. As most people see it, they were an aberration. The generation that most resembles Xers were the Lost Generation. This was the generation of Fitzgerald and Hemingway. They were called the Lost because of their lack of direction and sense of emptiness post-WWI. They lived through the Roaring Twenties, but they were able to reflect upon the emptiness of it all. Remember, The Great Gatsby was published in 1925 before the Crash of '29, and you can see how Fitzgerald diagnosed the emptiness and vanity of the Roaring Twenties. The decade of the 1920s corrsponds roughly with the decade of the 1990s. For them, it ended with the Crash. For the Xers, it ended with 9/11.

The Greatest Generation came after the Lost Generation which is why I expected the Millennials would be another Greatest Generation. But I don't see that anymore. These things don't move in a cyclical pattern. The tough times made the Greatest Generation, but the tough times today are making nothing better. I have no hope for the future of this country. It saddens me that the Millennials will take over one day, and they will finish off what is left of this once great nation. They are going to drive us into the grave while tapping away at their smartphones.