Tuesday, December 30, 2003

From blog correspondent Lee Penn
Here are two warnings about biotechnology - from the neoconservative Weekly Standard, and from the orthodox/traditionalist Touchstone Magazine:

Biotech’s boiling point

Touchstone Magazine May/June 1999 - status confessionis
Lee Penn: The second article, by a conservative Protestant, is a warning of the "worst case." However, the Creed and the New Testament indicate that there will be people alive on earth, sharing our common nature [made in the image of God] at the time of the Second Coming. Therefore, I do not believe that the full measure of evil that the author warns against will come to pass. However great the peril we face, neither physical extinction nor "the danger that we will unmake man" (cited by the article's author) will come to pass.

God is just - but He is also loving and merciful, and as King of Kings, will yank mankind back from the brink of destruction. (Of course, that still leaves us a LOT of room to damage ourselves; see the events prefigured in the Book of Revelation for details - esp. chapters 6, 8, 9, and 16. Furthermore, the human agents of this destruction are responsible for what they will choose to do, and will be held to account:

"The nations raged, but thy wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, for rewarding thy servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear thy name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth." (Rev. 11:18)

The question remains: how far down the road to Brave New World do we go before it would be an act of "severe mercy" for God to allow events that stop this kind of "progress" ... even at the cost of the fall of the current technical structure of society?

Kyrie eleison - and, Jesus is Lord.

God's mercy is our hope, and that hope cannot fail.

Lee’s book picks: novels by Michael O’Brien
Lee: As some of you may know, I enjoy the novels by Michael O'Brien, a Catholic artist and writer from Canada. I believe that his apocalyptic novels are stories for our time -- and as literature (and in their theology), they are far better that the dreadful Left Behind series.

Here are Amazon links to several of O'Brien's novels:

Father Elijah: An Apocalypse
The book gets five stars from its readers, deservedly. Visit these Amazon pages to see the details about this book, and about other O'Brien novels. (And, if you are so moved, you can support this blog by buying the books through these links, or buy anything you like through the Amazon link at the bottom of this page.)

Eclipse of the Sun
Readers give this book 4.5 stars out of 5.

Here are both parts of the ZENIT interview with O'Brien.

ZENIT interview with Mr O’Brien, Part 1

Part 2

As the dateline says Combermere, I wonder if Mr O'Brien is part of Madonna House (Vatican II but orthodox, and part of the true social-justice tradition I alluded to the other day when naming Bishop John-Michael our Man of the Year).

The Communist Chinese regime remains true to its Communist tradition:

Execution reveals party’s grip in China
Lee: Will the US protest? Probably not; "free trade" and cheap labor trumps principle any day. [With apologies to Country Joe and the Fish: "There's plenty of good money to be made / Supplying the Commies with the tools of the trade."]

Anyhow, there is this description of the ways that Liu was tortured:

"The witnesses wrote of police denying Liu food and water, applying electric current to his body, and forcing him to squat in a small metal box for days."

Read this Atlantic Monthly article:

The dark art of interrogation
Read this description of how the US is treating its prisoners in the 'War on Terror', and for sophisticated justifications for using 'torture lite':

Quote from the Atlantic Monthly:

"He would have been warned that lack of cooperation might mean being turned over to the more direct and brutal interrogators of some third nation. He would most likely have been locked naked in a cell with no trace of daylight. The space would be filled night and day with harsh light and noise, and would be so small that he would be unable to stand upright, to sit comfortably, or to recline fully. He would be kept awake, cold, and probably wet. If he managed to doze, he would be roughly awakened. He would be fed infrequently and irregularly, and then only with thin, tasteless meals. Sometimes days would go by between periods of questioning, sometimes only hours or minutes. The human mind craves routine, and can adjust to almost anything in the presence of it, so his jailers would take care that no semblance of routine developed."

In other words, we do quite a lot of what the Red Chinese do -- even if we leave the electro-torture to our Third World allies.

Kyrie eleison. [End.]

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