Mountain Tops and the Fall of Empires

January 15, 2015

Mountain Tops and the fall of Empires

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

 

I have been to the mountaintop speech
by Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.



On this day, we Americans have decided as a nation to remember the life, thought and works of Dr. Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. The scoffers, the hard-hearted, the ignorant and the ungrateful will ignore the will of the people in this regard as they ignore all other things. “King who?” and “King, whatever,” they will say quietly to themselves lest someone recognize them for the racist, misanthropist or fool that they are.

King may be remembered most for his “I have a Dream Speech” on the steps of the Lincoln memorial. Or, perhaps, the Civil Rights March that he led in Alabama – a march which called out and revealed the evil spirit working through the rule of law, leaders and law enforcement officers. There’s also his famous Letter from Birmingham Jail in which he explains that non-violent, civil disobedience is just, holy and necessary under certain circumstances of oppression and injustice.

King reminds me that the Christian faith continues to have an urgent and powerful role in the American public square. It cast out the demons in the machinery of democracy and from the hearts of once prejudiced Americans. It brought healing to long sufferings. Of course, it did not cast out all demons nor heal every heart – for where there is stubbornness, pride and rebellion, God allows the person (or people) to pursue their self-determined course to hell.

As I contemplate the present Protestant hope for Revival, I wonder if the hour is too late, if our hearts are too cold, if our minds too cynical and if our evil ways too entrenched – wrong has become right and, likewise, right has become wrong. Unlike the past, our greatest challenge is not our ignorance. As a nation, we have chosen fear, curses and death – not love, blessings and life. These are interesting times. And dangerous.

What should democracy look like 1

Stan Faryna
15 January 2015
Fairfax, Virginia


Sleeping Through A Culture War #TamirRice #DCprotest #Ferguson #TortureReport

December 9, 2014

Sleeping Through A Culture War

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Tamir Rice

Tamir Rice

It’s heroic humanism, stupid

The heroic humanism that gave unofficial permission to exercise the inhumanity described by ‪#‎TortureReport‬ gives the same unspoken permission to murder 12 year old Tamir Rice‬, ‪‎New Yorker Eric Garner‬, et al.

Consider how such diabolical humanism informs law, the so called rule of law, government mission and the culture of death.

Let us repent, together.

 

… 

U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee’s Report on CIA practices for Detention and Interrogation

The official title of the unclassified #TortureReport is a long one:  Senate Select Committee on Intelligence: Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program. It is the 528 page executive summary that has been released for public review. The full Study exceeds 6,700 pages and it documents the countless, inhumane, and diabolical abuses and mistakes made between 2001 and 2009. Those abuses and mistakes represent a grotesque monument of horror, immorality and human rights violations.

Here’s a few links for you to begin a journey into an Inferno which makes Dante’s hell seem polite and tolerable:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/12/09/world/cia-torture-report-key-points.html

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/12/09/worst-horrors-cia-torture-report/20146081

http://www.latimes.com/world/asia/la-fg-cia-torture-report-global-reaction-20141209-story.html

http://thehill.com/policy/defense/226564-us-embassies-issue-warnings-after-cia-report-release

http://www.odni.gov/index.php/newsroom/press-releases/198-press-releases-2014/1149-dni-message-to-the-intelligence-community-workforce-on-the-release-of-the-ssci-report

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/dec/10/cia-torture-report-global-reaction-roundup

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/12/09/the-most-gruesome-moments-in-the-cia-torture-report.html

Culture War

It is no coincidence that we have been woken from our sleep at this time. We cannot ignore the overwhelming and horrific evidence that our society and culture has been compromised, corrupted, and turned over to an enemy – unprosecuted police abuses, the murder of 12 year old Tamir Rice, and, now, the #TortureReport.

Any attempt to defend, ignore and obscure these horrors is reducible to deception, false accusations and diabolical suspicion regarding the dignity of the human person, human purpose and the destiny of the human species.

The Culture War is not an academic debate. It is not a moveable feast for the parlor of intellectuals. It is not a clever forum to debate the diversity and consequence of opinions, values and ambitions. It is about casualties. It is painful, horrible and juggernaut. And wars, they are fought in the streets.

Snooze Button

Who can you trust? Neither Republicans nor Democrats to be sure. Nor libertarians, I regret. For they all serve the same masters – pride, greed, gluttony, lust, etc. Parties are called parties for good reason. No? But if you can’t trust anyone, why not hit the snooze and wake up when the dust has settled? Some suggest that this is what a democracy looks like.

What should a great democracy look like? Where is the dream, the vision, and the want for a promised land?

Where is the hunger and the thirst for good things? Where is the want for greatness, goodness and prosperity?

 

Where is the love!

Love, it is said, comes like a river when we have repented of our evil and forgiven others for the evil they have done to us.

 

What should democracy look like 1

Stan Faryna
09 December 2014
Fairfax, Virginia


Prodigal Daughter: A Bedtime Story for Independence Day

July 4, 2014

The Prodigal Daughter

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Cold Play, Atlas

Then He said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven. But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons.
Luke 21:10-12
“What do you think of the novel I lent you? Exodus?”
“It’s naive. To put it kindly,” answered the black bearded man.
“I remember how it was before the walls came down. Before we came to America. Your mother, she never forgot what it was like to live under a dark spirit of lies, slander and accusation.
She never forgot the fear, ambition and terror of the party members. Oh how our neighbors and colleagues proudly wore their red star. They wore the sign of their fallen master like a badge of courage! Yet they lacked any courage. They lacked chests.

Here, we are again.

 

We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.

Now there is a good book!

C.S. Lewis’ The Abolition of Man.

Have you read it?”

“What?”
Sarah unhappily sipped on her iced venti caramel latte. She glanced at her candy apple red iPad. 6 new email.
She glanced at the first email.
 …
DHS Sector 3 Battalion 3 Nimrod Protocol
Does he check out?

As she reviewed email on her iPad, Sarah fidgeted with the key to her company car – a sleek BMW X6.
The key to her car was a source of decisive inspiration for her- especially her lucky key ring charm. A black cat of Swarovski crystals.
She so loved how it sparkled!
Sarah was working things out in her head.
How do I get him to understand, she wondered to herself.
The Christians must be stopped before they start a civil war. They needed to be detained. The radicals. The Christians that believe Jesus is the Son of God, who was supposedly resurrected and who will supposedly come again.
Out of the corner of her eye, Sarah noticed a tall, dark and handsome man nod to her from a nearby table. He looked like Apollo – the god of war. He was hot.
“You’re hot”, he texted to her.
She texted back.
Me too! I think so too. Here’s my number. Call me, maybe. 😛
“I’ll carry your world…” he texted back.

Sarah rolled her eyes and winked at Mister Tall, Dark and Handsome.
Then she slid a button forward on the side of her iPad and the monitor became a mirror. She checked her look and smiled. Her azure blue lip gloss was killer. Dangerous. Sexy. Forbidden Fruit.
I am that hot… she replied with a grin.

The black bearded man lit a hand-rolled cigarette. The smoke was fragrant. Notes of anise and chocolate reminded her of childhood and Sundays. Sarah played with a lock of her black hair and impatiently turned her attention back to the suspect.
 …
“But don’t you see – it’s prophetic. Christians can’t be trusted. They’re the problem. They’re standing in the way of progress. The Christian threat to our nation’s peace and security can not be ignored.
The Christians – they want to swallow us up and force our culture to fit their vision. They have no right to protest against the will of the State. The will of progress!
They must be rounded up,” she blurted out.
The facts and, obviously, the final solution was incontrovertible. He’d get it, she hoped.
She sucked on her latte and savored the sweet caramel.
“Prophecy belongs to the Lord. False prophecy, on the other hand is the territory of demons and ruthless ambition,” the man replied – interrupting Sarah’s thoughts.
“Who is trying to swallow who? Who is trying to force who’s culture to fit who’s vision?
Why are the intellectuals being rounded up? Why men and women of conscience and moral character?
You know; they did that in the old country. But the Communists could not contain the human heart.
Because the human heart longs for eternity and deliverance!
The human spirit hungers for the beautiful, the good and the true. It cries out for deliverance from evil. It cries out to God – who is the only one that can save us…”
Sarah rolled her eyes.
There he goes again, she thought to herself.
Yet another speech to the invisible but presumably doting Noble Prize committee.
The black bearded man paused and took a gulp of hot espresso. Then he continued.
“If I am the problem. If we are the problem…
Or if Christians are the problem and the problem is not the compromised wealth, dignity and welfare of the nation, then the so-called problem will be resolved in reconciliation, dialogue and love.
Your detention camps are not a solution.
They are the factories of evil, houses of horrors and, ultimately, a curse upon the nation!
Wars, unjust laws, and prolonged detentions – these are never the instruments of peace but our self-defeat. A defeat of our humanity. All of us.
These instruments of evil must be protested.”
Sarah expected a grand quote about now. It was a burden she had long ago become accustomed to suffer.
“I remember the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. It was during his mountain top speech when he had spoke these words.

Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for rights.”

 …
“No!” Sarah replied.
“America is great, because we make it great. Because we’re taking out the trash!”
She was shocked and stunned by his outrageous, dissident and dangerous reply.
Professor Celan was a lost cause, she thought to herself.
“Don’t tell me you’ve converted to Christianity!?” she exclaimed.
In her pocket, she secretly texted her office. It was automatic, practiced, unapologetic, and professional.
Pick up the dissident.
The GPS location and street address for the Starbucks was included with her text message. A white van was dispatched and would arrive at the destination in five minutes.
“No, no. I remain a Jew but I will stand by my Christian brother and sister,” he replied with a gentle, warm smile.
“We are, all of us, members of the same human family. One family.
Remember these words – of all the words I have asked you to reflect upon.
Because these words may unlock your heart. Not today but someday. These words will help deliver you from hate.
Chaplin spoke them in his film, The Great Dictator.
Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural.”

Tears welled up in the blue eyes of the black bearded, Russian American immigrant. But through the salty tears, a light shone bright in the eyes of Paul Celan, Harry Tuchman Levin Professor of Literature and Professor of Poetry at Harvard’s School of Literature and History.

“Daddy?”

“I forgive you, Sarah. And before your friends come to detain me without reasonable cause or by due process of law, I need to bless you, my dear princess.

There’s not much time, is there?”

The black bearded man stood up, raised his open hand and blessed his daughter with an ancient Jewish blessing.

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace…”

What’s up with the Jesus freak? Want me to take care of that… texted Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome.

Stan Faryna
4 July 2014
Fairfax, Virginia

Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/Faryna.FanPage

Twitter
http://www.twitter.com/Faryna

Google Plus
http://plus.google.com/+StanFaryna


You are not alone in your sorrows, fears, and troubles

December 24, 2013

You are loved.

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

ATB, You’re not alone
I have stood on side of the street, refusing to let tears spill from my eyes. A glossy gray BMW X7 coming down Stirbei Voda at (maybe) 100 mph seemed to beckon me to step forward. And I heard this song (yet again) and I was reminded that I belonged here regardless of my sorrows and troubles.
No matter what had happened. No matter how I have failed and caused trouble. No matter what had been done to me.I know that there is someone out there that needs to hear this:You are not alone. You are loved. You are amazing – even if you haven’t yet unloosed that awesome unto the world. Or you think you have nothing more to add.I add this to my reflection of the hardship that pressed the holy family on the eve of the birth of Jesus – the Messiah, prince of peace, and son of God. And my humble reflections move across history and rest in the contemplation of the horror and agony of the crucifixion.


Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Luke 2:1-7

To say that Joseph and Mary did not have it easy would be an understatement.

Weary from travel, homeless (in a manner of speaking), and on the eve of delivery, they shared an inadequate and uncomfortable shelter with animals. Not long after Jesus’ birth, their government murdered children in a desperate search for their newborn – to murder Him. And they would flee in the night to a far away and strange foreign nation.

If this Christmas is difficult for you, you are not alone. Even if all your celebrations have been difficult, you are still loved.

Jesus came into a world of trouble, sorrows and danger. Triumph would not come until He had been falsely accused, tortured, humiliated and murdered on the cross and resurrected from death.

Contrary to the “PG” image of Jesus on the cross, He hung naked on the cross as He died. Betrayed by a friend, denounced by another friend, His mother, a redeemed prostitute and a few friends wept for Him there at the foot of the cross to which He was nailed. And there on the cross, Jesus took all of humanity’s sins and curses upon Himself.

His humiliations, His torture and His hanging on the cross was the least of His trouble. Nothing could compare to His receiving the complete horror and guilt of humanity’s sins and curses, past, present and to come. Imagine all of the atrocities of the holocaust as they were being done to each victim of that evil. That horror is but a small drop to what Jesus received as He paid our debt.

Your sins and mine were laid upon Him. All of them. We have afflicted Jesus on the cross. Forgive me, Jesus! Please forgive me.

You and I are not innocent bystanders. We are with him on the cross but we are not there as friends. You and I persecute Him on the cross through our failures and faults. You and I are there at the cross – we deepen His agony, add to His pain and humiliation AND we torment Him through our sins.

In that moment, Christ was truly alone in the world and He cried out in an agony that you and I will never know. Could never bear. Cannot imagine.

Jesus accepted all of this because He loved us – all of us.
Thank you God. Thank you God. Thank you God!Merry Christmas and God bless us, everyone!
Stan Faryna
24 December 2013
Fairfax, Virginia

Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/Faryna.FanPage

Twitter
http://www.twitter.com/Faryna

Google Plus
http://plus.google.com/+StanFaryna


Phil Robertson: Hero or Monster?

December 21, 2013

Letter to Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty, et al.

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Dawn of the Dead Credits with Johnny Cash

Dear Phil Robertson and everyone else interested in this public scandal,

There will be disagreements, contentions and frequent temptation to act and speak in an unbecoming manner – especially in a multicultural society and that includes online communities. In this context, idle talk and memes can be a divisive device which begs caution, scrutiny and wisdom.

How shall we live, work and relate with each other in our diversity? How shall we enthusiastically collaborate toward the common good and our own separate, individual, nobel ambitions?

However our opinions may differ, each of us will find it challenging (more or less) to live in a world that includes those whose actions, opinion and political will contradict our identity and, perhaps, even challenge the living out of our intimate hopes and aspirations.

That is a challenge we must accept with several virtues. I speak of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

If each of us do not accept to meet this challenge with these several virtues, then we are not worthy of democracy, freedom, peace and/or happiness.

If we cannot agree these virtues are necessary or exercise these virtues with an enduring devotion, then communities and nations are doomed. For we will walk in darkness.

That is a bleak future that reminds me of the Prince’s warning and lament in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

ALL ARE PUNISHED!

May God bless us, everyone.

Best Regards,

Stan Faryna
21 December 2013
Fairfax, Virginia

Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/Faryna.FanPage

Twitter
http://www.twitter.com/Faryna

Google Plus
http://plus.google.com/+StanFaryna

Flash Fiction by Stan Faryna

I’m a creepy, lonely man!?
The Greatest Show on Earth is on Andaman road
Get Lucky

The Prodigal Daughter

September 12, 2013

The Prodigal Daughter

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Cold Play, Atlas

Then He said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven. But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons.
Luke 21:10-12
“What do you think of the novel I lent you? Exodus?”
“It’s naive. To put it kindly,” answered the black bearded man.
“I remember how it was before the walls came down. Before we came to America. Your mother, she never forgot what it was like to live under a dark spirit of lies, slander and accusation.
She never forgot the fear, ambition and terror of the party members. Oh how our neighbors and colleagues proudly wore their red star. They wore the sign of their fallen master like a badge of courage! Yet they lacked any courage. They lacked chests.
Here, we are again.

We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.

Now there is a good book!

C.S. Lewis’ The Abolition of Man.

Have you read it?”

“What,” Sarah thoughtlessly replied.
Sarah unhappily sipped on her iced venti caramel latte. She glanced at her candy apple red iPad. 6 new email.
She glanced at the first email.
DHS Sector 3 Battalion 3 Nimrod Protocol
Does he check out?

As she reviewed email on her iPad 3, Sarah fidgeted with the key to her company car – a sleek BMW X6.
The key to her car was a source of decisive inspiration for her- especially her lucky key ring charm. A black cat of Swarovski crystals.
She so loved how it sparkled!
Sarah was working things out in her head.
How do I get him to understand, she wondered to herself.
The christians must be stopped before they start a civil war. They needed to be detained. The radicals. The Christians that believe Jesus is the Son of God, who was supposedly resurrected and who will supposedly come again.
Out of the corner of her eye, Sarah noticed a tall, dark and handsome man nod to her from a nearby table. He looked like Apollo – the god of war. He was hot.
“You’re hot”, he texted to her.
She texted back.
Me too! I think so too. Here’s my number. Call me, maybe. 😛
“I’ll carry your world…” he texted back.

Sarah rolled her eyes and winked at Mister Tall, Dark and Handsome.
Then she slid a button forward on the side of her iPad and the monitor became a mirror. She checked her look and smiled. Her azure blue lip gloss was killer. Dangerous. Sexy. Forbidden Fruit.
I am that hot… she replied with a grin.

The black bearded man lit a hand-rolled cigarette. The smoke was fragrant. Notes of anise and chocolate reminded her of childhood and Sundays. Sarah played with a lock of her black hair and impatiently turned her attention back to the suspect.
 …
“But don’t you see – it’s prophetic. Christians can’t be trusted. They’re the problem. They’re standing in the way of progress. The Christian threat to our nation’s peace and security can not be ignored.
The Christians – they want to swallow us up and force our culture to fit their vision. They have no right to protest against the will of the State. The will of progress!
They must be rounded up,” she blurted out.
The facts and, obviously, the final solution was incontrovertible. He’d get it, she hoped.
She sucked on her latte and savored the sweet caramel.
“Prophecy belongs to the Lord. False prophecy, on the other hand is the territory of demons,” the man replied, interrupting Sarah’s thoughts.
“Who is trying to swallow who? Who is trying to force who’s culture to fit who’s vision?
Why are the intellectuals being rounded up? Why men and women of conscience and moral character?
You know; they did that in the old country. But the Communists could not contain the human heart.
Because the human heart longs for God, for forever, and deliverance!
The human spirit hungers for the beautiful, the good and the true. It cries out for deliverance from evil…”
Sarah rolled her eyes.
There he goes again, she thought to herself.
Yet another speech to the invisible but presumably doting Noble Prize committee.
The black bearded man paused and took a gulp of hot espresso. Then he continued.
“If I am the problem. If we are the problem…
Or if Christians are the problem and the problem is not the compromised wealth, dignity and welfare of the nation, then the so-called problem will be resolved in reconciliation, dialogue and love.
Your detention camps are not a solution.
They are the factories of evil, houses of horrors and, ultimately, a curse upon the nation!
Wars, unjust laws, and prolonged detentions – these are never the instruments of peace but our self-defeat. A defeat of our humanity. All of us.
These instruments of evil must be protested and deconstructed.”
Sarah expected a grand quote about now. It was a burden she had long ago become accustomed to suffer.
“I remember the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. It was during his mountain top speech when he had spoke these words.

Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for rights.”

 …
“No!” Sarah replied.
“America is great, because we make it great.”
She was shocked and stunned by his outrageous, dissident and dangerous reply.
Professor Celan was a lost cause, she thought to herself.
“Don’t tell me you’ve converted to Christianity!?” she exclaimed.
In her pocket, she secretly texted her office. It was automatic, practiced, unapologetic, professional…
Pick up the dissident.
The GPS location and street address for that Starbucks store was included with her text message. A white van was dispatched and would arrive at the destination in five minutes.
“No, no. I remain a Jew but I will stand by my Christian brother and sister,” he replied with a gentle, warm smile.
“We are, all of us, members of the same human family. One family.
of all the words I have asked you to reflect upon, remember these words.
Because these words may unlock your heart. Not today but someday. These words will help deliver you from hate.
Chaplin spoke them in his film, The Great Dictator.
Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural.”

Tears welled up in the blue eyes of the black bearded, Russian American immigrant. But through the salty tears, a light shone bright in the eyes of Paul Celan, Harry Tuchman Levin Professor of Literature and Professor of Poetry at Harvard’s School of Literature and History.

“Daddy?”

“I forgive you, Sarah. And before your friends come to detain me without reasonable cause or by due process of law, I want to bless you, my princess.”

The black bearded man stood up, raised his open hand and blessed his daughter with an ancient Jewish blessing.

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace…”

What’s up with the Jesus freak? Want me to take care of that… texted Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome.

Note: My attempts to write flash fiction are mostly inspired by John Magnet Bell of Start Your Novel. This particular foray into flash fiction was also inspired by the Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney, Josh Wilner, Garland DeCourcy, Michael Jackson, Derek Prince, Maya Angelou, and Dr. Jack King.
More Flash Fiction by Stan Faryna
I’m a creepy, lonely man!?
The Greatest Show on Earth is on Andaman road
Get Lucky
Stan Faryna
12 September 2013
Fairfax, Virginia

One Ugly American Reflects On Syria, War, Evil

September 1, 2013

One Ugly American Reflects On Syria, War, Evil

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Black Eyed Peas, Where is the Love?

 

I’m not unsympathetic to Syrians in their struggles, sorrows and agonies. I pray for them with this intention: I want and hope the Syrian people (and all people) will enjoy those freedoms which ensure the dignity of the human person AND provide each individual person with every opportunity to love, to live in great virtue and to be a blessing to the world.

That want and hope, I imagine, must be accomplished under the custody of good government and the exceptional exercise of a passionate citizenship. I also imagine that such want and hope must pour from the hearts of the people in that nation that seeks deliverance from evil. In this regard, I am not convinced that the majority of the people of Syria are ready to repent, forgive, and, yes, deliver themselves from evil.

I may be very mistaken in my impression.

I am under this impression because the Syrian people have accepted great evil in their midst for too long.

I am under this impression because I have not seen a million Syrians walk together a long road, non violently and their hearts lifted in love, in search of freedom, justice and righteousness. Nor 100,000. Not even 10,000.

And I would like to believe that if I had seen and heard such a thing, I do not require my government to cast missiles upon the armies of their dark lords. I would like to believe that I have the courage to go there, myself, and join arms with Syrian men, women and children and face evil with love.

Love never fails.

And as Martin Luther King, Jr. insisted with great urgency, we will not overcome evil by doing evil. There is no exception. Period.

Stan Faryna
01 September 2013
Fairfax, Virginia