Thursday, May 26, 2011

Oration on the Depravity of Man

Let heaven exist, though our place be in hell.
- Jorge Luis Borges

Born in 1995, he lived with his mother until, in 2005, the father received custody of both Christian and an older sister […] Christian was said to be in good health when he arrived, [… but] began to be punished almost immediately, and was regularly locked in a room in the basement. […] Christian was made to live inside a used metal dog cage. He allegedly was repeatedly struck and kicked by both his father and stepmother. When Christian tried to escape from the dog cage, his father reportedly secured it with seven locks. […] Christian's sister, according to the affidavit, was ordered to take care of the boy. She was instructed to feed him, unlock the cage and take him to the bathroom, force him to do exercises, and physically punish him for failing to follow orders. Police believe that anyone from outside the house who ever asked about Christian was told that he was being home-schooled. Sometimes Christian's hands were chained to the top of the cage; during one such occasion, according to the affidavit, he was crying, so his stepmother, as additional punishment, spray-painted his chained hands black. His health had started to deteriorate, and he had begun to soil himself, so he was kept naked except for a diaper. The only baths he was permitted were with ice-cold water, which made him scream. One punishment was to take him out of the cage and chain him by his hands and feet to an upright bed frame. His feet became numb, and it became difficult for him to stand. Food began to be denied him; […] The children were reportedly warned that if they told anyone about Christian, they would receive the same punishment. He learned to try to be quiet during his beatings, because if he cried out they would become even more brutal. In April of 2009, according to the affidavit, after Christian was too ill to eat, his father "punched him with full force several times in the front, side and back of his head before throwing him back in the cage." On the day that month he did not wake up, prosecutors allege, he was wrapped in black plastic garbage bags. His father and stepmother, according to the affidavit, drove to a wooded area, placed a Bible on his chest, covered him with quick-drying cement, and buried him in a shallow grave.
- Bob Greene, journalist for CNN

Once started, the burning of the Jews went on increasing. When people discovered that the stories of poisoning were undoubtedly true they rose as one against the Jews. First, on January 2nd, 1349 the citizens of Ravenburg burnt the Jews in the castle, to which they had fled in search of protection from King Charles, whose servants were imprisoned by the citizens after the burning. On January 4th the people of Constance shut up the Jews in two of their own houses, and then burnt 330 of them in the fields at sunset on March 3rd. Some processed to the flames dancing, others singing and the rest weeping.
- Heinrich von Diseenhoven (ca.1350)

Now Jericho was shut up inside and out because of the Israelites; no one came out and no one went in. The Lord said to Joshua, "See, I have handed Jericho over to you, along with its king and soldiers. […] when the priests had blown the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, "Shout! For the Lord has given you the city. The city and all that is in it shall be devoted to the Lord for destruction. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall live because she hid the messengers we sent. […] So the people shouted, and the trumpets were blown. As soon as the people heard the sound of the trumpets, they raised a great shout, and the wall fell down flat; so the people charged straight ahead into the city and captured it. Then they devoted to destruction by the edge of the sword all in the city, both men and women, young and old, oxen, sheep, and donkeys.
Joshua 6:1-21

Court records show that in 1984, four years after Mahony became bishop of Stockton, O'Grady told his therapist he had fondled a 9-year-old boy. The therapist alerted child welfare officials, and police opened an investigation. O'Grady took the 5th Amendment when asked during the deposition what he told his therapist. But he testified that Mahony was out of town at the time, so he told the bishop's second-in-command about the investigation. He said the official sent him to talk to the diocese's lawyer. The child, who had been asleep during the alleged molestation, said he was unaware of any abuse, and police declined to file charges. Court records show, however, that police said an attorney for the diocese promised that O'Grady would be transferred to a job where he would not have contact with children, and that he would be sent to therapy. O'Grady testified that Mahony sent him to a psychiatrist for an evaluation, which the cardinal has acknowledged was the church's standard operating procedure at the time for handling pedophile priests. Almost immediately thereafter, O'Grady said, Mahony transferred him to a parish in San Andreas, about an hour outside Stockton. Mahony later promoted him to pastor.
- Jean Guccione, LA Times Staff Writer

I have never heard of a crime that I could not imagine committing myself.
- Goethe

There's no such thing as life without bloodshed, ... I think the notion that the species can be improved in some way, that everyone could live in harmony, is a really dangerous idea. Those who are afflicted with this notion are the first ones to give up their souls, their freedom. Your desire that it be that way will enslave you and make your life vacuous.
- Cormac McCarthy

I…set my mind to seek and explore by wisdom concerning all that has been done under heaven. It is a grievous task which God has given the sons of men to be afflicted with. I have seen all the works which have been done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and striving after wind. What is crooked cannot be straightened and what is lacking cannot be counted…and I set my mind to know wisdom and to know madness and folly; I realized that this also is striving after wind. Because in much wisdom there is much grief, and increasing knowledge results in increasing pain.
Ecclesiastes 1:12-18

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