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10/02/2005

KURT VONNEGUT ON THE BEATITUDES (AND A LOT OF OTHER STUFF)

KURT VONNEGUT (Author: "Slaughterhouse Five") IS BEATING HIS PULPIT OVER AT INTHESETIMES.COM. CURRENTLY 81 YEARS-OLD, HIS ENTIRE RANT IS WORTH READING, WORTH DISAGREEING AND AGREEING WITH (IN THAT ORDER PROBABLY), AND WORTH A GOOD LAUGH A TIME OR TWO AS WELL. KNOWN FOR HIS NON-LINEAR A.D.D. STYLE OF WRITING, MR.VONNEGUT DOES NOT DISAPPOINT FANS OF HIS SCATTERED RAMBLINGS WITH THIS PIECE. ENJOY AN EXCERPT BELOW ON THE BEATITUDES:

Doesn’t anything socialistic make you want to throw up? Like great public schools or health insurance for all?

How about Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes?

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth.

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. …

And so on.

Not exactly planks in a Republican platform. Not exactly Donald Rumsfeld or Dick Cheney stuff.

For some reason, the most vocal Christians among us never mention the Beatitudes. But, often with tears in their eyes, they demand that the Ten Commandments be posted in public buildings. And of course that’s Moses, not Jesus. I haven’t heard one of them demand that the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, be posted anywhere.

“Blessed are the merciful” in a courtroom? “Blessed are the peacemakers” in the Pentagon? Give me a break!

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The link won't work for me, but sure sounds COOL! Kurt Vonnegut's taking Jesus' authority seriously! All right!

Oh -- wait: maybe he's just trying to score political points for a system he embraces that has the unfortunate quality of not actually working. Oh, well.

I've seen conservatives do something like this, too. They're usually rightly dismissed.

But yes, it WOULD be odd to see the specifically Christian Beatitudes, or the resurrection accounts, or, heck, the book of Esther, printed on the Pentagon walls. Yes, that would be odd. He's right about that one. That would sure be strange! Crazy!

Best,
Brant

10/02/2005  
Blogger Jason...aka Farky said...

Can I get a tip on what I might agree with, 'cause I couldn't find it...

10/03/2005  
Blogger Nick said...

I really love that specific excerpt you posted. Vonnegut's words on the Beatitudes are one of my favorite quotes in recent memory - they kick my butt.

10/03/2005  
Blogger Fruitcake said...

Alright, I've got three-no, four fruit choices for you: khoob (melon resembling a pineapple), dragonfruit (very, very cool), purple mombin, yellow mombin. Take your pick.
And I have a question I can't quite figure out but thought you might shed some light: what's the difference between being tempted and thinking about sinning? When Jesus said that if a man looks at a woman to lust after her he's already committed adultery and if you hate someone it's the same as murdering them (I could not find the reference). Being tempted isn't sin because Jesus was tempted, yet didn't sin. So where's the line?

10/04/2005  
Blogger Nick said...

Maybe temptation is just the reality of being presented with a very viable, attractive opportunity.

But as for lusting after someone or hating an individual - it seems to me that there is a sudden shift from the passive to the active. the act of meditation, or mentally reveling in the scenario and entertaining notions, even if they never come to a physical or tangible fruition.

10/04/2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll bet Kurt Vonnegut never had a vasectomy, took percocet, then set off to the woods with frozen peas on his nads to write a book based on the Beatitudes.

I'm pretty sure he never did that, I'll tell you what.

Groves, you're a jukebox hero and an inspiration to us all. Seriously.

God. Bless. You.

I hope the book time is productive and that the peas don't melt.

10/05/2005  
Blogger Amy said...

um, didn't confucious actually say "don't do to others what you wouldn't have them do to you?" I remember reading that in World Religions and thinking about how it is actually quite a bit different from "do unto others as you would have them do to you"

10/09/2005  

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