Saturday, June 22, 2013

Paths of Glory

I recently watched "Paths of Glory" a 1957 Stanley Kubrick film considered a classic anti-war polemic. This loaded moniker however is unfortunately given as it is in fact not a film against war but instead a film against the self-centered egoism often displayed by humanity in various ways--this time from the intense and ultimate experience of death that is war.

Jesus at one time said  "Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." War, because it involves the most serious and intense experience of death, provides the opportunity for this very greatest love. It also provides opportunity for one of the classic and deadly of sins--pride. 

As is often the case the real questions are this--where is your heart ? what are your motivations ? For example, many instances of genuine bravery during war for the right reasons are known. Also instances of war and death simply for the pride of vain men on their "path to glory" are also known. 

An ancient example from history is this: King David of Israel, due to his own lust, instructed his general to engage in a battle that would create a murderous scenario. Engage and then withdraw leaving a certain loyal soldier to be killed. This soldier (Uriah) had found himself unfortunately caught in a web of lust, power and pride. 

Where is our heart ?  

Are we seeking something out of our love and concern for another?

Are we seeking our own "path to glory" ?

Sunday, June 16, 2013



Something for which the evidence is unseen--nebulous yet without it marriages fail, governments collapse, humans cannot touch the Face of God.

The currency of nations which if largely devalued destroys. Benjamin Franklin worried that "Much of the strength and efficiency, in procuring and securing happiness to the people depends on the general opinion of goodness of that government."

President Obama opined that "If people can't trust not only the executive branch but also don't trust Congress, and don't trust federal judges, to make sure that we're abiding by the Constitution with due process and rule of law, then we're going to have some problems here."

The trust truly has been seriously eroded in our government due to its lack of goodness, its lack of virtue.Where does this virtue come from ? How do we regain it ? When the government derives its powers ultimately from the people is it really the government that has lost its virtue--or the people themselves ? We tend to want to spill our venom on particular figures in government while ignoring the fact that we elected them. Has America lost its virtue ? Are our government officials simply a reflection of ourselves ? Can our society long continue when there is no trust in one another, in our institutions, due to a lack of virtue ?

Can America learn to trust again ?