In the sacrifice of Jesus we have, as it were, a temporal transverse section of an eternal process, an emergence into time and space of the Heart of God, eternally pierced for His children. This sacrifice was not made simply to show men on Earth the way to reconciliation with God, though that was part of its meaning. It occurred also as an essential part of the eternal process itself.
Howard Brinton, Friends for 300 Years
“Exodus” (1952-1966) by Marc Chagall
Since I auto-delete my tweets, I should probably save this to my blog.
Marvel: “Infinity War is the most ambitious crossover event in history.”
Edward Hicks, “Peaceable Kingdom” (c. 1834)
If you’re confused about what this refers to, read this.
What are the reasons to choose nonviolent methods of resisting evil (as opposed to acquiescing to evil by criticizing violent resistance to it)? One reason may be spiritual: If you walk in the Light of Christ and are in that power, you are beyond the temptation to commit acts of violence to get what you want—recall that the Bible identifies lust as the principal cause of war and fighting. Another reason may be practical: Adhering to nonviolence even when under attack by one’s enemy ends up discrediting the enemy and prevents an escalating cycle of violence that would hurt your own cause.
In both cases, however, passivity is not an option. You must put your body on the line in some fashion, whether it to be to receive the enemy’s blows or by overwhelming the enemy through thousands of bodies like your own, as for example when thousands of counter-protestors routed a band of white nationalists that were marching in Boston.
I don’t really know how to explain my enthusiasm for the Relentless Picnic podcast for those who aren’t already fans. Maybe you would only get it if, like me and like the co-hosts, you went to St. John’s College in the early to mid-aughts? But their audience is much bigger than that. Maybe if you’re looking for profane leftist podcasts like Chapo Trap House? But they’ve evolved way beyond that genre.
I guess the simplest way I could put it is that it’s a stylized presentation of the kind of conversations we wish we could have more often, or at all. Ones that are smart and searching, that engage us fully as human beings, in all their genius and grossness.
The reasons I’m posting this episode here is twofold. First, while the ostensible subject of the episode is the mystery of relationships and coming to terms with how they end or erode, the part where the guys delve into moving past the end of a relationship—to “manage your present, mortgaged against your past, to try and build a fucking future”—provided a lot of insight into how one journeys from brokenness to wholeness. And that’s the meat of any spirituality worth its salt; I don’t think it’s an accident that AA, one of the more successful religions to have been created in the 20th century, is brought up here.
Second, as we continue to reap the rotten fruits of toxic masculinity, there’s been a lot of flailing around for some model for a healthy masculinity that we can teach to boys and young men. (See, for example, Michael Ian Black in the New York Times or Jay Baron Nicorvo in the Baffler.) You could do worse than to listen to this episode (or this episode, which may be an even better introduction to the podcast) to hear what this supposed healthy masculinity might sound like.