Sunday, July 15, 2012

Julian Assange, and the practicality of biblical morality

I woke up this morning remembering that Julian Assange of Wikileaks is now holed up in the Ecuadoran embassy in London, and the chances are he's not going anywhere soon - if he's lucky.  And just how did that happen? Well, on a trip to Sweden, he entertained a couple of ladies in his bed that he did not know.  The Bible explains what happened, "The immoral man sins against his own body."

Not long after he zoomed into this honey trap - turns out one of the ladies has CIA connections - they found a prosecutor to say they wanted to talk to him even though they weren't actually charging him with anything.  And, what is generally unheard of, the British courts ruled that he be extradited to Sweden although he isn't even charged, and even if he were, what the Swedes are making noises about is not a crime in Britain.  Finally, if they wanted to talk to Assange, nothing was stopping a Swedish prosecutor from saving a lot of money and trouble by just coming to Britain to see him..

What's pretty obvious, and what people have focused on, is that the British and the Swedes are doubtless acting in this weird way because the Americans want him in order to avenge his disclosures of their conduct.  If Assange winds up in Sweden, the Swedes will doubtless let the Americans kidnap him, and he will disappear into the American gulag without any due process or through some bogus indictment, as so many others have.  However it is, for sure Assange will disappear forever into some hole - American law, the Constitution, or anything else be damned.

But the real takeaway is that in this senseless caper, Assange in the most literal sense sinned against his own body, which is now trapped indefinitely in the Ecuadoran embassy in London.  He was warned and fully knew that the Americans were trying to catch him in a honey trap.

What this incident clearly teaches us is that Paul's warning against sexual immorality is not really about morality and virtue.  It concerns the hard, practical realities of tradecraft.  As Sun Tzu wrote, "Do not gobble proffered bait!"  As any intelligence agent is warned, "Avoid honey traps!"

If we think the Bible is primarily about virtue and moral excellence, we're just not getting it.  It's how to live in a world which is not looking out for your spiritual health.  Jesus said, "The world hates me because I testify of it that its works are evil," which is exactly why the American government hates Julian Assange, and if we're disciples of Jesus, the world will hate us the same way, and for the same reason.  If we don't want to get in a jam like Julian Assange, let's take God's advice: "Stay away from honey traps!" (Proverbs 7).  If we blow off that advice, it's our own stupidity, not the injustice of those that caught us, that we need to keep in view.


Anonymous Curt Kastens said...

A lot of things about the Julian Assange story make no sense what so ever. Like why is he worried about be kidnapped or extradited from Sweden to the US. The UK is a member of NATo and Sweden is not.
It was much more likely that he would have been extradited from the UK or kidnapped in the UK than in Sweden.
Your comments got me to focus on this. Some months ago I wrote that The Dude charged with leaking the secrets to Assange more commonly known as CPL.Bradly Manning is only a scape goat in this relevetation. A heroic co conspirator. He volunteered to take the fall leak so that the real leaker could continue his importaant work.
Those traitors in the US military who think that it is there job to do what ever the hell their chain of command says know that Bradely is not the real leaker. They have been unable to figure out who the real leaker is becasue Bradley Manning had to much time to prepare his deceptive stories.
So the US MI or MPs or whatever desperately want to talk with Assange.
In thinking about this further I bet that Assange was two steps a head of the CIA all along. It is possible that the CIA agent sent to entrap him was even turned in to a double agent ahead of time.
In anycase he needed to have an excuse to go on the lamb. He needed to have a cover story for going to England. I think that the purpose of going to England was to be able to accidently divulge certian information to the Red Coats because he knew that the US would trust what ever information that they had come up with as authentic and not something that they had just made up themselves which is what they would have thought if he had gone to Germany or the Netherlands for example.
So there you have it a nice tidy summary of why all of these crazy nonsensical things have happened so far. They can be reported now because if I can figure it out my enemies figured it out a long time ago. It is not because they are smart that they figured it out it is because they have got dozens of heads who can work together to figure it out against my one head.
But I get some Alien support every now and then because both the Angles and the Red Sox are pissed as hell at those people running the US Military Industrial Congressional Complex.

7/22/2012 12:49 PM  
Anonymous Curtis Kastens said...

Let me clarify a little further.
You see Assange does not want to directly talk with the Americans.
He wants to manipulate them.
But if he tries to do that in person to many things can go wrong. Any answer that a person gives to a question even a false one can give away valuaable information. So it is very important not to be asked
any questions in the first place.
Even a refusal to answer a question could be revealing.
I am not an claiming to be an expert at this sort of thing I am claiming that one does not need to be an expert to figure it out. So what Assange would want to do is to get the US MICC people to buy in to certian ideas. The thing is those people know that Assange wants them to buy in to false ideas and Assange knows that they know he is trying to indirectly manipulate them.
Do not try to beat Iranians at this game. They play a card game called Pasur. The winner of the game is often one who can best figure out what his opponent is going to do next. Of course if someone has really good cards, called an Omablatt in German, a less capable player can win.
Those who really excell at the game are those who not only know what their opponent is going to do
but know under which card their is a card waiting for them that can most help their game. Western Scientist call this luck. Unitarian Universalist Shao Lin Sufi Commies call this coordinating with your Guardain Alien.

7/22/2012 1:06 PM  
Blogger Peter Attwood said...

The above speculations sound like nonsense to me. It does appear that the British yielded to American pressure, since there is no merit to the Swedish extradition request - first because no charge has been filed, and second because what the Swedes did mention is not a crime under British law.

But then while under electronic monitoring, Assange was able to stroll to the Ecuadoran embassy. The Brits clearly wanted Assange and this whole problem to slip through their fingers.

I see nothing complicated about Assange wanting to make sure he doesn't fall into American hands. He doesn't want to be disappeared and tortured, world without end, which is what he can expect if the Americans can get their hands on him.

Given that this future does not appeal to him - a safe guess - his behavior falls into place. The simplest explanation is generally best.

7/22/2012 2:29 PM  
Anonymous curt said...

The simple explinations have never made any sense at all to me.
Assange was safer in Sweden than the UK. Furthermore the Manning story whcih is relatesd to this makes even less sense. The two stories are one story.

7/23/2012 3:40 AM  
Anonymous Curt Kastens said...

Another thing that I find incredible about the assange case is something that never gets mentioned. That is how can the US government claim jursidiction over Assange in the case. First of all Assange is not a US citizen. Furthermore even if Assange broke US Laws he was not present in the US at the time these laws were broken. Does the US now claim that the earths 7 billion inhabitants now fall under US jurisdiction, even outside of the USA? That is quite an imperial reach.

7/23/2012 10:46 AM  
Anonymous Curtis Kastens said...

A Circus came to town yesterday.
I know becasue, in addition to the signs, two WW 1 era biplanes flew low over my house two days ago pulling banners proclaiming the arrival of the circus.
This mornign the doorbell rang two young girls were standing at the door. I would guess their ages to have been 7 and 9. They asked if they could come in and watch TV since thier travel trailer did not have TV.
Well I figured that was just a cover story so that they could come in and steal something when I was not looking. I sent them away.
After I shut the door I remembered the example set by the priest in the movie Les Messerables. He would have invited the children in to steal what ever it is that they wanted to steal.
Then I remembered that the Bible says that I am made in the image of God. So I knew that had only done what God would have also done.
Then I rembered the story in the Bible in Which God reveals that not only is he God but that he is Satan too. That is the story in which God asks Abraham to sacrifice his child to him. Yes God did stop the sacfrice but only after he was sure that Abraham was going to do what he was told without question.
Then as a sat down at the breakfast table I realized that I only figured that the two girls wanted to steal something but I know that there are many people who would have said that a much more likely motive would have been to claim that I had sexually molested them so that they could file a law suit against us, or blackmail us.
Then I knew that by sending them away I had done what God had done.
They were clearly honey pots as you say only a different kind of honey pot. A honey pot designed to get your compassion to overrule your intellect and ruin you in another way. Of course a true Christian would have accepted that as Gods will. Why after all did those girls show up on my door. OK on many of the doors in this nieghborhood? It was not just an individual test but a community test to see if there were any true Christians in this nieghborhood. Thank God I do not think that he found any.

7/27/2012 12:12 AM  
Blogger Peter Attwood said...

In response to Curt's latest points:

1) Yes, it is remarkable that the US claims universal jurisdiction concerning its espionage statutes, and still more that it asserts that they reach to those who publish the information, rather than only to those who disclosed it.

However, various nations have asserted universal jurisdiction in matters relating to war crimes and human rights violations, notably Spain and Belgium, which repealed its statute under American pressure when the Belgians wanted to indict some American torturers. So universal jurisdiction is not necessarily an imperial concept, although I agree that it is in the Assange case.

2) Being made in the image of God doesn't mean that whatever we do is what God does. As Ecclesiastes remarks, "God made man upright, but they have sought out many devices." I think you know better than to write this nonsense, and I suggest that in future you not deliberately reason below your abilities.

3) You misunderstand Abraham's offering of Isaac, as many do. The key point here is that Abraham had learned to expect God to raise Isaac from the dead.

He had seen some things to make him expect that, not least the restoration of his own and Sarah's bodies that brought Isaac into being in the first place. And of course if Isaac stayed dead, so would God's promise to Abraham through Isaac.

So Abraham was offering up Isaac in order to keep him, rather than withholding him and thereby losing him. Thus he was offering him up to life through resurrection in order not to lose him through death by the pursuit of self-preservation.

You need not agree that Abraham's hope makes any sense, or even that this happened - I'm just talking, as you are, about what the narrative means that we have.

4) There's no suggestion in any Bible teaching that compassion should overrule intellect - rather, hearing God should overrule both. In several instances in the Bible, God counsels against normal human compassion in specific instances. The same persons that counsel prudence against compassio0n commonly are filled with indignation concerning these cases, which proves them to be a pretty tough room.

In fact this falls more into the cases such as Gehazi being instructed not to greet anyone on the way, rather than a real compassion case. Wanting to come in and watch TV is not a basic need like food or other
care. A reasonable option would have been to send them away to fetch a parent to supervise them, if you wanted to do something for them.

Nothing in the Bible requires us to be suckers for people that want to rip is off except as God is.

He lets people rip him off all the time, giving them food and clothing, fruitful seasons and various earthly delights and intelligence, which they then turn to evil ends. But he denies an awful lot of desires brought for a wicked purpose - as it is written, "You ask and do not receive, because you ask wickedly to consume it on your lusts." Followers of God are about learning to be like him and do like him, in the pointy parts as well as the soft parts.

7/28/2012 2:09 PM  
Anonymous Curt Kastens said...

If the key point of the story is that Abraham had learned to expect God to raise Issac from the dead then I would say that this story illistrates not an all knowing all powerful all good God deserving of our love and devotion but an all kowing all powerful psychopath in league with with all of the usual criminals on the planet.
If God knows everything then he knew what Abraham was thiking and if Abramham believed that God was all knowing then Abraham would have known that God knew what he was thinking so the whole thing was a phoney charade. Then if one does not come to the right conclusion about interpreting THE point of the story many Christian ministers go one step further and declare that the skeptic does not get THE point of the story of because he or she was not recieved God's Grace which God has withheld because the skeptic is a skeptic.
No wonder that huge numbers of Americans can not tell truth from falsehoods and accept whatever it is they are feed by the goverment.
The Bible and Christainity aid in molding them for deception.
How is it that these Christains institutions can get away with such child abuse?
Well forturnately I have a theory about that. It is because shortly after its birth as a new nation the mother and father of the United States of America, Thomas Paine and George Washington, got divorced. Custody went to the father of our country, George Washingtoon, not to the mother of our country Thomas Paine. George conviently let Thomas rot in an insane Aslyum in France and declared Thomas insane to the American people and most people believed him.
Americans have been wandoering away from truth and jusitce ever since then. Oh they may have strayed off now and again in the right direction but that was only because of accidents in the terrain not because they had an accurate compass to follow.
Now let me divulge a little personal information. I do not thing that it will hurt as it is not my bank account pin number.
I relearned something some months ago that I knew when I was a kid but had forgotten about for decades. That is that John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on the same day. Not only was it exactly the same day but it was July 4th.
Not only was it July 4th but it was the 50 Anniversary of the signing of the Decleration of Independence.
When I relearned that I thought to myself. Holy shit this is a cookie crumb. Why do I say cookie crumb. Because in a Grimm brothers fairly tale two children used cookie crumbs to mark their way back. I personally put a lot of stock in the truths revealed by the Grimm brothers.
Now science would tell us that the death of Adams and Jefferson on the same day means absolutely nothing. A lot of other people died that dayed to and each and everyone of them was in some way special.
But honestly I would have to say that anyone who can not recognize this incredible historical incident as a cookie crumb is a completely closed mind idiot.
Now someone could say. OK it is a cookie crumb. Big farting deal.
How does that change anything. Well this is what I think it changes. That there is something funny going on here in this time space gravity dimension that many scientists call the universe.
Although it would be a bit speculative one could say that more is at stake here than just and endless life cycle of births deaths and births. I think to say that it is nothing more than a cylce of births deaths and rebirths would be to ignore the FACT that we have found a cookie crumb.

7/30/2012 2:41 AM  
Anonymous Curtis Kastens said...

Sorry that I have to put this in to two posts but it was to long to fit one to one post. What I wanted to add was about something that I rembered a few weeks ago.
When I was a child growing up the debate between creationism and evolution was even hotter than it is today. I grew up in a family that went to church every Sunday, no exuces, except that sometimes it was on Saturday afternoon. So I was on the side of the creationists, at least initially.
But some years I became exposed to more and more science and more and more biblical criticism. But my faith in a Biblical God did not waver at first because the rock that my faith was based on was that Adams and Jefferson died on the same day on the 4th of July on the 50th anniversay of the ratification of The Decleration of Independence. But eventually theer was such a tidal wave of information against this Biblical God that eventually I had to conclude that the timming of the deaths of Adams and Jefferson was nothing more that an interesting coincidence. So I eventually forgot all about it. I became a devout athiest. It was like that for decades.
During this time my readings in the fields of comparative relegion, philosophy, and science continued. So when I relearned what I had once forgotten I could again recogmize it for the cookie crumb that it is.
But what I have learned, rightly or wrongly over the decades, has allowed my to accept the fact that is a cookie crumb but without needing to accpet that it was placed there by a Biblical God.
This has brought me back to the position held by Thomas Paine. In the past I had always thought that if Thomas Paine had lived in to the the 20th century he to would have denyed that the universe was created with for thought.
Many Americans are under the impression that Thomas Paine was an Athiest. Based on his writings to say that Thomas Paine was an Athiest is clearly false.
He held that Bible was a bunch of malarkey and is therefore rightly credited with the creation of secularism. But he clearly beielved in a designer for the the universe. An absantee watch maker so to speak.
The Quran tells us that when we study astronomy will not not be able to help but come to the conclusion that there is a creator behind everything. I can not argue for or against that position because I have not studied astronomy. I can say that my studies of history have led me to the same conclusion though. I do not care to present my case on this though because it is not scientific. One persons history is another persons stories. There the conslusions that I have reached hold validity for me an no one else. The cookie crumb that I have presented could serve as a first step however.

7/30/2012 3:11 AM  
Anonymous Curt Kastens said...

Finally I someone may ask, well if God did not place that cookie crumb in 1826 and if she is not behind the design then who is.
Well I would suggest that the emminent scientific publication the Onion has solved that qustion for us.
I believe that the theory was published in the May or June 2012 issue.
The evidince uncovered by an investigative team at the onion working at a secret university location underneath lake Michigan reveals that we are all actors and actresses in a Crime Drama that appears in an alternative universe on Wednesday nights at 9 pm local time.
Aliens are the writers, the camera crews, the sound creews, the set crews, the special effects crews, the costum crews, and all of the other positions involved with making the production.
Tom Fontana and Harry MulĂ­sch and Ferdosi are the Co-Directors and like Hitchcock have all played a role in front of the camera while they are manipulating things from behind the camera.

7/30/2012 3:24 AM  

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