Gardens and jungles

Socialism is a garden, where every plant gets its plot. And a garden can be very pretty, even productive, after a fashion. But the garden exists for the gardener. Nobody asks what the rose bush wants; nobody cares if the carrot has rights; nobody worries about the weeds. A garden is very much about selecting some to thrive and some to die.

Liberty is a jungle, and men have a natural hatred of jungles. You have to protect them, or they’ll be eaten up by other schemes. But in the jungle every plant gets a chance. Only in the woods do the trees have rights.

Exodus 21:2-7

2 When you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, and in the seventh he shall go out free, for nothing.
3 If he comes in single, he shall go out single; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him.
4 If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out alone.
5 But if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’
6 then his master shall bring him to God, and he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall be his slave forever. – Exodus 21:2-6

I think the most troubling part of this passage is where the wife comes from. But I think the most reasonable explanation may be that she is the slave owner’s daughter. If that is true, then giving her to him would be a kind of adoption.

Military Character Evaluation

I’m currently working on my quarterly performance checkup for work. Due to a peculiar artifact of military performance evaluations, we are advised to frame things in terms of precise achievements as much as possible, and yet the new evaluation system for officers is designed to place values ahead of individual events. The result is that my first block of evaluation asks me to list performance objectives and achievements for my character. Here’s my first rough draft for my character objectives:

• Maintain a character clean enough, I could pin it to my sleeve.
• Don’t pin my character to my sleeve.

Job 31:13-15

“If I have rejected the cause of my manservant or my maidservant, when they brought a complaint against me, what then shall I do when God rises up? When he makes inquiry, what shall I answer him? Did not he who made me in the womb make him? And did not one fashion us in the womb?”

For Job, human rights start in the womb, for it is in the womb that we are all most clearly equal. There we all have only one claim to preferential treatment, and that is who made us. We all have one maker, and it is our maker who will judge.

Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come. And when I arrive, I will send those whom you accredit by letter to carry your gift to Jerusalem. If it seems advisable that I should go also, they will accompany me. – 1 Corinthians 16:1-4

Paul’s collection is for disaster relief, not for Paul’s ministry.  And so, for accountability purposes, he wants that money to touch his hands as little as possible. When he comes, he wants the money to already be allocated in each person’s budget, if not already collected, so that there isn’t even the appearance of him speaking for a fee. When the money gets sent to Jerusalem, where the disaster is supposed to be, he wants it to travel in somebody else’s pocket.

It’s completely incidental that the collection day is Sunday. Apparently that’s just the most obvious time for setting aside cash. Either that’s because people get paid on the last day of the week, or because they meet for worship on the first day. But it’s in the Bible, so now it’s self-reinforcing, and we all worship (and collect offerings) on Sunday, regardless of when we get paid.

The more you know…

Because they are not a single coherent group, monkeys do not have any particular traits that they all share and are not shared with the remaining group of simians, the apes.Because they are not a single coherent group, monkeys do not have any particular traits that they all share and are not shared with the remaining group of simians, the apes.