Previous William Thomas Sherman Info Page postings, quotes, observations, etc.
Is the church too worldly? Certainly some have thought so, and from the earliest centuries; such as the founders of Christian monasticism. That is why they became the Desert Fathers.
Every wiseman, philosopher, poet, or saint, no matter how great, no matter their degree of confidence, ultimately must count on God to second him. The long, drawn out nature of time makes this unavoidable.
If an individual sells their own soul to the devil, well that is their business I suppose. But when a group or people, even if it is a majority, sells society's or a nation's soul, no that is not at all the same thing.
Dante's Inferno is frightening for the simple reason that it is an utter marvel that a sober and sane person could imagine such things and write them down with such poise and elegance.
Who loves and seeks the rational, impartial, fair and honest truth? As you know, far from everyone. Yet if they reject such truth, what then do they seek and venerate instead? Rhetoric, illusion.
Are we not, in like manner, enjoined to put away from us all immodesty? On this ground, again, we are excluded from the theatre, which is immodesty's own peculiar abode, where nothing is in repute but what elsewhere is disreputable. So the best path to the highest favour of its god is the vileness which the Atellan gesticulates, which the buffoon in woman's clothes exhibits, destroying all natural modesty, so that they blush more readily at home than at the play, which finally is done from his childhood on the person of the pantomime, that he may become an actor. The very harlots, too, victims of the public lust, are brought upon the stage, their misery increased as being there in the presence of their own sex, from whom alone they are wont to hide themselves: they are paraded publicly before every age and every rank— their abode, their gains, their praises, are set forth, and that even in the hearing of those who should not hear such things. I say nothing about other matters, which it were good to hide away in their own darkness and their own gloomy caves, lest they should stain the light of day. Let the Senate, let all ranks, blush for very shame! Why, even these miserable women, who by their own gestures destroy their modesty, dreading the light of day, and the people's gaze, know something of shame at least once a year. But if we ought to abominate all that is immodest, on what ground is it right to hear what we must not speak? For all licentiousness of speech, nay, every idle word, is condemned by God. Why, in the same way, is it right to look on what it is disgraceful to do? How is it that the things which defile a man in going out of his mouth, are not regarded as doing so when they go in at his eyes and ears— when eyes and ears are the immediate attendants on the spirit— and that can never be pure whose servants-in-waiting are impure? You have the theatre forbidden, then, in the forbidding of immodesty. If, again, we despise the teaching of secular literature as being foolishness in God's eyes, our duty is plain enough in regard to those spectacles, which from this source derive the tragic or comic play. If tragedies and comedies are the bloody and wanton, the impious and licentious inventors of crimes and lusts, it is not good even that there should be any calling to remembrance the atrocious or the vile. What you reject in deed, you are not to bid welcome to in word.
~ Tertullian (c.160–220 AD), The Shows
It remains for us to examine the “spectacle” most noted of all, and in highest favour. It is called a dutiful service (munus), from its being an office, for it bears the name of “ officium” as well as “ munus.” The ancients thought that in this solemnity they rendered offices to the dead; at a later period, with a cruelty more refined, they somewhat modified its character. For formerly, in the belief that the souls of the departed were appeased by human blood, they were in the habit of buying captives or slaves of wicked disposition, and immolating them in their funeral obsequies. Afterwards they thought good to throw the veil of pleasure over their iniquity. Those, therefore, whom they had provided for the combat, and then trained in arms as best they could, only that they might learn to die, they, on the funeral day, killed at the places of sepulture. They alleviated death by murders. Such is the origin of the “Munus.” But by degrees their refinement came up to their cruelty; for these human wild beasts could not find pleasure exquisite enough, save in the spectacle of men torn to pieces by wild beasts. Offerings to propitiate the dead then were regarded as belonging to the class of funeral sacrifices; and these are idolatry: for idolatry, in fact, is a sort of homage to the departed; the one as well as the other is a service to dead men. Moreover, demons have abode in the images of the dead. To refer also to the matter of names, though this sort of exhibition has passed from honours of the dead to honours of the living, I mean, to quæstorships and magistracies— to priestly offices of different kinds; yet, since idolatry still cleaves to the dignity's name, whatever is done in its name partakes of its impurity. The same remark will apply to the procession of the “Munus,” as we look at that in the pomp which is connected with these honours themselves; for the purple robes, the fasces, the fillets, the crowns, the proclamations too, and edicts, the sacred feasts of the day before, are not without the pomp of the devil, without invitation of demons. What need, then, of dwelling on the place of horrors, which is too much even for the tongue of the perjurer? For the amphitheatre is consecrated to names more numerous and more dire than is the Capitol itself, temple of all demons as it is. There are as many unclean spirits there as it holds men. To conclude with a single remark about the arts which have a place in it, we know that its two sorts of amusement have for their patrons Mars and Diana.
~ Tertullian (c.160–220 AD), The Shows
Some random in passing...(this 11 April 2018)
This is what I can't figure. What I don't understand is here are all these abandoned and forsaken children and animals who need a proper home, can't get one, with some of these having to be put down for that reason; while simultaneously we dedicate great wealth, time and resources to cater to and babysit this maniac who feels sorry for himself and is in constant need of mass media attention -- and gets it. Meantime he is incapable of selfless love; can't actually be loved (on the terms he requires and demands); so he will do what he considers to be the next best thing, be someone great. And if he can't be deemed someone great, then he will just have to kill everybody, or at least as many as possible, in revenge.
It should indeed come as no great surprise that the accomplices of murderers, arrant cheaters, and shameless bullies look down on and marginalize those who are not of their ilk, even if the latter are honest, rational, and just persons, and in effect have it understood that they don't qualify as proper citizens.
A: Granted these powers are indeed tremendous and amazing in their way. But after all they they are only really intended to effect the unreflecting weak minds of dumb people.
B: True. But given all the money we've spent, you can possibly expect us to give up using them, now do you?
A: I suppose not. But have you no conscience manipulating people with mind control and illusions. Have you no conscience?
B: But our cause is just.
A: Yet what about brain torture radios, you call that just?
B: I like brain torture radios.
A: Yes, and why?
B: Oh, I don't know. I just do. Besides, what good is it to permit it to be known that the general populace, if given the chance, would actually surpass us in intelligence and understanding? Better and more safe, it seems to me, to keep up appearances.
(1) The front, (2) you (3) the back of you.
1. The front: your view or what you are viewing.
2. Your judgment of or conclusion concerning that view.
3. The basis and criteria of your judgment, but which for the vast majority of people goes unseen and unaccounted for.
Now as to the kind of performances peculiar to the circus exhibitions. In former days equestrianism was practised in a simple way on horseback, and certainly its ordinary use had nothing sinful in it; but when it was dragged into the games, it passed from the service of God into the employment of demons. Accordingly this kind of circus performances is regarded as sacred to Castor and Pollux, to whom, Stesichorus tells us, horses were given by Mercury. And Neptune, too, is an equestrian deity, by the Greeks called Hippius. In regard to the team, they have consecrated the chariot and four to the sun; the chariot and pair to the moon. But, as the poet has it, “Erichthonius first dared to yoke four horses to the chariot, and to ride upon its wheels with victorious swiftness.” Erichthonius, the son of Vulcan and Minerva, fruit of unworthy passion upon earth, is a demon-monster, nay, the devil himself, and no mere snake. But if Trochilus the Argive is maker of the first chariot, he dedicated that work of his to Juno. If Romulus first exhibited the four-horse chariot at Rome, he too, I think, has a place given him among idols, at least if he and Quirinus are the same. But as chariots had such inventors, the charioteers were naturally dressed, too, in the colours of idolatry; for at first these were only two, namely white and red—the former sacred to the winter with its glistening snows, the latter sacred to the summer with its ruddy sun: but afterwards, in the progress of luxury as well as of superstition, red was dedicated by some to Mars, and white by others to the Zephyrs, while green was given to Mother Earth, or spring, and azure to the sky and sea, or autumn. But as idolatry of every kind is condemned by God, that form of it surely shares the condemnation which is offered to the elements of nature.
~ Tertullian (c.160–220 AD), The Shows
Note. While it would be understandably be construed as idolatry to deify nature, it is worth remarking that criminal spirit people are anything but natural. True, they (some of them anyway) have the power to manipulate nature, say for instances in controlling plants, animals, and even possibly the weather in extraordinary ways that will awe and stupefy the childish and credulous. But these sorts of things are really the result of what amounts to a sophisticated use of ages old technique and, for lack of a better word, technology. In character, criminal spirit people are extremely unnatural and unsympathetic to nature (at least so it will seem to those who actually have natural dispositions) and will treat anyone and anything like dirt as it suits their typically selfish, avaricious, and covetous interest.