A combination of factors leads me to write this Quick Takes article: 1) it’s been a long time since I’ve written anything here; 2) I’m rather ill; and 3) because I am rather ill, my ability to focus has gone down the tubes. Some of these points deserve their own article. At any rate, let me begin.
Arslan Senki reminded me of the curious fact that non-believers often try to paint God like Allah. What brings up the comparison? The high priest of the Lusitanian religion decides to torture the captured Lord Shapur to death and remarks how unbelievers deserve this. Then, Lord Shapur gamely defies the high priest by saying that he hopes to see him burning in hell with his evil god. I am forcibly reminded of a scene from Muhammad’s life, where he kills all the pagan Arabs he captures after a battle–the last pleading for his life for the sake of his only daughter–and then burns the bodies of the slain. Muhammad then remarks that the smoke of burning heretics is pleasing to Allah.
This is not how God really is! But, how much easier is it to offend God when one imagines Him to be cruel and merciless? How much easier to contemn the idea of God when God appears so unchristian? One can see how an atheist feels superior to God when he has such a wrongheaded view of the divine! When one realizes how loving and merciful God is in truth, the remembrance of sins instead makes one feel lower than an insect. Rather than wish to exact vengeance on us, God is more concerned with how much sin harms us than how sin offends His majesty.
I hit upon another gem in Space Pirate Captain Harlock. Here’s a show where it is easy to pick out Christian themes–the first article on which you shall see on Wednesday. However, unlike Ashita no Joe, I’m not entirely sure its author derives from a Christian background. Crosses appear quite frequently, and Harlock can be surprisingly meek. (Remember Our Lord’s words: “Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart.”) Also, the final line of the opening song is very reminiscent of the Gospel: “Inochi wo sutete, ore wa ikiru” or “Throwing away my life, I live.” One is easily reminded of Luke 17:33: “Whoever seeks to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.” However, a priest once told us that this is one of the lines of the Gospels which are easier for a citizen of the Far East to understand than for a Westerner. Perhaps, the author of Captain Harlock is a Buddhist or Taoist who found certain of his principles bolstered by reading Scripture? It’s possible!
Reading Philo is very interesting. I have not touched ancient Philosophy unfiltered by a modern author for too long. Philo’s very familiar with Pythagoras, Plato, and various Pre-Socratics, whose ideas he uses to help illuminate passages from Scripture. As the medievals said, philosophia ancilla theologiae–“Philosophy is the handmaid of theology.” As a further bonus, one finds awesome parallels between Philo’s thought and the Gospel of John. St. John the Evangelist was obviously a first rate intellectual.
My watch list at present is going all over the place. You can look at it here: Medieval Otaku/Canute’s watch list. I really need to add Knights of Sidonia to that list soon.
Found some fun videos on YouTube. Take a look at them.
This is something one doesn’t hear about every day. The actor Michael Enright had enough of hearing about all the atrocities committed by ISIS and decided to join Kurdish forces to fight them! Just when I thought that actors lacked guts these days.
Umm…I just purchased the Barnes & Nobles editions of the complete works of Shakespeare and complete Sherlock Holmes. Barnes & Nobles is having a sale whereby one buys one edition and gets the second one half off. A very good deal. Now, I’m completely out of ideas and should go to bed. Pray for me and other sick persons you know. God bless!