Saturday Saints- #123

Today we feature the letter “P.” So our saint for the day is Padre Pio:

Padre Pio, also known as Saint Pio of Pietrelcina (Italian: Pio da Pietrelcina), O.F.M. Cap. (May 25, 1887 – September 23, 1968), was a friar, priest, stigmatist, and mystic,now venerated as a saint of the Catholic Church. Born Francesco Forgione, he was given the name of Pius (Italian: Pio) when he joined the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin.

Padre Pio became famous for exhibiting stigmata for most of his life, thereby generating much interest and controversy. He was both beatified (1999) and canonized (2002) by Pope John Paul II.

There is a great deal more to his life, no surprise given he was a figure of much controversy. More can be learned about him at his wiki, located here.

padre_pio_during_mass

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Tissue-Paper Walls

A few days ago a first time commenter left a comment on an old post of mine, A Must Read Story. There is a small part of her rather longish comment that I want to examine. The key part is in bold:

it’s very difficult to have high self-esteem when you do everything “right” but still have poor luck with the opposite sex, and it creates a very lonely feeling when you follow your values but end up getting victimized for it. Our society is simply set up so that selfish people appear to get ahead–that goes for Chads sleeping with hundreds of women, and the slutty girls having “fun.” Eva is the equivalent of the beta male looking on confused, and just because you can’t imagine a woman sharing that experience with you, doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. In fact, most women are profoundly insecure. The ones who are open about it–like Eva–haven’t learned the lesson that YOU perceive all women to be adept at–hiding their feelings and vulnerabilities.

Most women are profoundly insecure.

That little tidbit is the subject of today’s post. I’ve written on it before, in my post Beta Farming. I explained my reasoning at the time of why women might be insecure. Some of my reasoning:

Much of this insecurity comes from the gap in physical prowess between men and women. We men are much more capable of defending ourselves and imposing our will on our environment than women are- at least at the individual level. But whatever its source, it has a profound effect on female behavior. Women are constantly, and often at an unconscious or subconscious level, trying to alter their environment to make it feel more secure.

Having thought about it more, I can think of additional reasons for female insecurity.  One of them is that women know (mostly at an unconscious level) how vulnerable pregnancy and child-raising makes them. Another is that women, again unconsciously, realize how limited their peak fertility and SMV window is. They worry about optimizing that time, and covering for when they are no longer at their peak. There is plenty of room for speculation there, and my commenters can feel free to contribute.

However, I want talk about how the insecurity should be handled. One of the problems with that insecurity is that ill-intentioned men can exploit it. Often times quite easily. And course, it usually isn’t entirely unwillingly. But exploitable it still remains.

At the same time, I think that this insecurity is something that good men can relieve or buttress. They can, in the right scenario, build up women’s confidence in a positive way. This can help women resist that lure of exploitation or build up a wall against it. Men can supplement the tissue paper or paper mache walls that women may have with walls of stone and gates of iron.

Unfortunately, our society isn’t exactly eager to see this happen. Fatherhood has been trashed, both as a social as well as a legal force. Fathers are essentially powerless to protect their daughters these days, especially when they are older. Likewise, our society does its level best to keep women away from actual good men, who though few in number still exist. Certainly it tries hard to keep women from marrying such men when they are young.

Now, what I am saying gets awfully close to white knighting. I will admit that gives me pause. All the same, I think the argument is potent indeed that strong men are needed to protect women- from themselves. But for that to happen men need actual power to go with that responsibility. Our present cadre of White Knights, especially in Churchian circles, is what you get when you take that power away from men. Men become modern caricatures of Don Quixote, assaulting windmills left and right and ignoring the real threats all around them.

I will leave with two questions I want to pose to my readers.

First, what methods can be used to protect women, assuming the necessary social structure was in place?

Second, if that structure is not in place, how can it be created, or what workarounds can be used if it cannot?

 

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Selected Sunday Scriptures- #125

Today’s post will feature three Gospel readings. The first is the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican:

He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank thee that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

(Luke 18:9-14)

The second is that of the Prodigal Son:

11 And he said, “There was a man who had two sons; 12 and the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that falls to me.’ And he divided his living between them. 13 Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took his journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in loose living. 14 And when he had spent everything, a great famine arose in that country, and he began to be in want. 15 So he went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would gladly have fed on the pods that the swine ate; and no one gave him anything. 17 But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, but I perish here with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ 20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was yet at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet; 23 and bring the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and make merry; 24 for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to make merry.

25 “Now his elder son was in the field; and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And he called one of the servants and asked what this meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has received him safe and sound.’ 28 But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, 29 but he answered his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command; yet you never gave me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your living with harlots, you killed for him the fatted calf!’ 31 And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 It was fitting to make merry and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’”

(Luke 15:11-32)

The third comes from Jesus’s denouncing of the Pharisees:

25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you cleanse the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of extortion and rapacity. 26 You blind Pharisee! first cleanse the inside of the cup and of the plate, that the outside also may be clean.

27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

(Matthew 23:25-28)

All three passages deal with those who appear clean, that is, righteous, on the outside. The Pharisees in the first and third passage, and the older brother in the second. On the outside they are obedient- they do what the law requires of them. But inside, their hearts are just as full of sin as those they look down on them, whether they be tax collectors or wayward brothers. In all three situations you have as the principal sin that of pride. Pride, that most indispensable of sins. That which comes before the fall.

With the older brother we see more, of course. Envy and Avarice have also blinded him to the fact that his brother has returned. He has let his love of material things get in the way of his love for his brother. And if he cannot love his brother, whom he has seen, how can he hope to love God, whom he has not seen?

As we move along our spiritual journey, we need to watch out for pride and the other sins we keep inside. As we get better and better and keeping the outside of the cup clean, it becomes all the more imperative that we keep the inside clean too. It is good to appreciate and acknowledge our accomplishments. But at the same time we cannot let them give us a false sense of being “better” or more worthy than those around us. All have fallen short- all of us have missed the mark. And ll of us are equally dependent on the mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. At the end of the day, we will all be throwing ourselves at the feet of our Lord and begging him to show mercy. Let that reminder keep us on our toes, and prayerful in our hearts.

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Tuesday Tips- #4 It’s The Economy Stupid (Part 2)

It has been quite a while since we have had any posts in this series from reader MK, and thus the time is right for issue #4. Today’s topic is the economy, yet again. As always, these comments are not mine, and their inclusion in my blog doesn’t necessarily mean I support them. I include them as food for thought and discussion.

It’s been months since the last Tip. My excuse? I’ve been productive: a nice 2016 harvest (1,500 pounds of fish and game plus half this weight in crabapples). Look, teen boys flat-out eat. And this merely supplements an annual consumption of 1,500 pounds of oat & rice plus 14,000 eggs. Protein? It’s kind of a big deal here.

This sidebar conveniently relates to my prior TT, which concludes: For those who can adjust their [economic] mindset and take action, real opportunity exists. So forget the theory; let’s get specific about the opportunity:

1) Read the book Dividends Still Don’t Lie (Wright). Invest accordingly. Educate yourself regarding stocks. Grok book value, PE ratio, and dividend yield. Extra credit: read The Intelligent Investor (Graham). Extra-extra credit: read Graham’s classic Security Analysis. Look, knowing about money is just what men do, like fixing cars, shooting guns, or hanging drywall. You simply gotta know it. Especially if you are young.

2) Follow the Investment Quality Trends newsletter for at least a year. This value-investing methodology has yielded double-digits since 1966 in very conservative manner. Too much work? Just dollar-cost-average your savings into the Vanguard Total Stock Market. While higher risk and lower return than IQT value investing, it’s not a bad option and requires little education. Extra credit: put savings outside of a 401k or IRA into an investment partnership (easy to start). This shields the money from lawsuits (cheap insurance). Remember, the primary cause of bankruptcy in the US is medical issues, and this could happen to anyone. We all get sick and die eventually. Be prepared.

3) Be a saver, not a spender. Select friends and romantic partners who are also savers. Avoid family members who spend recklessly. Hang with the kind of guys who actually play sports and do productive things, not the guys who watch other people do them on TV.

4) Kill. Your. TV. ‘Nuff said. 90% of consumerism (and cultural filth) comes from our media. Don’t even allow a TV in your house, especially if you have kids. Whisky and loaded guns seem less dangerous, to me.

5) Get serious about life. Do hobbies that produce health and wealth, not decrease them. For example, learn to fix everything. Buy less, and only buy quality. Eat at home. Vacation where you live. Learn to cook from scratch, sew, and tailor. If married, expect your wife to do this, and do it well. Grow a garden. Cut your own hair. Caveat: an alternative to this DIY approach? Pour excess time into a productive career. I prefer to live a fuller and leaner life and retire young, but heck, why not do both? Go big or go home!

6) Invest in yourself by trying new and productive things. For example, buy a house, improve it, and sell it for tax-free profit. This works for all sorts of things: cars, appliances, whatever. As Scott Adams says, each new skill you learn doubles your chance of future success. Life is short, think big.

7) Keep at least 6-12 months of cash outside the system (remember that withdrawals of $10k are recorded, so take your time). Store it carefully against fire and theft (e.g., vacuum-pack and bury). This is base insurance. If you get sued, divorce-raped, or forced into bankruptcy due to a medical crisis, you will be glad you did this. The money must remain private and easily accessible. Remember, if you are a traditional Christian, you should anticipate persecution. It’s not a question of if, but when.

8) Keep 10% of your net worth in physical precious metals and/or jewelry. Again, outside the system and stored carefully. Don’t even consider a safe-deposit box! For the same reasons as above. This is longer-term insurance; unlike cash, it will match inflation over the decades. Personally, I like to sell half when prices go high, and then replace it at lower prices for profit later. It’s nice to get paid to have insurance for a change!

9) Act. Everyone talks. Very, very few have the balls to DO. Be the doer. Take a risk. The odds are, you won’t do any of these things, even if you like the ideas. Why? Inertia is the greatest force in the world. Trust me, none of these things are easy to do. But I can’t recommend them enough. Act.

Lots of guys don’t see much point in it all today. They are listless and uninspired. I get this. I assume this is generally due to a poor diet, lack of exercise, and the declining economic and social situation that defines our hopeless era. Lack of hope is a lethal spiritual wound. Men ask: what are the options today for a serious religious guy? Become a monk, or a cuckolded provider for a woman cashing out of the SMP? The game seems rigged. The deck stacked.

Well, I say: Don’t fall into this trap. Forge your own economic lifestyle. Ignore the crowd. Become financially independent. Live with focus and purpose. Never look back. Demand more. You will be amazed at the number of people – especially women – who will follow you. I know I would. Hope, confidence, and excitement about the future are highly contagious.

 

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The Gamma-ization Of Superman

I have been meaning to write this post for some time after numerous discussions withNSR, but never got around to it. However, Cane Caldo’s latest post, The Judgement of Freaks, finally convinced me to get something down on electronic paper. Cane’s post exams Sci-Fi/Fantasy fans and their nature and how it interacts with the market. The part that interested me was this:

But if we talk about the collective of fans, a great many of whom are strange and ill-formed, then I must say that it does have to be this way. What these strange and ill-formed SF&F fans want is a structure of the superficial. The less substantive the better, for under it they can do a couple things.

  1. Transform their crippling weirdness into a minor flaw which is subsumed under the temporarily-irrelevant category of real life.
  2. Practice a wide assortment of perversions disguised as make believe.

That’s why there are so many freaks in the comicbook store. That’s why there are so many freaks at the Star Trek conventions. That’s why there are so many freaks at Renaissance festivals, comic conventions, anime conventions…there are a lot of freak conventions.

I have no idea how much experience Cane has with this sort of folk. I’ve always had the impression he was a jock in high-school, and not the nerd type. Unfortunately, I was the nerd type, and so I am all too familiar with these freaks. And freaks they are.

Oh, not all of them. I’ve been to comic shops and conventions and Ren fairs and the like. Not everyone there is a freak. But plenty are. Perhaps even a majority at many of these events/places. The thing is, this didn’t always use to be the case.

Years ago comics used to be much more “mainstream,” for want of a better term. But somewhere along the way that changed. Both the fans and the writers started to shift in their overall make-up, and it shows. This structure of the superficial became more predominant, and then finally dominant. Depth is out of the question in most places, and what “depth” you do get is typical SJW political drivel for the most part. The exceptions are just that, exceptions.

From my perspective comics started as a form of light fantasy entertainment. Superpowers sort of took the place of magic, and allowed for fun and interesting characters and stories. But then as the fandom and writers changed, this shifted. Light fantasy morphed into what I can only think is escapism. People created weirder and weirder characters and situations because they themselves were weirder and weirder. As for the existing characters, they were transformed in varying ways, few of them good.

Superman provides an excellent example of this. As originally conceived and as the character was written in the golden and silver age, Superman fits many of the qualities that are often in these parts called “Alpha.” I mean, really, he is the Alpha. Strong, confident, dominant and admired/envied by everyone. And of course women throw themselves at him.

But over time the character of Superman has changed. Some of this might owe to the Comics Code, put in place in the mid 50s, which made things “tamer.” However, I think that only helped lay the groundwork- it didn’t actually lead to the character changing. Instead, it was a new generation of writers (and the fans with them) that transformed the character.

An interesting fact that NSR told me is that DC Comics originally figured they had only a 3-5 year run with most of their readers, who happened to be young boys. After that the boys would start getting interested in girls and their interest in comics would wane. Apparently that influenced the business model. However, at some point super-fans showed up and started to make noises about continuity and the need to collect every comic and the like. Over time these fans became writers, and they started to change the character.

I mention this because it seems to me that the super-fans, if we can call them that, evidently didn’t get caught up in the whole “chasing girls” thing. This to me suggests that they were “out there”, perhaps in a socio-sexual way. Enter Vox’s Socio-Sexual Hierarchy. I don’t subscribe to it in full, but I think there are some useful descriptions there. Here is the description of Gamma:

The introspective, the unusual, the unattractive, and all too often the bitter. Gammas are often intelligent, usually unsuccessful with women, and not uncommonly all but invisible to them, the gamma alternates between placing women on pedestals and hating the entire sex. This mostly depends upon whether an attractive woman happened to notice his existence or not that day. Too introspective for their own good, gammas are the men who obsess over individual women for extended periods of time and supply the ranks of stalkers, psycho-jealous ex-boyfriends, and the authors of excruciatingly romantic rhyming doggerel. In the unlikely event they are at the party, they are probably in the corner muttering darkly about the behavior of everyone else there… sometimes to themselves. Gammas tend to have have a worship/hate relationship with women, the current direction of which is directly tied to their present situation. However, they are sexual rejects, not social rejects.

What I suspect is that over time many of the writers in the comics world started to fit this description. Their own nature as “Gammas” influenced their writing. They projected some of their own nature onto the characters they were writing. This is something you can see in the character of Superman. Some examples of the changes:

  • Superman was always an alien, but he still fit in while on Earth. During his Gammization, however, two things happened. Some writers had him basically disregard his Kryptonian heritage- an example of deliberately denying pride in one’s ancestry. Other writers went to the other extreme, and emphasized his alien nature. They made him feel as if he was an outcast/outsider- which is just how many of them happened to feel.
  • The way that Superman interacted with women, especially as Clark Kent, changed. In the beginning Clark was always mild-mannered, but his bumbling nature with women was also a disguise. Superman actually enjoyed pretending to be the fool who didn’t “get” women. It was all a joke to him. But over time that disguise sort of disappeared, and he lost his humor at playing people. Instead he was confused and conflicted with how he should interact with women. This can be seen in the original Superman movie from the 70s.
  • After 1986, Superman was often displaced within his own comics. Other characters would be the ones taking all the action, and he would just stand there. Along with this came a huge decrease in his power. While Superman certainly had some “power creep” in the early days, he was almost neutered once the Gammas took over the writing.

There is more, but those examples in particular stand out. Putting all of it together, we have seen Superman as a character be twisted by a wave of writers less masculine , and more freakish, than the ones who came before. Of course, he isn’t the only character so affected. And it is important to note that many comics writers from the start were freaks who wanted ways to live out their perversions- see the character of Wonder Woman, for example.

Unfortunately, I see this trend only continuing. So those of us who enjoy the old comics- the light fantasy and not the shallow escapism and perversions of today, are sort of out of luck. At least we have the old ones to enjoy.

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Splitting Eros Leads To Disaster

One of Dalrock’s recent posts examines the consequences of the elevation of romantic love to a moral force:

The simple fact is the moment you attribute moral value to romantic love you are creating a rival to biblical sexual morality.  In biblical sexual morality it is marriage that creates a moral space for sex and romantic love (with romantic love not separated from sexual passion).  We have overturned God’s order here, and are now claiming that romantic love is the moral space for marriage and sex.  This is deceptively subtle, and at the same time demolishes the moral meaning of marriage.

Passionless duty sex was for marriage, and passion was for adultery.  Courtly love built upon this idea with a twist.  It added a new concept of romantic love, separating out the emotional aspect of sexual passion.  This newly separated concept of romantic love was worshiped and seen as sanctifying.  CS Lewis summed up the concept of courtly love as (emphasis mine):

“The sentiment, of course, is love, but love of a highly specialized sort, whose characteristics may be enumerated as Humility, Courtesy, Adultery, and the Religion of Love.”

What Dalrock is examining here is a situation where Eros has been split in two. As a reminder/refresher, the ancient Greeks believed in several different concepts of  “love.” The three principal loves were:

  • Eros- sensual love associated with the body
  • Philos- love in the form of friendship that is associated with the soul
  • Agapos- the self-sacrificing love that comes from God and is thus associated with the Spirit

Now, Eros is a bodily love. However, emotions are as much of the body as the actual “rubbing together of bodyparts.” Which is my way of saying that Eros properly contains both Romance as well as the actual physical acts of intercourse. Passion and Romance go hand in hand, if you will. Dalrock is making a mistake by calling it “Romantic love.” It is really just the emotional aspect of the love we know as Eros. It is not something separate.

What has unfortunately been going on for centuries now is an attempt to split Eros up into a “dirty” part, sex, and a “pure” part, “romance.” However, no matter how many games you play with this, it cannot be done. Eros encompasses both. Any attempt to separate the two is inherently insane. We should expect that craziness will follow from it. Thus, to me it is no surprise that efforts to separate Eros have helped “break” marriage in the west. We have gone against God’s plan for human beings- disaster is to be expected.

God created Man as a union of body, soul and spirit. Marriage, as an institution/sacrament coming from God, relies on a healthy state of that union. If they are unhealthy, or there is discord, then marriage will suffer accordingly. Marriage encompasses each of these loves, because marriage affects and is affected by all parts of that union. Trying to remove the physical component of Eros from marriage effectively breaks that unity and creates disorder in that man or woman- and thereby brings disorder into the marriage. It affects both husband and wife because in marriage the two become one.

Remember, Man was made for marriage. And by marriage I mean what God intends by marriage. Trying to fit man into anything other than what God intended is like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. It doesn’t work. Alas, we are seeing the proof of that all around us in the West right now.

Update: I should make it clear that the mistake that I think Dalrock was mistaking was calling it “Romantic Love.” I don’t think he failed to grasp the other parts of my post. One of his older posts in fact notes that courtly love is always sexual.

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Selected Sunday Scriptures- #124

Two passages for today’s post. The first is a section of St. Paul’s second epistle to the Thessalonians, which I propose to contain many valuable lessons:

Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is living in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us; we were not idle when we were with you, we did not eat any one’s bread without paying, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not burden any of you. It was not because we have not that right, but to give you in our conduct an example to imitate. 10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: If any one will not work, let him not eat. 11 For we hear that some of you are living in idleness, mere busybodies, not doing any work. 12 Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work in quietness and to earn their own living. 13 Brethren, do not be weary in well-doing.

14 If any one refuses to obey what we say in this letter, note that man, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Do not look on him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.

(2 Thessalonians 3:6-15)

Here is a quick list I have made of the important lessons which St. Paul teaches here:

  • Avoid those “Christians” who are idle, that is, given over to sloth.
  • Avoid those professed Christians who are living in a way which goes against Apostolic tradition.
  • St. Paul and his companions may have worked for their upkeep, but they had the right to expect their fellow brethren in Christ to support them.
  • Those who refuse to work should not eat- that is, be given food by the community.
  • Christians should not grow weary, presumably in the soul, of hard work.
  • Have nothing to do with fellow Christians who disobey the teaching of the Apostles. This will shame them and hopefully convince them to turn aside from their sin.
  • Those who have fallen away are not our enemies, and shouldn’t be treated as such. Instead they are wayward brothers who should be warned about the perils of sin out of love.

As for this next passage, it was motivated by Dalrock’s long running series of weak men- many of whom seem to be screwing feminism up. This passage indeed features a weak man- Herod:

14 King Herod heard of it; for Jesus’ name had become known. Some[c] said, “John the baptizer has been raised from the dead; that is why these powers are at work in him.” 15 But others said, “It is Eli′jah.” And others said, “It is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.” 16 But when Herod heard of it he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.” 17 For Herod had sent and seized John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Hero′di-as, his brother Philip’s wife; because he had married her. 18 For John said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” 19 And Hero′di-as had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not, 20 for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and kept him safe. When he heard him, he was much perplexed; and yet he heard him gladly. 21 But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and the leading men of Galilee. 22 For when Hero′di-as’ daughter came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will grant it.” 23 And he vowed to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.” 24 And she went out, and said to her mother, “What shall I ask?” And she said, “The head of John the baptizer.” 25 And she came in immediately with haste to the king, and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” 26 And the king was exceedingly sorry; but because of his oaths and his guests he did not want to break his word to her. 27 And immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard and gave orders to bring his head. He went and beheaded him in the prison, 28 and brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother. 29 When his disciples heard of it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.

(Mark 6:14-29)

Is it just me, or does this passage make Herod seem, well, kinda pathetic? He fears John, and yet it is only when a woman effectively blackmails him that he finally puts the prophet to death. Not to mention the fact that a pretty girl dancing (plus presumably a fair amount of drink) would compel the man to make that rash of a vow. And to make it even worse, Herod knew John was righteous and still was so full of pride as to keep on with his (initially) half a—d measures.

 

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