Clearing the Fog
in the
War of Words


  logomachy--1. A dispute about words. 2. A dispute carried on in words only; a battle of words.
logomachon--1. One who argues about words. 2. A word warrior.



Easter and the Atlanta Court Slayer Hostage

OK. I don't watch much TV, and TV news only by accident, so I don't see what's on the screen about the latest sensational events around the country (Kobe who?). I get my TV information second hand, like this piece by Peggy Noonan of how Ashley Smith stopped Brian Nichols's killing spree. She got him to let her turn him in by reading to him from the Bible and a book of Biblical reflections.

Noonan reprints Smith's account and sensibly says this is too big for commentary. The plain narrative--witness--would just dwarf anything anyone could write. Then she adds some of the commentary that she is so good at:
Is it a matter of happenstance, is it without meaning, that America was taken by this drama at Eastertide, in the days before Palm Sunday, when a wanted man rode by donkey to an appointment at Golgotha?

Is it an accident that a great but troubled country that yearns so to be good is given such instruction at this time?

Maybe we should be thinking: God loves all of us, every one of us most tenderly, even convicts, maybe especially convicts, who know what they are and hang their heads and one of whom, so long ago, looked up, and cried out to the man on the other cross, and received from him a promise of forgiveness and a promise that soon, very soon, they would stand together in a place without pain.

Maybe we should think: This is all quite a mystery, too big to be understood, too beautiful to be ignored.
It's never too much to think that, even if the timing is a happy happenstance. But as she said, it happened at Easter in America, which is worth pointing out, just as it was not worth pointing out, three months ago, that the Christmas Sunanmi, as some village atheists dubbed it with ironical glee, did not exactly strike the geographical heart of Christendom, but that it was from Christendom's heart that the aircraft carriers, helicopters, food, shelter, and clothing poured, heaping coals upon the heads of some with eyes to see.

Random thought: In all the back and forth about whether "Bush was right" and what he does and does not deserve credit for (and didn't Napoleon say the first quality he looked for in a general was that he be lucky?), along with Syria's overreaching and Arafat's death, no one has included the sunami relief effort.



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