creation

Creating World Order

President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush wave the flag and sing "God Bless America" during a memorial service at the Pentagon on Oct. 11, 2001, in honor of those who perished in the terrorist attack on the building. President Bush, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Richard B. Myers, U.S. Air Force, eulogized the 184 persons killed when a terrorist hijacked airliner was purposely crashed into the southwest face of the building on Sept. 11, 2001. Photo credit:  R.D. Ward.

President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush wave the flag and sing “God Bless America” during a memorial service at the Pentagon on Oct. 11, 2001, in honor of those who perished in the terrorist attack on the building. President Bush, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Richard B. Myers, U.S. Air Force, eulogized the 184 persons killed when a terrorist hijacked airliner was purposely crashed into the southwest face of the building on Sept. 11, 2001. Photo credit: R.D. Ward.

Creation is always divine and often brutal.  Even the explosive violence of science’s Big Bang Theory is expressed in reverential overtones:  “The Universe was formed by a colossal explosion . . . . In the first millionth of a second after the Big Bang, the Universe expanded from a dimensionless point of infinite mass and density into a fireball about 19 billion miles . . . across”  (Oxford New Concise World Atlas, 3rd ed., 2009, pp. 18-19).  Creation stories, like myth in general, are outward projections of inner worlds involving a fantastic force or sheer willing of the world into existence.  A continuous cycle of creation and renewal is common to the mythic theme.

The recurring burden of bringing about and maintaining world order falls first and foremost on the United States.  America’s creation story is almost too familiar to be recognized as such.  (more…)

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The Spectre of Chaos

Ground Zero, New York City, N.Y. (Sept. 16, 2001) -- A lone fire engine at the crime scene in Manhattan where the World Trade Center collapsed following the Sept. 11 terrorist attack. Surrounding buildings were heavily damaged by the debris and massive force of the falling twin towers. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Photographer's Mate Eric J. TIlford.

Ground Zero, New York City, N.Y. (Sept. 16, 2001) — A lone fire engine at the crime scene in Manhattan where the World Trade Center collapsed following the Sept. 11 terrorist attack. Surrounding buildings were heavily damaged by the debris and massive force of the falling twin towers. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Photographer’s Mate Eric J. TIlford.

Crises prompt politicians and pundits to draw deeply from the well of myth. The President turned to the biblical language of evildoers to make sense of the tragedy of 9/11. More recently, the Cold War language of falling dominoes and containment has resurfaced in the face of Russia’s sudden annexation of Crimea. It, too, is mythic at its core.

Indiana’s U.S. Senator Dan Coats, among others, speaks in Cold War terms (March 17, 2014). Hoosiers should care about what happens to Ukraine even though, he observes, it is 5,000 miles away, trade with it is miniscule, it has no energy resources or critical materials, it is a corrupt and unstable state, and only 30% of its population is religious.

Why should we care, then, asks the Senator? Because “conflicts grow from small beginnings,” as in the case of Hitler’s unchecked aggression and other incidents before and after World War II, when policymakers failed to draw the line. Disaster in Ukraine undermines European security and stability, which penetrates to the “permanent core” of U.S. strategic interests and threatens a chain reaction. (more…)