Liquid Ink

The official website of Gint Aras, Finalist 2016 CWA Book Award


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Frederick Douglass on Christianity

In an effort to celebrate Black History Month, I’ll be quoting from black American intellectuals every day until March. The first is from Frederick Douglass, of whom our book-hating president made a subject yesterday in a self-aggrandizing speech.

This is from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, 1845:

What I have said respecting and against religion, I mean strictly to apply to the slaveholding religion of this land, and with no possible reference to Christianity proper; for, between the Christianity of this land, and the Christianity of Christ, I recognize the widest possible difference — so wide, that to receive the one as good, pure, and holy, is of necessity to reject the other as bad, corrupt, and wicked. To be the friend of the one, is of necessity to be the enemy of the other. I love the pure, peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ: I therefore hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of this land. Indeed, I can see no reason, but the most deceitful one, for calling the religion of this land Christianity. I look upon it as the climax of all misnomers, the boldest of all frauds, and the grossest of all libels.

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Photo of Frederick Douglass from Wikipedia.


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We’re doomed…

Scanning through my Facebook newsfeed today, here’s what I learned:

1.) There’s a lot, and they mean a *lot* of evidence in the bible to support the coexistence of God and alien’s (sic).

2.) Somebody’s friend doesn’t need any proof to know there’s a way to cure cansir (sic) without medications or surgeons.

3.) If Obama had really wanted to stop terrorism, he’d never have run for office.

4.) There’s no way anyone can tell if Jay Cutler is a good quarterback.

5.) Even if it’s true that vaccinations cause most disease to be more widespread, somebody’s friend would still feel the need to live in a well-ventilated area.

6.) The Judeo-Christian God is clearly a guy.

7.) One friend’s friend grew up Catholic, but this has changed “since then”.

8.) Another friend’s friend, when presented with irrefutable evidence of extraterrestrial life, would, indeed, change her understanding of the universe.

9.) Some guy insists it’s just a matter of time before somebody drives out of Colorado with a joint in the car, and they’ll have a pistol in the car, and that will be goodbye to the stereotype of the hippy.

10.) Hyperactivity and a sugar-high are the same thing.

11.) One friend has been trying to teach parents how to perceive their own children for years, but they have not listened to him. He doesn’t have any kids of his own because he has no patience for them, wired or otherwise.

12.) Sometimes the Onion doesn’t use appropriate facts.

13.) “I went to college to become a gym teacher and I can tell you that the Common Core is impossible to learn.”

14.) If other countries had a flag just like America has a flag, they would probably show it at their games, too. But the problem is that the other countries do not play any national sports, so they don’t have any reason to recruit military personnel during their games. A flag is a very important recruitment tool.

To my credit, I avoided getting into arguments with any of these people. So that counts for something, right?

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The power of the imagination

I took these photographs in Nida, Lithuania, on the Curonian Spit.

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Striking, yes? Imagine those people who saw this Christ when he was first hoisted up into the air at the pathway of the church. This church here, built on a sandy hill in Nida:
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These people, late 19th Century Lutherans, most of them having lived their lives in the peace of the Curonian dunes, had no access to the sorts of visuals we take for granted: Saw III or even photographs of the dead. People among them who knew violence had seen it with their own eyes on battlefields and in torture chambers. But even they had minds clean of any iconic violence, any representation of it, save in books. But the concept of iconic violence, the kind of artifice we know in Reservoir Dogs or even ER, was utterly inconceivable to them.Those people came upon this cross and were told: “This is God.” This. In the trauma of this sight, I imagine them cured, at least temporarily, of their petty concerns: Does my spouse love me? Will there be enough rain this season? Shall I find my daughter a husband? Will my knee ever heal? Will my death be a painful one or will I simply fall asleep one moment, never to wake up again? I must pray with all my might for the latter. And I certainly won’t complain, not by raising my voice, at any rate.

Such is the power of art. Of the human imagination. It takes imagination to create images and myths. And it takes imagination to consume, to turn an image carved from innocent wood into a series of emotions and ideas.

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DOMA goes down!!

Liquid Inkers, don’t miss my editorial about DOMA on The Good Men Project.

In short, you get to live your life exactly as you were living it before this ruling. If you believe that an invisible being loves you more than he loves your gay neighbors, you should find solace in that. Human laws do not interfere with your deity’s laws.

What a day!


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The Dark Knight and The Grand Inquisitor

I loved this article so much that I have to share it. It uses Dostoevsky’s “The Grand Inquisitor,” the famous argument from The Brothers Karamazov, to inform readers and cinephiles on Nolan’s The Dark Knight, easily my favorite Batman film. It’s only a stretch if you dismiss The Dark Knight as something less than a work of philosophy. If you do so, I feel you’ve misunderstood the film.

“The Grand Inquisitor,” now, should be standard reading in schools, especially in schools with high percentages of Christian students. It argues, among other things, that it is Satan, not Christ, who drives the Catholic Church.

Happy reading.