Saw a lot of fluttery twitter reaction to this last night (twitter is a bastion for fluttery reaction, as fits tweets and bird logos) with people freaking out. Facebook is more staid, marginally.
When people assured me it was true, I didn’t have to see it last night to go to bed understanding why I had felt compelled to write this, before turning in.
That Strange God — the idol that is the idea of I — has the full force of the press, the United States Government and a lot of mindless, deluded sloganeering drones, who have no notion that they are no further enlightened than Eve; that they are standing in Eden, before a slithering hisser of lies, who introduces death to their hearts and souls with a single promise, “consume it and be like gods…”
You get a gang of already pumped up, hysterical (and in some cases terribly, terribly young) idolators fully indoctrinated to the creed and the church of the Idol-of-I, and start singing “Amazing Grace” you’re striking at a jugular vein of the idol and the hysterics — having nothing to fall back on but the empty creed of self-worship, which contains no grace at all — have no depth in their recourse. All they have left in their bag of tricks is shock and chaos.
Last night they fell back on “shock.” Chaos will come later, and believe me, a mindless, stupidly spiteful chanting of “hail satan” won’t be the half of it.
They know not what they do, though — very likely those who are not being paid to be useful idiots for The Party are members of The Church of What’s Happening Now, who can’t resist an urge to participate in this week’s “be-in”. You know they understand almost nothing about anything when they’re bringing little kids to a protest (against abortion at six months) and having them hold up wire hangers. I personally think it would be a mistake to over-react to this chant. Undoubtedly, some will. Some Christians and Republicans will try to exploit the moment for political gain — they’ll hyperventilate and get dramatic and push their face into a tv camera and look so deranged that people watching or reading will say, “well, it was a stupid, spiteful chant, but I don’t blame them for it…”
Which is why I rather concur with this guy on Twitter:
Wow, the "hail Satan" thing is such a troll. Make fun of it or ignore it. No good can come of making a big deal out of it.
— Political Math (@politicalmath) July 3, 2013
Or, as Andrew Klavan says, “Satan Schmatan!”
Da Tech Guy doesn’t quite agree.
When the Christians began to sing “Amazing Grace” they had to know it would foment a reaction. The hymn strikes a chord of mystic understanding. It is listed as an “American Folk Melody” but that melody is African — probably anciently African (sometimes I wonder if it was not the melody hummed by the Hebrew slaves, the soundtrack to the exodus) — and it seems to touch a sinew of recall and reclamation in all of us, in the same way, perhaps, that our cells can hold memory. Think of the first time you ever heard it; you already knew it. It is something primal, earthy and familiar to us: it is life, strain, yearning. The cross.
“Amazing Grace” is a psycho-spiritual weapon. When it is deployed, people cannot be shocked at what weapons others will use in response.
We are in for a very long, increasingly harsh battle. Keep your powder dry and don’t flip out at these first tactics.
Meanwhile, Amazing Grace. I wonder if it was the sound that accompanied the moment when Adam first stood erect and encountered consciousness.
Lots of discussion in the comments section about the melody for “Amazing Grace” originating in the British Isles. I’m aware that this is the accepted understanding. I’ll still hold my position that it is African in origin, as are — says science — we all. If people want to trace the tune to the Isles that’s fine by me, but given the (entirely possible) tradition that the Tribe of Dan passed through the British Isles and Ireland before settling north of them, it’s as likely as anything that they brought that melody (and other great “bog-tunes”) with them from Africa! :-)