December 2008

Now, this is the worst species of lying that I am acquainted with. Whoever appears to the public what he is not to himself, and in himself, is a liar of the worst description. To tell the truth, to act in accordance with one’s honest, intimate convictions of right, is the most imperative duty.

A man may tell me an oidinary falsehood, and I can pass it over. But when a man will … give his indulgence to what he does not believe, and withhold it from what he does believe, I know no excuse for him. He is a traitor to himself, a traitor to God, a traitor to man, and he ought to loathe himself.

If we would be men, be what our forms and lineaments promise, we must be heroes. We must dare always to utter the truth, whether its utterance be in words or in deeds. We must be always true to our inward convictions, and if the world be opposed to them, no matter; we must take our stand on them, and trust that in due time the world will come round to us. We must shun falsehood as the most deadly poison, and be true to the God within us, let it cost us what it may.

from “A Discourse on Lying”

Orestes Brownson


The story of Iblis the Jinn

A few nice links from one of my current favourite Blogs, Ali Eteraz, who has a nice mix of Islamic matters and politics.

He has a link to a translation of Surah Rahman from the Koran, which I think most Christians would enjoy.

He also has an interesting piece on ‘Iblis the Jinn’.

Iblis was the jinn who prior to the creation of man was a faithful and virtuous being. His piety was such that he spent an infinity of worship upon every square foot of the universe, and where he bowed he left roses blooming in the night. His piety was proof that in his heart he was capable of goodness. Yes he was a criminal for his failure to bow to Adam and Eve when Allah commanded him, but Iblis’ refusal was based in his knowledge that it would be unjust to the majesty of Allah to bow to things made from mere clay and mere dirt. Iblis did not bow because he could not denigrate his love for Allah by giving it to another. There are many in our history who have seen the goodness in the heart of Iblis; who saw in his refusal not vanity but fidelity. Today, I realize, is the time to rattle the tree of Islam.
Today the veils of daring have to be thrown over so that the sweetness of change can tumble out of our mouth.

I read this more as philosophy than revelation, but it’s a thoughtful statement
on the nature of evil that has certainly left me thinking.

It carries with it the observation that our experience of evil has to do with us being
material beings. And it also strikes a chord of truth in that so many
who do great evil — not just terrorists and Communists but people in daily life — do
so in the belief that they are pursuing a greater good.

And just maybe the Devil does hate us because we are not worthy of God, just
as God loves us despite it.