A History and Commentary on the Tree of Life

Chapter XIV William Jefferson Clinton

The following are mostly rambling excerpts from a letter written on the morning of William Jefferson, and Hillary Rodham Clinton’s inauguration as presidents of the United States:

January 20, 1993…There is probably no more bewildered a figure in America this morning than me. The inauguration is proceeding. My soul is depressed. The Clintons are being showered with the affections and praises that I had imagined for the true Messiahs. The words that should have applied only to that anointed couple (D.V.D.), are being heaped upon the office of the American Presidency–again! Neil Diamond is singing “America…My Country ‘Tis of Thee” on the radio at this very minute. Dylan was there the other night. American bombs are reigning down on another people and Dylan was there. It seemed like the whole 60s generation was there. All the leading lights of the civil rights era were there. Was I the only one deranged and lost in this entire land (I thought to myself)? The only one who had it all wrong? It says Come OUT of her my people… doesn’t it? Not “press in.” Not “get involved in her affairs.” Everyone was rejoicing, jubilant, hopeful. The evil ones had been turned out of office, but I was weeping, no crying, for my own sins now. This entire work, this entire vision seemed to be dissolving before my own eyes. I expected the Spirit to reveal these things in the time of Jimmy Carter, and then certainly in the time of Ronald Reagan and George Bush. And now time was running away. I expected at any time during the administration of those presidents to hear the Trump sound against America and its ruling elite. The era of Darkness, rather than ending, was continuing. “The Word remains captive. I am a wholly unworthy vessel.” (Those were the plaintive words of a lost and bewildered soul).

12:02 p.m…The unimaginable has happened. Clinton has taken the oath of office and I am straining to keep my sense of mind. All that ever fit together there seems to have lost its meaning, its direction…

I was listening the following day to the songs, “Beautiful People,” and “Blessed Are,” by Melanie and Joan Baez. My soul was torn, distant, without a place anywhere, and sick thinking of what the words of these songs meant when they were first sung. We (Nan and I), were not flower children but rather in military service during most of the turbulent sixties. In fact, upon taking a discharge after ten years of service (1957-1967), we encountered an antiwar, civil-rights, and counter-cultural movement in the United States that we honestly did not even know existed. We had been living a sheltered military life, with a dearth of mind that amazes me now as I look back upon it, and as I think of the thousands of families feeling so secure in it now. The military state of mind is a religious experience in itself–much like the cult of Sol Invictus in the time of the Roman legions. But we soon discovered that new wind blowing in America (see John 3:3-8) and got caught up (raptured) in it…

But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows,

And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented.

For John came neither eating and drinking, and they say, He hath a devil.

The son of man (open the Book of Ezekiel, right here in America in these last times), came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But Wisdom is justified of Her children…(Matthew 11:16-19).

…and were even for a brief time caught up in the swirl of idealism that was expressing itself that morning in Washington D.C. It became apparent to us soon enough, however, that the Gospel was our focus, not politics; individual transformation not national redemption–not that nation any way. Our path soon took us out of this system of things, and away from these causes (to rethink it all through), because it was becoming increasingly clear that the more responsive the American system seemed to become to the issues of the time–to the issues of human rights, economic injustice, poverty, social reform, and war and peace–the more subtle and deceptive it became. The more it seemed to change the more it actually stayed the same. The old guard was still in charge, the Darkness still ruled. We discovered that the intrigues of politics (of social activism as well), could be as enervating and alluring to the religious mind as those of (illicit) sex, and began to resist them. For others the path led deeper into the system of things, and for many it was with the sincere hope of actually changing it. But it was clear to see that the system (the Great Beast) wasn’t changing, only those who were caught in its embrace. They were being co-opted, in ways that they couldn’t understand. By lending it their righteous energy as they were, believing somehow that it could be reformed, they were actually feeding the Beast. This great Creature thrives on dissent. The two paths–into the system of things, and out of it–separate the spirit of Antichrist in our time from the spirit of Christ.

Bill Clinton’s bible was open to the verse: Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption, but he that soweth to the Spirit, shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting (Galatians 6:7,8). But if they in Washington that day were reveling in the rituals of Ba’al–in the gross flesh of this present political realm–I (because of all my own deep sins I was sure), found myself reaping what seemed to be the complete dissolution of every expectation, even the loss of my own soul. While attending to the oracles of my own lower nature I had failed to see how these things also had to come to pass. We understand, of course, that the Father of All sees and knows what we cannot, for while the Clinton administration is extraterranious in a sense (almost irrelevant now) to the Number of the Beast (the number Six Hundred Sixty and Six), the 60s generation itself was destined not to fully awaken without an attempt of its own to see what it could do with the world (without God’s help); but neither could the world have come to its present state without it. I wrote to some friends that they could disregard this entire vision of things if Clinton became president, while also hoping they would continue watching with me as the times continued to unfold (Carter continued to be the real focus, the ultimate one to whom this Number belonged). This work, then, became not merely an account, or a commentary on the details of the vision itself, but on the means by which such a vision is attained, and maintained. (1 Corinthians 1:27-31).

I said at the time that, though the office of the American presidency is the seat of Antichrist, Bill Clinton was not “the” antichrist. By that I also meant that he seemed not to have the fascist, nor over-religious tendencies that will be required of the antichrist(s). He seemed not to be interested in preserving the way things are as Reagan and Bush were. Killing and war were second nature to them. They are murderers, and truly representative of the criminal state of mind that rules America. Clinton, rather (despite the same enormous ego), seemed instead to symbolize this spirit of misguided idealism–one even capable of redemption. He was eager for change. He seemed to possess many of the same values and sensitivities essential to a true religious life, such as were striving to be born (again) in the counter-cultural experiments of the 50s, 60s, and 70s. One cannot aspire to the Christ-spirit in our times who has not been touched in all the right ways by those events. It was a time to inhale, to breath deeply of the Divine Spirit that was manifesting Herself everywhere, not only in this land but throughout the world. (One had to experience the whole of Her). It was the time of the Nazarite, a time to get separated. A new order of Essenes was being called into existence. It was a time of great Darkness as well. Clinton was willing to make that compromise with the Darkness, hoping in his own mind to bend it to the will of the new idealism. It all seemed possible. So like Carter before him, he accepted “the deal.” (Matthew 4:8-11). Present reality bears witness to the fact that God will not honor such compromises. God is jealous for Their own agenda, and for the realization of Their own anointed ones.

America is the culmination and the climax of the entire Western epic. For those on the Left side of the World Tree (the side of Wisdom, Love, and Endurance), the 60s was a time for seeing America for what it really is, as it is written: If that light is darkness, then how great the darkness. It was a time to come out. (Revelation 18). Bill Clinton did not come out. He was led–in the name of Christ, but contrary to the teachings of Christ– to take upon himself the cares and the burdens of the whole Western world. He was led away by the nationalistic doctrines of the American (Southern Baptist) church itself. How is it written: Two shall be grinding at the mill, one shall be taken, one shall be left. There is the Church in America (She is a stranger and a pilgrim in a strange land), and there is the American church:


Although the idea of “civil religion” sheds a lot more light on the doings in Washington this week than the idea of a “secular holiday,” the concept has drawn a long string of comments and criticisms. Some say civil religion threatens to be an anemic lowest common-denominator to substitute for genuine biblical faith. Others worry that civil religion might be little more than national self-worship, a fusion of faith and flag more likely to magnify than expose the nation’s failings…

(It) was wondered what would happen to America’s civil religion if the time came when the central symbol of “God” could no longer generate assent among political leaders…With Mr. Clinton, of course, that time is no closer…Bill Clinton is not a secular figure “but someone who believes in and is moved by his religion.” The New York Times.

The American Religion, by Harold Bloom.

Seeking solace from his recent political troubles, PRESIDENT CLINTON SAID TODAY THAT HE HAD JUST READ THE ENTIRE BOOK OF PSALMS, 150 hymns that praise God, and often ask Divine relief from sufferings inflicted by enemies. Friends, he said, have faxed him passages from Scripture on a daily basis as a gesture of support and encouragement. During this difficult period a lot of people were giving me different Psalms to read.” Mr. Clinton said. “It was amazing, so I did.”

The communications revolution gives words of power not only to lift up and liberate but the power to divide and destroy as never before–just words–to darken our spirits and weaken our resolve and divide our hearts,” he said at the prayer breakfast, AN ANNUAL EVENT SPONSORED BY HOUSE AND SENATE PRAYER GROUPS, THAT DREW WELL OVER 3,000 POLITICIANS, JUDGES AND OTHERS TO THE WASHINGTON HILTON HOTEL AND TOWERS. Taking a passage from St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans (12:17), Mr. Clinton quoted: “REPAY NO ONE EVIL FOR EVIL, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all.”…

Throughout his presidency, and often in periods of political difficulty, Mr. Clinton has never been reluctant to speak out about his religious thoughts and commitments. Last October, he told a gathering of Baptists journalists that he had been reading more religious books than he ever had in his life. He also said that he had read the scriptural passages usually cited by conservatives against abortion, BUT FOUND THEM AMBIGUOUS, at least in terms of guiding a legal response to abortion.

“You know I need the power of God,” he said. He added that religious belief was an important part of his life. “And the same thing is true for Hillary.”

Mr. Clinton did not cite any particular Psalms that had touched him. Traditionally attributed to King David, many speak vividly of bitter personal afflictions and call on God for relief. But the President said, “There are a lot of Psalms where David is sort of praying for the strength to be sort of purified in the face of adversity, and in the face of his own failures. Later Mr. Stephanopoulos said the president cited five Psalms as being important to him right now, Psalms 25, 27, 90, 103 and 139.

MR. CLINTON ALSO INDICATED THAT HE HAD BEEN READING THE PROVERBS, WHICH IMMEDIATELY FOLLOW THE BOOK OF PSALMS. There are a lot of the Proverbs which talk about the importance of keeping a quiet tongue, and at least not getting in your own way…

If Bill Clinton is not an antichrist in the same sense, or to the same degree as those who preceded him into office, he is, nevertheless, an anti-messiah in the sense that–failing to consider, much less take heed of the sign of the times–he put himself and Hillary forward as champions of the people. They imagined in their own hearts, and through their own self-deceptions were able to convince others (and oh how they love the intrigues of office), that they could change what only the government of the true Messiahs can change–the hearts of men, and the institutions of men. Their partial economic measures (compromises), pale insignificant in the face of the full measure of changes God shall enact through the office of the true Messiahs. And like the others before him, he also steals words and phrases from the Scriptures to suit his own purposes, and is just as unconcerned about their full context or their meanings. If he was truly inspired by the Book of Psalms and Proverbs as he says he was, he would have opened their pages, listened to the words and learned their meanings. He would have read the very first psalms…

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, NOR SITTETH IN THE SEAT OF THE SCORNFUL.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not whither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper…(Psalm 1).


Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?

The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying,

Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.

He that sitteth in the heavens (of human affairs) shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.

Then shall he speak to them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.

Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.

I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee…(Psalm 2).

…and immediately resigned from office. He might have sensed that he, in his own magnificence, was now standing between the mind of the people and the true Messiahs…

“Taking Power,” said the Newsday headline. The Clintons passed from their potential on the Left side of the Tree of Life to the Right side, the side of Power and Majesty, which up to then was being occupied by a violent merchant and military class. He not only sat himself down in the Seat of the Scornful, but he forgot, or perhaps never actually read the words in the Book of Proverbs that warned him of the wiles of the Strange Woman. She is the Apostasy–the apostate American church–which blessed the two of them earlier in life, and set them on their path to power. For her house inclineth to death, and her paths unto the dead. (Proverbs 2:18). She (religion) is drunk with the blood of the saints. (Revelation 17:1-6).

My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandment with thee.

Keep my commandments and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.

Bind them upon thine fingers, write them upon the tables of thine heart.

Say unto Wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call Understanding thy kinswoman.

That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words.

For at the window of my house I looked through my casement,

And I beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, A YOUNG MAN VOID OF UNDERSTANDING,

Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way into her house.

In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark of night:

And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of a harlot, and subtle of heart.

She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house:

Now she is without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.

So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him,

I have peace offerings with me; this day I have payed my vows.

Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee…

For the goodman is not at home, he is gone on a long journey.

He hath taken a bag of money with him (the true riches), and will come home at the day appointed.

With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him…(Proverbs 7).

Bill Clinton is this young man void of understanding. On his famous bus trip to Washington for his first inauguration, he stopped along the route to attend a church service, where in the typical ways of Balaam the pastor blessed him and sent him on. The topic of the sermon was “Daniel going down to the Lion’s Den.” The allusion was intended to encourage Bill Clinton in his resolve to go down to Washington (to fight the beast), to stand bold in the face of government itself. It is plain to see that it was Bill Clinton who got devoured instead. If murder was not second nature to him he has partaken of it now. He had, of course, already compromised his soul for political expedience in his enactments of the death penalty in Arkansas. For with what judgment one meets out (in the name of Christ) so shall it be meted unto him. This is a terrible judgment for a so-called Christian nation to bear, much less an individual. If he did not imagine himself really tied to the ethos of commercial, industrial, and military wickedness as a young man, and then as governor, he is immersed in it now. If he was ever a pacifist he has given it up to conduct America’s business. Gandhi wrote that “nonviolence is not a garment to be put on and off at will. Its seat is in the heart, and it must be an inseparable part of our very being.” This is a lesson for both Clinton and Carter, and for all those who believe that these are men of peace.

Those who profess to know God should not play loose with the words of God, as the American church does, especially with those that say: Destruction cometh, saith the Lord, and they shall seek peace, and there shall be none. (Ezekiel 7:25; Ezek. 13). Which is not to say that peace is impossible short of Armageddon. But that nation which calls itself by the Name of God would have to seriously repent and turn their whole minds over to God, not in partial measure but completely, in accordance with the words:

Is there still a measure of wickedness in the house of the wicked? Shall I count them pure with the wicked balances, and a bag of deceitful weights?…(Micah 6:10,11).

It would require a complete revolution of heart and mind, of thought and action, one that would accomplish by pure spiritual resolve what God has decreed to accomplish by overthrow and destruction…

I am come to send Fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?

But I have a baptism to be baptised with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished…(Luke 12:49,50).

It would require a true Jubilee (Leviticus 25:1-13), and a total Day of Release. (Deuteronomy 15:1,2). It would require a New covenant with God, one that recognizes the Presence of God in the sum of ALL natural and human events; a covenant which realizes that every social and economic transaction, indeed, that all human relationships, are a natural extension of God’s invisible Presence in the affairs of human kind, and that they must be carried out with the same spirit of vigilance in these matters as the God of Justice requires of us, and with the same love and care for all things that the God of Love has expressed for creation itself. It will be one which realizes that God has spent this entire historic period (the entire age of Adam) demonstrating to the world what a perversion of these relationships looks like, so that it is never repeated again. (Understand Ezekiel 18). It looks and acts like the global economy of our time, and more specifically like the Western capitalistic economy of the United States that is presently driving it–in the Name of God. Even the good that such an economy accomplishes in the Name of God is accounted as evil, because it serves constantly to magnify the evil means by which the good was accomplished. Just as every body is born, grows, reaches the limits of its own physical and intellectual capacities, so has the great age of commercial wickedness come to the end of its own days.

$1 Million Religion Prize for Capitalism Defender
by Peter Steinfels

Michael Novak, a scholar known for formulating a theological defense of capitalism, has won a prize of nearly $1 million established by one of capitalism’s most successful practitioners.

Mr. Novak, whose religious arguments linking democracy and capitalism influenced opinion in Eastern Europe and are echoed in Pope John Paul II’s writings, was named the winner yesterday of the 1994 Templeton Prize FOR PROGRESS IN RELIGION…

The prize, created 22 years ago by Sir John M. Templeton, an American born British subject who is widely considered the dean of global investing, honors a person judged to have advanced the world’s understanding of religion. Valued at…$968,500 at yesterday’s exchange rate, the prize will be awarded by Prince Phillip at Buckingham Palace…

In her memoirs, Margaret Thatcher…said Mr. Novak’s writings have influenced her views on “quality of life issues.” (For who?)

Mr. Novak said that he would use much of the prize money to finance scholarships at colleges where he studied and to support Crisis, the conservative Catholic monthly that he edits.

Asked about the New Testament’s warnings against riches, Mr. Novak replied, “The more you have, the stricter your judgment will be, and the more you are responsible for.”

Sir John, who attended the news conference, added, “I just hope we havn’t kept Michael out of the kingdom of heaven.” (Compare Ezekiel 18 and Revelation 18 with Matthew 19:21-24).

An editorial in Christianity Today was entitled The Politician’s Bible. “We need to pray,” it said, “that Bush and Clinton do more than manipulate Scripture for partisan interests, but actually read it…

The President (Bush) concluded a defense of the Gulf War with an outrageous application of Matthew 5:14: ‘I want to thank you for helping America, as Christ ordained, to be a light unto the world…’ And Bill Clinton messed up 1 Corinthians 2:9 just as badly, asserting: ‘Our eyes have not seen, nor our ears heard, nor our minds imagined what things we can build.’

We wish that the American church could actually open up its eyes to see what it has built in God’s Name–the walls and the towers of Great Mystery Babylon. The article goes on to quote Jerry Falwell, who it says:

“…was equally correct in saying of Gore and Clinton: ‘Manipulating the Holy Scriptures for political purposes should be offensive to millions of Americans who read and believe the Bible, whether they be Democrat, Republican, of Independent.’

Such blatant abuse of Scripture should stop. But as always in religion and politics, the issue is not entirely clear. If it is offensive to misquote the Bible wildly, what about quoting the Scriptures accurately (as Clinton did in quoting ‘Where there is no vision the people perish.’) to make a political point. What about other forms of God-talk to garner support?…

In 1992 it is evil when politicians misquote and misapply the Bible. But it is a hopeful sign that so many of them feel a need to pay attention to Scripture. The Bible, regrettably, is all too easy to abuse in political speech. But thankfully it also remains too important for shrewd politicians to leave it alone. Christians should pray that politicians–before they quote its verses and borrow its themes–might actually read the Bible and apply its message of human sinfulness and divine grace to themselves. Only then–if only with great caution–should they exploit its language in the public square.”

We would that Jerry Falwell, the Christian Right, and the Left, and Christianity Today, and all the Christian capitalists, could apply the deep meaning of Holy Writ and all of its eschatological themes to themselves, in order to more clearly see the thicket that everyone is caught in. We wish they could discern the double-backward meanings of the oracles that they themselves use, which return at last to find everyone who uses them soul-deep in the darkness and the real focus of their own biblical criticisms. We wish that each could take the log from their own eye, in order to see that neither liberals or conservatives pervert the doctrines of Christ any more than the other (both are as narrowly selective in their application of them as the other), and that the American body-politic, to which they are mutually attached, and which both governs and limits their use of the word, is itself the product of a highly corrupt misuse and entirely selective manipulation of the Law and the Prophets to begin with–of which every one must at last give an account. And we wish that these pastors who were blessing Bill Clinton along his triumphant route to Washington could have explained to him the real and epic meaning of the story of Daniel in the Lion’s den. It has everything to do with the Nation-church’s experience in America in the fulness of these times, as it is written: Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. (1Peter 5:8). And we wish they could have explained the meaning of the number of the Beast to him; if so the article on the Presidency, in the October, 1992, edition of Time might have struck a timely blow to his own high ambitions. “Two centuries and Counting,” it said:

At 200 years of age, the White House has never been more polished, efficient, renowned as a symbol of Liberty–or more coveted as a residence…George Bush still gets misty-eyed wandering these corridors of history and confesses ‘I love it here.’ Bill Clinton never got over his boyhood handshake with John Kennedy in the Rose Garden–a quasi-religious experience–and he has devoted his whole life to going back there and live…The main thing is to gain both reassurances and inspiration from the fact that you are part of a continuum of national greatness, that you personify the idea for the hopes and dreams and achievements of a great nation.

In the election issue of Time, November, 1992, in an article entitled “A Time for Courage,” it says: “Now the torch is being passed to the generation that was touched and inspired by Kennedy. Indeed, the most memorable moment in the convention video about the man from Hope was the scene of the eager student being inspired by Kennedy’s anointing touch.” I am sure that if Clinton and his advisors could have seen just a few more years into the future they would have had many second thoughts about this “anointing touch;” especially from one that God had destroyed out of the land of the living. We wept for Tammuz, and now it seemed that Tammuz had returned to us.

“A president, if artful,” said Time, “can transcend mere policy and become an avatar of an era.” It spoke of the “irresistible Kennedy parallel.” “Can the Clintons bring back Camelot?” asked a front page. Camelot, a metaphor used to describe the Kennedy years, is the focal place of a myth that has itself grown out of the substance of spiritual reality. The myth embodies all of the oral and historical traditions associated with the fulfillment of The Fellowship of the Mystery (Ephesians 3:9). This fellowship, the tradition held, would appear again at the end of the age, not only when the great cycle of time was complete, but also where the great circle was complete…

This Remnant would rise up at that time against the Dark forces of the age, and herald the day of Messiah. They would complete the quest, discover the Grail, and drink down the last drops of the cup. It is these dimensions of the Christ Mystery that the American myth-makers so carelessly apply to its own civic rituals and its own earth-born rulers. As a result this nation, and these leaders must also drink down the full portion of the cup that is appointed to them also.

Naom Chomsky, in a Rolling Stone interview, said in answer to the question: “What do you mean by democracy? What do our rulers mean by democracy?”

Well, like most terms of political discourse, democracy has two quite different meanings. There’s the dictionary meaning, and then there is the meaning that is used for purposes of profit and power…In the ideological sense of democracy–the Orwellian sense, in which the word is actually used–a society is democratic if it’s run by business sectors that are subordinated to the business sectors that run the United States. If it has that property, it’s a democracy. If it doesn’t, it is not.

So, for example, Guatemala in the early fifties was a capitalist democracy in the dictionary sense of the word. In fact it was one of the most democratic governments in the Third World anywhere. It had lots of popular support…But Guatemala was following policies that the United States did not approve…This was harming the interests of the elements that the United States regarded as the natural rulers–they being the business classes that are linked to U.S. corporations and the military, insofar as they follow U.S. orders. Therefore the United States had to overthrow that government in 1954 to safeguard what it calls democracy.

Thus the American church is caught in a double-deep delusion–the very notion of American democracy. It does not exist in America, only the illusion of it. The spiritual servitude of the people attest to it. For what people in a true spiritual state of mind would continue to elect to itself the haphazardness and confusion, not to mention the injustice and violence, that besets the American way of life–in the name of Christ that is. It is in this context alone that we draw our conclusions. And it is in this context alone that one can see that it is all sheer madness–the whole headlong rush to destruction that the American people are on. There is no expression of democracy in the earth today that is equal to the meaning of it that will be expressed by those who are about to inherit the age to come and the worlds to come.

The Path of Christ, which is also the Eightfold Path of Buddhist thought–of which the precepts of Right Thought, Right Relationships, and Right Attitudes toward all others, form a vital part–transcend the idea of democracy itself. The soul that walks this path needs no leaders, for it obeys the Law of Love. And when it requires a leader (a coordinator of our common efforts) it does not choose one from a field of clamoring contenders, none of who presently have a clue as to what is happening in the universe. For power and authority must always be a burden, never an aspiration. Those who seek it must not be entrusted with it. When leaders are required they will not come forward on their own, but will be raised up in true cooperation with the needs of the people themselves. The loving and wise submission that each will show to the other will not only reflect the excellent state of mind that God has been creating in the people, but the relationship that each of us as individuals have in common with God Themselves. (Prophets always appear when these relationships are broken).

America, which claims to be this enlightened nation in the earth, does so because it has stolen from the higher precepts. It has conscripted what it would from them to further its own natural ends. But from the “meat,” the real substance of the precepts of righteousness and truth, it has abstained. (But even the word “abstention” denotes purpose and resolve. The word we want to use is “incapable.” Of truth and righteousness it is incapable. Such higher virtues come with regeneration, to those who are truly born-again, not to those who merely employ the term, and certainly not to those who disregard the term altogether). The gods of America are Ba’al and Mammon, and a whole pantheon of other fallen notions of spiritual reality. The true nature of its national sentiments and religious beliefs will be evident as God touches it now by Fire.

The Scriptures have compared the coming age to the Birth of a Child (Revelation 2:1,2; Isaiah 66:6-9), an event that the American church fail to consider as it falls down on both sides of the very timely abortion issue. The October 28, 1992 edition of the Long Island Catholic said: “The choice has never been clearer…the stakes have never been higher. This year’s presidential election will be a life and death decision for millions of unborn children. Their life is in your hands as you vote…Without life every other issue is meaningless.” Those who supported the Reagan-Bush so-called “pro-life” agenda could not have realized how their own champions had, and have, no intention of allowing this Child of Revelation to be born in the earth. (Revelation 12:15; 2 Sam.22:5; Psalm 109:2,3; Romans 3:10-19). In the interest of life those on the Right chose the murderers, the warriors, and the capital punishers. There is no seamless garment of Life in this camp…

The pro-choice people on the Left are just as unmindful. For who in their right spiritual mind would clamor for the right to take a life, unborn yet or not? And Especially in the face of the God of Nature, whose are the treasuries of Life itself? The pro-choice people are mentally and spiritually confused between the right-to-choose and the choices they make. Not to cherish Life in all of its forms, and in all of its potential, is definitely a wrong and mis-guided choice, especially at a time in history such as this is, when all that is not written in the Book of Life is coming to its own fateful end…Which is also why those who choose to abort life must not be condemned or punished by others. The deed carries with it all of its own karmic effects, and its own “punishments.” As the soul thinks, so is it. And yet, like every sin against Life, it also contains within it the seeds of grace, mercy, and forgiveness.

Despite the lofty rhetoric to the contrary, the Clintons’ association with the glamour and glitz of American society, in the face of so much injustice, oppression, poverty, and despair, and their failure to separate themselves from the ways of the Corporate State (which seeks constantly to devour the poor, whom God has made rich in faith; and which seeks to devour the land and all of its resources, which God has created for the common blessing of all), reveals the stamp of Ronald Reagan in addition to that of Kennedy upon their lives. In essence, Reagan’s dream and his prophecies live on in the Clinton administration, for it was Reagan who set up the Image of the Office of American Presidency again, as Woodrow Wilson did in 1917. The changes the Clinton’s imagined they would bring to Washington turned out to be no changes at all; it is still business as usual. Albeit, when Reagan proclaimed a “new beginning,” he implied a return to a more mythical time in American history, a time of unimpeded Darwinism, when might absolutely made right; and when Clinton speaks of a “new beginning” he actually believes that he means “from this time forward.” While there seems to be a substantial difference in their world-views, one moved by the social thrusts of the 60s, and the other against them, they both spring from the same materialistic view of reality–the same American paradigm to use the popular term. It could only appear as if the corporate order was actually responding to the real needs of real people, and only as long as the illusion remained within the context of fiscal accountability and corporate profitability–so long as self-interest actually remained the guiding spirit. It is the wellspring of Adam Smith’s treatise On Capitalism and the Wealth of Nations. It seems also to be a tributary of the Clintons’ personal ambitions. It is wholly antithetical to the teachings of Christ and to the Law of God:

She stands for what he stands for. Together they stand for one thing: maximum and uninterrupted power for the Clintons. What they want is self-advancement, and what fuels them is a sense of self-importance…America is the platform for the Clintons’ ambitions, not the focus of them. If it serves their advancement to take an action that is for the good of the country they will certainly take it. If not, not. This is not for them a difficult choice. It is now merely a reflex…” The Case Against Hillary Clinton, by Peggy Noonan. A review by Michael Oreskes, The New York Times Book Review, March 19, 2000.


The American church (both Christians and Jews), The Clintons, as well as their political detractors, have all neglected the law, especially those precepts which warned against consorting with the nations, and with the (other) great men of this age. These are those who, from the time of Constantine to the present, have been allowed to stand in the pulpits of the churches, mosques, and synagogues, to preach their religio-secular sermons and to issue their religio-secular decrees, seeking all the while the means of exercising full authority over the mind of God’s people. All who appear in the sacred places where they ought not to be–whether it be the angel of Death sent by God into Vienna in 1938, or the political leaders of our time who are permitted to enter the places of worship and stand in the pulpits–are the “abominations that make desolate.” The Levites (Christianity), and the sons and daughters of Aaron in the midst of them, were commanded to keep such things from happening. (Understand Numbers 18). And then we wonder afterwards why every social condition continues to deteriorate, why the curse is being continually poured out. (Leviticus 26; Deuteronomy 26 to 32):

And he said unto me, son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the Soles of My feet, where I dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever, and My Holy Name, shall the house of Israel no more defile (Open the Book of James), neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcases of their kings in their high places.

In their setting of their threshold by My threshold, and their posts by My posts, and the wall between Me and them, they have even defiled My Holy Name by their abominations: wherefore I have consumed them in mine anger.

Now let them put away their whoredoms, and the carcases of their kings far from Me, and I will dwell in the midst of them forever…(Ezekiel 43:7-9).


In that ye have brought into my sanctuary strangers, uncircumcized in heart, and uncircumcized in flesh (see Galatians 5:16-26), to be in My sanctuary to pollute it, even My house, when ye offer my bread, the fat, and the blood, and they have broken my covenant because of all your abominations.

And ye have not kept the charge of Mine holy things: but ye have set keepers of My charge in My sanctuary for yourselves.

Thus saith the Lord God; no stranger, uncircumcized in heart, nor uncircumcized in flesh, (Romans 2:28,29), shall enter into My congregation, My sanctuary, or any stranger that is among the children of Israel…(Ezekiel 44:7-9).


For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ…

These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;

Raging waves of the sea, foaming out of their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever…(Jude 4, 12,13).

The sins of the Levites, here in the West, consists almost entirely in equating the declarations and the Constitution of the United States with the Law and the Prophets, and in treating the latter as if they no longer had any real bearing on the life of the people (as if the one was alive and other dead). It consists in referring to those who laid the foundations of the American nation as “Our Founding Fathers” as the Clintons so often do. Beware, the prophets told us, lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the traditions of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. (Colossians 2:8). In Clinton’s case it seems less that he is as much the deceived as the deceiver…

For other foundation can no man lay than that is (already) laid, which is Jesus Christ (Hesus-Crishna…the Mysteries of East and West combined).

For every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is…(1 Corinthians 3:10-23).

Washington, Adams, Jefferson…not one of these is a founding father of Israel. Jefferson himself stands in relation to the elect nation as Antiochus Epiphanes stood to the nation just before the time of Christ…

HAIL TO THE CHIEF! (Hail Epiphanes!)…The nation’s leadership passed to a new generation yesterday as William Jefferson Clinton took the oath of office as President and proclaimed ‘A New Season of American Renewal Has Begun.’

SERMON INSPIRES CLINTON…A pastor from Brooklyn spoke of a ‘fateful day when we enter a springtime of a new beginnings’ at a prayer service yesterday morning. Three hours later, one man from the congregation, the newly sworn President of the United States, repeated the image in his inaugural address, ‘A Spring Reborn in the World’s Oldest Democracy.’

There were many parallels, at least in spirit, between the inaugural speech and the sermon delivered by the pastor of Concord Baptist Church in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn…

As both Bill and Hillary Clinton nodded, the preacher quoted from the Declaration of Independence: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident…’ The inaugural festivities have used inspirational words from the past to spread a symbolic mantle on the Clinton presidency…

Three times he wept–when Janice Sjostrand raised her strong voice in ‘Holy Ground,’ at a personal and intimate rendition of ‘Amazing Grace,’ and at a rendition of ‘Precious Lord, Take My Hand.’


“Today we celebrate the mystery of American Renewal…A SPRING REBORN IN THE WORLD’S OLDEST DEMOCRACY, THAT BRINGS FORTH THE VISION AND THE COURAGE TO REINVENT AMERICA. (Open up the pages of the Book of Isaiah). When our founders boldly declared America’s independence to the world (see 2 Peter, chapter 2), and our purposes to the Almighty (see Psalm 2:1-4), they knew, that America, to endure, would have to change. Not change for change’s sake but to preserve America’s ideals–life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. Though we march to the music of our time, OUR MISSION IS TIMELESS…

Our founders saw themselves in the light of posterity. We can do no less…Posterity is the world to come–the world for whom we hold our ideals, from whom we have borrowed our planet and to whom we bear a sacred responsibility…

This beautiful capital, like every capital since the dawn of civilization, is often the place of intrigue and calculation. Powerful people maneuver for position and worry endlessly about who is in and who is out, and about who is up and who is down”…

He said: “This ceremony is held in the depth of winter. But by the words we speak and the faces we show the world, WE FORCE THE SPRING.” Such language hearkens to the mysteries of the Resurrection, and to the fulfillment of the rites of Passover, words that can only apply to the children of the true Holy Nation. He called Washington D.C. “this Beautiful City.” Such words from a son of Israel should apply to one City alone, the one that is descending from heaven, and which will establish itself at that place named Beauty on the World Tree. Clinton was correct in one instance however, we are revisiting in these inaugural affairs the panoramic and self-proclaimed glory of every ancient empire. They are all present here. But so are the words: From the days of John the Baptist UNTIL NOW the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.(Matthew 11:12). What were the doctrines of Nimrod? of Pharaoh? of Caesar? These:

“Clearly (Clinton added), America must continue to lead the world we did so much to make…When our vital interests are challenged, or the will and conscience of the international community is defied, we will act–with peaceful diplomacy whenever possible, WITH FORCE WHEN NECESSARY…

But our greatest strength is the power of our ideas, which are still new in many lands. Across the world we see them embraced–and we rejoice. Our hopes, our hearts, our hands, are with those of every continent who are building democracy and freedom. Their cause is America’s cause.”

America looked on with trepidation when those other nations’ causes were those of the Soviet Union’s. But the eyes of the world have been on America alone since the collapse of the Soviet Union, as it alone presides over the world–over the chaos and disorder it did so much to create.

For they have devised a council…And (yet) they were vanquished even though they were powerful. They prepared themselves maliciously, but they were found to be impotent…(The Odes of Solomon 5).



by Roy Gutman

WASHINGTON _ President Bill Clinton, preparing Congress and the public for U.S.-led airstrikes against Yugoslavia, said Friday, that NATO must act to secure future future peace in Europe and should not wait for another Bosnia-style massacre of civilians to occur.

He said Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic “stands in the way of peace” and has already assembled 40,000 troops in preparation for an attack on the mostly-Albanian province of Kosovo…

“WHATEVER THRESHOLD THEY NEED TO CROSS HAS BEEN CROSSED,” Clinton said of Milosovic’s forces. “With all the troops that have been massed and what we know about their plans…I would hate to think that we would have to see a lot of other little children die before we could do what seems to me the clearly right thing to do to prevent it…

“I do not believe that we ought to have to have thousands more people slaughtered and buried in open soccer fields before we do something.”

A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways…(James 1:8).


by Richard Sisk and William Goldschlag

WASHINGTON _ Ten B-52s will conduct old-fashioned carpet bombing of Serb forces in Kosovo despite risks to civilians, Defense Secretary William Cohen said yesterday.

The B-52 Stratofortresses–each hauling 70,000 pounds of “dumb” gravity bombs lacking modern guidance systems–will go after large staging areas for troops and concentrations of “artillery and other types of weapons,” Cohen said.

He acknowledged the risk of “collateral damage” to civilians, adding “WE WILL DO OUR BEST TO MAKE SURE WE MINIMIZE IT.”…

The NATO air campaign has relied almost exclusively on precision-guided weapons in its first 37 days. But the Air Force is running short of air-launched cruise missiles, with fewer than 80 left in the inventory.

(For a more comprehensive sense of Clinton’s capitulation to the American Military Establishment, please follow this chapter to its conclusion):

“Yes, you, my fellow Americans, have forced the spring. NOW WE MUST DO THE WORK THE SEASON DEMANDS (1 Thessalonians 5…KJV)

Today; we do more than celebrate America: An idea infused with the conviction that America’s long heroic journey must go forever upward.

WE HAVE HEARD THE TRUMPETS. We have changed the guard. And now–each in our own way, and with God’s help–we must answer the call.”

A Rock, a River, and a Tree. (See 1 Corintians 10; Psalm 1; Revelation 22:1-21). No one can be fully, or correctly touched by the meaning of Maya Angelou’s inaugural poem, neither historically or cosmically, who is not also aware of the historic and cosmic dimensions of the Oracle, the Tree of Life. It reaches down into the wellsprings of human consciousness; its roots and its branches are one with the source and the meaning of Life itself. Its leaves are the passing generations, and the children of the Kingdom of God are its fruit:

Here, root yourselves beside me.

I am the Tree planted by the river

Which will not be moved.

I, the Rock, I the River, I the Tree.

It is now eight years later, December, 2,000

How have I likened this generation?…

A NEW YORK EPIC: 1898-1998

By David Hinckley

LIVE CHEAP. Meet girls. Save the world. With a job description like that, it’s no wonder every bus that arrived in New York in 1962 seemed to carry a kid with a guitar, a dream, and a pocket full of folk songs.

True, the folk scene of the early 60s was so contentious that if it were the National Rifle Association, they’d have all shot each other. But as folk singers, they tended to have a pacifistic strain, and their interests in matters like world peace was one of several convergent reasons why, in 1962, Greenwich Village had become world headquarters for a folk music scene that, to its own occasional shock and horror, was beginning to matter in the music and popular culture biz.

The elements were there. The music industry was between Elvis and the Beatles, and thus poking around for different sounds. The Beat movement of the 50s had left the Village littered with small music venues and hangouts–although Dave Van Ronk later pointed out, it was a misconception that folkies were a different strain of Beats. “Beats hated folk music,” noted Van Ronk. “All these folkniks sitting on the floor singing about the oppressed masses.”

But whatever the bloodlines, the folk scene had hit a stretch where talent was flowing over the banks. Bob Dylan released his debut album in 1962, and while its sales receipts could barely buy him a one-way trip on the Staten Island ferry, by the end of the year he had written Let Me Die in My Footsteps; Masters of War and Blowin in the Wind. The kid seemed to be onto something.

Musically what drew the folkies together was an appreciation bordering on reverence for traditional pre-war folk music, which had been resurrected by Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music, and the “rediscovery” down South of wrinkled old blues singers like Mississippi John Hurt, who could still play like the devil even if he had no idea how these young white kids knew or why they cared…

What made the Village folk community matter outside its own table, however, was that it had become an important certified sub-group within two larger movements: civil rights and peace. Both these movements valued a folk-music soundtrack: We Shall Overcome, on a picket line; Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream at a candlelight vigil.

Agitating for peace in 1962 had nothing to do with Vietnam–(where?)–and everything to do with heading off World War III. The Cuban missile crisis of 1962 was, to peaceniks, just one more chilling indication that someday some jerk with a red button was going to barbecue the world.

But if the nuclear-war front looked grim, the civil rights scenario offered hope. Even the federal government, now that the rank injustices of Jim Crow had been ripped too wide open to ignore, seemed to be moving in the right direction. So folkies got together, often in someone’s apartment, to argue strategy, work on songs, swap gossip and at the end of the day, more often than not, “get lucky.” “Those were not only the days of good music, those were the days of women,” Vince Martin would recall. “It was a rabbit farm.”…

The scene included honored veterans like Pete Seeger and Sis Cunningham, who had sung with Woody (Guthrie); younger veterans like Ed McCurdy or Ramblin Jack Elliot…(And) there were the stream of women with long straight hair, like Carol Hester and Joan Baez and Suze Rotolo…

Folkies had sold records before; The Weavers, a decade earlier, sold lushly orchestrated sing-alongs like On Top of Old Smokey. Fortunately for their reputation, the Weavers had also been blacklisted during the McCarthy era, which gave them a life-long get-out-of-jail-free card. Peter Paul and Mary had no such protection when, in the summer of 62, they had a top 10 hit with If I Had a Hammer, a bouncy arrangement of a gospel protest tune. They were immediately suspected of harboring commercial ambitions and sellout hearts.

Still, the silent thought balloon was now hovering over the whole Village: “If they can get a deal, I can get a deal.” (Of Course) there were always stories in counterbalance: folk singers helping each other with music, wine, a warm bed. Arguments? Families always argue. Besides, there was a feeling in 1962, with assassinations and Vietnam still on the far side of a blind corner, that things just might work out. If you had a guitar and a song, you could find a place to play and sing it, and if you were good, you might make a living at it instead of ever having to work. Love never looked to be more than one introduction away. And, oh yes, you also just might save the world. The New York Daily News.


By Gail Warner

I cannot think of a better time to be twenty-six years old. There was, for example, that night a year ago in Budapest. Sixty of us swayed in a circle, our arms locked around one another’s waists, singing. Above us was a full moon; the lights of the city glowed a soft blue and orange below us. It was two in the morning; most of us were exhausted, but no one had any desire to leave. We had gathered from every corner of the planet–from east and west, north and south, from more than twenty countries and every kind of political system and cultural heritage. We spoke more than a dozen languages. But on this night communication posed no problem. As the melodies and languages rang out across the silent, silvery-dewed meadow it became clear that we were celebrating our diversity and our unity at the same time. FOR ONE NIGHT, ON TOP OF A MYSTERIOUS HILL IN CENTRAL EUROPE, WE HAD CREATED THE UNITED WORLD OF OUR DREAMS.

The members of the circle were physicians and medical students who had attended a conference sponsored by the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, an organization that a few month later would win the Nobel Peace Prize. Whenever I try to define my images of a peaceful world, I invariably think of that spontaneous, late night celebration in the meadow. Each person represented a culture and a particular region of the earth…At the same time we were also a collective organism, moving in harmony and linked by our common dreams, hopes and laughter.

Only a few generations before such a gathering of young people from all over the planet would have been a technical and political impossibility. Yet it was only a few generations ago that humans acquired the ability to destroy the earth. OURS IS A TIME OF EXCELERATING EXTREMES. Never before has the danger been so great–never before have the tools available to us to meet that danger been so powerful. With the technology of space-based missile systems has come the technology for global satellite communication. AS THE DARKNESS GROWS SO DOES THE LIGHT: AS THE TOOLS OF DARKNESS ADVANCE, THE TOOLS OF LIGHT ADVANCE IN STEP…

The opportunity inherent in the nuclear crisis is that we are being forced as a species to grow up in a hurry. I sometimes think that nuclear arms are part of A GRAND COMING-OF-AGE RITUAL–A TEST TO SEE IF WE CAN MOVE PAST ADOLESCENCE INTO MATURITY. It’s a terrifying test, and we may not pass. But it also makes this an exciting vibrant time to be alive…

Looking at the world with a ‘realistic’ eye, there are a few objective reasons for hope. Our president, after great pondering and hoopla, decided in 1985 to advance our country to the brink of 1958, by holding a single summit meeting with the leader of the Soviet Union and signing a cultural agreement that is already in deep trouble because of his administration’s refusal to provide any government funding for such exchanges. Star Wars, which may eventually win a historian’s prize for the worst idea of the twentieth century, is proceeding apace with the Soviet Union now plunging into its own version of Star Wars research…

The crucial step is convincing ourselves that individuals can make a difference…Declaring earnestly that nuclear weapons ought to be junked is clearly not enough. The American public finds itself caught in a dilemma. Few really like nuclear weapons: almost everyone is afraid of them, BUT MANY AMERICANS ARE ALSO DEEPLY AFRAID OF THE ENEMY, COMMONLY REPRESENTED IN OUR TIME BY THE SOVIET UNION. Until the fear of The Enemy is reduced to a more manageable level, rational arguments for arms control, for a nuclear freeze, a comprehensive test ban, and many other sensible proposals are not likely to go far. People have a hard time hearing about the virtues of these arguments while “What about the Russians” is thundering in their ears…


My own images differ. I believe that a peaceful world is not a destination in a distant future where we might eventually arrive–I believe it is all around us, at this very moment, and that everyone of us, every day in our lives, catches some glimpse of it. There are dramatic glimpses, such as the gathering in the moonlit Hungarian meadow. But my life is also strewn with smaller, quieter glimpses of that vision: a letter from an East German friend, a happy baby, an integrated classroom, a foreign language course, a wilderness area, an African dance festival, a class in bird watching. MUCH OF THAT WORLD IS ALREADY HERE, ALREADY NOW, IF WE CHOOSE TO LOOK AT IT THAT WAY.” Sanctuary, October, 1986.


(Says) Randall B. Woods

In 1992, just before the New Hampshire primary, presidential candidate William Jefferson Clinton became embroiled in a controversy concerning his opposition to the Vietnam War and his evasion of the draft. At the time I was working on a biography of J. William Fulbright, former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a leading dove on the conflict in Southeast Asia and role model to Bill Clinton. Rumor had it that members of Fulbright’s staff helped the young Arkansan avoid military service. Those rumors were true.

Confronted with the issue, the Clinton camp made public a remarkable letter he had written while at Oxford University in England to his would-be Reserve Officers Training Corps commander. In it, Clinton articulated his opposition to the war but also made it clear that he aspired to high political office and that he recognized the importance of a military record to electoral success. But he chose not to return to the University of Arkansas and fulfill his pledge to enroll in the ROTC. And he managed to persuade his draft board to delay induction for several months until the lottery system went into effect in 1969.

The South’s affinity for things military has been somewhat overdone, but it was and is an important regional characteristic. An examination of the literature on Southern history reveals that a vast disproportion deals with the Civil War. Denizens of the ex-Confederate states were still validating themselves in the 1950s and 1960s through ancestors who had served in that war…So why did Clinton, the product of a region that has traditionally valued soldiering, not go ahead and submit to the draft. If he had wanted to avoid combat assignment, he could then have brought Fullbright’s influence into play.

And then came the Monica Lewinsky indiscretion and more questions about this enigmatic man–antiwar idealist, calculating politician and insatiable womanizer. Aside from the fact that as a confessed adulterer, the president’s actions violate the very military code of conduct his subordinates (he is, after all, the commander-in-chief) are required to adhere to. Is there a connection?

Bill Clinton is a pragmatic visionary, a liberal in the best sense of the word. He is possessed of an abiding sense of community, committed to equality of opportunity and fair play for all. His vision of a strong self-reliant, but compassionate America connects him to Lyndon Johnson, Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt, Wooodrow Wilson and the founding fathers…

Those credentials (as a sports figure) proved invaluable (to Fulbright). As one of Fulbright’s constituents observed during the height of the senator’s opposition to the Vietnam War, “How can a Razorback be a Communist?” Lacking these crucial credentials, perhaps Clinton has sought validation as a southern male in sexual conquest. How much better off he and we would be if he had gone out for football at Hot Springs High or gone ahead and enrolled in ROTC. The nation perhaps woulld then have been spared his seemingly endless puberty.

Clinton is a man of amazing political instincts and achievments, BUT IN SOME CRUCIAL WAY HE DOESN’T SEEM TO GET IT. Just as he seemed oblivious to the political necessity of “suiting up,” especially for a southerner, HE LATER SEEMED IGNORANT OF THE POWER OF THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT and the degree to which the media considers the private lives of public figures fair game.

Bill Clinton thinks that he is John F. Kennedy…but he is living in the 1990s and not the 1960s. Newsday.

It is true, Clinton “did not get it,” but not for all of the reasons Randall Woods imagines. In fact it is Woods himself who is clueless (along with the entire religious right as well). William Jefferson Clinton was as much a child of the 1960s as he was of the American south. And it was at this very time in the history of the nation that the Most High began to separate a generation, as well as a Remnant inside of that generation, calling them through all of the events of those times up out of the American state of mind to which everyone was (and still is) captive. These would be the firstfruits of our times–the elders now of this generation if you will. Bill Clinton, leaning toward that Light on the one hand, but also truly thinking that he could make a political difference in the world, thus toward the Darkness on the other, got caught right in the middle. He, along with so many others, misread the signs of the times, thus with a misguided but wholehearted faith in the agenda, the energies and the social and emerging spiritual aspirations of this generation, went into the system instead of coming out of it as he should have–as we were commanded to–and got eaten up. The point is, however, that these times–this coming into the New Light as it were–were a time of experimentation. After all, who knew what the New was suppposed to look like? It definetly was not supposed to look, or think, or act like anything that went before it–blindly obedient to authority, afraid of love, unfulfilled intellectually, emotionally or spiritually. So it was natural that a time of social and religious experimentation begin (and God allowed for it)–not only with drugs and sex, with new social arrangements, with ideas expressed in word and deed, and in music, yes, the music, but also in the politics of change as well. None of us could see at the time how it was all going to unfold–not in detail anyway. How could this generation know for sure that it couldn’t change the system unless it tried? (Despite the teachings of Christ to the otherwise). Bill Clinton staged a Sixties-style-sortee into the belly of the Beast and, well, we shall see. If he is not assassinated by the time he leaves office then he has, in more ways than he can imagine, been let off the hook. A very fitting and historical sequel to his famous “Handshake with Kennedy in the White House garden” could have been his own murder, played out again before the eyes of the whole world, at the hands of another group of American patriots. (Clinton was let off the hook):


By Ellen Goodman

Frankly, I never shared the national nostalgia for the 1950s. And its not merely due to a lingering vendetta against poodle skirts and angora sweaters. When others wax over the heyday of the nuclear family, I wane over the height of the Cold War. They conjure up a picket-fence suburbia, I picture a segregated South…For all these reasons, I was astonished when I first discovered that the sitcoms of my childhood were on some endless TV loop. Fathers who know best, Ozzie and Harriet, Brady bunches all rerun continually before another generation of American children. They watch wistfully or ironically–as if that’s the way (our) life was and (their) life should be.

Adults also rerun that postwar era. In the ongoing culture wars, Americans are still arguing about whether the 1950s were Paradise and the 1960s the Fall. There are many who believe that during the Sixties some alien force took a moral wrecking ball to the whole country. This year, half of the debates over the president’s “character” were deadlocked replays of arguments about whether or not the president is the final icon of the out-of-control Sixties “kid.”…

The dirty little secret is that if someone rewound the whole reel, got the whole country back to the Fifties, we’d break out of the box again… “The dad asks, ‘Can they change back?’ And the son (in the movie Pleasantville) answers, ‘I don’t know, I think it’s harder. You can’t stop something that is inside you right now.'”… Somewhere between the first and second flights of John Glenn, while the sitcoms were rerunning, we have been through an enormous upheaval.

But the only way you solve the disruption that comes from change is with more change. The Fifties weren’t Paradise. The Sixties weren’t the Fall. (Except for those who fell, of course). As for the Nineties?… The Boston Globe.


By Ben & Daniel Wattenberg

INTERMISSION. Feels like it, doesn’t it? A rapid-fire sequence of short scenes of rising tension and then–a pause, before President Clinton is interrogated under oath by Kenneth Starr…

Not that we’re paying attention to any of this. It’s a tawdry melodrama. It’s a side-show. Who cares? It’s all about sex. Then again, so was Sophocles’ “Oedipus Rex.” But as Aristotle figured out long ago, tragedy is something we watch, even though we want to look away. And we are transfixed by the unfolding tragedy of Bill Clinton. Despite ourselves.

The tragic figure must occupy an elevated station–because he is destined to fall from it. Powerful, famous, charming, handsome–Clinton has the requisite tragic structure and then some. The tragic figure’s fall must inspire pity and fear, and this presupposes a certain kind of mixed character. He can be neither too virtuous, nor too wicked. If he is squeaky clean, then we can’t recognize ourselves in him. And if we can’t identify with his fall, then it won’t evoke in us the special, interested fear of tragedy: There, but for the grace of God…

At the same time, if he is all bad, then his fall will not arouse pity. The punishment and suffering of the wicked are, after all, fitting moral deserts–morally instructive, but not tragically cathartic.

Wicked, Clinton is not. But he is no angel either. Unlike Al Gore or Jimmy Carter, Clinton has never pretended to be better than us. Whether confessing to causing pain in his marriage or winking about long-ago exploits in an El Camino, Clinton has always cued us that morally, he is in the fat middle of the curve.

Above all, the tragic character must be implicated in his own demise. His fall must be linked as if by necessity to something within himself, to a tragic flaw. And for all the overheated rhetoric about a right-wing conspiracy, a witch hunt, a sting–Clinton is ultimately the author of his own current predicament. And if the medium of his downfall was a star-struck intern–what could be more inevitable?…

Washington’s Greek chorus, led by Senator Orin Hatch, is now urging Clinton to confess and ask forgiveness. Will that be the national catharsis needed to restore calm to the nation’s political life? Or is it too little too late? They say American’s lack the tragic view of life. Maybe so. BUT THEN, IT’S ONLY INTERMISSION. The New York Post.


By Philip Yancy

I’ve not yet heard anyone call Bill Clinton the Antichrist, but it wouldn’t surprise me. Not since John Kennedy has a President caused such alarm in evangelical churches… Ironically, Bill Clinton is a lifelong Southern Baptist who can knowledgably discuss the doctrines of original sin and justification by faith. He attends church, speaks warmly of his long friendship with Billy Graham, and points to the Graham crusade in Little Rock as a life-changing event for him as a teenager. Even so, evangelicals opposed his candidacy by a wide margin and have raised strident voices against his policies.

“I just have the feeling the country’s headed in the wrong direction,” said one friend of mine. Many share her uneasiness, for reasons that go far beyond Bill Clinton… Promiscuity–in sex, drugs, violence, materialism–has become the spirit of the age. The United States can be considered a “Christian nation” only in the loosest sense. “God will turn his back on America,” said my friend, shaking her head sadly.


Genesis 15:12-16; Ezekiel 32:1-9…(KJV).

…Does God really judge the United States or any other country as a national entity? I have often heard this verse quoted as a formular for national revival: If my people which are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My Face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chron.7:14). Yet that promise was given as part of God’s covenantal relationship with the ancient Hebrews; its occasion was the dedication of Solomon’s temple, God’s dwelling place. (Understand 2 Corinthians 6:14-16). Have we any reason to assume that God has a similar covenant with the U.S.A.?

Certainly the Old Testament shows God’s dealing with national entities: the prophets called down judgments on Israel and Judah, as well as Philistia and Babylon. But the New Testament seems to introduce a major shift. Jesus stressed “the kingdom of heaven” as the central focus of God’s activity, a kingdom that transcends national boundaries and permeates society so as to affect the whole gradually, like salt sprinkled on meat.

Pentecost got the new kingdom off to a rousing international start, an Ethiopian eunuch soon spread it to Africa, and before long a man named Paul declared himself “apostle to the Gentiles.” Paul cared deeply about individual churches…but I find no indication that he gave any thought to a “Christianized” Roman Empire. The Revelation of John continues the pattern: that book records specific messages to Seven churches but dismisses the political entity of what many conclude was Rome as “Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth. (Rev.17:5). (See Acts 13:39-41, Habakkuk, chapter 1 and Revelation 18).

Some historians argue that the church loses sight of its mission as it moves closer to the seat of power. Witness the era of Constantine or Europe just before the Reformation. We may be seeing history repeat itself…

At various points in U.S. history, (most recently the Moral Majority Movement of 1980s), the Christian church has marked an ascendancy into politics. Now, it appears (under Clinton), the church and politics may be heading in different directions. I, for one, feel no great sense of alarm over the fact. Our real challenge, the focus of our energy, should not be to Christianize the United States (always a losing battle) but rather to strive to be Christ’s church in an increasingly hostile world. As Karl Barth said, “The church exists…to set up in the world a new sign which is radically dissimilar to (the world’s) own manner and which contradicts it in a way which is full of promise…

There is much to be said for the social atmosphere of the 1950s (when white, christian, capitalist men were fully in charge of the American police state, and all things were ordered well). But if that environment does not return, I won’t lose any sleep. AS AMERICA SLIDES, I WILL WORK AND PRAY FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD. IF THE GATES OF HELL CANNOT PREVAIL AGAINST THE CHURCH, THE CURRENT POLITICAL SCENE HAS LITTLE CHANCE OF IMPEDING ITS ADVANCE. Christianity Today.


By John W. Whitehead

I knew Bill Clinton before the world knew Bill Clinton. It was early 1974, and we were both at the University of Arkansas School of Law: he was a young associate law professor and I was a third-year law student with Marxist views. Although I never took a class with him, I did meet him on several occasions to interview him for an article I wrote for theGrapevine, a local underground newspaper…

We met several times over a few weeks and discussed his views…This was his first political interview, and we covered a wide range of subjects–his work on George McGovern’s Presidential campaign, the role government should play in our lives, and Bob Dylan’s music. “I think he’s a genius,” Mr. Clinton told me.

I shared that view, subscribing to Mr. Dylan’s lyric, “Propaganda, all is phoney.” Politicians to me, were the epitome of phoniness, and there was no way to trust them. But Mr. Clinton had an uncanny ability to look you in the eye and make you feel like the greatest person on earth. Thus I went into those interviews very critical of him, but wound up praising him in the introduction to my article: “To those of us who knew the empty feeling that accompanied the McGovern defeat, Bill Clinton could probably be the reinstatement of the people’s candidate.”

When asked about the failure of the McGovern campaign, he said, “We went at politics as if it were some kind of religion, and everyone was either standing with us in the light or standing against us in the darkness.” The Candidate, a movie starring Robert Redford, was getting a lot of attention at the time. It was about a young, idealistic lawyer who started off as an honest candidate for public office and by the film’s end had become corrupt and phoney. “What about this happening to you?” I asked Mr. Clinton. “Now you could say that you were in a pure state. What’s going to happen to you later?”

He responded: “What happened to the Candidate was he became a product of a modern mass industrial society, a sort of packaged product. He was nothing more to the people than a P.R. man’s construction. He didn’t say anything about anything. I WONT LET THIS HAPPEN TO ME.”…

Our paths didn’t cross again until years later. I went on to practice law, start a family, become a Christian, change some of my political views and establish an organization that specializes in civil liberties and religious rights. Not until the Rutherford Institute got involved in the Paula Corbin Jones case against Mr. Clinton did we meet again–but this time on different terms.

TO ME THE REAL QUESTIONS TODAY ARE: HOW DID BILL CLINTON BECOME WHAT HE SAID HE WOULDN’T BECOME? How could someone with so much promise self-annihilate the way he has?


I will overturn, overturn, overturn it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is, and I will give it to him…(Ezekiel 21:27).

While Clinton will prove not to be “the” Antichrist (the one for whom this title is still chiefly reserved), or even any longer “an” antichrist, as those who shall follow him into office, he has, nevertheless, taken a turn in The Seat of the Scornful–and has in effect taken it on behalf of an entire (Sixties) generation. And this, so that everyone could see at last what a vain and fruitless exercise it was. All changes taking place inside of the present political and economic order only serve to make that order more deceptive, but still at the core as diabolical and wicked as ever. While Clinton is not a facsist at heart, in all of its potential and unfolding sense of the term, he ran with the fascists and grew personally comfortable in their presence. He forgot his mission (the one that the 60s generation entrusted him with…but in forgetting he fulfilled it). Not a militarist at heart, but in the arms of the Harlot, and one with with the Beast, he became convinced that he could use the Armed Forces at his disposal (the most technologically powerful military force the world has ever known), for the good of the world. How could he, in his own blind ambition, see that if God had chosen to let the full weight of judgment come against America on his watch, he, instead of his successor, would have been the one that would have had to wage war, not only in the areas of the world that he did but everywhere else that God has chosen, and against the very powers of Heaven themselves.


Not only in Yugoslavia, but now in the Middle East, Central Asia and Korea, as well as in Africa and Central America. The Grand Chessboard? Indeed, and the Grand Chessmaster has the pieces now spread out upon the face of the Earth, preparing for the Final Checkmate…Ezekiel, chapters 38 and 39…(KJV) Look directly into the mouth of the Dragon in Chapter 3.


by James P. Pinkerton

To build support for his Kosovo policy, President Bill Clinton has played seemingly every historical-rhetorical card: World War I, World War II, the Cold War, Vietnam–even the struggle against hate crimes and discrimination against gays and lesbians. But Clinton’s orgy of analogy only proves, as Alexander Pope wrote nearly three centuries ago, “a little learning is a dangerous thing”–and so drink deep, the poet advised, or drink not at all from the spring of wisdom.

Clinton’s arguments show that he has learned the contradictory lessons of the last century of statecraft and that he agrees with all of them. The most poignant of these historical references is World War I, which was triggered by an assassination in the Balkan city of Sarajevo, just 100 miles from Kosovo.


Serbia is no strategic threat to America. But that doesn’t mean that Milosovic is completely without retaliatory capacity; it was Serb terror that precipitated World War I and, since enemies tend to have long memories, an act of vengeance (For vengeance is Mine, saith the Lord…Deut.32:35-42; Heb.10:30,31) could come in a year, a decade, or a century.

Americans have gotten used to push-button conflicts in which we suffer virtually no casualties. But our power, however well-intentioned and well-aimed, feels far different to those who have been on the receiving end of a cruise missile or who think they may be next. IF CLINTON UNDERSTOOD HISTORY AS WELL AS HE CLAIMS TO, HE WOULD BE MORE COGNIZANT OF THE COST TO A PROUD POWER WHEN THE HISTORICAL WHEEL TURNS. AS IT SURELY WILL.


By Charles Krauthammer (modern Jingoist)

In November, 1997, Saddam kicked UN arms inspectors out of Iraq. For 13 months since, Bill Clinton watched and dithered, threatened and flinched, while Saddam set about reconstituting his weapons of mass destruction. Then after 400 days of inaction, hours before the House of Representatives was to impeach him, Clinton decided this was the day to take America to war…

What pushed him over the edge…? A report. Clinton said that after reviewing UN chief inspector Butler’s report on Iraqi noncompliance, he had to act.

But there was nothing in the report that he didn’t already know. Among the report’s documented violations, Clinton told the nation, was that, “prior to the inspection of (one) site, Iraq actually emptied out the building.” Shocked–shocked–to find cheating going on, Clinton took America to war.

Immediately. Impeachment eve. Couldn’t wait another minute, said Clinton. Why? Ramadan. “For us to initiate military action during Ramadan would be profoundly offensive to the Muslim world.”…

Still skeptical of my motives? asks Clinton. Well, if you don’t believe me, believe my advisers. I did this, he said, “on the unanimous recommendation of my national security team.” he then proceeded, pathetically, to enumerate every single one of them…

It was reminiscent of Clinton’s other Iraq speech at the Pentagon in February, where he was oddly and lavishly introduced by one underling after another…as if admitting that, had he come on stage alone, he lacked any authority to speak to America about war and sacrifice…

Clinton’s final proof of bona fides was offered the next day. Asked if the timing was meant as a diversionary tactic against impeachment, he replied, “I don’t believe any serious person would believe any President would do such a thing.”

Any President. But what about this President? Here is Clinton drawing authority and trust from American’s faith in the office itself–in the sense of duty and honesty one associates with it, but not with Clinton. That is what this wreckage of a presidency is reduced to: a man of no credibility desperately trying to borrow some from subordinates…and predecessors long past…Former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger was being charitable when he said that the timing of this attack “smells to high heaven.” The Richmond Times Dispatch.


“Good afternoon. Today I ordered our armed forces to strike at terrorist-related facilities in Afghanistan and Sudan because of the imminent threat they presented to our national security…

Our target was terror. Our mission was clear–to strike at the network of radical groups affiliated with and funded by Osama bin Ladan, perhaps the preeminant organizer and financier of international terrorism in the world today. (Is he in some inadvertant, and unconscious way referring to America)? The groups associated with him come from diverse places, but share a hatred for democracy (understand: the continued rule of the capitalist class, the powerful and the cunning), a fanatical glorification of violence, and a horrible distortion of their religion to justify the murder of innocents. They have made the United States their adversary precisely because of what we stand for and what we stand against.(Precisely)!

A few months ago, and again this week, bin Ladan vowed to wage a terrorist war against America, saying–and I quote–“We do not differentiate between those dressed in military uniforms and civilians. They are all targets.” Their mission is murder. And their history is bloody…

(Clinton has lost all sense of historical as well as spiritual perspective, and cannot relate the judgments that have begun to be visited upon America with the historic transgressions of the American nation itself, for which the prophets themselves said that she must, and will, give account).

America has battled terrorism for many years. Where possible, we’ve used law enforcement and diplomatic tools to wage the fight. The long arm of American law has reached out around the world and brought to trial those guilty of of attacks in New York, in Virginia and in the Pacific.

We’ve quietly disrupted terrorist groups and foiled their plots. We have isolated countries that practice terrorism. We’ve worked to build an international coalition against terror.(These are God’s sentiments exactly). But there have and will be times when law enforcement and diplomatic tools are simply not enough. When our very national security is challenged and when we must take extraordinary steps to protect the safety of our citizens…And so this morning, based on the unanimous recommendation of my national security team, I ordered our armed forces to take action…

The United States does not take this action lightly. Afghanistan and Sudan have been warned for years to stop harboring and supporting these terrorist groups. (How about, for 6,000 years)? But countries that persistently host terrorists have no right to safe havens. Let me express my gratitude to our intelligence and law enforcement agencies for their hard, good work. And let me express my pride in our armed forces, who carried out this mission while making every possible effort to minimize the loss of innocent lives. (Were there “innocent lives” lost?…Murderer).

I want to reiterate, the United States wants peace, not conflict. We want to lift lives around the world, not take them. We have worked for peace in Bosnia, in Northern Ireland, in Haiti, in the Middle East and elsewhere. But in this day, no campaign for peace can succeed without a determination to fight terrorism. Let our actions today send this message loud and clear: There are no expendable American targets.

There will be no sanctuary for terrorists. We will defend our people, our interests and our values. We will help people of all faiths, in all parts of the world, who want to live free of fear and violence. (See 2 Peter 2:19-22, and Isaiah 66:4,5),

We will persist and we will prevail. Thank you. God bless you. God bless our country.”

MARCH 25, 1999


By John M. Broder

WASHINGTON__President Clinton said tonight that his decision to authorize military strikes against Serbia was derived from moral revulsion at the killing in Kosovo and a calculated assessment of American interests in the Balkans.

He said that despite the risks to American and allied forces, he was compelled to act now because the costs would only increase if he failed to move. “I am convinced that the dangers of acting are far outweighed by the dangers of not acting, dangers to defenseless people and our national interests,” Mr. Clinton said in his televised address from the Oval Office…

Mr. Clinton, in a didactic 13-minute address, said the NATO attacks on Serb targets were intended to avert a humanitarian disaster and to serve American geopolitical interests. He conjured images of Balkan concentration camps and “genocide in the heart of Europe” that offend American moral sensibilities and threaten American values and interests. “If we and our allies were to allow this war to continue with no response, President Milosevic would read our hesitation as a license to kill,” Mr. Clinton said.

He added that American and NATO credibility were at stake and even alluded to an American economic interest in a stable and prosperous Europe.

Mr. Clinton gave the American people a selective lesson in history and geography, using colorful maps to locate Kosovo and to dramatize its historic role as a powder keg of Europe…

Conflict in Kosovo, a province of Serbia, will not be contained in its borders, Mr. Clinton warned. “Let a fire burn here in this area,” the President said, “and the flames will spread. Eventually key U.S. allies could be drawn into a wider conflict, or we would be forced to confront later, only at a far greater risk and greater cost.”…

“Imagine what would happen if we and our allies decided instead just to look the other way as these people were massacred on NATO’s doorstep. That would discredit NATO (the modern Atlantean Alliance), the cornerstone on which our security has rested for 50 years now. (continued)….

…LET ME ASK YOU TO LOOK AGAIN AT THE MAP. The red dots are towns the Serbs have attacked. The arrows show the movement of refugees–north, east and south…I have a responsibility as President to deal with problems such as this before they do permanent harm to our national interests. America has a responsibility to stand with our allies when they are trying to save innocent lives and preserve peace, freedom and stability in Europe. That is what we are doing in Kosovo.” The New York Times.

And he laid hold on the Dragon that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a Thousand years. (Understand Psalm 90:1-4).

And cast him into the bottomless pit and shut him up, and set a seal upon him that he should deceive the nations no more, till the Thousand years should be fulfilled(understand 2 Peter 3:1-8), AND AFTER THAT HE MUST BE LOOSED A LITTLE SEASON…(Revelation 20:1-3).

MAY 8, 1999


NIS, Serbia__(Reuters). Yugoslav officials accused NATO of bombing a hospital and an outdoor market here in the country’s third largest city today, KILLING 15 AND WOUNDING 70…

“This morning NATO aircraft carried out an attack against NIS airfield using combined-effects munitions,” a NATO statement in Brussels said, referring to cluster bombs. “UNFORTUNATELY IT IS HIGHLY PROBABLE THAT A WEAPON WENT ASTRAY AND HIT CIVILIAN BUILDINGS.”



During president Clinton’s visit to the Lakota Pine Ridge Reservation yesterday, many local people voiced their concern for Leonard Peltier. A huge, yellow banner stating, “IT’S 1999 WHY IS LEONARD PELTIER STILL IN PRISON?” hung in clear view for Clinton’s arrival. Many held FREE PELTIER signs and chanted “Free Leonard Peltier” during pauses in Clinton’s speech. A member of the tribal council presented President Clinton with a copy of Prison Writings, My Life Is My Sun Dance and a letter from Leonard himself.

At least two people shook hands with Clinton and asked him when he was going to free Peltier. The AP press covered the story and included a picture of the Peltier supporters with their signs and a caption stating, “Protesters in Pine Ridge, S.D., called for President Clinton to free Leonard Peltier, imprisoned for the shootings of two FBI agents in 1975.” Reuters made mention of the shoot out in their story and referred to Leonard Peltier as an “ international cause celebre.” The Lincoln Journal Star of Nebraska included the visible support for Peltier during the Clinton visit in their story as well.

Edgar Bear Runner announced Clinton’s visit at the recent June 25-27 Leonard Peltier Organizing Conference and asked for supporters to come to Pine Ridge if possible. Some from Nebraska and even as far as Texas went to Pine Ridge to support these efforts. At the end of Clinton’s speech Edgar yelled, “IN THE NAME OF JUSTICE AND HUMAN RIGHTS, FREE LEONARD PELTIER!” Leonard asks us to express his thanks and love for this effort.

According to Bear Runner, Senator Tom Daschle, who signed the recent transfer of Lakota land to the state of South Dakota and accompanied Clinton, was booed and received little applause from the people in attendance. Jesse Jackson was given a Free Peltier button and when asked what he would do to help Leonard, he replied, “whatever I can.”


Leonard Peltier Defense Committee
PO Box 583
Lawrence, KS 66044


Dylan, 1965


By Jon Pareles

Dylan is proud of his new album, Time Out of Mind, and rightfully so. The album…is far and away his best sustained work since the mid-1970s; it reaches the exalted level of Blood on the Tracks. His new songs–his first set of them since 1990–are embittered, heartsick and weary: When you think that you’ve lost everything, you find out you can always lose a little more, he sings in a rasping voice whose familiar cracks have become potholes. It’s the voice of a 56-year-old man who’s not hiding any of his bruises. Yet the character who runs through all the songs on the album seems nothing like the relaxed, buoyant songwriter who’s talking about them. Asked who the woman was who broke his heart in song after song, he laughs and asks, “Which one? Which song?”

Time Out of Mind (Columbia) is bleak and riveting. Its 11 songs are about the lonliness, anger and desolation of lost love, and about looming mortality. (The album was recorded before Dylan was hospitalized over the summer with a life-threatening heart infection). I’ve been walking through the middle of nowhere, trying to get to heaven before they close the door, Dylan sings. He has rarely sounded optimistic; spite and self-righteous contempt animate many of his best songs. But Time Out of Mind provides fewer comforts than ever.

“Environment affects me a great deal,” Dylan says. “A lot of songs were written after the sun went down. And I like storms, I like to stay up during a storm. I get very meditative sometimes, and this one phrase was going through my head: Work while the day lasts, because the night of death cometh when no man can work. I don’t recall where I heard it. I like preaching, I hear a lot of preaching, and I probably just heard it somewhere. Maybe it’s in the Psalms, it beats me. But it wouldn’t let me go. I was, like, what does that phrase mean? But it was at the forefront of my mind, for a long period of time, and I think alot of that is instilled into this record.”…

The blues has always been a Dylan touchstone, for both words and music. In many ways his groundbreaking 1960s songs were transmuted blues, from the surreal juxtaposition of the lyrics to the rough-hewn vocals to the blues bands he hired when he plugged in. Throughout Time Out of Mind Dylan quotes hoary blues lines like Going down the road feeling bad. And in his maturity, he is closer than ever to the clear-eyed fatalism of classic blues. In song after song, the singer walks down dark, empty roads, muttering accusations at a woman who left him; he’s still wishing she would come back and wondering, in one song, whether he would kiss her or kill her if she did…

“There’s a lot of clever people around who write songs,” Dylan says. “My songs, what makes them different is that there’s a foundation to them. That’s why they’re still around, that’s why my songs are still being performed. It’s not because they’re such great songs. They don’t fall into the commercial catagory. They’re not written to be performed by other people. But they’re standing on a strong foundation, and subliminally that’s what people are hearing.

“Those old songs are my lexicon and my prayer book,” he adds. “All my beliefs come out of those old songs, literally, anything from Let Me Rest on That Peaceful Mountain to Keep on the Sunny Side. You can find all my philosophy in those old songs. I believe in a God of time and space, but if people ask me about that, my impulse is to point them back toward those songs. I believe in Hank Williams singing I Saw the Light. I’ve seen the light, too.” Dylan says he now subscribes to no organized religion…In Time Out of Mind Dylan refuses listeners (much) solace; he often sounds like he would welcome death. It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there, he sings, unguarded and matter of fact.


We talked about some mutual friends we’d lost. He later tried to bring it all back home with the Rolling Thunder Review in 1975-76. “Those were wonderful days, all right,” Dylan said. “It was a movement then, a real movement. But it was probably the last movement. Say, ” he exclaimed, laughing, “that would make a good song title, wouldn’t it?” Dylan resumed, sadly: “The dream is gone. It is meaningless to try to grasp what passed. I see no similarity between today and what happened in the early 1960s. Those early days in the Village were great…Now things are depressing…”

Could he find any encouragement in the New Left? “The New Left has no policy, no program, no philosophy. There really isn’t a New Left. Those people who march for peace are just interested in peace, but that doesn’t make them part of any New Left…”

The words were cynical, but his tone wasn’t. I asked him what he’d been reading lately. It was the sort of question he’d never answer when he arrived in New York, when he was devouring everything he could lay his eyes on. Even in the late 1960s, when he kept a large open Bible on a reaching stand in Woodstock, he…thought it pretentious to tell anyone. In early 1977, the London Times asked Dylan, among many literary heavies, which books he regarded as the most underrated and overrated of the century. Dylan puckishly gave the same answer to both questions: “The Bible.”…

We agreed that America was in trouble again, that the masters of war were still in power. Dylan did not say how, or if, he might remount the barricades. Yet, when he said to me, “They’re not going to get away with it,” there was a steely resolve in his voice. I didn’t need to ask who “they” were… No Direction Home, The Life and Times of Bob Dylan, by Robert Shelton, pp.1-18.

“Gil took out his six-string Gibson, handed it over to Bob Dylan, saying how Bob’s new song, Masters of War was one of the best Bob had ever written. I kept on thinking he had written…some that had real lyric poetry, like Blowin in the Wind, and Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall which makes you think right away of (Fedirico Garcia) Lorca, and I waited for the images of rain, and thunder, and lightning to come out in great spectacles. But no, this time there was a different kind of poetry, one of great anger, accusation, just saying who the masters of war are, without comprimising one inch in its short sharp direct intensity…I was willing to bet Columbia Records would never record Dylan’s Masters of War and With God on Our Side…(but soon) social-comment music began to reach a wider audience. p.140.

If anyone speak let him speak as the oracles of God…(1 Peter 4:11).

THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGIN: A summation of the sixties mood. No cautious questioning now, but a prophetic voice trumpeting a changing order. The song was widely recorded and translated into Serbian, French, Hebrew, and other languages. The imagery is primal, homespun” a flood tide, fate’s spinning wheel, a blocked doorway, the storm of battle, a changing road. While this could be played over film-clips of Prague, Paris, Chicago, and Berkeley, it is also a timeless dialogue between those restrained old ways and those daring something new.

At first the lyrics’ biblical roll seems to reflect black gospel song. The title line suggests the warning in Revelation 1:3 …for the time is near. There is an echo from Mark 10:31: But many that are first will be last, and the last first in Dylan’s lines: For the loser now/ Will be later to win…and And the first one now/ Will later be last.

WITH GOD ON OUR SIDE: One of Dylan’s most cutting myth-breakers. It preceded widespread challenges to education, curriculum, and textbooks. The title line appears in Robert Southey (The laws are with us and God’s on our side) and in Shaw’s Saint Joan. Ironically, this song led one fan’s mother to relent: “At least he believes in God.”…It is very pointedly cast in a folk matrix, with the naive, humble lad describing his background and schooling, which entrenched the myth of God’s approval for ungodly wars. After shifting God’s approbation from our side to even Judas Iscariot’s side, the final verse hammers home the narrator’s new morality: If God’s on our side/ He’ll stop the next war…God on Our Side can be contrasted startingly with his later, evangelical songs on Slow Train Coming.

WHEN THE SHIP COMES IN: One of Dylan’s prophecies, optimistic and vengeful in heralding the day when evil will be purged. The allusions have the powerful roll of gospel, evoking both Old Testament figures, like Pharaoh and Goliath, and the spirit of St. John the Divine. The ship is a universal salvation symbol. Gabrielle Goodchild: “Throughout myth and literature, we find water as a symbol of the unconscious, spirituality, and death, and the ship as the tiny ego of man making its lonely or triumphant voyage across dangerous deeps.” Carolyn Bliss in her master’s thesis closely parallels Revelation 7:1, where no wind might blow on earth or sea or against any tree to Dylan’s opening: Oh the time will come up/ When the winds will stop/ And the breeze will cease to be breathin. The line the whole wide world is watching was chanted by protesters during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. pp.212-214.

There’s a crack/ There’s a crack in everything/ That’s how the light gets in.

Leonard Cohen

(Chapter 14 continued)

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