Quill pig is another name for a porcupine. Porcupines are unattractive and unpopular, but, as animals go, and unlike eagles, elephants, and donkeys, they are reasonably harmless good neighbors that mind their own business. Here's where we can talk about being good neighbors and why it's eternally important.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Anarchy Versus Democracy and Chaos in One Easy Lesson
LORD gave Cushan-Rishathaim king of Aram into the
hands of Othniel,
who overpowered him.
So the land had peace for forty years,
until Othniel son of Kenaz
died. (Jdg 3:10-11)
overpowered the Arameans, the land had forty years of
peace. There was no king in Israel, so it wasn’t a monarchy. There was no
ruling clique, so it wasn’t an oligarchy. The rich had no special privilege
(i.e., “private law”), so it wasn’t a plutarchy.
That leaves anarchy as the only
meaningful description of the social structure of Israel during those forty
years of peace.
Today’s US Christians consider anarchy a dirty word, a metonym for chaos because of the belief that where
there is anarchy there is by necessity chaos. Yet the Bible passage in the epigraph
states just the opposite.
Instead of anarchy, my brethren
pursue democracy or a republic: a democratic republic truly ruled by “we, the
people”; a people’s democratic republic. (Where have I heard that phrase
I have lived for sixty years and have never seen a forty-year period of peace, or even a
ten-year period of peace. Instead, for
every one of those years the US has been on war footing: I was born the year
the Korean War “ended” with a truce; yet for every year of my entire life US
soldiers have been dying in the border area between the two Koreas. Moreover,
President Truman sent “advisors” to Vietnam in 1950, and the US was at war
there until 1975. In 1979 the US embassy and spy station in Tehran was taken
over, and the nation was on tenterhooks until Inauguration Day 1981. In the
1980s the US was supporting Saddam’s Iraq in its war against Iran, after which
the US turned on Iraq. The late 1990s brought US involvement in the war in Kosovo,
and the twenty-first century has been entirely consumed with the Global War on
War and democracy seem to be
inextricably linked. President Wilson rallied the nation into a
war that he promised would “make the world safe for democracy” but instead set
the table for the Bolshevik revolution, the starvation of the Kulaks, the Rape
of Nanking, the Korean “comfort women,” two horrific battle theaters, the
Holocaust, the Iron Curtain, and the Cultural Revolution. Maybe that was what
In short, if you want chaos, reach
for democracy. If you want peace in the land for forty years, anarchy is your