Moulton Lava

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Sunday, December 18, 2005

A Covenant Worthy of Trust

In his controversial new book, Jesus and Yahweh: The Names Divine, Yale University's towering literary critic, Harold Bloom, expresses despair over the Covenant of Moses — an agreement between the God of Moses and his erstwhile followers, the long-suffering Jewish people.

Bloom grimly observes that neither side could be trusted to keep their half of the bargain.

Nowhere is this disappointment more starkly expressed than in this poetic lament in the wake of the Nazi Holocaust:

"At Sinai we received the Torah, and at Auschwitz we gave it back."

Bloom closes his slim volume with this wistful muse:

"Will [God] yet make a covenant with us that he both can and will keep?"

If our most revered deities cannot be trusted to jointly craft durable covenants with us pathetically slip-sliding carbon units, how shall we ever craft intra-species covenants that we can confidently rely upon?

Life and politics is rife with broken promises and bitter disappointments. Now Harold Bloom observes that we can't even trust God to keep his sacred promise to those who pledged to have faith in his guidance.

Perhaps it's time to replace the Pledge of Allegiance with the Dithyramb of Doubt.


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