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Into the Lions' Den

First and foremost, glad to be back, but let's not waste time dwelling on the past; the jam of the week will speak for itself. The activities keeping me away from the computer are trivial and irrelevant, except for one. One activity actually is important. I want to formally announce that I am running for Congress. And I feel a little bit like Daniel entering the lions' den. Do you know the story of Daniel? You should, it’s a good one. Daniel was a great seer in the Kingdom of Babylon. He was chosen to be a counselor to the King and was given the name Belteshazzar, also known as "The Prince of Bel Air." 
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In West Babylonia, born and raised. Prophesying is how he spent most of his days. Daniel as well as the kingdom of Babylon went through many leaders in his lifetime. When Babylon was conquered by Persia, the new King, Darius, ordered that he be worshiped as a God. When the people refused they were cast into a furnace or worse. Lucky for Daniel he was in good favor with the King. Daniel too came under scrutiny of Darius’ officials for his loyalty to YHWH, the Chaldea Tetragrammaton for God or Yahweh. They wanted Daniel gone. Darius relented and Daniel was cast into a lion’s den. That night an angel descended upon Daniel and protected him. He was delivered unscathed
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He was glorified and used his new found fame to help Jewish people out of their incessant captivity. Following his brush with death, Daniel began to have visions. He would lay awake in his bed stirred by dreams that roused him from his sleep. He wrote down the dream not knowing it was a prophecy. There he began to decipher it’s meaning. “I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven broke forth upon the great sea. Four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. The first he said was like a lion, but it had great eagle’s wings, “I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked off, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon two feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it.” The second beast was a bear. It had three ribs between its teeth and said to him, “'Arise, devour much flesh.'” The third beast was a leopard. It had four wings and four heads, each more diverse and horrifying than the one before. 


Then came the fourth beast, the most frightening and terrible of all. It had iron teeth and ten horns. The beast destroyed and consumed everything before it at will. It stamped the residue with its feet. It devoured and broke the world into pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet, but one of the horns was different. It seemed small and unimposing, but it grew out of the beast. Then, miraculously, the horn was plucked out! “In this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things. His raiment was as white snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames, and the wheels thereof burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him; thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the judgment was set, and the books were opened.” 

Daniel was petrified by the voice. The fear of God was in him. It spoke with thundering verbosity, “I beheld at that time because of the voice of the great words which the horn spoke, I beheld even till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed, and it was given to be burned with fire. As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away; yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. Daniel’s spirit was pained in the midst of the voice, and the visions of his head affrighted him. He approached the fiery being and asked him the reason behind all these theatrics. 

“These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, that shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.'” What the fuck does that mean? He thought. He wanted to know the truth the about fourth beast, whose teeth were metal, and its nails of brass. Was it a metaphor? Or would this monster materialize and Godzilla it's way through Israel?

The voice said: “The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all the kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. But the judgment shall sit, and his dominions shall be taken away, to be consumed and to be destroyed unto the end. And the kingdom and the dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people.” 

The people. All six billion eight hundred million five hundred and seven thousand of them. 


Nationalistically speaking, there are upwards of two million Jamaicans, thirty-two million Iraqis, forty-eight million Koreans, fifty million South Africans, sixty million Italians, sixty two million English, sixty three million French, eighty one million Germans, a hundred and twelve million Mexicans, and well over three hundred million Americans. There are also more than a billion Indians, and close to two billion Chinese and counting. These are all irrelevant associations based on a randomly assigned geographic location. Where you were born does not decide where you will die. It might have something to do with how though.The same arbitrariness can be applied religiously. There are around a billion Buddhists and an equal number of Hindus, over one point five billion Muslims, and close to two billion Christians. But there is only one voice. And there’s only one of you. 


Of the six billion people on this world you only have a one in twenty shot at being born an American. A measly four and a half percent. It’s harder than winning the lottery. You have better chances at being born a chicken, who out number us three to one. If chickens and men were the last two creatures on Earth, there would only be a twenty four percent chance you were a man. That means you would have a seventy six percent chance of being a chicken. Don't be a chicken.

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