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What doth God want? The most profound question we must ask. Of U.S.Ambassador John Christopher Stevens and his 3 colleagues. An elegy.Our conundrum.

Sep 16th 2012 at 9:00 PM

by  Dr. Jeffrey Lant


Author's program note. When the news flashed from Benghazi that His Excellency J. Christopher "Chris" Stevens along with three members of his staff had been killed, I wept. For Chris Stevens, for his family, for the people of Libya whom he had served so well and for the Great Republic itself, its most sacred and adamant principles challenged and outraged by those whose beliefs deemed this tragedy not murder but just service to Eternal God from whom all blessings flow. Thus as we mourn, we are forced to consider how vast the chasm between God's peoples has become.... so that the premature and carefully planned deaths of four good people is reckoned a tragedy by some, a measure of righteous judgement and the vengeance of God by others.


And so we stand, again, at the cross roads where God and Man intersect, a fearsome place where fools rush in and angels fear to tread, the place where one profound query is asked over and over again, without surcease, "What doth Thou want, O Lord?"  And whilst all claim certainty in their answers, certainty is the one thing there is not; rather there is pain, conflict, confusion, bafflement, derision, and no serenity whatsoever.  And so while man struggles to perceive, to understand, to resolve, good people die in their own blood, so proving (if more proof be needed) we are yet untold leagues from an answer. And thus are the people, God's people, confounded and bereft.


Count Folke Bernadotte. (1895-1948).


Folke Bernadotte, prince of the royal Swedish house of Bernadotte, was born the grandson of a king, Oscar II. He was the son of Count Oscar Bernadotte of Wisborg. During World War II, he did not use his nation's neutrality to live comfortably while avoiding responsibility. Instead he negotiated for the release of some 31,000 prisoners (many Jews) from German concentration camps, including 450 Danish Jews from Theresienstadt released 14 April 1945, just days before VE Day, 8 May 1945. As  the end of war grew nigh, this Count of Wisborg knew no rest, for if war waned, hunger, sickness and despair did not.


Such a great humanitarian might have lived comfortably and in honor for the rest of his life. No one would have disputed such a decision. Instead, having been unanimously chosen by the Security Council of the new United Nations as mediator in the Arab-Israeli conflict of 1947-1948 he took up one of the great questions of all time; how to secure lasting peace and harmony in the unforgiving Holy Land.


While he labored for this elusive result, a commitment he made to suffering humanity, no scintilla of self-interest, others worked to eradicate this good man. They reckoned that annihilating this universally known symbol of disinterested humanity would secure immediate worldwide attention, thereby advancing their cause; the cause of a selfish few, against the profound desire for peace of all the rest, in all their millions.


Thus was Folke Bernadotte, humanitarian, benefactor, giver, marked for death by the militant Zionist group Lehi, in the persons of Natan Yellin-Mor, Yisrael  Eldad and Yitzhhak Shamir, who was later to become Prime Minister of Israel. And so Jews for the "highest and best" of reasons slew the great deliverer of Jews, the great outrage being committed (as always) in the name of God.


Thus was a beneficent royal prince, born in a palace, murdered in Jerusalem, God's own city, 17 September 1948; those who did the heinous deed walked in confident sanctimony, certain in the knowledge that they knew what God enjoined, and had with a gun at point-blank range rendered His infallible judgement to a world which still had, even in those days of general anguish and despair, the time and will for outrage, disdain, and condemnation. For God's message to them was altogether different, yet equally resonant. And so the Great Question,  "What doth Thou desire, O Great Jehovah?" was answered by all in their own way, to the satisfaction of each and the rage of all the rest.


"The Innocence of Muslims", a film, an exercise in freedom, a provocation, a  justification, perhaps a cause, perhaps a pretense for murder.


In July, 2012 a Youtube account in the name of one Sam Bacile began to publish excerpts of a film entitled "The Innocence of Muslims." It was designed to mock Muslims and the Prophet Mohammed. By all accounts it was designed (always under the guise of "informing") to incite, to insult, to infuriate. It was a toxic cocktail concocted by a mixed group of Coptic Christians, Jews, other Christian activists and Americans of Middle Eastern origin. All had axes to grind. All had mixed motives. All had past grievances, real or perceived, to avenge. All, wherever they came from and whatever their point of view, knew in their hearts they were doing God's work, however incendiary, insolent, and outrageous. For with such Godly folk, no deed, none whatever, however flagrant can be anything other than righteous. Thus, every sin in the calendar is committed with equanimity and confident assurance that it is good and true, sanctioned by the One God and True.


An ambassador dies, September 11, 2012, just 52 years old.


It is a long, long way from the calm and gracious amplitude of Grass Valley, California to the storied, pernicious "shores of Tripoli", yet such was the arc of Chris Stevens' life, a life curtailed on a day already marked and forever sanctified by the premature deaths of other innocents.


As I write I am surrounded by pictures of this good man, good servant of the Great Republic. They make it clear he carried into his early middle age more than a vestige of boyish good looks, tousled hair, toothy smile, a golden boy, welcoming, a man who knew the secret of making friends and influencing people; all put to work in the service of the nation... and the service of the world.


He moved up in his career by mastering the tortuous realities of the most dangerous lands on Earth, the nations and peoples of the Middle East, rising in due course to become the tenth U.S. Ambassador to Libya whose people found in him an unabashed supporter of their freedom, liberty, safety and security. His friendship was a matter of heart, not merely policy, and the Libyans responded with an amity not usually or lightly given. They liked Chris Stevens and he liked them.


What happened next; a murky chronology.


As with so many matters involving the Middle East and Arab world,  the proximate cause of this affair is unclear. Did the fatal chain of events commence in Cairo after a frenzied mob, outraged by "The Innocence of Muslims" attacked the U.S. embassy? Or, more likely, was it a well  planned, well orchestrated attack by terrorists, reminding the world that our day of reverence and mourning is their day of triumph and exultation? Either way when the sun set on September 11, 2012 four more worthy souls lay dead, Ambassador Stevens; IT specialist Sean Smith; and two experienced and highly decorated Navy SEALs, Glen "Bub" Doherty and Tyrone Woods.


Flags lowered, a President's pledge, words of obloquy, words of mournful farewell, and the Greatest Question still unanswered.


So often have these events occurred that we all know their consequences by heart. How Old Glory is lowered to half-staff in sad observance. How the President emerges to pledge vengeance and justice for the victims. How he and other high officials eulogize the dead, the best of us. How imprecations, curses, anathemas and maledictions are hurled at the perpetrators of so much pain and misery who return the same with interest added.


And how, through it all, as good people die for naught, the Great Question of our species abides unanswered  "O God! What doth Thou want and why do You torment Thy good people so?"


Now go to any search engine and find "Taps" and think well upon its every word as you ponder, "Day is done, gone the sun... God is nigh...."


About the Author


Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Services include home business training, affiliate marketing training, earn-at-home programs, traffic tools, advertising, webcasting, hosting, design, WordPress Blogs and more. Find out why Worldprofit is considered the # 1 online Home Business Training program by getting a free Associate Membership today. Republished with author's permission by Rawle Trim <a href="http://RawleTHomeBusinessCenter.com">http://RawleTHomeBusinessCenter.com</a>. Check out I.M. Super Elite -> http://rawjanel.imsuper.hop.clickbank.net

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