This post continues the book review started in A WORTHWHILE STORYBOOK: ROSETTA 6.2 BY JAMES ATTICUS BOWDEN — PART 1.
The Issues Raised By Rosetta 6.2
The Issues Raised By Rosetta 6.2
Rosetta 6.2 looked less than a decade into the future. Yet much of the increasing strife and chaos it predicted has arrived. Our politicians grasp for power. They forced Obamacare on us, spent trillions without even bothering to pass a budget, and they have virtually taken over the financial sector. The citizens of states bordering Mexico complain of drug related crime, that the border needs to be enforced. Yet the federal government sues if their governors try to control illegal immigration.
Increasingly, we fear the people on our streets. So every year gated communites — offering increased security — become an easier sell.
As Rosetta 6.2 predicted would be the case, we see only surface evidence of the technical, futuristic effort by governments to exercise control via the Internet and computer technology. Here are few random articles that consider the problem:
- Egypt, Libya, Tunisia: Twitter revolutions? points to the importance of the social media, suggesting that oppressive governments will see control over social media.
- China Co-Opts Social Media to Head Off Unrest says the China’s government is trying to control rather than stopper the Internet.
What about the United States? Here our leaders play games with “equal access” and net neutrality. Do our leaders want want to stifle opposition too?
- House panel votes to invalidate net neutrality rules
- Walden worried FCC will reclassify broadband if net neutrality struck down in court
Nonetheless, in spite of technical advances, the ethical issues of internal conflict — cultural warfare — remain much the same as they were during the American Civil War. As Rosetta 6.2 points out, during the Civil War era, Northern leaders deliberately violated the Constitution. For example, when Congress accepted West Virginia into the Union, it created West Virginia by taking a portion of Virginia and making a new state. The Constitution specifically prohibits any such thing. Nonetheless, West Virginia became and remains a state. So we are led to wonder? What justified such a constitutional violation?
In time of war or crisis, what is morally allowable? When we see our society crumbling around us, what does duty require of us?
- During the war, Northern forces burned wide swaths of the South. The Union sought to end the war by forcing rebel fighters to return home to feed their families. Was such brutality morally acceptable?
- Without the due process we traditionally require, the Civil War United States created new states and even new Constitutional amendments. Did the men who did this violate their oath of office?
- After the war, Northern armies occupied the South and stripped Southern men of the voting rights. How does God look upon the men who do such a thing?
What was the moral justification? Was that justification sufficient? With respect to our own time, Rosetta 6.2 asks us to consider such questions. When does what looks like cold-blooded murder actually become an unavoidable moral necessity?
Except for Jack Tillman, a man who does not believe in Jesus, Rosetta 6.2 presents most of its cast of characters as faithful and knowledgeable Christians. Jack watches the Christians, people who look to Jesus Christ, and Jack’s eyes turn to see what they see. We wonder whether Jack will believe, and we wonder why he would believe.
To reinforce their own faith and to aid Jack’s conversion, Rosetta 6.2‘s Christians quote the Bible and discuss Christian theology. More important, Rosetta 6.2‘s Christians present the example of Christian behavior to Jack. These Christians demonstrates what it means to accept the gift of salvation. Thus, Jack begins to want what his Christian friends and coworkers already have, a faith in the everlasting salvation offered by Jesus.
Is Jack’s conversion believeable? When I accepted Jesus, I did not experience conversion in quite the way Jack experienced it. So I found the tale of Jack’s conversion a bit hard to believe. Then I remembered this passage.
John 21:20-23 (Today’s New International Version, ©2005)
Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”
Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”
God made us all remarkably different. So what reason is there to believe he will or should treat us all the same? We must all learn of God’s love as we each can and as he would have it be.
To Be Continued: Look for Part 3, on Thursday.