Thursday, April 12, 2007

Real Life Imitating Art

In The Dionysus Mandate, a young Downs Syndrome boy is recruited as a sacrificial victim:
“How is the pharmakos for my ritual at Caesarea Philippi, sir?”
“You read my mind, Lucent! We are on our way to visit him right now. Then we need to return to the airport.”
They walked down an alleyway filled with the open shade of a bright Friday afternoon in the Middle East. Praetorius opened a gate leading to the small courtyard of a rundown house. He proceeded to the open front door.
“Hello!” he called. “Hello?”
A Palestinian woman appeared and hid her smile behind a white shawl. She carried an infant in the crook of one arm. Herr Praetorius made polite inquiries and the woman invited him in as a trusted acquaintance. Neesam waited in the courtyard. Soon, the old man reappeared leading a small boy by the hand. Perhaps ten years old, his face bore the signs of Downs Syndrome. The old man knelt down slowly and introduced the boy to his companion.
“Lucent, I want you to meet Áchmed. We met here in Jericho some time ago in his father’s shop.
Aly Lambert, the heroine of the story, later hears the fate of young Áchmed on her car radio:
A report on BBC World News snapped her suddenly back into the present:
“Turning to the Middle East, tourists in Israel made a disturbing discovery this morning in the vicinity of Caesarea Philippi. The mutilated body of young Palestinean boy was found at the entrance to the cave known as Pan’s Grotto."
“Authorities speculate that an obscure occultist group may be responsible.”
It was probably Neesam’s turn this time,” Aly muttered.
All well and good. For fiction in a dystopian future wherein a willful return to human sacrifice is de rigueur among the powers that be.

But now a report has brought this occurrence in Dionysus Mandate into high relief:
BAGHDAD, 10 April 2007 (IRIN) - BAGHDAD, 10 April 2007 (IRIN) - The dreams 13-year-old Barak Muhammad (not his real name) had of leading a normal teenage life were dashed when his father sold him to al-Qaeda militants. Being mentally handicapped, he said he was considered a burden by his family and was told he would be better off sacrificing his life for his country.
"I don't have a mother and never went to school. I was dreaming of a day that I would go to school like my other brothers, but I was considered different. My father was always telling me that I was a mistake in his life, a boy that was just bringing expenses and problems," Barak said.

Nine-year-old Saleh Ahmed (not his real name) said he was forced to help insurgents after they forced their way into his home and threatened to kill his mother and sisters if his father did not hand him over.
"They told me to say that I'm happy working with them but it's not true. I want to go back home and stay with my mother," Saleh told IRIN in privacy. When his trainer, Abu Ahmed, returned to the room, Saleh changed his tune and said he was happy to fight US forces and would die to save his country.
I would love to say that this clearly delineates between the foes of the West and our Christ enlightened culture, but you, gentle reader, would see through the farce's façade, when abortion, euthanasia, and nixing of the "invalid" run rampant through the culture of death in Old Christendom and the New World.

Pray for the witness of Catholic truth, the Church, and our Holy Father. Pray for all innocents who are taken advantage of by evil. And read The Dionysus Mandate. Not for its art, but for its truth.