Thursday, May 9, 2013

History Lessons from Brutal Rome

So much for a blog a day in May! Day 9, here we come- "A Moment in Your Life."

History Lessons: Wednesday we listened to the vignette of the Roman Consul, Brutus, who sat in judgement of his two sons, Titus and Tiberius, found them guilty of conspiracy to bring back the banished former King Tarquin, and watched, seemingly unmoved, as his boys were stripped, scourged and beheaded. Afterwards, he seemed to go a little nuts.

Flower looked up at me at the end of the story and said, "Did Brutus do the right thing?" Watching your kids get scourged, Roman-style (think cat-o-nines- 9 thin strips of leather, tied to a handle with sharp rocks tied to the ends- they basically  skinned a man) and then beheaded, knowing you passed judgement on them and condemned them to such a fate, would be, simply put, a hard thing.
So yesterday morning, over breakfast, it was brought it up again. We had a great discussion about conflict of interest, proving ones loyalty, patriotism, nationalism, and the duty of family members. The whole concept of dishonor and family legacy seems to have dissolved in our current day and age and it's every man (or woman) for themselves.  The concept of "differentiation" is bandied about, as if people truly knew what the word meant, while familial ties, loyalty and honor aren't even up for discussion. Patriotism- pah- given the news of the day, what does that even mean other than the CEO will play media games, all the while sending good men and women in to face certain death."One Nation Under God" has given way to what will assure re-election. Not that that's so different but the "Under God" part is a thing of the past in a post-modern culture that defines god as whomever will serve you best.

Dr. Dh's take on the trial was that the Romans were forcing Brutus to prove his loyalty to the state, in light of the flagrant betrayal of his 2 sons.  Condemn his own flesh and blood, or go down with them. In a system based on injustice (as the Romans's were) there was no win-win. Nationalism means little if it's based on man, or gods. It's only "under God" that anyone has a prayer.
It's these moments in our days that I love. Tying in bigger picture concepts with specifics, wrestling with faith, apologetics, justice, mercy, and the religion du jour. Our kids know enough history, Bible, theology and news to really make the discussions challenging and interesting. These, my friends, are the sweet moments, in the midst of the bitter, of homeschooling, and child-rearing. Having time for and watching the kids wrestling and struggle with hard issues, challenging me with their questions, and then asking more, really trying to get to heart of what a Living God might expect and understand. I don't have the answers but I know the One who is Truth and I love it when my kids go after Him.
No-wins? You cut your losses and move on. Sometimes folks are committed to their prejudice, make a show of caring, when it's their own agenda they pursue, are committed to their narrative, would sell out truth for perceived real. You see that all of the time in the Old Testament, you see that every day in the news, in families, in discussions, in history. Life is full of tragedy. But I love how a story of hopeless despair can cause my kids to thirst for some fresh, soul quenching Water.

1 comment:

Hen Jen said...

that's a really sad story, somehow we missed this one in our homeschooling. It does though, definitely give a lot of ground for really good discussion, as your post reflected on at your house....Interesting story, I'm going to have to go look it up now.