Tuesday, April 26, 2016


Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor

Volume XI, Issue XVI

The Long Road Home
The Sequel to PONTIFUS and 
A Guide to the 2059/2060 World's Fair
By Bob Kirchman
Copyright © 2016, The Kirchman Studio, all rights reserved

But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble." -- Psalm 59:16

Fred shuddered as his captor lifted the goat carcass to bleed it. “Tonight’s supper!” the man laughed roughly. He handed his axe to his companion who rounded the corner. Then Fred saw the van speed off and he was quite sure his life had been spared for only a little bit of time. “You will make good worker.” The captor said; “Then you go way of goat!”

Enslaved! How unlike the world of “freedoms” he had grown up in. Good men had labored for centuries to end the vile institution of human enslavement, but the new ‘enforcers’ of Worldstate’s remote highways had no respect for the hard-fought battle for human dignity and freedom. Fred thought of the history class where he had slept through a lecture on the Barbary Pirates. These brigands had taken men off of American ships and pressed them into their service. Thomas Jefferson had sent in the Marines.

But now, Worldstate was stepping forward to fill the void left by the disappearance of millions of people. Their rule was pretty universal and they had conscripted the vilest of terrorists as their enforcers. There would be no Marines, Fred thought to himself.

And so began the days of his unwilling service. Fred’s strong physique made him a useful worker and he found that his mind was quite engaged in ways he could not have forseen. Now, left without his Bible and the little guide that had sparked his interest in matters Eternal, he found that those things pushed their way into his mind as he labored. He was surprised at how he was not in such despair as he thought he would be. Though he lived with the constant threat of death, it was losing its fearsomeness. Though he indeed was treated roughly, he was finding some sure reservoir of strength to draw from. He didn’t understand it, but he didn’t need to.

Something was drawing Fred’s attention to beauty… even in the midst of this bleakness. Things such as clouds in the sky and the golden light of evening, when his labors ceased, the young man counted as treasure as he embraced them as simple gifts from above. Indeed, he was conversing with the Divine. That did not override some of his anguish and confusion, but like the reassurance markers that told you the Bering Strait Bridge was in a certain direction, they pointed to some point of resolution.

Would it be in this life, or in a life to come? Fred did not know. Had he known the old hymns he would have known the sweet juxtaposition of hope in Heaven dwelling comfortably alongside hope for joys in this present life as well. The old saints could have shown him that a savoring of nature’s majesty was quite naturally a prelude to the great story of Redemption. That was the movement in the symphony that preceded the great crescendo of Eternity! One did not need the life he lived to be perfection in order to feel this joy. In fact, it seemed to take root most vigorously in a variety of circumstances.

Perfection was not necessary for it to grow. Joe, who had disappeared at Taba, was far from perfect in his living it out. The dedication he had for his friends had its roots in something that now called Fred to want it as well. But those family members he identified with that type of living were now gone. “Who would be able to show me this ‘more perfect way?’ Fred wondered, for there was indeed a noticeable vacuum in the world in the wake of the disappearances

(to be continued) [click to read]


Tuesday, April 19, 2016


Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor

Volume XI, Issue XV

And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of G-d more perfectly." -- Acts 18:24-26

Charles fingered the book thoughtfully. This "Way" had inspired Fred to die for something... not a coerced death or a whipped up entering into the ways of a mob, but a reasoned decision that something was more precious to him than life itself! The Notes to Priscilla and Aquilla guides were indeed considered dangerous and subversive. Fred had surely paid the price for possessing one, but here it was. Charles was alone with the volume and though he believed it was dangerous, his curiosity gnawed at him. "Surely I am strong enough to resist blatant fallacy!" he reasoned. He knew he should turn the volume in to be burned... but he was alone.

The knowledge that Fred had found something larger here drew him onward."What, pray tell, was this 'More Perfect Way?'" Surely the Worldstate had a way more perfect than any profession of dogma... and if so, what was the contrasting thought that would help him recognize it? Trembling, he opened the little book.

The Seven Gifts of the Spirit, the book began. They were found in the old books of the Prophets:
The Gifts of the Spirit 

But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him: A spirit of wisdom and of understanding, A spirit of counsel and of strength, A spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD (piety), And his delight shall be the fear of the LORD."
-- Isaiah 11:2,3a

Wisdom: It is the capacity to love spiritual things more than material ones;

Understanding: In understanding, we comprehend how we need to live as followers of Christ. A person with understanding is not confused by the conflicting messages in our culture about the right way to live. The gift of understanding perfects a person's speculative reason in the apprehension of truth. It is the gift whereby self-evident principles are known;

Counsel (right judgement): With the gift of counsel/right judgment, we know the difference between right and wrong, and we choose to do what is right. A person with right judgment avoids sin and lives out the values taught by Jesus;

Fortitude (courage): With the gift of fortitude/courage, we overcome our fear and are willing to take risks as a follower of Jesus Christ. A person with courage is willing to stand up for what is right in the sight of G-d, even if it means accepting rejection, verbal abuse, or physical harm. The gift of courage allows people the firmness of mind that is required both in doing good and in enduring evil;

Knowledge: With the gift of knowledge, we understand the meaning of G-d. The gift of knowledge is more than an accumulation of facts, it also helps us to choose the right path through life;

Piety (reverence): With the gift of piety/reverence, we have a deep sense of respect for G-d and the Church. A person with reverence recognizes our total reliance on G-d and comes before G-d with humility, trust, and love. Piety is the gift whereby, at the Holy Spirit's instigation, we pay worship and duty to G-d as our Father, Aquinas writes;

Fear of the Lord (wonder and awe): With the gift of fear of the Lord/wonder and awe, we are aware of the glory and majesty of G-d. A person with wonder and awe knows that G-d is the perfection of all we desire: perfect knowledge, perfect goodness, perfect power, and perfect love. This gift is described by Aquinas as a fear of separating oneself from G-d. He describes the gift as a "filial fear," like a child's fear of offending his father, rather than a "servile fear," that is, a fear of punishment. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom."

The source of the traditional names of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The Septuagint and the Vulgate read “piety” for “fear of the Lord” in its first occurrence, thus listing seven gifts."

Charles read eagerly.  In Galatians 5, there were also 'Fruits' of that same Spirit:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."

But these were somehow 'subversive' and illegal? It seemed to Charles that any society propelled by such virtues would be a happy one indeed! Locking the door to his room, he read on. Sometime in the dawning hours of morning, he got to the handwritten notes in the end. The notes spoke of a dialogue with the Divine, there was a peace to be found there... unlike the heavy peace under the hand of Worldstate. "There is freedom here!" thought Charles. "It is a freedom created by timeless principles that guide the one who possesses them, not a peace imposed by oversight... unless one saw that reverence for the Divine was stronger than mere human oversight.

Charles carefully wrapped the little book in his clothes and secured it in his luggage. For now the promise seemed greater than the life he now lived. Joe's notes clearly pointed in that direction. Fred had added to the dialogue in his own hand as well. His notes were brief, but honest. Charles knew his friend well enough to see that. Perhaps he too would find the courage to pray, as suggested. Perhaps he would have to pay the ultimate price for the ultimate Gift as Fred had? He whispered that much to the Almighty as he pulled the van onto A2 heading East toward Siberia.


(to be continued) [click to read]

Copyright © 2016, The Kirchman Studio, all rights reserved


Monday, April 11, 2016


Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor

Volume XI, Issue XIV

He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time.”
-- Daniel 7:25

Explain THIS!" said the surly border agent on the Siberia Highway. He held up the well-worn copy of Notes to Priscilla and Aquilla, now much annotated by Fred and the Bible that accompanied it. A routine inspection at an A2 checkpoint was going sour as the two travelers had been chosen for a 'random' inspection and agents were opening their duffles. Charles watched in horror as his companion was wrestled into cuffs, but he never stopped thinking. As the scuffle ensued, the young man quietly picked up the book and slid it when the agents were not looking into the springs of the van's driver's seat. He knew he was taking a risk by hiding evidence, but somehow he felt that might help his friend.

The agents announced that Fred was being detained indefinitely and that Charles could be detained as well... or simply move along. Charles panicked. Surly the rumors were just rumors... the ones about beheadings, he thought, but the Middle-Eastern men who suddenly had been elevated to law-enforcement positions by WORLDSTATE seemed quite capable of dispensing 'instant judgement' if they wanted to. Certain 'Religious' books had been linked to the disappearance or abduction of billions of people and possession of them was cause for detention. A dusty Bible on a shelf was no cause for concern... as it was simply a 'Cultural Artifact,' but if it was well-worn and marked, and accompanied by other texts suggesting its application in one's life it suggested a lack of respect for Worldstate's important work in preserving order.

It had been several months since the disappearances, the war and the ascension of Mátyás Corvinus to world leadership. Roads had been reopened and it was time for Fred and Charles to go home. Fred's family had been among the missing but Charles still had an Aunt in Virginia and so the young men decided it was time to go home. They were about out of funds anyway. The great fair no longer had any attraction for them. Big Diomede now held no friends and family, but they still had to pass through it on their way. Now Charles had a bitter decision to make. The agents decided to make it simple for him. Detaining him at gunpoint by the van, they escorted Fred around the checkpoint building. The next thing Charles heard was his friend's screams, followed by a deep 'thud.' Presently an agent rounded the building with a bloody axe. Charles was again given his options. Shaking, he repacked the van.

Mátyás Corvinus was speaking on the radio as he started the van: "Citizens of WORLDSTATE, it is quite clear today that there are pockets of resistance to our important work of returning the world to stability and prosperity. No doubt, the Zionist state is largely to blame, but there is a deeper 'homegrown' terrorist element who claim allegiance to a power somehow 'higher' than worldstate. They are most dangerous to our work of restoring peace to the world. We are compelled to use every means at our disposal to stop them."

Corvinus smiled. Indeed it was a stroke of genius to have enfolded the most vile of terrorists as 'enforcers' in the new world order. Somehow Corvinus' smooth dialogue had convinced them that he indeed would help usher in the new world order THEY sought. In any case, a certain amount of chaos and fear served them both, terrorist and would-be leader of the world. But chaos must not be allowed to run unchecked for too long. A new refocusing must take place before Corvinus' TRUE work could be done. People's hearts and allegiances were still focused in too many places. A new world order required mankind to adopt a singular focus for their devotion, yea even their WORSHIP! Mátyás Corvinus gazed into his mirror... and he smiled.

The Siberia Highway in Winter.

(to be continued) [click to read]

Copyright © 2016, The Kirchman Studio, all rights reserved


Tuesday, April 5, 2016


Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor

Volume XI, Issue XIII

Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery." -- Sir Winston Churchill

The process which, if not checked, will abolish Man goes on apace among Communists and Democrats no less than among Fascists. The methods may (at first) differ in brutality. But many a mild-eyed scientist in pince-nez, many a popular dramatist, many an amateur philosopher in our midst, means in the long run just the same as the Nazi rulers of Germany. Traditional values are to be ‘debunked’ and mankind to be cut out into some fresh shape at the will (which must, by hypothesis, be an arbitrary will) of some few lucky people in one lucky generation which has learned how to do it." -- Reverend John Richardson [1.]

Mátyás Corvinus was not happy. He had evacuated himself and his staff from the Centre for World Peace as the Israeli war began. 1,582 miles away in Moscow, he was surprised at the turn of events that had transpired. Baghdad was now occupied by Israeli forces. Israel had indeed taken this latest aggression by her neighbors as a 'last straw,' and moved quickly and decisively to expand to more defensible borders. Clearly he would have to address the world about this 'intolerable aggression,' but he had an immediate and embarrassing problem: He was suddenly in need of a capital.

As more information on the disappearances came to his attention, he found a solution. The Northern Hemisphere seemed to have lost most of her population. Here was a wonderful fairgrounds with state-of-the art translation technology, broadcast capability and plenty of room for his emergency command centre! For some reason there were very few people left in the Alaska and Siberia Republics. Securing the great bridge would be another extremely valid reason for this move. The remaining leaders of the world would be summoned into emergency session at the Fairgate Hall of Representation. The situation required leadership. It was time for Corvinus to make his move!

Ladies and gentlemen," Corvinus began; "The events of the past few days have turned our world upside-down. Most of us have friends or loved ones who have not been located. My condolences go out to you. The efforts of my staff to find them will be relentless. We are trying to learn exactly how Billions of people seem to have vanished."

By now you have heard the theories put forth on TV. Let me restate what IS clear at this point. It is premature to assign responsibility to 'space aliens' or some 'act of G-d,' but it IS clear that this involves some plot or energy of immense proportions. It would seem that there is a pattern, as whoever has done this has taken from us the flower of our youth, along with that there are those who might be considered spiritual people, but there is some concentration to this pattern that must be noted as well. Of the ADULTS who have been taken, it seems a common thread that they were under the influence of such writings as the 'Priscilla and Aquilla Guides,' such as the one I am holding. It is used along with the old texts to infuse the reader with the sense that the Divine will actually speak into and redeem their lives! I cannot emphasize enough how DANGEROUS this is!

As you know, there is great danger in assigning value to things outside one's subjective judgement. 'Absolute Truths' create hateful fanatics who might seek to eliminate those whom they find outside of their narrow realities. We at the Centre for World Peace have always stood for tolerance and diversity, knowing that there are many equally valid statements of 'truth.' Acceptance of one another requires that we lay aside such harmful notions such as believing that G-d, family and country are worth dying for. 

The world is in great need of healing right now. It need decisive leadership. To that end I have gathered with the remaining leaders of the world. They agree with me that it is time to bring humanity together... it is time for WORLDSTATE! Worldstate will bring an end to war and inequity. Worldstate will mean humanity will finally step into its Golden Age! But it will require sacrifice. We must give up our claims to individual and national sovereignty as well as the notion that protecting our own flesh and blood is a noble thing! The State requires our allegiance if it is to become the source which supplies our needs. 

Worldstate  can and will provide equally for all. The great Progressive experiments of the past failed, not because they were not worthy and good, but because they were diverted by evil men or thwarted by opposition. They were simply not big enough to overcome this and so they fell. Today's Worldstate is too big to fail. Worldstate will have the momentum to usher in a bright new era of hope and change."

And so the world came to the World's Fair. Mátyás Corvinus was ready to redistribute the ill-gotten treasure of the North-lands with the people of the world. But he had to eliminate any opposition that remained in order to do so.

The entrance to the Fairgate Hall of Representation.

(to be continued) [click to read]

Copyright © 2016, The Kirchman Studio, all rights reserved