Wednesday, January 04, 2006

"A Stream of Things of Value"

According to the WSJ today, the criminal information (used in lieu of an indictment of Jack Abramoff) refers to a Congressman whom Abramoff is alleged to have bribed. The information cited this person

as having been "provided a stream of things of value" in return for official favors. It said the things provided included campaign donations, a lavish golf trip to Scotland, tickets to sporting events and other entertainments, and regular meals at a pricey Washington restaurant called Signatures that Mr. Abramoff once owned.

The stream metaphor made me think of Psalm 1, where the righteous man, who meditates day and night on the law of the Lord, is "like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season . . . "

What a contrast. God's "stream of value" that nourishes us, that makes our lives fruitful, that keeps us fresh and new, and that prospers us. Abramoff's "stream of value": ill-gotten money, travel, "entertainments", and rich food, all of which leads to such black denouement. It reminds me of those sweets that the White Witch gave Edmond, bribing him into betrayal. God on the one side. Mammon on the other. There is absolutely nothing new here. So totally banal.

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