"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"It is impossible for me to say in my book one word about all that music has meant in my life. How then can I hope to be understood?--Ludwig Wittgenstein

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Of Pearls and Pigs--Second Thursday in Lent 2010

"Don't offer dogs what is sacred, and don't throw your pearls to pigs, or they'll trample them underfoot and turn and tear you to shreds." Matthew 7:6, SV.
Huffington Post is one of the places on the web I go regularly; but I've always avoided any posts there about religion, because it always draws the most negative and, from my perspective at least, ignorant comments.

It is proof that religion is very much a part of American life that so many people are so sure they have the last word on the subject when, like the average person on matters of Constitutional law or just civil law, or physics, or molecular biology, or evolutionary biology, or music, the fine arts, even business, they know next to nothing. But they are too ignorant to realize how ignorant they are, which is their sword and shield.

I shouldn't even be saying this, except that my blog is no lightning rod for attacks by atheists and non-believers, and I can control the comments here to keep it from being that. But if you read the comments to the inaugural post by Paul Raushenbush, a post in which he explicitly calls for a "Middle Way":
HuffPost Religion hopes to offer a sane middle way for people who wish to approach religion with both heart and mind, and who believe we can have disagreements without demonization.
As a start, it would help if religious people acknowledge that non-religious people can be moral, and if atheist people would acknowledge that religious people can be intelligent. Hopefully these truisms will become evident as HuffPost Religion provides a way for people to hear from one another.
You will find that the comments are, by and large, a demonization of religious people, and an insistence that religious people cannot be intelligent.

So Thomas Aquinas and Augustine of Hippo and Søren Kierkegaard and Georges Lemaitre, to name but a few, you are known as idiots to the commenters at Huffington Post. Sorry, but they know best.

Well, they don't, of course. And I wish Rev. Raushenbush well in his venture, and I'll stop in if only to read posts from Joan Chittester (though not from Jim Wallis, who is overexposed and under-spiritualized, in my not humble-enough opinion), but I won't linger, and I won't comment.

Lent is hard enough as it is.


Blogger Grandmère Mimi said...

I suppose it's good of Huff Post to give space to the discussion of religion, but I doubt that I'll be there often.

From the already resident atheist-in-chief:

Great! Now, why don't you join me in pressing Arianna to have Hitchens, Harris and Dawkins give their views on religion. Or, are they too intolerant and fundamentalist for your taste?

I wouldn't join in pressing for the presence of the Big Three, because, across the board, they display far greater ignorance of religion than I display of science. Since I'm fairly ignorant of science, I know better than to hold forth with pretend authority on a subject about which I have little knowledge.

As you say, Robert, Lent is hard enough.

9:18 AM  
Blogger Rmj said...

Yeah, pretty much my problem, too. Mostly, I'm just tired of it. It's an endless argument with no point and no referee.

Although I've found a couple of good things over there, which I'll post about later.

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Sharl said...

On the topic of Richard Dawkins, don't know if you've seen this - "Richard Dawkins unleashes tirade against fans".

You strike me as too good a person to seek out, let alone enjoy, any moments of schadenfreude, but maybe there's some kind of lesson you can pull out of all the chaos over in Team Dawkins.

Sigh. This was prophesized in Monty Python's Life of Brian. I wish the Judeans would just pick one revolutionary organization and stay with it...

5:01 PM  
Blogger Grandmère Mimi said...

Sharl, you made my day. See what a good Christian I am? I was rolling on the floor. Where's Dawkins been? He seems quite fragile and, until now, must have led a sheltered virtual life. Is this the first time Dawkins faced ugly comments? Now he's had a taste of what certain religious bloggers experience.

5:19 PM  
Blogger Rmj said...

Reminds me (seriously) of being in the pulpit. Not that I wouldn't return, but the first thing you learn (and it's a DAMNED hard lesson) is that some people won't take you the way all your friends have, and may even treat you to vilification instead of great love and respect.

Pastors, however, are expected to work through these problems (and they should; it comes with the territory). How they do it is largely an individual tale, but when they succeed, it's a spiritual success. Something Mr. Dawkins would never understand.

Which is the funny thing....

8:11 PM  

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