Adventus

"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

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Priorities


Worrying about how evolution is being taught, of course. Why do you ask?

The Pope drew a lot of internet attention for saying evolution is not antithetical to Christianity.

He drew far less attention for saying the teachings of the gospels are not antithetical to Communism.  Or rather, that "love for the poor is at the centre of the Gospel".  I had to work to find that quote.  Maybe because it's old news by now for this pope.  The Economist jumped on him for this kind of sentiment back in June.   CathNewsUSA picked up that connection this time around. News Agency of Nigeria even picked up this story.

I haven't found anything in any US news outlet; not, at least, according to Google.*

Maybe because news really is all about tittle-tattle, gossip, what is interesting now, and what isn't interesting now because it was interesting a few months ago, but we've moved on?  Or maybe it's because we'd rather fight over abstractions like the theory of evolution, than do the gritty work of enacting social justice in our own backyards.  How many average Americans would you expect to express the sentiment of this man from Denmark:
“We don’t want there to be a big difference between the richest and poorest, because poor people would just get really poor,” Mr. Drescher added. “We don’t want people living on the streets. If that happens, we consider that we as a society have failed.”
In America, we as a society have failed if we don't agree on the place of evolution in the science curriculum in public schools.

*The Pope's comments on poverty drew 6 comments at Talking Points Memo, the only website I've found that covered the story.  By contrast, the "evolution" story at Salon has drawn nearly 250 comments.  Not a scientific finding, to be sure; but clearly, where your treasure lies, there will your heart be also.  It's where our hearts are, that's the problem.

4 Comments:

Blogger The Thought Criminal said...

I'm not so sure it's not manipulated that way. A few years ago, decades after it should have occurred to me, I realized that if you're not an evolutionary biologist or a biologist whose professional work impinges on evolution that the topic was of rather esoteric, and marginal unimportance in the lives of most people. Its one great use in the wider society is to attack what so many believe is the central pillar of religion, the Genesis creation stories. Only, as you point out, that isn't the central pillar of religion, which accounts for why the Darwin fan boys (who, almost to a person, have never read him) will also insist that REAL religion is fundamentalist religion and that most religious people are just pretending to either not believe in fundamentalism or they're enabling it.

As I've also said before, if Christians really tried to live up to the justice teachings of Jesus and the prophets, it would be the most wildly and universally popular phenomenon in human history. Christians who don't do that are being very bad at preaching the gospel, which is more effectively transmitted in the act and in the example than it is in the words which can just be air.

7:44 AM  
Blogger Rmj said...

As Francis of Assisi reportedly said: "Preach the gospel constantly. Use words, if necessary."

Protestantism especially, largely in a reaction against Catholicism, made the words central (the sermon), and denigrated "acts" as "trying to buy salvation." I understand the theological point, but it allowed us to move further and further away from the gospel teachings.

After all, the parable of the sheep and the goats doesn't turn on what was said, but what was, or was not, done. I've said before I knew an atheist who was more Christian than most Christians, purely in his actions. If I imagine him in that parable, he's one who gets welcomed, even though he truly didn't know he was serving God by his actions.

9:34 AM  
Blogger ntodd said...

Acts only matter as a way to show you're godly and one of the Elect, amirite?

6:55 PM  
Blogger Rmj said...

Sure, I mean, you wouldn't wanta actually help people.

That'd make 'em lazy!

8:29 PM  

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