Saturday, July 04, 2015

4 July

A Yankee by tradition, I never thought I'd be featuring the flag of the Confederacy here, especially on Independence Day, but the events of the last while make it seem the right thing to do. Along with the reverse US flag --a distress signal-- with its divided stars...

I guess we're all trans-Confederates now.

The Seven-Headed Beast:
multiculturalism, genderism, redistributionism,
globalism, pacifism, secularism, environmentalism

Makes this 4th a sad day for me.


PS. The picnic turned out well. Nice weather, good food, and pleasant banter. There was a #BlackLivesMatter button present at the table but no mayhem ensued. Longterm friendships trumped current opinions.


-A said...

Was it because there was also mystery meat on the grill? Because that would have been hilarious.


Anonymous said...

Some more developments on the spiritual ground. Despite the pain of my father's actions (I see them in a clearer light- our initial dire straits are not his doing, except if you call refusal to commit a crime and subsequent dismissal from a job a crime, though I'm still deeply disappointed with his prevarications) I still see myself as a theist. But recently I've developed (or acknowledge a long-standing position, depending on how you look at it.

I'm having trouble with the whole "personal God" thing. Specifically, I have trouble reconciling a personal God and an omnipotent Creator. The patterns and laws of Nature are self-evident to me- cycles and patterns repeated over and over again throughout the universe. It's beautiful, really. I can whole-heartedly believe that there is a being who set the parameters of the universe, who set its rules and conditions and is letting it play out. But when I try to tell myself that this Creator is the same being who gave his own son to forgive the sins of humanity, I'm hitting a disconnect. Nature is filled with change that is so often sudden and violent, and death has been an incontrovertible part of life on Earth for a couple billion years. Life requires death, and death is the penalty for a failure to adapt. Nature is utterly amoral- it is neither good or bad, but often both beautiful and terrifying.

Maybe this was the fault of my Catholic education (all women through grade school, oy ve), but God just feels completely separate from Creator. God was all about love and mercy and forgiveness- closer to Goddess, perhaps. The God I was taught would never have written "Adapt or die" into the laws of the universe. Maybe I was taught a false or distorted version of Catholicism from the start, but I'm failing to reconcile God the Loving Father with God the Impersonal Scientist.

Maybe this is why the Young Earth Creationists reject scientific data. Perhaps they fear or sense that something about the reality of the universe is incompatible with the understanding that most Christians have of God. Sure, John Paul II said nothing was wrong with Catholics believing the theory of evolution, but how many Catholics have sat down and pondered what it means? Has anybody sat down and taken a stab at this? Or are Catholics supposed to say, "I accept the current scientific understanding of the history of the universe" and not consider it any further and move on?

What the heck does this make me? It's probably not Christian, since separation of Father and Creator would be Ditheism, and belief in God as solely Impersonal Creator would be Deism. Yet it's not Gnosticism, since I don't hold the universe to be wicked or flawed, even if Man is capable of unspeakable illogic at time.


DrAndroSF said...

Similar thoughts from me, a few years ago.

But there's always been a tension between the Biblical God, so concrete and local and narratively dense, and the serene universal Greek deity of neo-Platonism and then Christian Aristotelianism. As Pascal said, the God of Abraham vs the God of the philosophers.

Darwin provides another contrast but with a competing narrative both temporally vast in scope and more radically primitive.

-A said...

This is likely what it means to be a Catholic to begin with. We are not an entirely peaceful people at least, not on the inside. Even in its earliest days there was vast disconnect between peaceful God and vengeful God. On one hand, it was believed in early Christian eras that art and science helped the Christian to understand God better, on the other, there were often fierce oppositions to the truly hard data. I think Catholics are more understanding and accepting of the cruel Natural World as well of its origins from a God of Love, Light, Fire and Righteousness. No other denomination to my knowledge at all embraces this concept. There are the papal-hippies here or there but, most Catholics do go through what you are going through and learn their peace, one way or the other.


DrAndroSF said...

The Darwinian vision provides both a psychological and a theological challenge to Christianity. Psychologically, how do you connect the Biblical/Greek God of the Faith --even remembering His intimate involvement in blood sacrifice, including his own Son's brutal torture and death-- with the knowledge that there were vast aeons prior to this story which seem utterly unconnected to it?

And you are correct, that the images of the Hebrew God and of the Christian God --though more alike than someone like Marcion and the Gnostics thought-- require some work to keep connected.

Theologically, I think that the doctrine of Original Sin and of death as a punishment for it becomes hard to maintain in its traditional form when you now know that, speaking Christian, when the Creator brought forth biological life, He made it inherently mortal. There has never been a time when physical living creatures have not died.

As for Adam and his creation as the Primal Man...can you tell that story in any form now without seriously engaging with the (shifting) theories of the rise of Homo Sapiens?

As a former theologian, I judge these questions to be challenges, not fatalities. But it would require more work on it than has been done thus far.

DrAndroSF said...

To Sean- Glad your wrath at your dad has softened a little bit.

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