Wednesday, August 03, 2005

So, it's nightfall already. The lights go on the flag...

And I've left off a conversation with my father, over the telephone, about his review of Newt Gingrich's book, Winning the Future: A 21st Century Contract with America, AlterNet's Start Making Sense, and the essay by Bill McKibben in this month's Harper's, "The Christian Paradox: How a Faithful Nation gets Jesus wrong." Already, other bloggers are writing about this latter.

Only 40 percent of Americans can name more than four of the Ten Commandments, and a scant half can cite any of the four authors of the Gospels. Twelve percent believe Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife. This failure to recall the specifics of our Christian heritage may be further evidence of our nation’s educational decline, but it probably doesn’t matter all that much in spiritual or political terms. Here is a statistic that does matter: Three quarters of Americans believe the Bible teaches that “God helps those who help themselves.” That is, three out of four Americans believe that this uber-American idea, a notion at the core of our current individualist politics and culture, which was in fact uttered by Ben Franklin, actually appears in Holy Scripture. The thing is, not only is Franklin’s wisdom not biblical; it’s counter-biblical. Few ideas could be further from the gospel message, with its radical summons to love of neighbor. On this essential matter, most Americans—most American Christians—are simply wrong, as if 75 percent of American scientists believed that Newton proved gravity causes apples to fly up.


I'm still in the middle of this essay, interrupted by the need for sleep, a ten hour shift in a warehouse hot and dusty in the 100 degree + August heat, and my coming home to share some time with wife and children, then put the latter to bed.

So it's story time now. Got to go. Aloha!

3 Comments:

At Wednesday, August 03, 2005 9:01:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At Sunday, August 07, 2005 9:28:00 AM, Blogger jean-pierre said...

Interesting! I will be looking at it in more detail later on tonight. Am on my way out the door to go to the bigger city.

Is there supposed to be some side banner on the right that my anti-ad software is blocking? The appearance is neat, but it could use some color and or elegant but simple graphics.

I'll take another look tonight. Thanks for the compliment. :)

 
At Wednesday, August 17, 2005 9:54:00 AM, Blogger jean-pierre said...

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