Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Laconia Daily Sun of Laconia, New Hampshire. It’s titled Faith is the substance of things not seen, a sixth sense. The newspaper doesn’t have a comments feature.
Unless the letter-writer is a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. But this time we’ve got a politician — Ed Balboni, Chairman of the City of Laconia Board of Assessors, whose task is “to ensure all taxable property is assessed fairly, impartially and equitably in relationship to all other property … .” Excerpts from his letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!
No matter how smart you are, “you don’t know what you don’t know.”
Huh? Your Curmudgeon knows that he doesn’t know about a lot of things — opera, sociology, and many other subjects. But it’s true that we don’t know the full extent of what we don’t know. What of it? The tax assessor tells us:
As I read The Daily Sun, I find many articles converting [sic] Creationism and Evolution and the disagreements cited between them, almost on a daily basis. Creationists say the earth is only 6,000 to 7,000 years old. Evolutionists say it is billions of years old. Which one is correct?
Pay attention, dear reader. Despite some peculiar terminology and a number of typos, this letter has potential. Let’s read on:
The answer comes down to whether or not one believes in God or not. One cannot believe God through only worldly knowledge or science, as God can only be known through faith.
That’s probably true. The tax assessor continues:
What is faith? Faith is the substance of things not seen.
Yes, that’s what we’re told in Hebrews 11:1 (King James version, of course), which says:
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Now to the non-believer this sounds like nonsense, as they know that all understanding and reasoning comes through the five senses as the brain sorts things out. But to people who truly know God, there is another, a sixth sense that is the Spirit.
Wow — the spirit is a sixth sense! That’s amazing! Moving along:
Everybody has a Spirit, bu [sic] those people who do no [sic] have a true relationship with God, their Spirit is devoid of receiving instruction concerning spiritual knowledge.
Is your spiritual receiver functioning, dear reader? Another excerpt:
Where does one get spiritual knowledge and understanding? I comes from the word of God, through his written word, the Bible. So to understand God, one must first read the Bible.
Of course! But there’s more to it than just reading. The tax assessor explains:
Even then, unless God has chosen to reveal to the unregenerate the meanings of his words, the brainy person cannot receive the hidden wisdom.
Ah, that’s the problem. No matter how brainy you may be, if you are unregenerate, you won’t understand. Then, after a bible quote, the letter ends with this:
Do you know hat [sic] you don’t know?
Chairman Balboni has all six senses fully functional, so the good people of Laconia, New Hampshire, can be confident that their taxes are fairly assessed. As for you, dear reader, there is much to think about here. Perhaps you should reconsider your ways.
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