Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Cincinnati Enquirer of Cincinnati, Ohio, just across the border from Northern Kentucky where Ken Ham’s creationist empire is located. This is their headline: The inspiration of Christian faith, and the newspaper has a comments section.
Because the writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote her by using her full name. Her first name is Jane. Excerpts from her letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!
So, Bill Nye, the Science Guy, thinks the new ark exhibit is “dangerous.” Really? The story of the Ark is part of Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths. Biblical stories have inspired many great Renaissance artists.
Yes, biblical stories have inspired artists; but so have stories about the Olympian gods. Hinduism has also inspired some great art — depending on one’s taste. Aside from religion, heroic warfare has inspired art, and so has romantic love.
Hey — a lot of creepy art — or rather, literature, was inspired by the bible — Dante’s Inferno is a good example. Art has also been inspired by all kinds of superstitious horrors — like Dracula and other legends. And now, ol’ Hambo has been inspired to build his ark. What’s Jane’s point here? We don’t know, so let’s get on with her letter:
For centuries, the Christian faith has inspired astronomers, sculptors, composers, painters and mathematicians, all of whom showed great critical thinking skills alongside their faith.
[*Groan*] Astronomy is not inspired by religion, because it deals with things that are not in the bible, and it often flat-out contradicts the bible. If you doubt that, consider the Galileo affair. As for the other subjects Jane mentioned, they may or may not be pursued by religious people, but we don’t see a causal connection. Let’s read on:
Scientists are often found to be wrong. For 1,300 years, people thought the sun revolved around the Earth.
Now that’s a peculiar paragraph. First, it’s the bible that says the sun revolves around the Earth — see The Earth Does Not Move! — and it was scientists who demonstrated that the opposite was true. Second, what’s with that 1,300 years? Is Jane saying that 1,300 years before Galileo’s work in the early 1,600s, scientists began claiming that the universe was geocentric? That would mean the “scientific” error started around the year 300 AD. We have no idea what Jane is thinking about. Her letter ends with this:
Maybe we should paint over The Sistine Chapel because the figures depicted there aren’t accepted by non-believers.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! No, Jane. Let’s leave the Sistine Chapel as it is. It’s beautiful, as are the remaining temples the Greeks and Romans built for their gods — but none of them “proves” anything.
Well, dear reader, that was a strange letter. But then, so are they all.
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