Creationist Wisdom #1,039: All Problems Solved

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Times-Independent of Moab, Utah, population 5,322. It’s titled It is so simple. We don’t see a comments feature.

Because today’s writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. His first name is Jim. Excerpts from his letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, some bold font for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]. Here we go!

Did you miss it? It was Easter. If you thought Easter was bunnies and eggs, you missed it. If you thought Easter was for Christians only, you missed it. If you thought Easter was particular to one group or outdated, or an extension of some pagan ritual, you missed it. Easter is universal; it is a celebration for every human being.

How is that possible? Jim says:

There is only one race, the human race. [Yeah!] Whether we admit it or not we are all children of the same God. And God loves every one of us. There is only one thing that separates you from the love of God – you. [Gasp!] God is revealed in your conscience. God is revealed in everything in the physical world. [Wow!] God is revealed in His word. If you don’t see God in your mind, in your senses and in common sense – you missed it.

Did you miss it, dear reader? Well, it’s not too late. Jim tells us:

The more science and technology learn about the physical sciences the more obvious it becomes that God exists. [It’s obvious!] Only a fool says in his heart there is no God.

You’re not a fool, are you, dear reader? Jim continues:

As Americans, we believe we were endowed by our Creator. [Right!] It is the Creator who longs for you to welcome the Holy Spirit into your heart. There is not one human issue, problem, catastrophe, or experience in this life that cannot be resolved through your acceptance of God and the word of God. Seek and you shall find. Knock and it will be opened to you.

Wowie — all problems solved! Here’s our last excerpt:

Just as every human being is a child of God, every human being needs to recognize how to be welcomed into the realm of God. That brings us back to Easter. [Neatly done!] If you saw Easter as anything less than the fullfilment of the promise of God to redeem your broken body, mind and soul, you missed it.

Jim’s last paragraph is a bit too preachy, so we’ll leave him here. Impressive stuff, huh?

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18 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #1,039: All Problems Solved

  1. Holding The Line In Florida

    I’ll be first in line. Yup, I be a fool.

  2. Nothing that Jim says here contradicts evolution or old earth, so his letter is not worthy of the label “Creationist Wisdom #1,039”.

    Jim is definitely an evangelist, but creationist? Who knows? Most of what he is saying is the standard “Accept God into your life” rhetoric of your typical stem-winder preacher, but on one point I agree with him completely — “There is only one race, the human race.” All differences in skin color stem from the strength of the sun in the region of our ancestry. To me, that is proof of evolution.

  3. chris schilling

    SC writes: “We don’t see a comments feature.”

    Times-Independent of Moab, Utah, in the doleful manner of Roger Waters:

    “We don’t need no comments feature
    We don’t need no thought control
    No dark sarcasm from our readers
    Features, leave those comments alone

    (Kids chorus): HEY! FEATURES! LEAVE THOSE COMMENTS ALONE!!
    All in all, you’re just a/
    ‘nother
    etc, etc….”

    What was Jim’s letter about, anyway?

  4. Dave Luckett

    Moab, Utah, eh? No preconceptions at all, obviously.

    Easter is indeed universal, though not under that name. As a festival of the Pascal moon, it was held to regulate the time of planting. The Christian Church calculated it several different ways, and had acrimonious conflicts about it, rising in some instances to actual violence, but the Western Roman Church converged on one method by about the fifth or sixth century CE, and enforced it. The Orthodox Church uses a different method, and both differ from the calculation of the Jewish Passover.

    As a spring festival used to emphasise the renewal of life, fertility and fecundity. it was celebrated by “pagans” in some pretty indecorous ways, with rituals as different as virgin sacrifice (“Rite of Spring”, as celebrated in Stravinski’s hideous hoppera) and public mass copulation. As a celebration of the return of life, it fit very nicely with the Christian doctrines of the resurrection and redemption, too.

    But the diversity of observance ought to give a clue that this is a festival whose common element is not one religion, but a phenomenon – the turn of the season and the change of the moon – experienced by all. The rabbit and the egg are both symbols of birth, re-birth, and fecundity, and nothing to do with Christianity.

    As to the rest of Jim’s piffle, the fool might say in his heart, “There is no god”, but the wise person, aware that neither a demonstration nor a refutation of that assertion is possible, will say, right out loud, “There is no reason to believe in a god”. That should be enough, right there. Still, one might ask Jim why God does not follow Jesus’s principles. If we are beloved of God, why does He so often give us a stone when we ask for bread? Why could God not forgive without a perfect agonised blood sacrifice, when He demands that we forgive without one?

    I cannot speak for others, but I can truly say that I have been knocking, pounding, kicking at that door Jim speaks of for forty or more years, and never had any sense that there’s anything behind it. It is, and always was, firmly shut, locked and barred to me. In fact, I don’t think there’s any door there at all.

  5. Richard Andersen

    ” Only a fool says in his heart there is no God” If even a fool can get it why can’t you>

  6. chris schilling

    @Chris S foolishly has to ask:
    “What was Jim’s letter about, anyway?”

    It was about fools, Chris S! People such as yourself! People who say in their heart there is no Jim’s god. People who aren’t endowed with Jim’s god because they’re not American, but are still part of the human race; people who are a child of Jim’s god, but are separated from the love of that god by — you yourself!
    Wake up, man! This is important stuff Jim’s laying out for all of us!

    @DaveL
    What is a ‘hoppera’?

  7. Dave Luckett

    chris schilling: a spectacle composed of jerky discordant music and grotesque dancing.

  8. chris schilling

    @DaveL
    Ah, by ‘jerky’, music, I assume you mean syncopation, and/or irregular metres; by ‘discordant’, you mean anything dissonant; and by ‘grotesque dancing’, you mean anything not pertaining to traditional Western ballet, itself a highly stylized, artificial form of expression.

    Got it.

  9. Charley Horse X

    The author’s wife is a deaconess….I didn’t know there was such a thing. So, I’ve been enlightened.
    Exactly a year ago the writer had this to say about Jefferson while wishing him a happy birthday. QUOTE from https://www.moabsunnews.com/opinion/article_3a26cd70-61f6-11e9-b26c-9beea4c0c718.html
    He would abhor the never-ending expansion of the power of the federal government. If he saw the corruptness of our deep state, the close minded media, colleges and universities that decry freedom of speech, rewrite history and spew dangerous freedom-killing philosophies in classrooms, he would be shocked. If he visited public schools that fail children in urban areas generation after generation, drowning them in a sea of one-world socialism, ignoring our history and denying our moral heritage, he might wonder if the blood spilled during the revolution was a mistake.END QUOTE
    What political party members most often mentions “deep state”?

  10. Dave Luckett

    Not at all. I enjoy ragtime, probably the most syncopated music there is. I sang tenor in “African Sanctus”, the “Crucifixus” of which is excruciatingly (!) discordant; and by “grotesque” I mean deliberately awkward, violent, and alienating, with overtones of menace. The syncopation in ragtime is exhilarating; the ugliness in the Crucifixus echoes the horror of the event, but is balanced by the glory of the Kyrie and the sheer beauty of the Our Father; and as for dancing, I must admit that the classical ballet causes me to start to giggle after a while, readily as I grant its enormous demands technically, artistically and athletically. I do admire Irish dancing, tango, flamenco, jitterbug and some other styles. What appeals to me about them is their lightness, exuberance, joie de vivre. And strength/skill. FWIW (not much), I think the best of Hollywood musicals contain some of the greatest dance sequences ever recorded. To watch Fred Astaire “Puttin’ on the Ritz” (itelf an example of extreme syncopation) is to watch a work of genius.

    But “The Rite of Spring” is meant to be ugly, disorienting, disqueting, menacing, horrifying. It is relentless; there is no relief, no escape. It is one of the most intense musical experiences ever offered, and still retains that distinction. For over a hundred years the avant-garde has been trying to top it, and only amplification unavailable to Stravinsky has granted the means to overwhelm the senses in the way he did. He did exactly what he set out to do, and did it with a virtuosity and musicianship of awesome power and skill. I listen to it occasionally, in segments of five minutes or so. More, and I become nauseated. I have to admire what it is, much as I admit to admiring the combined power and graceful lines of an Iowa-class battleship. But that doesn’t mean I admire what it does, or think it a good thing that Iowa-class battleships, or :”The Rite of Spring” exist.

  11. “If you thought …..”
    No, no and no, I didn’t think that. And still I missed Easter. Beecause I don’t care.

    “There is only one thing that separates you from the love of God – you.”
    Very comforting, because, I repeat, I’m better off without.

    “Only a fool says in his heart there is no God.”
    Of course I’m not a fool. I don’t say this in my heart, but in my mind and with my mouth. Or using my keyboard for typing.

  12. @DaveL: “For over a hundred years the avant-garde has been trying to top it, and only amplification unavailable to Stravinsky has granted the means to overwhelm the senses in the way he did.”
    Not to belittle Sacre du Printemps, but the Lady with the Hammer, Galina Ustvolskaja possibly has succeeded. But if you (or anyone else) would like to try some avant-garde that successcully did exactly the opposite you might try Nikolaj Roslavets.

  13. Dave Luckett

    FrankB, yes, I see what you mean – I think. In places it reminds me of “Rhapsody in Blue” – no doubt a puerile statement, but it does. It doesn’t have the same effect on me as “Rite of Spring”. There’s a certain lightness and festivity about it. I still don’t like it, but that’s nothing more than personal taste.

  14. Easter is everywhere because it celebrates spring and fertility. And the christANALs stole it as they did the winter solstice.

  15. @DaveL: “In places it reminds me of “Rhapsody in Blue””
    Quite a logical association. But it’s rather a case of serendipity. Roslavets’ First Viola Sonata was composed only two years after Rhapsody in Blue. I don’t see how Roslavets and Gershwin could have known each other’s music.

  16. chris schilling

    @FrankB
    I’d say Roslavets — and a lot of the Russian avant-garde composers of the ‘tens and ‘twenties — took up where Scriabin left off: that peculiarly Slavic bent for mysticism; and the expanded tonality/atonality that was — perhaps coincidentally — also explored by the Viennese composers. Stravinsky went in a different direction. There was also a distinct French Impressionist flavour to that viola sonata — Ravel, maybe.

    Hadn’t heard of Ustvolskaya. Checking some of it out on YouTube, now.

  17. @ChrisS: you’d say correctly. When studying at the Moscow Conservatorium from 1902 CE on Roslavets already was dissatisfied with tonality, so there is no way he could escape the influence of Scriabin. You’re also correct about the connection with impressionism, though it’s probably rather Debussy than Ravel.
    That the Viennese school did something similar is not a coincidence at all. Pretty often musicologists talk about the crisis of tonality in the first decade of the 20th Century and Roslavets is one example. What never ceases to amaze me is the totally opposite result. Roslavets’ music has nothing of the ugliness DaveL points out in Sacre du Printemps and as especially associated with Anton Webern (I totally can’t stand the latter).