Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Seminary reflections, week 3
2. My history M.A. has greatly prepared me for this; my career dealing with words and the ideas behind them has also greatly prepared me.
3. Everyone who aspires to seriously study the Bible should read this book or one very like it: JOHN H. HAYES and CARL R. HOLLADAY, "Biblical Exegesis: A Beginner's Handbook," 3d ed. (Westminster John Knox Press, 2007).
4. I could be a seminary snob before I know it. :-)
Gonna have to start over with a new desire chip.
yay seminary snobbishness!
What's a seminary snob?
Seminary snob, that'd be like a history snob or political science snob or any other kind of academic specialty snobbery. "What? You've not read (fill in the blank with yoru favorite theologian or exegete, etc.)? Why, then, how can you *possibly* think ..." That sort of thing.
So populist, so often destructive, while being a well-intentioned desire for democracy, it is, rather, misguided defense of static denominators.
When we ask ourselves how large swaths of our society can, with lunacy, talk about a Socialist or Marxist President who may not be an American, we can find part of our answer in our own disparagement of intellectual pride.
I'm with Luke. Yeah, competitive intelligence!
Can virtual conversation avoid being a mixed message, since the medium is mixed media?
All the same, Feodor's point is quite cogent and correct. It is one thing to democratize our polity. It is quite another to disparage not just learning but even a certain amount of native intelligence such that we are held in thrall by those least informed on matters important to the whole public. It would be far better if we could just call them all really stupid and ignorant, laugh at them, and continue on our way relatively unmolested.
It's been a long time since a previous era suffered its public square to be so politically molested.
Watergate was not defended by significant numbers, and then not in open televised lunacy.
As I said before, we are in the sixties, and it is the side of darkness that has the organization, the networks, the rhetoricians, though, in our time, it is a bestial kind of rhetoric, the inverse of the moral heights of the left's leaders of forty years ago.
As far as the right being a dark side of the left's "moral heights", I would dispute that on any number of levels. With the exception of Martin King (and even he had his personal weaknesses, including women and intellectual theft during his pursuit of advanced education), many of the leaders of the New Left during the sixties were as morally degraded as those on the right today. They had a penchant for overheated rhetoric, some even a nihilist's desire for violence for its own sake, that is shocking to read today. While the goals of racial (and later gender) equality and an end to an unjust and illegal war were indeed noble, even moral goals, by the time the late-60's rolled around, the pursuit of these goals had been replaced by demand for revolution, armed resistance, racial separation in the name of Black Power, and even a brand of left-wing anti-intellectualism that is stunning in both its ferocity and true stupidity.
The Democratic Party was destroyed by its relationship not only to the movement for racial equality, but also the anti-war movement in its most heated form. Let us hope the same fate awaits the Republican Party as it continues to court the most virulent forms of right-wing nonsense around us.
His focus on the extreme and violent minority of the underground Left has blinders. But that he dissolves the unutterable gifts and endless sacrifice of thousands of marchers, workers and martyrs is really unconscionably lazy - and uncharacteristic - of GKS.
When he says, "many of the leaders of the New Left during the sixties were as morally degraded as those on the right today," does he include Marion Wright Edelmen?
Fannie Lou Hamer?
Harry Emerson Fosdick?
John L. Lewis? An American saint if there ever was one.
James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner?
Obviously these few are just off the top of my head. Are these as morally degraded as the Abramoffs, Ralph Reeds, Grober Norquists, Bill O'Reillys, Glen Becks of today?
Or will he take refuge in some elliptical definition of the New Left as only the violent. The problem would be that he is responding to my comment. And I was clearly not talking about the Weathermen.
Obviously, GKS was not thinking. There was something else operating here.
It's gross to see so many heroes disappear from consideration, or, just as bad, dissolved into MLK, much less to mention the distasteful noting of MLKs humanity.
He was a nationally known figure at 28. He was killed before he was 40. Considering what he accomplished with his life, I'd think we could cut him a little slack.
As I said elsewhere, we are in a reversal of the sixties. It is the forces of love that are ambushed and bewildered by this sweeping activism of paranoid rage and resentments.
Just here, GKS seems to be bewildered and dazed, way off point and not himself.
We are all in danger of losing our minds trying to process the daily displays of irrational fears fed by the historic wellsprings of racist instincts.
How to interpret? How to understand? How to oppose?
I'd hope that a seminary degree can help, an off day for GKS notwithstanding.