May 22, 2020

Pressing on...

When you lack money and power, it's much easier to be high-minded about truth and love. So they say. For certain, however, prioritizing money and power makes truth inconvenient and love counterproductive. The history of the world follows dynamics that are not new. Nor should they be surprising.

Somehow, nevertheless, I am occasionally disappointed to realize yet again that picking and choosing in biblical interpretation is not the symptom of failures to contextualize narrative material. Rather, it is the will to abuse scripture's content which makes it necessary to ignore situational bearings. The willful ignorance of tribal commitments, the social need to support authoritarian pronouncements, all of this has been brought forth so intensively, so painfully, so embarrassingly, so distressingly, and to such a pathetic and regrettable crescendo. Aside from any illusions I ever held about the goodwill of conservative religious leaders, I have quite nearly lost all ability to suspend judgment, to give the benefit of the doubt. When I shamefully retreat to dismissing someone's intellect, that is because I can find no explanation that seems kinder or more generous.

For a long time, we continue to do what was comfortable once.

Likewise, also, I find myself to be so. Like Samuel Johnson confessing "but these were the dreams of a poet, doomed at last to wake a lexicographer," so I find myself increasingly distant from the grand sense of purpose which once spurred my efforts. The proper fix will not help things which are broken on purpose. Putting the horse back in front of the cart doesn't get anyone on board.

Still, there is always purpose in speaking the truth. Wycliffe stacked tinder and Huss built a bonfire. I feel far from the fire, at the moment, but I will keep felling trees for as long as I'm able.

Time passes. We do what we can.


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"If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been owing more to patient observation than to any other reason."

-- Isaac Newton