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Monday, December 9, 2013

The Place of the Bible in Our Culture

For John, BLUFThe MSM is frustrated by the average Joe.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Sunday, at The New York Times, Opinionator Frank Bruni, writes about politicians and religion, under the title "The Bible as Bludgeon".  It starts:
YOU can make a successful run for political office in this country without an especially thick résumé, any exceptional talent for expressing yourself, a noteworthy education or, for that matter, a basic grasp of science.

But you better have religion.  You better be ready to profess your faith in and fealty to God — the Judeo-Christian one, of course.

Well, he has a point about the way religion is part of our political culture.  At one point he says:
Three of four Americans are at least nominally Christian. But that leaves one in four who aren’t.  One in five Americans don’t claim any binding religious preference or affiliation, and their ranks have grown significantly over the last two decades.  Out-and-out atheists remain a sliver of the population, but a restive sliver at that.  On some Sundays in some cities over recent months, they’ve gathered by the hundreds for church-style celebrations without psalms, making the point that good will and community don’t depend on divinity.
On the other hand, politicians tend to go where the votes are.  They go to that end of the pool.  That is how they get elected.  The key to the success of our democracy is if they give the other portion of our population a chance to say their piece, to make voice heard.  You can ignore the other party, but you have to pay attention to the non-believers in your own part.

Here is the point I worry about:

As full of insight and beauty as the Bible is, it’s not a universally and unconditionally embraced document, and it’s certainly not a secular one.
What does he mean that the Bible is not "secular".  Where is he going with that?  Does he not see it as great literature?  More important, does he want to see it go away.  I would hope not.

The Beeb today had an example of why the Bible is an important part of our culture.  It quotes a Dr Paik Haksoon, of Seoul's Sejong Institute, talking about the recently sacked North Korean Leader Chang Song-thaek, uncle to the leader Kim Jung-un, and up until recently an important member of he government.

Chang Song-thaek had finished his role as a bridge between the past and the future," he said. "You can compare him to John the Baptist in the Bible - the man of the Old Testament who played a bridging role for the new era of Jesus Christ.
Let's not lose our heritage.

Regards  —  Cliff

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