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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sarah Palin and the Christian Creationists Have My Deepest Respect


I am amazed at the pundits who said this move was "stupid" (see Financial Times) or Maureen Dowd's ugly hateful satire which has Mac dying on a pretzel day one of his presidency.

As you point out Mac is not immortal (who is?) but I think odds are his presidency will be longer than JFK's or William Henry Harrison's.

Sarah has smarts and is a proven campaigner and a proven vote getter. More importantly SHE HAS REAL CORE BELIEFS. As a teacher I know the federal government DOES NOT SET SCHOOL curriculum any more than Arnold sets the abortion law in California. I am not a "creationist" in the sense I think -but do not know- Mrs. Palin is. I am a Catholc. I have always loved fossils -have read Darwin and have believed in evolution.

But John Paul II also believed in evolution and so did Catholic priest Teilhard de Chardin author of the PHENOMENON of MAN. But I respect the ESSENCE of the creationst view that GOD IS AN ACTOR IN OUR LIVES AND IN THE CREATION OF HUMAN LIFE ON EARTH. If evolution be true it is because God's hand made it so. He is the Great Architect the Great Designer. But in this there is much mystery. We are just at the beginning of our knowledge. We are small mortal bounded beings; God's cosmos is great. We are limited to space and time; dust we are and to dust we will return.

The universe is endless and infinite. We can know a little and we can ask more but there are so many things we will never know nor fully underdstand. The stars are shinning cheerily above and obey laws we did not make, we cannot conrol and let's be honest here we only dimly understand. Thinking is vital to human life but it never can encompass all. "Myself when young did eagerly frequent, doctor and saint and heard great argument but EVERMORE BUT EVERMORE, I can in by the same door wherein I went...I came like water and like wind I go...."

God made humans rational and free with God-given powers to search and to choose and to behave in accordance to the principles of Right and Wrong (the Natural Law). As we search for knowledge we must have awe for the mystery of our existence of the cosmos abobe and about us and of day and of night and of bandit time and of the great MYSTERY OF CREATION. And of death and what comes after as well.

God demands a proper reverence for divine transcendence and an abundant hope for divine nearness.

But the Old Book tells ust there are many diverse dreams. Truly there are many roads to Rome. Darwin may have been right about many things -and so were the writers of the Genesis who -if you pay attention- outlined correctly (did they use the fossil record?) the origins of life in the sea and then to land and then to the air.

But Social Darwinism -"root, hog or die" has had bitter and evil fruit. Darwin did not create this path himself but he did clear the way for these many horrors. And getting back to the original point, intelligent design may be closer to the truth than Darwinism and so people like Sarah Palin for sticking to their guns about the ESSENTIAL TRUTH OF GOD'S CREATION OF THE EARTH, OF THE GAlAXY of the UNIVERSE may be proved to be right in the end about THIS PART OF THEIR ARGUMENT. Not that dinosaurs co-existed with man (it appears they did not) not that genetically apes are close to mankind, not that natural selection or something like it seems to have happened for reasons we cannot yet fully explain.

But perhaps Christians are right, philosophically about a great many things. The Bible teachers us to struggle for what is right while proclaiming ONLY GOD CAN ACCOMPLISH IT. "Except for the Lord...the watchman waketh in vain..." (Ps 127).

God is one. God is the King. God is the Good Shephed. God is the Father. God is the creator and it is He who has given us life and endowed us with unalienable rights, "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." As John F. Kennedy put it: "The rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God."

This is the theist point of view and this is the natural rights point of view. Men are not Gods and we are one nation, under God. I believe this, Sarah Palin believes this and 80-90% of Americans believe it too. That is what really matters; not arguments about dinosaur bones and homo habilis. I personally do not believe in the classical fundamentalist view of creationism. But as a Christian I deeply respect those who do and sense that they have something there something that is very true in its essence. Far be if for me to dismiss it or them.

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