Bible Discussion: What If Lenin Is Wrong? What If There Is A God?

What If Lenin Is Wrong? What If There Is A God?
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Ohoe
2004-09-11 20:37:01 EST
Marxism and Me

by Marvin Olasky, Ph.D.


Twenty-five years ago, this Christian professor was a leader in the
rebellion


Man without God is a beast, and never more beastly than when he is
most intelligent about his beastliness.
-- Whittaker Chambers

The debate at Big University in 1995 was ostensibly about welfare
reform, but the real subject for the professor of social work and his
coterie of students was capitalist exploitation. "Some of us fight
against exploitation [hooray] and some of us join in [hiss]." The
rhetoric and response did not irritate me because twenty-five years
earlier I had been a student member of the hurrah-and-hiss drill team.
But the professor had more to say: "And the immigrants at the
beginning of this century, whom Olasky claims were helped by the
provision of effective compassion, were even more ruthlessly
exploited."

That was too much for me. Insult me, insult my intellectual and
political teammates who are working to replace welfare, but don't
insult my grandparents by saying they were exploited and too dumb to
notice. They all came from the Russian Empire shortly before World War
I and found the streets of America paved not with gold but with
liberty, which, in the hands of people who wanted to work hard,
amounted to virtually the same thing.

My father's father had the wisdom to desert from the Russian army and
make his way through Europe to New York and then to Boston, where he
became a boilermaker. Louis Olasky worked for a capitalist so
exploitive that he was able to save money, buy a home, go to the
synagogue regularly and otherwise prosper without running afoul of the
government -- an amazing prospect for someone used to the czar's
tender mercies. My mother's father was also terribly exploited. Robert
Green drove a horse and wagon through the streets of Malden,
Massachusetts, picking up used mattresses that he could recondition
and sell at a profit without having to pay bribes to the czar's men.
My grandparents were able to build a better material life for their
children and they for their children.

I was a material beneficiary of all that hard work. The spiritual side
was to be taken care of by Hebrew school, which I attended after
public school for seven years. I learned Jewish customs, ceremonies
and history, and read the Hebrew Scriptures and a little Talmud. But
by the time I was fourteen, the rituals that were at the heart of my
family's practice seemed inadequate. It puzzled me that the
sacrificial system designed to cover over sins could simply end two
thousand years ago without God's setting up something else to take its
place. More fundamental, however, was a desire not to think about sin,
or even limitations. I excelled in school and became used to receiving
praise for "creative thinking ... independent analysis ... questioning
dogmas." There were no moral boundaries, and the intellectual
arrogance that won praise from liberal teachers prepared me to win
scholarships and enter Yale, where I was ripe for further training by
professors and graduate students who relished the radical.

What I remember most about college is that I could do and write the
silliest things and receive plaudits, as long as my lunacy was
leftward. I received honors grades for, among other things, cutting
out pictures of old Red Sox yearbooks and interspersing them with
commentary about baseball racism; describing my own atheism and then
claiming that such belief was at the core of the American tradition;
taking a black cat in a bag to a course in the art museum, letting him
out on the floor and explaining that I had just created a work of art
that showed how the Black Panthers were freeing themselves from the
container in which American society placed members of their race. (The
cat ran away and hid among some expensive canvases, prompting a
frenzied search.)

In 1969 I convinced a college council to make one of the janitors an
honorary Yale fellow. Life ran an affectionate article about the
bemused proletarian and me. In 1970, when students such as I wanted to
travel around protesting the Vietnam War, the college called off the
last month of classes. In 1971, when I participated in a five-day
hunger strike outside the administration building, the college
president offered us his sympathies. Once, when my roommates and I
went to Washington to educate members of Congress about their
deceitfulness, Speaker John McCormick took us into the House chamber
and let each of us spin around in his big chair.

Journalism also fanned my pride. As a twenty-year-old intern on the
Boston Globe, I could go into a suburban Boston community, spend a day
talking to people about a complicated issue, write an article that was
probably filled with gross misunderstandings but was nevertheless
correctly progressive, and the Globe would print it without even
checking to see if I had gotten it right. The day after graduation I
headed west from Boston on a bicycle and pedaled to Oregon, where I
became a reporter on a small-town newspaper. With some physical
toughness now to go along with my intellectual superiority, I would
proceed to educate the residents of Deschutes County on the way things
ought to be. I wrote snotty articles and was surprised when the
bourgeoisie took umbrage. My publisher tried to explain to me that I
was not the center of the world. Being quick to speak and slow to
listen, I grandiosely resigned and pushed further left.

I became a casual Marxist in college and in 1972 spent six months
writing a draft of the great proletarian novel and reading Marx and
Lenin. I joined the Communist Party and thought I had it all figured
out. Communists were the most enlightened heirs of the Enlightenment.
There was no God who could change people from the inside out, and
anyway, ordinary individuals were unimportant. Radical change could
come only outside in, by shifting the socioeconomic environment; the
only way to do so quickly and decisively was through dictatorial
action by a wise collective of leaders who would act for the good of
all. I, of course, would be one of those leaders.

CPUSA activities -- distributing party newspapers, playing chess at
parties with Paul Robeson music in the background -- were uninspiring,
but I joined to ride on the big bear. The Soviet Union was then on a
roll, with America heading out of Vietnam and apparently ready to
retreat around the world. A trip in 1972 across the Pacific on a
Soviet freighter and across my new fatherland on the Trans-Siberian
railroad should have disillusioned me, but Lenin had said it would be
necessary to "crawl on one's belly, like a snake," for the good of the
revolution, and I was ready to slither.

In 1973 I worked at the Boston Globe and then went on to graduate
school at the University of Michigan. Professors there were so
impressed by my theorizing that they wrote recommendations citing my
"brilliance" and "genius." They also increased my fellowship. (Get
Marx. It pays.) Each month I paid my party dues, pasting the dues
stamps bearing Lenin's picture onto a genuine Communist Party card.

We were all full of ourselves and our own wisdom, and we were
vindictive toward anyone who might get in our way. Once I sneered to
comrades that my Russian language instructor, a morose escapee from
Moscow, had said that he would cut his throat if Communists ever came
to power in the United States. A sweet young CP lady replied, "That
old fool won't have to cut his throat. We'll do it for him." And I
wanted to be there; at least holding the coats of those who wielded
long knives.

One day near the end of 1973 I was reading Lenin's famous essay
"Socialism and Religion," in which he write, "We must combat religion
-- this is the ABC of all materialism, and consequently Marxism." But
a small whisper made itself heard somewhere within me and it became a
repeated, resounding question: "What if Lenin is wrong? What if there
is a God?"

My communism was based on atheism, and when I could no longer be an
atheist, I resigned from the party. In 1974, with the goal of
satisfying a Ph.D. language requirement by improving my reading
knowledge of Russian, I plucked from my bookcase a Russian New
Testament that had been given to me as a novelty item two years
before. To my surprise, what had before seemed like superstition now
had the ring of truth. (It helped that I had to read it very slowly
and puzzle over many words.) In 1975, when I was assigned to teach a
course in early American literature, my preparation involved reading
Puritan sermons. Those dead white males also made great sense to me.

During the mid-1970s I went through an intellectual change. When I was
a communist I believed that humanity's problems were external and that
revolution was the solution. But Bible and sermon reading pushed me to
see that the problem was internal and the cure was personal. God
reconfigured my psychology so that the arrogance that had previously
characterized me was largely gone. I remain a sinner and still have
periods of self-centeredness, but ego does not control me as it used
to. I no longer exalt my wisdom above God's. Reading the whole Bible
helped me to confess sin. The New Testament clearly lays out the full
gravity of humankind's problem and the full opportunity for
redemption. When I was baptized and joined a church in 1976, I did not
agonize about leaving Judaism to accept Christ, since I had left
Judaism a long time before. Joining a church seemed like a homecoming.

My political philosophy changed along with my theology. I began to see
family and business as God-given aids in the pursuit of true
happiness. I became a partisan of governmental decentralization, since
the doctrine of original sin suggests that those who gain godlike
power act like the devil. Because people are prone to sin, it is vital
to create a social environment that does not foster depravity.
American history is a story of striving for liberty and virtue. God
can change people, no matter how self-centered, as he changed me.
Transforming people one by one, not passing legislation or writing
checks leads to social transformation. We must serve one another
directly, following Christ's example. As I began to write form a
nascent biblical worldview, my academic reputation began to fall. I
received a Ph.D. in 1976 only through the support of the one
conservative in the Michigan history department, Stephen Tonsor. He
came on to chair my dissertation committee after the previous
chairman, who had written glowingly about my intellect when I was
spouting communist dialectic, decided that I had suddenly become
stupid. Because the academic environment had grown so politically
hostile toward me, I left it to join the Du Pont public affairs
department in 1978.

By 1983, however, I returned to academe because I wanted more freedom
to research and write on my own. During the next six years at the
University of Texas, faced with a publish-or-perish mandate, I dug
deep but narrow holes in the history of journalism and public
relations. Since Christianity was central to my being, I began to
couple implicitly biblical academic writing with writing that made the
principles explicit. For example, I began editing (and writing some
of) a series of sixteen books called the Turning Point Christian
Worldview Series. I also wrote the first of two books on the history
of abortion in America.

Following our marriage in 1976, my wife, Susan, and I had three
children by birth and a fourth by adoption, between 1977 and 1990. We
put our faith into action by volunteering in various ways. I came to
believe that mustard-seed-sized groups could grow and change America
because I have seen efforts that began at my kitchen table affect for
the better a little piece of our country. For example, Susan started a
crisis pregnancy center in Austin shortly after we arrived. Over the
years that center has saved hundreds of lives by helping pregnant
women discover alternatives to abortion. If folk like us can do a few
kind things, through God's grace, then I see no reason why many people
cannot do the same.

My book The Tragedy of American Compassion came out of historical
research that I did at the Library of Congress in 1989 and 1990. The
criticism I often receive about welfare replacement proposals is that
they are overly optimistic about what volunteers can accomplish. But
millions of ordinary people keep this country going by building
enterprises and praying to the Lord of all. These people are the one
we speak to in World, the weekly Christian news magazine that I edit.
These are the people I try to keep in mind as I write because in quiet
ways they do heroic things and, if challenged, can do even more. They
are people like my grandparents who should not be underestimated:
people whose task is to ask not what they can do for their country but
what their country can encourage them to do, without impediment, for
their families, neighbors and others in need.



Marvin Olasky is a professor of journalism at the University of Texas
and the editor of World magazine.


http://www.boundless.org/1999/features/a0000097.html

First Last
2004-09-11 20:47:09 EST
What is there isn't?
--
Alternative computer stuff, primitivism, nihilism, and comedy:
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Edgar A Pearlstein
2004-09-11 20:49:18 EST

ohoe (oohoe@lycos.com) wrote in part:
: Marxism and Me
:
: by Marvin Olasky, Ph.D.
: "What if Lenin is wrong? What if there
: is a God?"

This is essentially what is known as Pascal's Wager.

Pascal's wager is a response to disbelief in the Christian God.
Pascal approaches the question as a gambler would, weighing the risks
against the possible payoff. (Blaise Pascal, 1623-62, was a founder of
probability theory.) So, he says, one should believe, since if the
belief turns out to be correct, much is gained, but if it turns out to
be wrong, nothing is lost. In other words, it's a "play safe" argument.
It's a variation of the insurance salesman's pitch that starts with
"What if....?".

I can think of several problems with this idea:

(1) Sincere belief is not something that can be turned on and off,
although one can pretend to believe something and go through the motions.

(2) The "gambler" is not faced with a simple either-or choice, but a
large number of choices. Pascal tacitly assumed that the only
god in question is the Christian god, with attributes, rewards, and
punishments as described by the Catholic Church. However, there are many
other possible choices for what to believe or not. Which god(s), and
which form of belief: Hebrew, Christian (several variations), Muslim, Hindu,
Zoroastrian, American Indian, Voodoo, ...? All of them have had many
sincere adherents. One can't worship or believe in them all, or even
compromise, since in some cases worshiping one of these gods will
antagonize another one. Remember that the god of the Hebrews is
explicitly jealous and vengeful. Maybe some of the other gods are too.
So you might have more to lose by wagering on the wrong god than by
wagering on none at all! Maybe one should go for whichever god promises
the greatest reward and threatens the worst punishment.

(3) Suppose we agree, say by "creation science" reasoning, that
there is a god and only one god. But maybe the real god is a bit
different from the Old Testament god, in that he (she, it) is really
a nice guy--and isn't vain, jealous, or vengeful. Maybe he hates
having people always trying to kiss his butt, does not approve of the
killing of animals for sacrifice, and prefers people to have enough
self respect that they won't do those things. Maybe the god (or gods)
prefers people to listen to reason rather than have faith in
mythology.
Another possibility is that he wants us to annually throw a
virgin into the crater of a volcano! How does one know?

(4) In the spirit of "just in case" or "what if", we should take
precautions against voodoo curses, avoid bad luck brought on by black
cats, knock on wood, and throw salt over the left shoulder. We should
go to every fortune teller, psychic, and astrologer, for maybe one of
them is legitimate. Always carry a crucifix and a bulb of garlic,
just in case the stories about vampires are true. We should follow
all the 600-odd rules for living as laid down in the Bible books of
Leviticus and Deuteronomy. This paragraph might seem like just a
cheap attempt at reductio ad absurdum, but I maintain it's more, since
all of the above have their sincere believers.

And regardless of whether there are gods, we should obey the
injunction to be good, just in case it's true that we are under the
surveillance of Santa Claus!



ChuckPFb
2004-09-11 21:06:55 EST
"First Last" <e-group@earthlink.net> wrote in message

> What is there isn't?

What isn't there is?



Guardian Pegasus
2004-09-11 22:01:08 EST
On 11 Sep 2004 17:37:01 -0700, oohoe@lycos.com (ohoe) wrote:


>Man without God is a beast, and never more beastly than when he is
>most intelligent about his beastliness.
>-- Whittaker Chambers

Atheists in prison: 0.07% (virtually nill violent crime)
Theists in prison: 99.93%

Who's beastly now?

Echo2Drs
2004-09-11 22:04:19 EST
>Man without God is a beast, and never more beastly than when he is
>most intelligent about his beastliness.
>-- Whittaker Chambers

Correct, this is where "mark of the beast" comes from, man without the First
Cause or First Source...God!

First Last
2004-09-11 22:15:45 EST
ChuckPFb wrote:
> "First Last" <e-group@earthlink.net> wrote in message
>
>
>>What is there isn't?
>
>
> What isn't there is?
>
>
or what IF there isn't a god?

--
Alternative computer stuff, primitivism, nihilism, and comedy:
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ChuckPFb
2004-09-11 23:51:55 EST
"First Last" <e-group@earthlink.net> wrote in message

> or what IF there isn't a god?

God forbid!



Bob Young
2004-09-12 01:37:38 EST


ohoe wrote:

> Marxism and Me
>
> by Marvin Olasky, Ph.D.
>
> Twenty-five years ago, this Christian professor was a leader in the
> rebellion
>
> Man without God is a beast, and never more beastly than when he is
> most intelligent about his beastliness.
> -- Whittaker Chambers

"God and Satan alike are essentially human figures,
the one a projection of ourselves, the other of our enemies."
[Lord Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)]


"I do not pretend to be able to prove that there is no God. I
equally cannot prove that Satan is a fiction. The Christian God may
exist; so may the Gods of Olympus, or of ancient Egypt, or of Babylon.
But no one of these hypotheses is more probable than any other: they lie
outside the region of probable knowledge, and therefore there is no
reason to consider any of them."
[Lord Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)]


"The most ridiculous concept ever perpetrated by Homo Sapiens is that the
Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of the Universes, wants the
saccharine adoration of his creations, that he can be persuaded by their
prayers, and becomes petulant if he does not receive this flattery. Yet
this ridiculous notion, without one real shred of evidence to bolster it,
has gone on to found one of the oldest, largest and least productive
industries in history."
[Robert Heinlein]



>
>
> The debate at Big University in 1995 was ostensibly about welfare
> reform, but the real subject for the professor of social work and his
> coterie of students was capitalist exploitation. "Some of us fight
> against exploitation [hooray] and some of us join in [hiss]." The
> rhetoric and response did not irritate me because twenty-five years
> earlier I had been a student member of the hurrah-and-hiss drill team.
> But the professor had more to say: "And the immigrants at the
> beginning of this century, whom Olasky claims were helped by the
> provision of effective compassion, were even more ruthlessly
> exploited."
>
> That was too much for me. Insult me, insult my intellectual and
> political teammates who are working to replace welfare, but don't
> insult my grandparents by saying they were exploited and too dumb to
> notice. They all came from the Russian Empire shortly before World War
> I and found the streets of America paved not with gold but with
> liberty, which, in the hands of people who wanted to work hard,
> amounted to virtually the same thing.
>
> My father's father had the wisdom to desert from the Russian army and
> make his way through Europe to New York and then to Boston, where he
> became a boilermaker. Louis Olasky worked for a capitalist so
> exploitive that he was able to save money, buy a home, go to the
> synagogue regularly and otherwise prosper without running afoul of the
> government -- an amazing prospect for someone used to the czar's
> tender mercies. My mother's father was also terribly exploited. Robert
> Green drove a horse and wagon through the streets of Malden,
> Massachusetts, picking up used mattresses that he could recondition
> and sell at a profit without having to pay bribes to the czar's men.
> My grandparents were able to build a better material life for their
> children and they for their children.
>
> I was a material beneficiary of all that hard work. The spiritual side
> was to be taken care of by Hebrew school, which I attended after
> public school for seven years. I learned Jewish customs, ceremonies
> and history, and read the Hebrew Scriptures and a little Talmud. But
> by the time I was fourteen, the rituals that were at the heart of my
> family's practice seemed inadequate. It puzzled me that the
> sacrificial system designed to cover over sins could simply end two
> thousand years ago without God's setting up something else to take its
> place. More fundamental, however, was a desire not to think about sin,
> or even limitations. I excelled in school and became used to receiving
> praise for "creative thinking ... independent analysis ... questioning
> dogmas." There were no moral boundaries, and the intellectual
> arrogance that won praise from liberal teachers prepared me to win
> scholarships and enter Yale, where I was ripe for further training by
> professors and graduate students who relished the radical.
>
> What I remember most about college is that I could do and write the
> silliest things and receive plaudits, as long as my lunacy was
> leftward. I received honors grades for, among other things, cutting
> out pictures of old Red Sox yearbooks and interspersing them with
> commentary about baseball racism; describing my own atheism and then
> claiming that such belief was at the core of the American tradition;
> taking a black cat in a bag to a course in the art museum, letting him
> out on the floor and explaining that I had just created a work of art
> that showed how the Black Panthers were freeing themselves from the
> container in which American society placed members of their race. (The
> cat ran away and hid among some expensive canvases, prompting a
> frenzied search.)
>
> In 1969 I convinced a college council to make one of the janitors an
> honorary Yale fellow. Life ran an affectionate article about the
> bemused proletarian and me. In 1970, when students such as I wanted to
> travel around protesting the Vietnam War, the college called off the
> last month of classes. In 1971, when I participated in a five-day
> hunger strike outside the administration building, the college
> president offered us his sympathies. Once, when my roommates and I
> went to Washington to educate members of Congress about their
> deceitfulness, Speaker John McCormick took us into the House chamber
> and let each of us spin around in his big chair.
>
> Journalism also fanned my pride. As a twenty-year-old intern on the
> Boston Globe, I could go into a suburban Boston community, spend a day
> talking to people about a complicated issue, write an article that was
> probably filled with gross misunderstandings but was nevertheless
> correctly progressive, and the Globe would print it without even
> checking to see if I had gotten it right. The day after graduation I
> headed west from Boston on a bicycle and pedaled to Oregon, where I
> became a reporter on a small-town newspaper. With some physical
> toughness now to go along with my intellectual superiority, I would
> proceed to educate the residents of Deschutes County on the way things
> ought to be. I wrote snotty articles and was surprised when the
> bourgeoisie took umbrage. My publisher tried to explain to me that I
> was not the center of the world. Being quick to speak and slow to
> listen, I grandiosely resigned and pushed further left.
>
> I became a casual Marxist in college and in 1972 spent six months
> writing a draft of the great proletarian novel and reading Marx and
> Lenin. I joined the Communist Party and thought I had it all figured
> out. Communists were the most enlightened heirs of the Enlightenment.
> There was no God who could change people from the inside out, and
> anyway, ordinary individuals were unimportant. Radical change could
> come only outside in, by shifting the socioeconomic environment; the
> only way to do so quickly and decisively was through dictatorial
> action by a wise collective of leaders who would act for the good of
> all. I, of course, would be one of those leaders.
>
> CPUSA activities -- distributing party newspapers, playing chess at
> parties with Paul Robeson music in the background -- were uninspiring,
> but I joined to ride on the big bear. The Soviet Union was then on a
> roll, with America heading out of Vietnam and apparently ready to
> retreat around the world. A trip in 1972 across the Pacific on a
> Soviet freighter and across my new fatherland on the Trans-Siberian
> railroad should have disillusioned me, but Lenin had said it would be
> necessary to "crawl on one's belly, like a snake," for the good of the
> revolution, and I was ready to slither.
>
> In 1973 I worked at the Boston Globe and then went on to graduate
> school at the University of Michigan. Professors there were so
> impressed by my theorizing that they wrote recommendations citing my
> "brilliance" and "genius." They also increased my fellowship. (Get
> Marx. It pays.) Each month I paid my party dues, pasting the dues
> stamps bearing Lenin's picture onto a genuine Communist Party card.
>
> We were all full of ourselves and our own wisdom, and we were
> vindictive toward anyone who might get in our way. Once I sneered to
> comrades that my Russian language instructor, a morose escapee from
> Moscow, had said that he would cut his throat if Communists ever came
> to power in the United States. A sweet young CP lady replied, "That
> old fool won't have to cut his throat. We'll do it for him." And I
> wanted to be there; at least holding the coats of those who wielded
> long knives.
>
> One day near the end of 1973 I was reading Lenin's famous essay
> "Socialism and Religion," in which he write, "We must combat religion
> -- this is the ABC of all materialism, and consequently Marxism." But
> a small whisper made itself heard somewhere within me and it became a
> repeated, resounding question: "What if Lenin is wrong? What if there
> is a God?"
>
> My communism was based on atheism, and when I could no longer be an
> atheist, I resigned from the party. In 1974, with the goal of
> satisfying a Ph.D. language requirement by improving my reading
> knowledge of Russian, I plucked from my bookcase a Russian New
> Testament that had been given to me as a novelty item two years
> before. To my surprise, what had before seemed like superstition now
> had the ring of truth. (It helped that I had to read it very slowly
> and puzzle over many words.) In 1975, when I was assigned to teach a
> course in early American literature, my preparation involved reading
> Puritan sermons. Those dead white males also made great sense to me.
>
> During the mid-1970s I went through an intellectual change. When I was
> a communist I believed that humanity's problems were external and that
> revolution was the solution. But Bible and sermon reading pushed me to
> see that the problem was internal and the cure was personal. God
> reconfigured my psychology so that the arrogance that had previously
> characterized me was largely gone. I remain a sinner and still have
> periods of self-centeredness, but ego does not control me as it used
> to. I no longer exalt my wisdom above God's. Reading the whole Bible
> helped me to confess sin. The New Testament clearly lays out the full
> gravity of humankind's problem and the full opportunity for
> redemption. When I was baptized and joined a church in 1976, I did not
> agonize about leaving Judaism to accept Christ, since I had left
> Judaism a long time before. Joining a church seemed like a homecoming.
>
> My political philosophy changed along with my theology. I began to see
> family and business as God-given aids in the pursuit of true
> happiness. I became a partisan of governmental decentralization, since
> the doctrine of original sin suggests that those who gain godlike
> power act like the devil. Because people are prone to sin, it is vital
> to create a social environment that does not foster depravity.
> American history is a story of striving for liberty and virtue. God
> can change people, no matter how self-centered, as he changed me.
> Transforming people one by one, not passing legislation or writing
> checks leads to social transformation. We must serve one another
> directly, following Christ's example. As I began to write form a
> nascent biblical worldview, my academic reputation began to fall. I
> received a Ph.D. in 1976 only through the support of the one
> conservative in the Michigan history department, Stephen Tonsor. He
> came on to chair my dissertation committee after the previous
> chairman, who had written glowingly about my intellect when I was
> spouting communist dialectic, decided that I had suddenly become
> stupid. Because the academic environment had grown so politically
> hostile toward me, I left it to join the Du Pont public affairs
> department in 1978.
>
> By 1983, however, I returned to academe because I wanted more freedom
> to research and write on my own. During the next six years at the
> University of Texas, faced with a publish-or-perish mandate, I dug
> deep but narrow holes in the history of journalism and public
> relations. Since Christianity was central to my being, I began to
> couple implicitly biblical academic writing with writing that made the
> principles explicit. For example, I began editing (and writing some
> of) a series of sixteen books called the Turning Point Christian
> Worldview Series. I also wrote the first of two books on the history
> of abortion in America.
>
> Following our marriage in 1976, my wife, Susan, and I had three
> children by birth and a fourth by adoption, between 1977 and 1990. We
> put our faith into action by volunteering in various ways. I came to
> believe that mustard-seed-sized groups could grow and change America
> because I have seen efforts that began at my kitchen table affect for
> the better a little piece of our country. For example, Susan started a
> crisis pregnancy center in Austin shortly after we arrived. Over the
> years that center has saved hundreds of lives by helping pregnant
> women discover alternatives to abortion. If folk like us can do a few
> kind things, through God's grace, then I see no reason why many people
> cannot do the same.
>
> My book The Tragedy of American Compassion came out of historical
> research that I did at the Library of Congress in 1989 and 1990. The
> criticism I often receive about welfare replacement proposals is that
> they are overly optimistic about what volunteers can accomplish. But
> millions of ordinary people keep this country going by building
> enterprises and praying to the Lord of all. These people are the one
> we speak to in World, the weekly Christian news magazine that I edit.
> These are the people I try to keep in mind as I write because in quiet
> ways they do heroic things and, if challenged, can do even more. They
> are people like my grandparents who should not be underestimated:
> people whose task is to ask not what they can do for their country but
> what their country can encourage them to do, without impediment, for
> their families, neighbors and others in need.
>
> Marvin Olasky is a professor of journalism at the University of Texas
> and the editor of World magazine.
>
> http://www.boundless.org/1999/features/a0000097.html


Raven1
2004-09-12 02:01:22 EST
On 11 Sep 2004 17:37:01 -0700, oohoe@lycos.com (ohoe) wrote:

> But
>by the time I was fourteen, the rituals that were at the heart of my
>family's practice seemed inadequate. It puzzled me that the
>sacrificial system designed to cover over sins could simply end two
>thousand years ago without God's setting up something else to take its
>place.

If you accept this sort of superstitious twaddle to begin with, it's
hardly surprising that you'll keep falling for nonsense throughout
your life.

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