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What the Religious Right Is Really Doing - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
What the Religious Right Is Really Doing
The fact that I had second thoughts about listening to Sufjan Stevens because he sometimes writes spiritually centered music is an indication of how much work the Religious Right has done to sully the name of G-d. Think of all the brilliant minds who have been unapologetically religious, yet pursued their thoughts into the dark corners of mystery: Spinoza, Kant, Kierkegaard and so many others. Yet people like me, who care about ideas, now find themselves having knee-jerk reactions against all spirituality because of the close-minded self-righteousness of Fundamentalists. Wouldn't it be ironic if it turned out that the Religious Right was unwittingly fulfilling Satan's fondest desires?
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_luaineach From: _luaineach Date: August 2nd, 2005 05:25 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Think of all the brilliant minds who have been unapologetically religious,

:) This was my first mental response upon reading your first sentence and I was actually reeling off a list in my head as I approached your second sentence.

who care about ideas, now find themselves having knee-jerk reactions

Hmm, hmmm, hmmm... there's something about this statement that needs to be said but I can't formulate it at the moment. Some dichotomy that's pricking at the back of my brain and failing to prod out concrete statements. I shall ponder while I fold laundry!
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: August 2nd, 2005 09:46 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I wasn't too happy with that "knee jerk" sentence, especially since there are definitely Fundamentalists out there who do care about ideas. Maybe what I wanted to say was that those of us who care about ideas as distinct from ourselves, who want to promote the circulation of ideas even if we don't agree with them, are the ones who are prone to have a knee-kerk reaction to Fundamentalism. Interestingly, that knee-jerk behavior actually does seem to align its practitioners with a philosophical liberalism of the nineteenth-century sort: free circulation over tariffs, restrictions, limits, etc.
_luaineach From: _luaineach Date: August 2nd, 2005 10:29 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

::grining impishly::

Yes, yes, I well understood what you *meant* and the thought behind it. I'm afraid to say that perhaps the prickling is simply more of a ::whispering:: semantics nature. ::/whispering:: Something about care about ideas as distinct from ourselves combined with knee-jerk reaction. Or maybe it's semantics combined with some profundity having to do with something along the lines of the two statements as representative of "Intellect" and "Instinct"...

::waving hand vaguely::

I dunno, I dunno... have yet to ponder it because I've yet to get to the laundry (being altogether too consumed by staring off into space and thinking about recipes. And french fries.)
_luaineach From: _luaineach Date: August 2nd, 2005 11:11 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

From ::grinning:: to ::lauging out loud::

::raising eyebrow::

If you've read enough of my stuff to be able to discern when I think I'm right and when I think others wrong, surely then you must know my thoughts upon reading just that chunk of sentence would be hovering around something like:

::pushing up glasses::

Seems curious that you would tout yourself as one who 'cares about ideas' (and the preference toward 'intellectual' personal response that such a statement seems to imply) and then still allow yourself to suffer a 'knee-jerk reaction' -- by it's very definition 'instinctive' over 'intellectual' -- of dismissal in response to something that is, essentially, only a collection of ideas and.....

::and diane drones on musingly::

However, I have no time to formulate the whole prickling out in such a way because I am busy now cooking bacon, in whose grease I intend to pan fry many potatoes and onions, so that I can be stuffed and ill and grease/potato/salt sated right in time for me to have to conjure up something for the family's dinner. Damn KDD and her pictures of french fries. Damn my impressionable nature when it comes to food.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: August 3rd, 2005 12:09 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: From ::grinning:: to ::lauging out loud::

Mmmmmm. Bacon!

As for the contradiction -- caring for ideas vs. knee-jerk reaction -- I wanted to point out the contradiction, as I'm sure you intuited, but find that doing so is not enough. All of us have moments of knee-jerk response and moments of well-considered response. What matters is the proportion of the former to the latter. And the context in which they manifest themselves. Habits are often helpful. Instinct can and does save our lives. Sometimes thinking too hard about something can sap the will to act. Ask Hamlet. At the same time, though, I still hold to the Enlightenment-era notion that becoming more conscious is a good thing. The first step to limiting one's knee-jerk reactions is to recognize them as such. I can get to that stage. But the next level proves a more daunting goal.
bitterlawngnome From: bitterlawngnome Date: August 2nd, 2005 05:28 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
whaddaya mean, "if" ?
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: August 2nd, 2005 05:30 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Precisely! I've read C.S. Lewis's Screwtape Letters.
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