Pray to the Moon when She is round,
Luck with you will then abound,
What you seek for shall be found
On the sea or solid ground.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Scraps: Disgust on a 3x5 Card

I have scraps of writing littering my bed & bedside; lists of things to investigate later, short reflections on a moment, unfinished thoughts, notations from pages upon pages of books. Part of my purpose for this journal was to create some order out of the chaos of my mind, or at the very least, to document some of it in a manner by which I could retrieve a thought, idea, or memory sometime in the future. Among the scraps on my bed, I found a 3x5 card completely filled with nearly illegible scrawl. On one side are a bunch of notes expressing my doubts over the citations in a book which many people find very significant, but I find of questionable academic merit. On the other is an interesting anecdote about a surprise visit by people bearing Bibles:

"Last week some Watchtower folk came a knockin' at our door. Apparently, they opened the conversation by asking what we thought about 'all the talk about evolution.' I was too busy being annoyed to join hubby & son who were so nobly weathering the biblical sh**-storm. After the dust settled, my husband handed me a very flashy, full-color booklet addressing the great fallacy that is called (according to the booklet) evolution. I glanced through its glossy, heavily illustrated pages, noted the deliberate misinterpretation of punctuated equilibrium & set the tract down with a perturbed expression.
Hubby looked at me & said with mock enthusiasm, 'No, wait, but it has pretty pictures in it -- it even has a NEMO fish!'
'Is that what they said to you?' I asked, incredulously.
It even has Nemo in it? Did they think they could pull wool over our eyes with Disney reference? Are we supposed to prefer a popular cartoon character to intelligent thought? Do 'pretty pictures' make it worthwhile reading? I shudder to think these tactics might actually warm someone to their opinions. Further, I must wonder about the type of audience they are trying to reach, the type of people they think we are. It's insulting. No, wait, it's disgusting."

I suppose this is just another slice of the 'dumbing-down' pie. I wonder about the people who just opt-in, seeking to follow, rather than seeking to know & understand. Fish in a bowl are always wowed by the castle -- some people are like that. If a church purchased licensing rights to, or received an endorsement from, some well-liked character from popular culture, would it have a positive effect on their membership? I would hope not, but I am not so sure it wouldn't. Overall, it seems a dangerous arrangement to me. Really, arguing against evolution with shiny pictures is one of the more innocuous applications of this kind of don't-think-too-deeply approach. The same smokescreen, distract-the-school-of-fish (flock of sheep, herd of cattle, etc) methods are used by some churches to champion hate. It is disquieting to know that you can give some people a fragment of doctrine (out of context), make it sparkle & they will swallow it hook, line & sinker. Just like Nemo.

Addendum: The above was written yesterday. This morning I was awakened by my husband's Bible-bearing friends. They wanted to know how he liked the publication they gave him. I bit my tongue, but I desperately wanted to say, "You know, he really liked the pretty pictures." They were sorry to miss him & said they would come back to see him later. I guess it is good that we are moving.

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