Faith, Sense, and Nonsense
April 28, 2002
by Bruce Walker
Devout conservative Christian leaders have been prominent on the prime time news programs of the chattering left, who are desperate to know whether men like Pat Robertson and Gary Bauer actually "believe" in the Biblical necessity of supporting Israel. The barely concealed implication is that American foreign policy may be in the hands of people who believe in the "nonsense" of the Bible, rather than the Realpolitik of liberals.
How astounding that leftists who take seriously Gaea worship, thoroughly discredited dialectical materialism, and various forms of Shamanism assume that the most brilliant achievement of the human race - the triumphant of Judeo-Christian civilizations - must be based on cartoon poppycock.
The peculiar notion that Judeo-Christian faith is hopelessly at odds with science and reason flies directly in the face of history. The great scientists of those centuries leading up to the Industrial Revolution were intensely religious.
Napier, the medieval thinker who not only invented the first true computer but also the logarithm and the decimal point, considered theology his only serious pursuit. Science and mathematics were simple diversions. Galileo recanted under threat of torture everything but his Christian faith. Newton devoted most of his long life to Bible study, and not to physics. Pascal, Copernicus, Kepler and the other inventors of modern scientific thought were serious Christians.
There is no evidence that these great minds wore false masks to trick the superstitious masses (and so to protect themselves from the mythical mobs of mad, rampaging medieval Christians). These men lived in a time when interdenominational violence was sadly very real. People were as likely to face violence for being Protestant or Catholic in the wrong country as from any suspected agnosticism.
Modern science divorced from an intelligent Creator has become theater of the absurd. Dogmatic atheists within the scientific community - which has not moved forward in theory since the counterintuitive and irrational conclusions of relativity and quantum physics - have been forced to dream up increasingly silly materialist explanations for the universe and its order.
Liberal pundits are, of course, the political counterparts of these faithless scientists. What seems to never occur to them, as they probe Pat Robertson or goad Gary Bauer is that very smart and very well informed men might see a perfect convergence of God and of history. If there is a revealed Creator, might not that Creator also weave patterns of perfect order beyond our finite understanding?
Take this premise to some current situations. "So, Mr. Bauer, you think that our policy toward Israel should be to support Israel no matter what ... to always favor Israel over the Arabs?" This presumes that "Israel" has an iron and inflexible totalitarian policy, like Saddam Hussein or Yasser Arafat.
The "policy" of Israel is what millions of educated, contentious, and outspoken Jews (and non-Jewish Israeli citizens) decide in the Knesset. It is axiomatic that the collection of opinions, votes, and arguments of these millions of Israeli mothers and fathers who seek to live in peace will be more inclined to good policies than the prejudices and ambitions of a few plutocrats, monarchs and military officers of the Arab world. Faith and common sense converge perfectly.
Consider the attitude of devout Catholics and the attitude of godless creeps like Larry Flynt toward pedophiles and other sex offenders. Have serious Catholic scholars come out and defended the immoral and outrageous behavior of priests and bishops? No! Christian faith requires that sin be acknowledged; it requires sinners to repent.
Compare that with the position taken by NAMBLA or other perverted groups. These deny that unnatural relations between adults and children are wrong - nothing to repent! Although secular social scientists will try, undoubtedly, to mask the horrific consequences of this type of behavior on all the participants, God has already given us a handy reference that warns of these dangers.
Why do liberals insist on "learning the hard way" truths known and accepted by serious Jews and Christians for centuries? Simple pride. Conservatives are often portrayed as unreconstructed neanderthals, subsisting on some noxious stew of bigotry and ignorance. Theology aside for the moment this simply does not describe what "conservatives" believe.
We believe instead that genius, courage, wisdom, and insight did not enter the universe the moment we were born, but rather that men and women a thousand years ago cared as much (or more) about truth, goodness, and love as we do. We look at our ancestors as at least our equals. Rather than nitpick men like Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln, we marvel that with so much less than any of us have they could do so much more than any of us today.
Only pride, not reason or sensible thinking, makes a modern believe that he would do a better job of converting the brutal pagan empire of Rome to belief in a moral God or bury most of his children before their fifth birthday (and still carry on through life) or unravel the riddles of nature better than those souls who lived long before him.
Conservatives, and especially conservative Christians, look to the history which God has made with reverence and respect. We believe - indeed, we know - that Providence is at work in the affairs of man. We comprehend what the foolish pride of man has so often wished was not true: there is nothing new under the sun. We trust with pure faith that all that is or was or ever will be is timelessly in the mind of God.
So we are not "surprised" that the reborn Israel also happens to be justified in its existence by our political and ethical systems as well as by divine will. We are not dumbfounded that the final answers to Creation - the ultimate nature of subatomic particles, the cosmos beyond our terrestrial event horizon, the paradoxes of time dilation - all put us firmly in our places as creatures of the universe, but lift us up as well to being creatures who can comprehend the mystery and glory of Creation.
Faith, Sense, and Nonsense ... we know that the paths and the ordinances of God will always make sense, even is we cannot always comprehend that sense. What do secular liberals see when they imagine the future? What is the common theme of almost all futuristic science fiction? Horror. Orwellian nightmares. Brave New Worlds. Futures in which firemen burn books, as in Farhenheit 451.
In the future Hell which these liberals imagine we are destined there are some common themes. The written word is crushed under the jackboot (books and writings are grave sins in the secular reality of Big Brother or Farhenheit 451). God, of course, is dead to these futurists. The Word and the Lord are absent, and all the remnants are dreadful.
This prediction requires no modernity. Go back fifteen hundred years and tell a pious priest or rabbi about the wonders of our time. "Men will have landed on the moon. Food will be produced in greater abundance than we can eat. People can hold a conversation from ten thousand miles apart. Hearts, kidneys, livers and other organs can be transplanted ..." At that point, we are politely interrupted; "Do people in your time do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with the Lord?"
What makes sense and what makes nonsense? Faith in an eternal truth proclaimed by God makes a great deal of sense, as men have known for a long time. This "sense" will manifest itself in a thousand ways that we can perceive and an infinite number of ways that we cannot perceive. So let the secular left think Orthodox rabbis silly and devout Christians crazy. We look up and down the ages and see a God of history. They look up and down the brief candle of their lives, and see only nonsense.
Bruce Walker has been a dyed in the wool conservative since, as a sixth grader, he campaigned door to door for Barry Goldwater. Bruce has had almost two hundred published articles have appeared in the Oklahoma Bar Journal, Law & Order, Legal Secretary Today, The Single Parent, Enter Stage Right, Citizen's View, The American Partisan, Port of Call, and several other professional and political periodicals.
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