Category Archives: Questions

Evolution and Christians of The Alphabetical Order.

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Yet another Sunday had come to its close. A certain combination of migraine medication side effect, rice pudding, the Autumnal Equinox, and the impending national election had proved a potent cocktail; I lay in bed, fighting a rare inability to fall asleep.

Sundays in my life had gone through a tangible evolution. What had been a consistent pattern of weekly church worship, from infancy through early adulthood, had been displaced by alternating themes: night shift sleep schedules; nocturnality; intellectual curiosity; and, ultimately, abdication (translation: loss of virginity). In my life, the Lord’s Day, like the Sabbath, had become indistinguishable from any other day of the week.

But, I would be intellectually dishonest were I to hide the fact that my belief patterns had also been morphing. The absolute truths put forth by proponents of the Holy Bible literalists had come into serious question and, with this, any commitment to a Christianity specifically defined.

What, after all, was Christianity? I’d read The History of Christianity, by Paul Tillich. I’d read other speculators, William James’ The Varieties of Religious Experience among them. And, I’d read virtually every word of the Holy Bible – King James Version, Scofield Reference, and J.N. Darby translation. Raised by sectarian Fundamentalists to believe that the One Way To Worship was their exclusive domain, and accepting Jesus as my Personal Savior at age six, the moment I’d consciously set one toe outside of that sanctified corral had set me on a path leading directly to the Grand Nowhere.

Now, eyes to the ceiling in the dark, I ruminated. How many called to worship on that day, who called themselves Christians, were there, exactly?

Perhaps it was time to count sheep.

I began with the letter A.

A  — Abyssinian Greeks; Amish; Ames Brethren; Anglicans; Assemblies of God

B  — Baptists; Brethren, Church of;

C — Calvinists; Closed Brethren; Colossians; Converted Jews; Coptics; Corinthians;

D — Davidians; Denominationalists; Doctors of Divinity; Dogmatists;

E — Ecumenicals; Ephesians; Episcopalians; Evangelicals; Evangelical Frees;

F — Federated Free; Franciscans; Fundamentalists;

G — Galations; General Association of Regular Baptists; Gnostics; Gregorians;

H — Holiness Pentecostals; Holy Eastern Orthodox;

I  — Independent Baptists; Inter-Denominationalists; Irish Catholics;

J — Jehovah’s Witnesses; Jesuits; Jesus Freaks;

K — Knights Templar;

L — Laodiceans; Latter Day Saints; Lutherans;

M — Mennonites; Methodists; Mormons, Reformed;

N — Nazarenes; New Apostolics; non-Denominationalists;

O — Open Brethren; Orthodox Greeks;

P — Philippians; Plymouth Brethren; Protestants; Presbyterians; Pentecostals;

Q — Quakers;

R — Roman Catholics; Reformed, so called;

S — Scientist, Church of Christ; Seventh Day Adventists; Smyrnans;

T — Theologians, Academic; Thessalonians;

U — United Brethren; United Church of Christs’; Unitarians;

V — Vatican, The;

W — Wesleyan Methodists; Worldwide Church of God;

X — Xmas Celebrants;

Y — Youth Pastors;

Z — Zionists!

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Indeed. The alphabet proved a useful tool; its twenty six letters had successfully taken me across the spectrum of Christianity, from the Apostle Paul’s inception through to the present day.

Further research, beyond the ironic – though futile – quest for the letter “X”, revealed the Hartford Institute for Religion Research and their list of Official Denominational websites. In Hartford’s list, the number of entries for the letter “A” alone, while inclusive of other religions, exceeded the number of letters in the alphabet.

As I drifted off to sleep, a final thought formulated in my mind. It was neither a proclamation, nor a dogma, nor a tenet. Rather, it appeared as a challenge, in the form of this question:

When fairly addressing the argument for or against the theory of evolution, wouldn’t one only have to consider the history of the Christian church as evidence?

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© Ruth Ann Scanzillo 11/7/16    All rights those of the author, whose name appears above this line. Thank you for your respect. Like my Mammy always said, “Prayer Changes Things.”

littlebarefeetblog.com

“The Math”.

 

Most of us can remember our first Math class in school. Mine, however, doesn’t stand out as worthy of any Save File. I think it’s because, for me, words always held ineffable depth. They were my perpetual fascination – right up there with picture, and flavor, and song.

But, math seemed like more of a force with which to be reckoned, some mysterious matrix within which one could easily be consumed. It seemed, with its persistent symmetry, its finality, to be at enmity with imagination and passion, with life force itself.

Sure enough, I struggled against the thing. I’d try to skim through the process, to make it go away faster; invariably, this tactic led to that common term, the “careless mistake” – the fleet error in computation that would always render my sums and quotients “wrong.”  Getting “wrong answers” unnerved me; effortlessly able to memorize, I and my natural lexicon made no room for them.

As school and, with it, life progressed, I would come to invoke math teachers as my nemesis; they didn’t seem to see into my soul and, if they ever did look in my direction, appeared lacking in any recognition. Rather, an expression of annoyance, restrained tolerance, would pass across their collective countenance; I was the stranger in their room.

In later years, as I developed and was trained to understand the human mind, I came to appreciate math from my own point of view, aspects of its discipline as they integrated themselves into my real time experience. I waited tables, and would add figures both quickly and accurately; my brothers would use formulae to build the beautiful homes with which their construction was entrusted. My mother’s dressmaking even depended upon the role of measurement. Sure enough, its devoted teachers were right about one thing; occasionally, we would use the maddening mathematics in our daily lives.

But, if I have to hear one more political pundit declare that Bernie Sanders can’t become President because “the math” isn’t in his favor, I think I might morph into a Texas Instrument Terminatrix.

Allow me to USE math to present my argument.

Statistics are known to cluster. Predictions are still at the mercy of the random life event, which cannot be measured. The mob effect is not without its power to alter the course of history. The human element must be f.a.c.t.o.r.e.d. IN.

And, the math pundits aren’t doing that. Moreover, when we see the crowd swell of human passion at every single Bernie rally, the collective captivation of human imagination, and ignore its unmeasurable power, we simply aren’t computing. After all, isn’t this how Donald Trump reached presumptive nominee?

It seems, rather, that the political math defenders are more about preserving the present system of gathering desired data, known as the electoral college, than any real concern for authentic democratic representation.

Bernie Sanders has a mathematically sound platform, by the way – possibly the only one any candidate can boast.

Best to lean in, and address that arithmetic, before saying another word.

Bernie Sanders for President 2016.

Thank you.

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© Ruth Ann Scanzillo  5/12/16      Use freely, everywhere, with respectful acknowledgement of the author. Thank you, again.

littlebarefeetblog.com