Saturday, April 07, 2007

We receive a gift subscription to National Geographic,
and a friend of ours passes her Smithsonian magazines
onto to us. Obviously these are both rather liberal
magazines, but The Smithsonian seems slightly less liberal
than the National Geographic. I enjoy reading them both,
but do so through the filter of Scripture.

As I was sitting here on the eve of the most glorious
day in the Christian year, I read the following sentence
in the March 2007 issue of Smithsonian in the article
"Rain Forest Rebel": Catholic and evangelical missionaries
stripped the Indians of their myths and their traditions;
exposure to disease, especially respiratory infections,
killed off thousands.

Now, there is a little psychological trick in usage. The
author makes the work of missionaries and the work of
introduced diseases equal entities. Both are devastating
to the native people. One kills the body; the other kills
the soul.

There is something very subtle here. Its subtlety makes it
even more evil. It becomes another nail in the coffin the
world makes against Christians. It is so small it can
hardly be noticed, and because of that it sinks into the
general conscience without even being noticed. It becomes
the way we think.

Here are people (the missionaries) who realize that life
without an ultimate truth is gossamer. It is delicate;
it is passing; it has no substance; it creates an illusion.
They have good news to offer. There is something that can
be depended on. There is something that will last and stand
the test of time. And that something is equated in the
general view with disease.

Romans 3:13 speaks to people who write such things as this.
Their throat is an open tomb;
With their tongues they have praticed deceit;
The poison of asps is under their lips;

May God raise up many that will go to strip the
myths from the eyes of men and women who are locked
in a world of darkness.


LeftCoastOnlooker said...

Since I don't read NG anymore, I guess I've missed these things.
What really hit me was the manner in which this is stated as a fact.
How utterly poisonous.

Paul said...

I haven't read NG for years, but... liberal? I hope that on the whole, the magazine is still just about geography. (It's true, I do remember seeing naked African ladies from when I was a kid so I suppose that could make it liberal, LOL...)

Seems like everything on earth is viewed religiopolitically these days. It's black or white, Democrat or Republican, good or evil. People refuse to agree even on the best scholarship and bare facts, managing to delay action on global warming until now it's not a question of whether we're shooting ourselves in the foot but how badly and whether we'll be doing worse than that because we still haven't gotten serious...

Personally I don't feel Christians are persecuted. It hasn't been made the state religion yet; I guess some might feel that's persecution. But I think it's a good thing that it hasn't - for Christians too. We'd end up with one Christian denomination fighting for control with the next, the way that sort of factionalism always plays out when it gets involved with politics.

If I were a Muslim living in the US these days - then I'd feel persecuted.

LeftCoastOnlooker said...

A publication that does not force themselves to adhere to the truth, for truth's sake cannot be considered best scholarship.
We teach elementary students to identify the difference between fact & opinion. The mere publication of a sentence in no way morphs that sentence into fact or truth. Granted, the fact that a fact is printed is a fact, but the fact that a fact is printed does not grant to that fact inherent factness. In other words, an opinion is not necessarily a fact because the author thinks it a fact. An opinion is only a fact in that it is an accurate, factual opinion.

To restate Laurie, she finds it to be a subtle trick of the author. She's made an observation.

I'll refrain from the global warming & state government discussion.
Laurie, I'm sorry I felt compelled to debate the facts.

Laurie said...

Thanks LeftCoast. I was going to reply, but I have been focused in other areas.