Thursday, April 26, 2007

passing time

Hi peoples. It's a pretty nice day here in Portland. The sun is intermittent, but the temp is good, the birds are singing and the air smells of fresh cut grass. I took a little walk to the park awhile ago and sat in the sun (while it lasted) and read a book. Ah, this life of liesure! How I will miss it when it's gone!

Yesterday I read a book called Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris. It was a small book, 90 pages (big print on small paper) and I read it in one sitting. It was a slim little denunciation of organized religion, probably less obnoxious (or so I've heard) than Richard Dawkins's God Delusion, but still, he didn't pull any punches.

I thought it was interesting but utterly pointless. To say that he's preaching to the choir is ironically appropriate. No Christians will intentionally read this book, least of all the really hard-core Christians for whom this "letter" is intended. And even if they do, his declarations of the Bible's inconsistencies and illogic probably won't give them one moment's pause. I don't know about you, but I was brought up to take it all on faith and view all doubts as seeds of evil, planted by the devil. Harris and Dawkins have an uphill battle if they think their books of reason will diminish the ranks of Christians.

Regardless of the futility, after a lifetime of being beaten over the head with a religion I can no longer stomach, I found the book slightly satisfying. Like watching the runt finally mouth off to the bully. The bully may be undeterred, but all the runts everywhere feel a little relief.


Anonymous Shelley said...

This is exactly how I end up feeling when I read the Nation -- preaching to the choir. If my brother weren't about to be featured in an article, I wouldn't have renewed!

3:31 PM  
Blogger reasonably prudent poet said...

i hear you, i felt that way about the nation and the progressive too, which i used to read religiously. now i stick with the new yorker, which at least doesn't veil it's pretentions behind self-righteous politics.

5:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

> Harris and Dawkins have an uphill
> battle if they think their books of > reason will diminish the ranks of
> Christians.

Fortunately, the ranks of Christians have been diminishing for about 400 years now, and especially in the 20th century. What has been happening in Europe is now starting to happen in America. People are starting to see Christianity for the farce that it is.

11:44 AM  

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