Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Caesar's turf . . .

 There appears to be social pressure, world-wide, to muddle the boundaries of religion's reach. Two separate events yesterday got me to thinking about this; specifically about the command in the Christian Gospels to “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.”

It seems to me we are finding it increasingly difficult to figure out what which is which. . .

Event #1. . .

Greg Versen, aka Professah Blues, stopped by my office yesterday for an always welcome chat and to let me know that he had a "Letter to the Editor" in that day's Washington Post. Since it was short and to the point and beautifully written, I decided to just cut and paste it into this blog. 
What that cross in the Mojave Desert symbolizes
Tuesday, May 4, 2010; A22 

For Christians to cheer the Supreme Court's decision on the cross situated on public land ["Decision on cross highlights high court's church-state rift," front page, April 29] is to accept the court's denigration of Christianity's most sacred symbol. To accept Justice Anthony M. Kennedy's statement that the cross "is not merely a reaffirmation of Christian beliefs" but a symbol "often used to honor and respect" heroism is to reject its very meaning to all Christians.
The cross symbolizes the ultimate sacrifice of "God's only begotten son," not someone's heroic act. This decision clearly weakens that wall of separation that our forefathers had the wisdom to establish between a secular government and the sacred and non-sacred beliefs and practices of its people. This decision is clearly not a victory for Christendom.
Gregory R. Versen, Harrisonburg
Event #2 was an e-mail from a friend who's a biologist, letting me know that evolutionary geneticist and molecular biologist Francisco J. Ayala had won the Templeton Prize, given annually to honor "a living person who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery, or practical works."

According to an article on the Templeton Prize website, Dr. Ayala "has vigorously opposed the entanglement of science and religion while also calling for mutual respect between the two."
“If they are properly understood,” he [Ayala] said, “they cannot be in contradiction because science and religion concern different matters, and each is essential to human understanding.” Referring to Picasso’s Guernica, he noted that while science can assess the painting’s massive dimensions and pigments, only a spiritual view imparts the horror of the subject matter. Together, he explained, these two separate analyses reveal the totality of the masterpiece.
Dr. Ayala's "entanglement" opposition reminds me of the Texas textbook issue  of a few weeks ago. What are your thoughts about this whole issue of Caesar's turf?

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