Listen to experts in their fields
In response to "Evolution shouldn't be taught in school," the ministers I've known over a fairly long life freely admit they know little about science. The scientists I've known freely admit they know little about spirituality.
So here's an idea: Let's let scientists decide what good science is, and let's let ministers help us understand what faith and spirituality are all about.
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Is Andrew Dys channeling Calvin?
One of the joys of living in Rock Hill is reading Andrew Dys. At first blush, Mr. Dys seems to be an irreverent sort patterned after Mark Twain. And Mr. Dys does have Mr.Twain's talent of being able to hold a mirror up to society enabling us to laugh at our all too human foibles.
However, as I have read Mr Dys' columns, I have come to see him as a pretty good theologian who evidences a depth of understanding about the nature of God and humanity.
In fact, my impression is that Mr. Dys is a closet Calvinist.
Calvin was a giant of the Reformation and the Enlightenment. His primary teaching about God was that God is God, and we ain't. More formally, that is known as the doctrine of the Sovereignty of God. God is the author of all knowledge and calls all people and all institutions to accountability. Mr. Dys' columns reflect an understanding of God's sovereignty. His sharpest words are directed toward those who see religion as private; a simple matter of my getting into heaven. Calvin taught that the chief end of humanity was not to rescue ourselves but to glorify God and enjoy God forever.
Another Calvinistic doctrine that can be found in Mr. Dys' world view is the Priesthood of All Believers. Calvin was an attorney, not a preacher. He thought that a word from God can come to us from many directions: the Living Word, Jesus, the Written Word, the Word in creation and the Word from brothers and sisters around us. One has only to glimpse Andrew working a crowd to see that he understands that wisdom comes from everyone, particularly the least among us.
Finally, Calvin taught the "Total Depravity of Humanity." Now, some readers might jump on this one agreeing that Andrew is totally depraved. However, what Calvin meant was that no one can do any good, save by the grace of God. Left to our own designs, we can each do rotten things. Therefore, we need checks and balances. We need folks keeping us honest. In our system of secular governance, that means a Constitution that provides for three branches of government. In our community, that means having folks like Andrew Dys keeping that mirror in front of our faces.
Laughter is the grace of God. Coming full circle, every time we laugh, we understand once more that we ain't God.
Thank you, Andrew.
The Rev. Jim Watkins
Success of surge is a myth
What a relief it has been to concentrate on political candidates instead of the Iraq war! Now that the "surge is working" and the invasion of Iran is no longer discussed, we can get back to shopping, watching Brittney's woes and worrying about a possible recession.
But the success of the surge is a myth. People in Iraq, including our own youth, are still dying. One hundred Americans have been killed since the surge. One thousand have been maimed.
The attacks by the occupiers have been transferred to the air -- 1,206 bombing missions in 2007, more than during all three previous years combined. Last month, a single mission killed 500 people, according to Iraqi officials. But our military officials tell us they warn civilians when they are planning air attacks. Well, one wonders: Are the women, children and old men supposed to see these American military warnings on TV or radio without electricity? Or cell phone broadcasts with no cell towers? And then, where are they supposed to go? How?
The least time predicted by a presidential candidate for withdrawal is 16 months after taking office. Extrapolating from the "successful surge" numbers, this means a minimum of 250 Americans and 100,000 Iraqis will die as a direct result of our continued occupation.
Tiresome to think this horror continues. I don't know what to do. I'm out of ideas. Anyone?
Lights on path need tweaking
I disagree with Mr. Leazer's comment that the South Pointe Trail is 100 percent lit. It is not. And if he has walked it himself, he would know that there are still dark places in the trail. Although there is lighting on the walkway, there is considerably more lighting in the ditches and on the road.
Did anyone actually go down there after dark to assess the light positioning after it was installed? Perhaps repositioning the lights would better focus on the sidewalk itself. Yes, this is an improvement in a much needed area for students and walkers, but the lights need some minor tweaking.