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I just ran across your webpage and thought you might want to know that
there are a few errors in your use of the song "If You're Anxious For to
Shine" in relationship to Christian philosophy and theological arguments. You
may be a "commoner," but that’s no reason to "muck up" your argument through
faulty reasoning. So here’s a little lesson in Gilbert and Sullivan:
- The operetta "Patience," from which the song comes, is written as a
spoof of a late-Victorian English movement represented by such figures as
Oscar Wilde, known as "aestheticism." Aesthetes were into art and literature
and music, and liked to dress in flowing clothes and spout high-sounding
nonsense in order to sound "complicated" and profound.
- Aesthetes were certainly not religious, but their babble tended to sound
a lot like the philosophy represented by such literary figures as Ralph
Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau (neither of whom were even remotely
Christian), who were part of a movement known as "transcendentalism."
Transcendentalists talked in terms of generic spirituality and inspiration,
and loved nature, just like the aesthetes, who acted wispy and spiritual and
liked to drape themselves with flowers. So that’s what G&S mean when they
refer to "idle chatter of a Transcendental kind."
- "The very dull old days" refers to the society led by monarchs like
"good Queen Anne," who espoused family life and the home and hearth, and
weren’t into free love and pointless philosophizing and draping themselves
with flowers, NOT to biblical days.
- Plato was Greek. He lived B.C.E. (before the common era)—i.e., before
the birth of Jesus. Therefore, he was not a Christian.
- The Philistines were a pagan tribe that also existed B.C.E. They were
not Christian. I think you may have mistaken the word for Pharisees, who
were a Jewish sect that existed at the time of Jesus, but the Pharisees
didn’t like Jesus and were instrumental in arranging his execution, so I
don’t think they could be called Christians either. G&S are using the term
as the aesthetes did, to describe anyone who stands in the way of their fun
or isn’t "with it" or is a nay-sayer to someone’s philosophy.
- "Apostle" is a generic Greek term meaning "follower." In context, it is
being used to contrast with "Philistine"—someone who is not a follower.
It may amuse/interest/confuse you to know that Gilbert and Sullivan WERE
Christians. They each wrote several hymns, in fact.
Does the fact that I know this stuff and you obviously didn’t (and didn’t
care to find out) make me an "intellectual geek," and therefore, by your
argument, actually INFERIOR to someone who hasn’t bothered to check his facts
before posting them on a webpage for all to see? Your webpage seems to suggest
that people who don’t know stuff are actually superior to and should instruct
those who do and are thus able to speak using "big words" and "philosophical
gobbledygook," and the inherent lack of logic in that particular statement
should be obvious even to a "commoner." The fact that you use such logic in
approaching a topic as philosophically inconsequential as Gilbert and Sullivan
casts rather a foolish light on any arguments you might make about so weighty
an issue as religion.
But then, I'm an "intellectual geek." What would I know?
Mark Smith responds} Can you believe this? This guy
obviously has never heard of "poetic license" and instead has charged up his
massive IQ to put MY usage of this Gilbert & Sullivan poem under the
Geek-o-Matic electron microscope. Well, if I didn't major in literature,
excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me! Jeesh! Can somebody get this man a sense of
humor? (oh, I forgot- Christian geeks aren't allowed to have humor- it might
prove there is something human under their iron-plated Christian facade.)
These type of Christian Quibbles are nothing more
than the old "well, OUR god parts his hair on the left, YOUR god on the right,
THEREFORE there's no similarity whatsoever" mentality. It's oft times used
when we evil Atheists point out the myriad similarities between Christian and
Pagan mythologies. The Fundies have a hard time seeing in anything other than
WHITE- shades of gray and the word
"similar" seem to confuse them. The whole concept of "similar" is what these
people have a problem with. Unless the item is an exact xerox copy, they
seem to see no relationships. With Fundies it's too often an "all or nothing"
mentality. Which means, unless I can find a poem from Gilbert & Sullivan that
EXACTLY specifies what Rev. Joe Blow at the New South Snake Handling Baptist
Church of Peoria, Illinois is doing, I can't quote Gilbert & Sullivan.
Well guess what? The VAST majority of people in the
world are NOT blinded Fundies, and yes, we DO see similarities between what
Gilbert and Sullivan wrote, and the Christian intellectual geeks of today. And
if that makes you uncomfortable, then good- it's hit home.
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