Wednesday, February 23, 2005

What a burden....

This past Monday night, I attended debate of sorts on campus over the topic "Does Christian Morality Pose Threat to Society?" The speakers were Dr. Kenneth Funk, a professor in industrial and manufacturing engineering here at OSU and J.P. Morray, an author and lawyer that lives in Corvallis.

Morray is a self-proclaimed unabashed atheist. Obviously his presentation supported the question that was the topic. He is also, I discovered , a marxist, an admirer of the Soviet system, as well a supporter of all the communist revolutionaries that the Soviets supported (the Sandinistas, for example). In addition, he worked for Fidel Castro at one time. The guy is in his mid to late 80s I'm guessing.

The debate was OK. The question alone puts the Christian side on the defensive and given the location (a college campus), and the audience, the onus was clearly on Dr. Funk to defend Christianity for its many alleged abuses. The debate wasn't really the most interesting thing; the advocation of marxism is just tired and I don't think anyone in the audience took it seriously. Morray even went so far as to claim that the world would get better if left to marxist ideals because man himself has an innate goodness and potential to solve all the worlds problems. Please.

No, the most interesting thing to me was a group of 7-10 people who sat near the front. Many of them were family and/or supporters of Dr. Morray, including his wife. I was found myself watching these people during the debate because of their very apparent visible contempt for Christianity, Christians, the political right, and the Republican party (they didn't differeniate between any of these). Repeatedly, while Dr. Funk spoke and answered questions, members of this group would vigorously shake their heads, role their eyes, sigh in exasperation, verbally mock and interrupt. Some of this was suttle, some was not. What occured to me aside from their lack of manners, was the absolute loathing these people carry around. When Dr. Funk mentioned President Bush as a possible example of Christian hypocrisy (along with Bill Clintion), you would have thought Osama Bin Laden or Adolf Hitler walked in the room fresh after killing children.

Now, I know a lot of people dislike Christianity. OK fine. But the people I watched support a system that has done nothing except abuse humanity. However, it also occured to me that these people, who were all over the age of 40, are a remnant of people who are on their way out. Most demongraphics I have seen show that today's generations are far more spiritual and open-minded about the possibility of God.

What burden to carry around such hatred. Is this because their belief system precludes the possibility of a better world? My feeling is that anything that places faith in human beings is bound to fail. I think they realize that deep down. I would be grumpy too if thought this world was as good as it gets.

6 comments:

ted said...

Man has an innate goodness and potential for solving the world's problems? Who the heck caused the problems in the first place? Badgers? Good grief. Look, if Marxism hasn't taken over the world by now, when the heck is it going to happen? They sound like these people who want you to drive a car that runs on diesel refined from french fry grease. The product has been around long enough now that if it worked and filled a need, everyone would be using it.

Tim Lewis said...

The funny thing is that if there were a group of 10 Christians in the audience doing this same thing, it would only reinforce the opposition's arguments. Truly pathetic. I would have asked for some common courtesy and kindly told those people to shut their pie holes.

everyday.wonder said...

Perhaps I am wearing glasses of the rose-colored variety, but I cannot imagine a public forum today where a Christian was debating a non-Christian and there were a bunch of Christians in the audience seething with hatred over the comments of the "pagan" side of the fence. Shock, disagreement, perhaps, but hatred and contempt? I can't imagine it.

And Jake is also right in his pity for the crowd displayed in all their finery tonight. It is a dying breed, parading the last vestiges of its tired ideology before a permanent death along with the rest of 19th century humanism. Humanism itself can postmodernize and keep itself up with the times. But "innate goodness of humanity?" Ain't nobody gonna buy that no more, theist or no, conservative or no, rationalist or no.

Dwayne said...

Jake, can you let me know when these debates are scheduled?

ted said...

Actually, the real burden is coming here thinking that there will be a new post.

tabitha jane said...

today i read an interesting interview from a christian author about christians and politics, i thought you might be interested in reading what he had to say
check it out!