Irreconcilable Differences

Okay, I finally jumped. I took pity on the poor anguished people at Cliopatria, one in particular, who urged me to leave four or five times yesterday. No actually that’s not true – the taking pity bit. The urging five times is true! Ding, ding, ding, in came the emails, one after another, rebuking me for my sins and asking ‘Are you going to go?’ Terrific fun, because yesterday was also the day we were doing the last final positively last edits on the Dictionary, and I wasn’t really in urgent need of extra interruptions. But that’s okay, that’s no one’s fault. At any rate – of course as soon as people started pushing me toward the door I came over all stubborn and wouldn’t go. Isn’t that awful. What a sadist. But I didn’t feel like it yesterday. I felt like making him fire me if he wanted to get me out, rather than making it easy for him. Cruel, I know. But then…after all those endless repetitions of ‘You can say anything you want to’ followed by the instantaneous yells of rage as soon as I did say something – well I just didn’t feel like going quietly. Nope. I wanted to do a Diana and be difficult and stubborn. So I did.

And I might have gone on awhile being difficult and stubborn, too – though probably not. The fact is, I don’t want my name on a religious site. It’s that simple. But I wasn’t sure how overt it was going to be, so I was waiting to see. The answer came promptly – and it was certainly the perfect way to get rid of me! Yet another evangelical post – this one about Christian history. Urrrggghh. So I’m gone. Not out of pity at all, out of sheer revulsion.

The post quotes from an article by a ‘Christian historian’:

While ordinary history might look quite secular, Noll sees it as fundamentally Christian in its presuppositions and worldview. He compared it to science. Christian scientists do their work with confidence because they believe that the world will make sense, and that God has made it possible for the human mind to understand the world. So with the historian. “If I want to study the history of the American Revolution, I’m presupposing that something real took place, that the evidence left corresponds in some way to what really took place, that I’m intelligent enough to understand that evidence, that I’m able to put together a plausible explanation of cause and effect that might get us close to the truth,” Noll said. “All those enterprises I see as implicitly dependent on a Christian view of God.”

Eh? Presupposing that something real took place is implicitly dependent on a Christian view of God? Really? Who knew! There’s no other possible set of ideas that those presuppostitions can rest on then? Er – why?

Oh never mind, who cares. But we can see the problem. And we can also see why I felt inhibited about confronting it head-on at Cliopatria itself. Because I didn’t want to be rude, that’s why. But I must say, I didn’t think I had to censor myself here as well. I mean, be fair, as Monty Python used to say. On someone else’s territory, okay, I’ll shut up, I’ll be polite – but on ours? On territory that was set up precisely in order to expose and resist woolly thinking? It’s asking a bit much to expect me to shut up here too! But that was precisely the grievance: that instead of talking about it there (which of course I was perfectly free to do, oh yes, I could say anything I wanted to) I talked about it here. Ah. And things would have gone swimmingly if I had discussed my thoughts on the Holy Spirit and God’s will and the inerrancy of the Bible over there? I don’t think so! But we’ll never know, because I didn’t, and it also doesn’t make any difference, because there’s no way I would stay on a group blog that’s staging a Third Great Awakening. So I’m off. I prefer secular rationalist sites, thanks.

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