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When I was in college in the stone age early 80's the chaplain of my fraternity tried to reach out to me, a secular humanist at the time, by scratching my intellectual itches. I had asked him how "born-again christians" justified their pro-war,xenophobic, homophobic,mysoginistic points of view "in the name of God" (remember, I was not convinced that God existed at that time). He said that some of their ignorance was not even their own fault. He told me that in ancient languages like Hebrew, often verbs or adjectives could be interchanged for a more or less formal usage in context. He told me that the proverb "Respect of the Lord is wise" does not ring the same to an ignorant American as much as the more visceral "Fear of the Lord is wise", but in the original language, the terms respect and fear were pretty much equal. This didn't sink in totally until I saw the movie version of John Grisham's "A Time To Kill" when one of the local ne'er-do-wells began talking about the need for some "good, God-fearing klan" to solve a racially charged murder trial. Is this possible? Could this subtle variance of a descriptive word really have led to so much hatred and heartache over the centuries? I'd really like to learn more about this. BTW, today I am a very liberal Catholic(not many of them left)trying to instill intellectual curiosity into my beautiful 7 yr old son every time he hears a new phrase. Any comment, direction to a learning resource or just good old open discussion would be quite welcome.
Toggle Commented Feb 5, 2010 on Christian Carnival CCV at Ancient Hebrew Poetry
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Feb 4, 2010