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  • Gatherings

    Way back in the mid 70’s I invited experts in their field for discussions at my home. Most were college professors or graduate students at the time. There were three separate groups discussing issues of politics, religion, and astronomy and cosmology and related physics. Some people were in all three groups. Groups usually included about twelve people.

    At first, gatherings were a couple of times a year but eventually became about every quarter. By 1980 the astronomy and cosmology and related physics gathering lost its steam and dwindled just because there were not enough experts and too many novices.
    The gathering of politics and religion has continued at least yearly and usually several times each year. Everyone older than I am has either died or become too feeble to come. Last year one of the gatherings was at the home of a professor who is too feeble to travel.
    This meeting included several who now live in other places.

    Those who were invited to the early meetings invited their associates or students and in this manner the groups have been repopulated. Eventually, the two remaining groups evolved into one group and included a Presbyterian minister, a missionary, and an ethics philosophy professor. The minister has since died. I guess everyone is now over sixty-five and several are better than eighty.

    What every one has in common is a graduate seminary education. This is an enormous benefit for discussions because everyone has been exposed to a very similar knowledge of Christianity and what is known from seminary studies need not be recounted. Everybody knows the pros and cons of all the historical issues. Therefore, nearly the entire discussions are about what is going on currently or about insights. Everyone who comes continues to study and has some issue to introduce. It is amazing how the same issues are being looked at by different ones.

    From the last gathering the following was notable about politics.
    This is one of the examples providing as evidence about the very intelligent.
    The very intelligent made terrible decisions as foreign policy leaders.
    (1) The communist containment policy as short sighted was therefore provincial and had the presupposition that communism could be a viable long term form of government.
    (2) The assured mutual destruction policy proceeded out of control for decades after the point was reached of assured mutual destruction.
    It is interesting to hear men like McNamara, Kissinger, and Brzezinski discuss these issues.

    This is one of the examples providing evidence that issues decided by the public opinion are as short sighted as that of the very intelligent.
    Prohibition was a populist movement. It gained support from the grass roots and was thought to be the answer to most of the social evils of the time. While it solved some problems with extreme consumption of alcohol it created organized crime.

    There were other examples but these two are familiar to most. Afterwards someone added, "“Corporate stupidity (meaning public perspectives or ideas) is no worse or better a guide than individual intelligence.”" This produced a flurry of examples provided by name only. Of course, university presidents and board of governors were listed. The gathering has very little respect for individual intelligence or public opinion.

    Another asked if the same could be said about American Christianity? This produced much laughter and shaking of heads and a few who said “yes.” No one wanted to pick up the thread by providing examples. Another said, “"We don’t have all night”," and the missionary said, “"We must to pray for her.”" He prayed a prayer for the Church and that the Holy Spirit will be the Guide.

    A very long silence followed. Then followed a spontaneous agreement from one after the other by voicing a humble “Amen.” It was unusually in that the “'amens”' did not come in unison or close together, but voiced one at a time with many seconds between each in turn. After the last to say “amen” the silence remained.

    Finally someone said," “It is not a funeral, but a wedding feast."” Joy returned to the fellowship with several yelling, "Yeah!"
    Last edited by glen smith; December 30, 2017, 02:07 AM.