A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote

Monday, June 13, 2005

A Sign of the Covenant

A most gorgeous rainbow early last evening. The colors were as vivid as any I can remember, and there was that rare second, though much fainter, rainbow above it. Very, very cool. It arced all the way across the sky, too, with a full bottom on both ends. Hung around for a good twenty minutes. Quite remarkable, and towards the end of the show the setting sun added this rosy sort of glow to the entire spectrum that was really quite remarkable.

The point? Mostly just that no matter how long you live on this amazing little planet of ours, there are always new wonders to discover. Or old ones to discover in a new way. I have seen my share of rainbows, but never one quite like the one last night, with that vivid rosy glow about it that made you wonder if maybe, just maybe, you could find that little pot of gold at the end.

I should think that it would make even an atheist or an agnostic wonder if maybe there wasn't some sort of divine presence around to come up with some of the natural wonders of our world.
Did you have to get preachy at the end of a (moderately) nice appreciation of a rainbow?
As an antithesis, you would think watching genecide in the name of their saviour would make Christians wonder if they aren't heading down the wrong path.
Uh, what genocide would that be?
Troy, I never got preachy. I never implied that anybody should espouse a particular believe. There is no preaching there, my friend.

It's just that looking at things like that rainbow, I find it hard to think that it's all just random. And I wonder how athiests or agnostics look at such wonders and don't think that maybe there is a divine presence behind it all.

There's no approbation of a particular religion in there, nor is there any condemnation for those who don't believe in the divine. Just puzzlement.

And I would have thought the title of the post would have given you some idea that something connected to religion or God was heading down the pipeline.

Anyway, I will conclude by saying, "Thanks for reading, and lighten up a bit." Seriously on both counts.
Rainbows are simple physics. No divine intervention required ;-)

different colors = different wavelengths of light... Nick don't go off the deep end on us.. and btw by equating simple physics to a "divine presence" you are in essense arguing FOR the agnostics.... you weepy little girl:)

Troy.. great argument against religion not God,

John.. "what genocide" Really???? what genoside???? as your namesake would say You can not be serious!!!!!!!!
Okay, maybe I got a little weepy. I don't think I got preachy. As Einstein said, God does not play dice with the Universe. Yes, I understand WHY rainbows happen, light defraction, the unusual combination of excess moisture from rain with sunlight to defract through those little prisms, blah, blah, blah.

But seriously people, why should it be that cool? Why should light defract at all? Why should water be the one compound that gets lighter and expands when it freezes, thus allowing the tops of lakes and rivers to freeze over without having the ice sink to the bottom? If it didn't do that, life would not be possible, the ice would sink, the top layer would freeze, sink, repeat until there is no unfrozen water left and no life is ever born in the warm depths of the oceans.

My point was simply that things like rainbows make me, at least, step back from my rationalist, scientific perspectives and just think, 'Wow, that's pretty cool.' And then wonder if that much coolness could happen just by accident.

But it is was it is. I'm not saying you have to appreciate rainbows as possible signs of the divine. Merely that remarkable things like that make me wonder, and I also wonder why they don't make some others wonder.

Troy/Rod-- John's confusion over the genocide thing is likely do to the fact that Troy badly mixes up Old and New Testament stuff. I know it took me a few minutes to figure out what Troy was talking about. God's purging of life other than Noah's little group was not in "the name of their savior," ie., Christ. Christ came along a bit later, and was in large part another attempt by God to redeem us-- since killing nearly everyone didn't seem to make a lasting impression. If you're going to try and make a telling/snarky point, you might want to get the theology right. Just a thought.

So... great interest in religious topics, even tangential ones, eh? Have to keep that in mind....
Yes, it is a perfectly fair question: what genocide?

There’s not a country today, a political border today, a race today, or a people today that didn’t get where they are, and have what they have, without genocide. Do you understand this?

This history of man, where we are right this moment, over the whole frikking globe, is shaped by the genocide of someone who got pushed out and away so others could have their land.

So, with that historical sweep of things, what the hell are you talking about when you mention genocide in the context of Christianity?

And, for a handy little reminder, the only ongoing practitioners of genocide right now are Islamic extremists. And guess what? You’re the one they have in mind for their program!
And, to cool off a little, when viewing a rainbow, I’m sometimes reminded of an old Ziggy cartoon. Standing on a hill, Ziggy looks into a sunset and cheers: “Yeah God!”

So, IF you believe in a creator, then when you see a rainbow you probably have a small moment of wonder and awe. I know I do.
I get that moment of awe and wonder when I see Eva Longoria in Maxim. "What to go, God!"
Rainbows make me think I should be a Scientologist.
I don't think Troy was being snarky at all and he didn't mention the bible either.. merely tried to point out that a rainbow pales in comparison to the human atrocities in the world..many if not most of which are in the name of religion... how about those wonderful crusades all in the name of God, even the Nazi's... check out theturning.org
(The Nazis were Christians too.

An interview with Richard Steigman-Gall,
author of The Holy Reich: Nazi Conceptions of Christianity,

The current situation has some surprising parallels with Nazi Germany. Richard Steigman-Gall of Kent State University has recently released a book which examines the influence of Christian beliefs on Nazi Germany. In the past historians have argued that Nazis publicly posed as Christians to score political points, but privately deplored the religion. However, Steigman-Gall has reached a very different conclusion by looking at the diaries, private writings and communications of the most influential Nazis, including Hitler. Far from deploring Christianity, many important Nazis felt that their racist policies were inspired by Protestant Christianity. )

No christian generated ethnic cleansing in the world today?

except in Uganda and Kosovo... other than that well....

Anyway I think the point/s being... you can't just look at the beauty in the world as devine evidence unless you look at the ugly as well... and the muslims do not have a patent on religous murderous hatred...
Christians do not, and have not, committed most atrocities in the world. Those who claim to follow Christ’s teachings often do not, and atrocities committed “in the name of religion” contradict Christianity rather than embrace it. The opposite is true of militant atheism, specifically communism, whose victims in the 20th century are numerous and cannot even be counted. Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot killed far more and committed many more despicable acts than the worst Christian ever imagined. Furthermore, they were acting according to their party ideology, not against it.
rainbows eh?

Rainbows are actually second place when it comes to the telological argument (ie, if you find a intricate watch, you posit an intelligent and skilled watchmaker. or that is how i understand it- i stand to be corrected.)

First place- autumn colours. Yes, i have a BSc in Biology. I understand that when the chlorophyll 'dies' in the fall, other pigments (xanthophylls? help me out here, been 23 years since graduation) take over. And these have all the pretty reds, oranges, golds, etc, that make my part of the world (and in your country, New England, among others) a tourist attraction in the fall, just to see the beautiful colours.

The fact is- there isnt really a purpose to those colours- they just *are* Beautiful

that is what makes me believe there is really a SOMEONE up there that not only cares- but has a sense of esthetics (not to mention a sense of humour- otherwise- why make homo sapiens your fave? i would go with the dolphins, personally, 'so long, and thanks for all the fish' etc.

Getting from there to the branch of christianity i was raised in is, admittedly, a bit of a stretch
(but then again, my precious daughter is about to marry that mythical animal my mother told me about - the 'nice catholic boy' - so who am i to question?

AngelA (who hopes she is, at least occasionally, on the side of the angels.)
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