God or god?

“Apologetics in the Void” are repostings from an on-going electronic discussion and debate I had some time ago with members of our local community. The list serve is called Vision 20/20, and hence the name “visionaries.”

Dear visionaries,

Allow me to begin by reiterating what I said at my first entrance — don’t want to wear out my welcome. I am happy to do my very own personal imitation of declining enrollment. All I need is for someone authoritative to say the word. “Scram, Wilson,” or something like that.

I concur with Dave’s response to Joanna — the issue is not whether we call it theology, worldview, paradigm, or the box we are all constantly exhorted to think outside of. At the end of the day, every social order is willing to force other people to do things they don’t want to do. The “god” of the system is appealed to whenever there is willingness to coerce. I am certainly willing to require certain things in the name of my God (no stealing bicycles, for instance). You all are willing to do the same in the name of your “god.” We can even find common ground — you also prohibit stealing bikes. But you also insist that I must help pay for the inculcation of a “system/whatever-you-call-it” which contradicts my religion at all the basic points — aesthetics, authority, epistemology, ethics, and so on. Joanna asks, in effect, why we cannot admit that non-theological systems are possible. But we do admit it — if all you mean is recognizing that many systems do not use an upper case G in God or even the word god at all.

What we do not admit is the possibility of a social order without a final court of appeal, with the decisions of such a court imposed. This is plain enough to those of us currently on the receiving end. Why is it not plain to visionaries that I pay lots and lots of dollars annually for the education of your children, while you all contributed nothing to the education of mine?

Robert asked why we cannot reverse the order of my illustration, making one’s private religion the core belief, with government schooling being the condiment. The answer is seen above. The core beliefs of any social order are those which are imposed. The peripheral beliefs are those which are optional. The day you let me opt out of my property taxes for government education is the day I will be willing to call it a “condiment.”

Susan apparently believes that Robert E. Lee wore blue and wrote letters to President Lincoln requesting more troops. She doesn’t like judgmental invalidating control and likes individual rights prevailing everywhere, resulting in freedom of choice. She says, “worship your way while I worship mine.”

Okay. It’s a deal. Do I still have to pay for yours? Or do I still not have a choice?

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