Saturday, February 09, 2013

Modern Day Babel

My recent posting about the meaning of the word 'marriage' got me to thinking about the ancient story told in the Jewish Scriptures (Genesis, chapter eleven) about the failure of an ambitious construction project in the region we now call Iraq. The project failed due to confusion caused by language differences among those working on the project. Even if you reject the role of God in the legend it is a real human problem even in our day.

Our culture has a number of intractable public issues that just won't go away. In the pubic discussions of some of these, the symptoms of the ancient Babel legend are apparent. Among these issues are the aforementioned marriage issue, abortion, torture and immigration. At some point the issue related babel may become so wide spread that our whole culture may itself take on the Babel syndrome and experience the  decline that has eroded many cultures in history.

I mentioned  a small example of babel in a posting a few days ago about the men and women praying quietly outside our local abortion center. They were praying for the mothers and fathers coming to have the human life of their fetus terminated.  They were praying for the staff and doctors that facilitate such terminations. And, yes, they were praying for the managers and owners of the center.  Inside a national TV reporter was interviewing the manager of the center. As the camera showed the men and women quietly praying on the sidewalk outside, the manager was describing them as "terrorists".

I don't know how these issues will ultimately be resolved but I am sure solutions would come sooner if we would all agree to use the same language/words and actually try to talk with each other.

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