The Baby Daddy God

daddyby Glenn Fairman  9/1/14
There is a good reason why Jews and Christians set the world’s teeth on edge, and it is not their conservative fashion sense. The spirit of the world is hostile to the message that humanity is the product of Special Creation. Surely, the awe-inspiring reputation of Yahweh is not to be confused with some disinterested watchmaker god who winds things up and retires to a condo in Boca Raton. Nor is He a “baby daddy” style of god who spits out a brood of Homo sapiens and dumps them off in Detroit, leaving them fending for themselves without a clue while Mama Gaia applies for food stamps. It is held by many that reasonable people can live with that Newtonian god who demands nothing from his orphans, and in turn, can supply them with nothing but mute conjecture and inference from which to construct their ethical universes. Truly, Deism’s God must be quite the busy bee; but even if His calendar is booked solid from now till Doomsday, maybe it’s worth a shot to look up His undergrad T.A.’s: the Four Fundamental Physical Forces, and have them hit up this preoccupied Odin at the fwatchmaker godaculty lounge for his learned insights on the wise parameters of Right and Wrong.  Meanwhile, in the name of all that is quasi-holy, must we break down and shell out that monthly fee for the universe’s upgraded version of Ancestry.com in order to get some answers around here?

Is the notion of a distant and taciturn force, hovering beyond care or concern, ultimately explanatory or satisfying as we reach out to the heavens and get only a busy signal in exchange for our anguish?  Or is deism merely an academic exercise in hunting down our Pop who has split the galaxy: a lukewarm middle term separating the absurdity of the self-vomiting cosmos on one end and that spiritual pilgrimage for meaning lying far beyond the pay grade of human reason and emotion on the other?  Will this quest for a deistic god ultimately lead to a special two-part episode on Maury; and will the rat get off scot-free after beating the DNA test and producing witnesses that swear He was not in the vicinity 15 billion years ago? Will we or will we not hear the ubiquitous: “You are not the Father?” And even if He cops to siring this Earth’s hot mess after hammering down too many Fireballs at Planet Hollywood, could any of His self-serving mea culpas ultimately provide enough meat for our soul’s table, or just the coldest and thinnest of gruels? Tune in.

The postulated existence of an aloof near-sighted Cosmic Programmer, like television’s Sheldon Cooper, is cool and non-threatening in a geeky-techie sort of way. However, once we start talking about humanity owing moral obligations to a loving (and an at times righteously angry) Christian God — a Father who laid lokibabydaddy.the Cross upon His Only Begotten in order to commute our richly deserved death sentences, well, that God’s interest in us carries with it more “creepy baggage” than some are prepared to deal with.  As a perceived consequence of the Trinity’s “audacious” claims of command and control over “Their” handiwork, some folks are alarmed and offended at the prospect of surrendering their deeds to the ranch. Moreover, as a result of this fear, they have taken affirmative steps to personally go out of their ways and diagram just why Christianity and its maudlin fantasy of a suffering messiah is so damned disempowering and dangerous to the care and feeding of the Self-Creating Man’s self-esteem. In truth, the whole shebang of Christianity cramps the fierce independence we have gotten used to as unaccountable free quanta of desire. Having tasted the deliciousness of his self-liberation, Spartacus will not be taken back alive.

Face it ya’ll: the “Baby Daddy God,” the god of the deist, may be a deadbeat of sorts: but he don’t mind if you run the neighborhood cuttin’ capers and tellin’ stories. He hasn’t shown the least interest in love, justice, mercy or giving out rules and discipline so that His bastards can avoid stubbing their toes on the world’s rough edges. Conversely, those cosmic control freaks –“Yahweh and Son” — treat us like little kids — like we were “God’s own children.” And for the crime of this unforgivable condescension, this Jesus has earned the contempt of mopountold millions who have bolted the door shut and just want to be left the hell alone. A personal God has no place in the lives of men and women who aspire to nothing more than returning to their own moth-eaten tents, donning their filthy  bedclothes, and soul kissing their precious autonomy to mutual release. But only after first thrusting a middle finger heavenward and giving that presumptuous Divine Authority a born rebel’s most earnest salutation — from the bottom of his own terminal heart.


Glenn Fairman writes from Highland, Ca.
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38 Responses to The Baby Daddy God

  1. Excellent and passionate analysis — as usual. It is interesting that so many insist on creating the god of their dreams in the privacy and delusion of their own brains and then blame the biblical God for not being that imaginary deity — though now and then there is that awakening, that “Whoa. I was really wrong about God.” Then the angels rejoice.

    • Glenn Fairman says:

      When I bowed my head to The Most High, I did not check my intellect at the cloakroom. In truth, I began the process of seeing existence devoid of the world’s filters and my mind took wing. It was by no means a straight vector, and the process has been ongoing for more years than I care to admit.

      Christianity is not a set of rose colored glasses, but a pair of those x-ray specs that you used to see on the backs of comics — the only difference is that Christ’s work all too well. If you are willing, God will reveal what you and the real world look like when the veneers are stripped off. And to tell you truly, the scene in the Matrix where Neo takes the red pill, and the Matrix melts away, is not too far off track.

      • ronlsb says:

        I think your article was extremely perceptive and well written, Glenn and I commend you for your ability to be both serious and facetious, leaving it up to the reader to discern where each applies. I might add one further suggestion to this controversial mix of why or why I do not have faith to believe the Bible. As the Book itself makes clear, we are born as a result of our first parents transgression spiritually dead. Not sick, comatose, or on life support, but “dead”. The ramifications of this are truly offensive when one is able to rationally view the results. Why so, you might ask? Because a dead person is unable to believe in the God of the Bible and the gospel message of His Son. That takes “faith” and the only source of that faith is God Himself. And now for the truly offensive truth of the gospel. He gives that gift to an untold multitude of His creatures, but He does not give it to all. Then add to that mix that though this is true, all men are still responsible to believe what has been revealed to them about God. That is a line, I am afraid, that far too many refuse to accept, and instead go there merry ways, inventing their own gods or choosing to believe there is none, though in the depths of their souls they truly know better. Keep up the good work, Glenn.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Yes, it does seem rather unfair to insist that it takes faith in Christ to get to Heaven, then deny some people the capacity for such faith. Rather like the Calvinist predestination, though not exactly like it.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          And now for the truly offensive truth of the gospel. He gives that gift to an untold multitude of His creatures, but He does not give it to all.

          Perhaps, Ron. But let’s remember that we’re talking about the Supreme Being. I can barely figure out my taxes (even using the easy form). And have you ever tried to read even a layman’s book on physics? Yikes. It’s horribly complex stuff.

          But when it comes to God, why do we think we know how he works in all his mysterious ways? Do we really know the various types of faith? Can we say it is this thing and not the other?

          Maybe Richard Dawkins, in his own crazy way, also shares in faith, for he at least has made an idol out of DNA. And he’s hardly alone in making idols as Christians and Jews repeatedly do.

          And that’s not to defend some of the more obnoxious things that Dawkins has said. But can we mere humans define the bounds of what is faith? Must it always look like the thing the we ourselves know? Couldn’t it manifest itself in ways not of our own inclination?

          Surely I think it can, and does. And a capricious God who offers this purported avenue to knowing to some, and not others — and then sends some of those un-knowers to Hell through little or no fault of their own — is surely not a God who is any way a Supreme Being.

          The more we try to turn God into a formula or algorithm (saying that He works in this way, and not that), I think the more we wander from the possible truth.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            William Safire wrote a book about the Book of Job which goes into some of these points. Apparently when Job got to wondering why God had treated him so badly, God challenged him by asking where he was when the world was created.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              Well, that’s a pretty disingenuous answer from God. It sounds more like Obama. It’s a reasonable question why some people seem to suffer more than others. It could be just a result of the principle of “excrement happens.”

              And excrement does indeed happen and we can think ourselves into craziness by supposing every fine-grained thing has a specific Divine purpose. I find that sort of thinking oppressive. I would thus not make a good Muslim, other than having an aversion to cutting off people’s heads.

      • Paul B says:

        Seems to me that Man wants to define God in terms of the present: the God of Bill Bright’s Campus Crusade in the 70s (God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life) incorrectly has yielded to some other definition of God in subsequent generations. Wrong thinking.

        God is unchanging. Period. Creating a “god” that justifies our current thinking/ideology is just plain backwards

        “Discernment” is a wonderful and precious gift of God. He has empowered us to seek His will for our lives despite all the challenges and roadblocks in this one. Thus alignment to the Will of God for our lives is accompanied by discernment. That ought to be our goal, not defining a God to fit the times, however convenient.

        (Originally read this piece on AT, but I sensed some lack of discernment there. Yet I was encouraged by those who still seek.)

        And if this world prefers to redefine God to its convenience every generation, it does so at its peril. Not my words, but God’s.

  2. Timothy Lane says:

    Sigh. I wish I could write like that. But I doubt the Watchmaker retired to Boca Raton — it’s too subject to hurricanes. I’m sure he took up his digs wherever the chance of natural disaster is least. And, of course, he can always move.

    One can be a deist without being at all hostile to Judaism and Christianity, though I suspect most deists came from a Christian background. Rather, I think of deists as people who simply lack the capacity for faith in Yahweh and Son. But (unlike the atheists) neither do I have the capacity for faith in their non-existence. And I do think there has to have been something out there initially (and maybe occasionally afterward as well).

  3. Glenn Fairman says:

    The final paragraph was intended for the humanist atheist crowd. I hope I made that clear at least inferentially. As far as deism, I tried to strike a playful balance of tongue in cheek along with what I believe is it’s most serious flaw: the cold dead face of God. Your job is to discern how much of this was hyperbole and how much was drop dead serious.

  4. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    There’s a famous quip in physics that was made regarding the discovery of some unusual and unexpected particle: Who ordered that? The saying is so famous, I can’t remember who said it.

    I suspect that incredible effects are due to even more amazing causes. And given that we share in consciousness (indeed, consciousness seems to be a fundamental property of the universe), it is not illogical to suppose, at the very least, a deist view of the universe.

    This may offend those who think this is not giving God the full credit that he is due. But deism, unlike atheism, is logically and philosophically justified, at the very least.

    Going further takes an act of faith. And it could well be true that we believe in order to see, and not the other way around, as Deana has stated in so many words elsewhere (“An open-minded, long-term study of God’s Word scours the soul of misconceptions . . . It re-aligns our thinking based on our new understandings and all things just clink into place.”)

    But it’s also not illogical for those on the outside looking in at the model of God, incarnate, dying on the cross for all our sins as a case of “Who ordered that?” That is to say, it’s unusual, certainly unexpected, and (perhaps not analogous to the particle physics case) is not immediately (or tangentially, as far as I can see) deducible from known facts.

    As much as I castigate atheists for ignoring what is plainly in front of their faces (and inside their heads — a “spooky” immaterial mind, prima facie countermanding a radical materialist view), I can’t do that to deists who, one supposes, aren’t afraid of an act of faith, per se, but are conservative in their epistemologies. I can’t dress down anyone who doesn’t look before they leap — or, for that matter, whose preference is to continue to look.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Tom Weller’s award-winning Science Made Stupid has a section on modern subatomic physics (including the various categories, such as barons and borons, masons and dixons, hadrians, and teutons) which concludes, “An amusing though less plausible parody of this material can be found in any book on current particle physics.” A friend who majored in physics in college (and even did a year of post-graduate work before deciding he’d been in school too long) found it quite reasonable.

      I will add that Weller also includes a delightful section on evolution, with such treats as showing the evolution of religious leaders from Moses to Savonarola to Dr. Gene Scott, including an explanation of human evolution that he says fits in with both biology and Genesis.

    • I think we forget that almost everything we learn we learn by faith. It isn’t a thinking process that’s relegated to religious information. Those things we learned in school were almost all just a faith process — 2+2=4 is true, but only if we are using a decimal number system, but we didn’t demand proof from our teachers. We know very little empirically. The whole Darwinian edifice is all built on faith — no one was there to see what really happened. However, we do have evidence — documentation, from both eye witnesses and from secular historians, of Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection. Can you imagine willingly going to your death over some PR stunt? Of course not, yet thousands of people did go to their grisly deaths over the issue of Christ being who He said He was.

      Those of us who take that evidence seriously don’t, however, cease to ask for further evidence or to examine ever more closely the understandings of the Bible and of the universe God made. I doubt the human brain is capable of grasping everything God is and has done, but to continue to search is always rewarded — “Seek and ye shall find.”

      • Timothy Lane says:

        You’ve hit on the strongest argument for the divinity of Christ: the willingness of his closest followers (those who would undoubtedly have known if he were a charlatan or the real thing) to die horribly rather than abjure their faith. But I will note that while it seems clear that many were indeed martyred, it’s not entirely clear that they ever saw that as their choice.

        As for believing what you are taught in school, this says nothing. I believed what I was told by my elders; the capacity for skepticism developed (or started to, anyway) in my late high school years. But that’s why I differentiate between believing and Believing. One can at least see in many cases that what you’re taught is true (2 + 2 = 4, for example).

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      If a brief Google search can believed, the quip in question (“Who ordered that?”) was uttered by I. I. Rabi on the discovery of muons during the search for mesons. Nobel laureate Rabi (back when winning a Nobel prize meant something) discovered the physical property that lead to the building of MRI scanners. He also worked on the Manhattan Project (a quite different project than the current lunatic mayor of New York seems to be working on). He also worked on early radar technology. He proposed the idea behind atomic clocks as well. Later in life (in fact, much after death) he provided the idea behind a deistic analogy.

  5. Glenn Fairman says:

    There is a light year of distance between those who continue to question, and those who slam the iron door shut, and bolt it from the inside.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      No, the door-bolters don’t strike me as the particularly inquisitive kind — their conceits of being “Brights” notwithstanding.

  6. Pst4usa says:

    Excellent post as usual Mr. Fairman. Dennis Prager has said in the past, (which I happen to like), that we are all agnostics; no thinking person can be 100% certain of God’s existence or His non-existence, but we can get pretty close. The militant atheist seems to me to be either brain dead, or just so mad at God,(whom they claim does not exist, go figure?), that they hate him. The deist would like to believe, but has a hard time letting go of control; to completely follow Jesus, you must buy into Grace and all that goes with it.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Yes, I find it so strange that atheists react to the Cross the way Dracula does. If it doesn’t mean anything, then why does it upset them so? Do they react that way to any mention of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, or the Tooth Fairy? Or, for that matter , to Mohammed and Allah?

      • Glenn Fairman says:

        The obligations owed to childhood’s minor deities are reciprocal in a “low bar” sort of way. A measure of believe is salutary, but not essential. A Deity who asks for all of your being is quite another cookie. Jesus, expects us to construct a new hierarchy of loves with ourselves at the bottom and tells us that His yoke is light and that a dwelling, a new name, and a ring of Gold awaits. The jihadi’s Allah—which is the true character of Allah, demands total submission of personality — and his reward for being a loyal henchman is the veritable whore house of Heaven.
        Taste and see what lies within you and evaluate whether the God you worship is a god worthy of devotion and whether He has the capacity to transform you into a thing of beauty. If he is not, than that is not God.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Allah sounds more like Shaitan, judging from the fruits of his commands. Naturally most atheist zealots (Christopher Hitchens was a rare exception) make no objection to him or his religion of Submission. That says all you need to know about them.

        • Rosalys says:

          By your fruits ye shall know them! It is as plain as the nose on your face that Allah is Satan.

    • Glenn Fairman says:

      I for one affirm the existence of God to the realm of certitude. Existence without a prime mover is an absurdity and makes no sense. And a God that is aloof and indifferent is as satisfying as a sour glass of milk. A personal God, of love, mercy, and justice amazingly fulfills the qualities that healthy humans respect the most. This is no coincidence. If that template had not been branded in our hearts, how did an idiot universe produce creatures that were orders of magnitude more noble than itself?

      • Pst4usa says:

        Mr. Fairman, I would have to agree with your statement of certitude, that holds true for me. But from the idea Dennis Prager put forth, 99.9999% still does not make it the whole way. I still have questions that I do not understand or have the answers for, but I keep looking. Besides, would it not also be true that belief or faith requires us to go that last little bit, trusting in God and His Word? My son got a bit disturbed with me when I shared this thought with him, because he says that his faith is 100%, but he has had faith much longer than I, so maybe I will get there. (I spent most of my life a deist). I do think that God’s faith is perfect, so mine will be when He wants it to be. Maybe not in this life time, and I am OK with that.

        Mr Lane, are trying to say they are not real, you mean I was lying to my kids? My parents lied to me? Oh, the humanity.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          My son got a bit disturbed with me when I shared this thought with him, because he says that his faith is 100%, but he has had faith much longer than I, so maybe I will get there.

          I think somebody needs to design and invent a Godometer. I would say my faith level is about at 23.767%, give or take. It calibrates differently on different days.

          Your son (and I know him — he’s much bigger than me so I shan’t speak ill of the HUGE) may be one of those rare souls who is 100% sure which, I suppose, is a possibility. It may be highly commendable.

          But I’m with you. It’s not likely anyone is going to get past that 99.9999. And, as you said, it may be better that we don’t.

          And, don’t worry, Pat. Santa Claus is very much real. It’s the tooth fairy I’m not so sure about. Maybe it’s the word, “fairy.” Not sure I want that tooth guy visiting me in the middle of the night.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Hey, I had to go through the same experience. But I still recommend Stan Freberg’s “Christmas Dragnet”, in which Santa Claus has an important (if offstage) presence.

  7. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    The postulated existence of an aloof near-sighted Cosmic Programmer

    Maybe not near-sited, but I can certainly see a gold-plated pocket protector.

    One way I can certainly relate to an Intelligent Designer is by — gasp — his (or her?) actual designs. It’s not enough for me to engage in the kind of Greeting Card God that is the object of so many people’s affections. (God is Love. God is Supreme. God is Almighty. Etc.)

    But God the Programmer who (unless evolution somehow did the work) created the language I’ll dub Godscal (sort of a procedural language like Pascal, only with that omnipotent thing going for it) is amazing.

    To my mind, over-emphasized is the fawning praise of God as the one we all owe a moral duty and must be in a virtual state of being on our knees in praise of. Forgotten is the idea of a Creator God. And a Creator God is going to (presumably) leave a lot of stunning creations lying around for us to look at. After all, there must be a good reason that all this matter and energy exists (which is only apparently 4% of the makeup of the universe, the other 96% presumably being the God is Love component floating around in cosmic greeting-card space).

    This is what I like about physics, even if physicists themselves couldn’t give a scratch about God. Rather than groveling on their knees in praise, they are implicitly honoring the Creator by trying to understand his creation. So rather than casting off as uninteresting or trivial the idea of God as Programmer, we might delve into that awesome program contained in DNA and perhaps work out its particulars. And I don’t mean just in the products it creates (such as proteins and such), but in what language one could perhaps deduce that it uses or was used to create and organize the program — that is, unless God is to be left On High in a lofty and untouchable place for the sake of our untouchable Greeting Card concepts.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      This comes very close to Galileo’s view, that God gave him a mind and thus presumably intended for him to use it, which he proceeded to do as best he could.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Indeed. It’s consistent with the Jefferson quote that Glenn Beck never tires of repeating: Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear.

        I’m not inclined to sit back and ascribe all kinds of idealistic attributes to God. God created frogs, tornados, avalanches, assholes, and Halley’s comet. It’s as rational to picture God in his workshop with sawdust on his shoes as a god sitting regally in his golden throne surrounded by cherubs blowing horns.

        The religious impulse is neither good nor bad, per se. But it can be inherently smothering if not checked by reality once in a while. Although it pleases some to see God as the creator of rainbows and puppy dog tails, he also created (as I mentioned) the rectum, pain, conflict (it’s inherent to life), and death.

        Certainly concentrating on the bad stuff isn’t going to do much good. But if one can’t find the Creator’s hand in the mundane then I’m not interested in their version of god. If he is indeed trotted out as the “watchmaker” when convenient, then let’s indeed imagine the Man as a tool-maker and tinkerer, among his other purported attributes. I just myself can’t live in the land of idealism. But, hey, I’d love to see what’s on his thumb drive.

  8. Glenn Fairman says:

    Seldom do I have the opportunity to both confuse and piss off my readership. But today’s comments in AT prove that every dog still has his day. Either I am unclear in my craft’s execution or careful reading is not highly valued on the infamous board. Either way, irony and nuance is a dish best served next year for those accustomed to a diet of Obama’s red meat. The more I write, the more I an astonished at the reader’s palate. Sometimes, what I hold to be mediocre is unexpectedly hailed as tonic wisdom, while a work I consider cutting edge is met with yawns or disappointment. It’s a crazy business where you spend your days pouring out your heart for no money only to have little vermin come out and gnaw at your toes. Man is a terrible creature and writers might just be the worst of them.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      It wasn’t all bad. Take this comment, for example:

      The nonbeliever seems often to feel the need to attack the believer even in the midst of the believer doing good. The “why” for that comes from the emptiness, self loathing and contempt that within the nonbeliever permeates their being trying to fill a God shaped hole in their soul.

      Take the message of Jesus out of the world and humanity becomes a pack of jackals that only understand taking what they want when they want to or can get away with it. There is no law without God. There is no peace without God. There is no society without God and I can go on and on and on. Yet there are those that believe so much in themselves or their secular institutions that they need to destroy God to prove themselves right. I loathe those people because after they succeed in destroying god and the world tips into chaos and lawlessness they will stand back and claim that they did not know this or that disaster will befall humanity because of their actions. That is the absence of wisdom, wisdom is of God.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Yes, this reminds me of one of the militant atheists (Christopher Hitchens, I think, but I’m not sure; most of the time they all sound alike) complaining that religion had done nothing good — even though this throws out not only much beautiful religious art and music, but also causes such as opposition to slavery.

        But I will note that whatever one says of the message of Jesus, it was hardly exclusive to him. C. S. Lewis once pointed out that every religion has some version of the Golden Rule — except, of course, Islam. (Liberalism doesn’t either, at least regarding non-liberals, but that postdates Lewis, who died the same day Aldous Huxley did — 11/22/1963.)

        • Glenn Fairman says:

          It is the quality of truth to have a universal appeal to the honest heart, or it probably would not be truth. The fact is that the world’s various religions and philosophies glean bits of truth like the committee of blind men describing the elephant by local examination. Some discover more than others. The Golden Rule, on its face, seems to be an excellent rational ethic to abide by. The fact that it is generally counter to the spirit of the world and how people really address one another is the rub. Why is something so reasonable so difficult to put into practice?

          Christ wants us to take this dictum and move it from the realm of theory to one of praxis—-and He says that if we would be successful in doing this we need a new heart that He will provide. There are many prophets. Some good and some false. It would appear that Jesus fills the condition of the entire elephant, so to speak.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Glenn, here’s my critique/advice in two parts:

      Here are my thoughts on the style:

      You were trying to cram three pounds of emotion into a one-pound bag. You needed to thin things out a bit and organize your case better.

      Here are my thoughts on the content:

      You would have been better off with an organizing principle (and a headline) that said something like “Why deism is only the first stop on the bus ride to a personal god.”

      Indeed, deism isn’t your enemy. Atheism is your enemy and deism is often the first thaw of atheism. You need to first make the case why deism makes sense and then why a personal god makes even better sense.

      Having settled on a better structure, then all that emotion and inspiration you usually put into an article (with great effect) can be hung onto a supporting structure instead of just trying to make the argument for itself.

      Thirdly, you must ignore the peanuts in the peanut gallery. There are some good and wise people there, but it is still just the peanut gallery. It is easy to find fault. It is much harder to put yourself on the line and actually have an opinion. This is why I encourage people, if only as an exercise in civic duty, to step outside the peanut gallery, at least every so often, to state something affirmatively about what one believes, or other stories trapped inside one’s soul.

      I think the fourth thing I would say (and it would be somewhat in defense of deism) is that Who the hell knows what is really going on? Logically we can make our way rather easily to deism is we set aside our emotion distaste for such a thing (particularly if one is starting off from the far Left in which a great deal of kneejerk distaste resides). But the next step is inherently at least a trans-rational one. It’s an act of faith. And there is no arguing one’s way there. It may, in fact, be a more satisfying emotional state as well, sort of in opposition to the atheist one. But if we’re then arguing which is the most satisfying emotional state, we’re talking about an entirely different thing.

      Anyway, I’m sure this won’t help because you have your own style and your own inspirations, and I couldn’t and wouldn’t change that even if I could. But you do need to now and then un-compact some of what you are saying.

      • Glenn Fairman says:

        Yes……..but sometimes too much elucidation breaks the spell. I don’t write for everybody, nor do I make the claim to infallible vision. Just a dude with a view. A man has to know his limitations…….

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Glenn, I put you down as a sort of “force of nature.” I could no more change you than a lightning bolt thrown from Mount Olympus. I remain in awe of your ability to capture ideas in a minimum of words. You make Nathaniel Hawthorne seem like a run-on sentence in comparison.

          Let me just say that as a force of nature, even lightning can be guided by a lightning rod. You will get better with practice and with a few in the peanut-gallery such as me throwing the occasional peanut-shell-suggestion. I understand, as perhaps few others do, that this sort of writing is a bit of a mystical experience in that it just “comes out” and is not a carefully and minutely constructed thing meant to sway people as if you were picking a lock.

          Even so, once in a while we can cram a few ideas into the back end that fine-tunes the machinery.

    • Paul B says:

      Glenn: see my comments dated 7 Sep about the AT readers in the original thread way up above.

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