Saturday, September 15, 2007
Hermeneutics of Antipathy
When I was an undergrad in the early 80's I was given a paper to read in one of my environmental science classes that stated with some certainty that the mess we humans had created were all caused by Christians. It was all because God told us to subdue the world. At the time Ronald Reagan was president, James Watt was by his side, and I was an angry young man having just experienced a general lack of joy for three semesters at a conservative Presbyterian college. So it made sense to me. The Christians that made it into the media truly did seem to have a lack of concern for the ecology of the planet.
So, I became a humanist and saw more and more "deleterious consequences for human life" perpetuated by the Bible. Apparently this is what a hermeneutic of antipathy sees and looks for in the Bible. I still see it, but I see more.
So, why a photo of a Pileated woodpecker. The first one I ever saw made my heart leap for joy, something my stoic self tried to prevent. I was an undergrad. My love of nature had warmed my heart. My association with a group of like minded students had led me to the Smokey Mtns and there I saw this woodpecker the size of a crow. I have seen many in Pennsylvania since then, but that was my first sighting, and the joy leaped through my body. An early seed to break the antipathy.