My soul is being tried by reading Thomas Paine. A couple of his points are good, but most of his argument against Christianity shows his ignorance of the Bible. He may not have read it through and is relying on his exposure to preaching and Christian associates. I don’t know that, but to follow Paine’s reasoning I could easily believe he has never read through the Bible even once (“for I keep no Bible,” he admits) because he appears to ascribe to the idea that possibility is evidence for reality. If it’s possible none of the Biblical books were written by their authors, then they probably weren’t because doubt is evidence enough.
Doubt coupled with ignorance makes a winning argument.
But that’s just what’s been on my mind lately. This post, for your blog-reading amusement, is about Charlie Brown’s mockery of naturalism. My children are slowly destroying a 1959 paperback called We’re On Your Side, Charlie Brown, comics taken from But We Love You, Charlie Brown Vol 1. It wasn’t in great condition before it began circulating among their books, but I doubt it’s in used-bookstore-acceptable condition now.
I came across this strip last night. Lucy and Linus are staring at the sky. Lucy tells him, “Clouds are very peculiar, Linus . . . Sometimes they seem to form actual words. . .” (ellipses in the original). Charlie Brown hears this while passing by and states, “Those aren’t clouds. That’s sky-writing!”
Lucy faces him in silence for a few moments. Then watching the sky again, she says, “Clouds are very peculiar, Linus . . . Sometimes they seem to form actual words. . .”
Master Brown confronts Lucy’s assumption that the “actual words” were formed through natural, unthinking processes and to no avail. Lucy will not be persuaded, out of pride no doubt. But for Brown, the common man, persuasion is not the goal. Declaring the truth is enough.