14 January 2011

Post 293: Untimely Guest

Untimely Guest by Marian Babson.  ISBN: 9780312011031.

There was actually a little bit of interesting conversation that went on when the characters weren't too busy whining about their house guests, being pregnant all the time, and how much of a bat Mam is.  One of the conversations that got me thinking the most was about how if the Church hadn't left science behind, they might have been able to incorporate the miracle of science and relief of physical suffering with the miracles of Jesus and the relief of spiritual suffering.  I'll go ahead and give a direct quote:

"Scientific advances mean nothing to [the Catholic Church] except a threat.  They don't see the advancement of knowledge as any part of God's mercy, only as some new kind of work of the devil."  Page 275.

In this instance the woman speaking was mostly referring to the advent of birth control, especially when the life of the mother is in danger or might be put in danger.  But what if we applied these principles to numerous other applications?  Maybe science wouldn't be as cold and blind to the very miracles of the currently unexplained.  Maybe there would be more of a press to recognize that the spiritual does have a place in the workings of science and man as much as chemical interactions and cell structure.  Then again, maybe the church would realize that in order to ease the suffering of the soul, it might be necessary to eliminate the disease of the body, even by using stem cells.  Or that maybe it is okay for women to have smaller families if it means bringing up healthier children who they might then actually have time to raise instead of wondering if the next one is going to kill them on the way into the world.

It is mind boggling that there are things about science that are more compassionate than religion and things about religion that are more callous than science.  But then any time money gets involved in either of those things it is easier to ignore the principles of brotherhood and charity.  I think Colbert actually says it best: "If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn't help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we've got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don't do that."  In other words, I don't think Jesus would mind us butting into the territory of performing miracles if it meant saving or greatly improving the lives of millions of people.  The idea that a religious organization might have a problem with this bothers me as much as the idea of selling drugs at highly marked up cost to profit from the dying and diseased.

My review can be found on Goodreads.
LibsNote: I won this from a Forgotten Bookmarks contest.

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