“ . . . for though they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their senseless minds were darkened.
Claiming to be wise, they became fools.” Romans 1:21-22
These verses grabbed my attention when I first encountered them as a high school senior in a New Testament class I took for extra credit. Back in the upbeat 1950’s when unlimited possibilities apparently lay before every American, the idea that sin could alter one’s ability to reason appeared implausible at best. I had never met, read about, or heard of anyone in that condition. As we now say, I just couldn’t wrap my head around the concept, despite the time I spent thinking about it.
But as my life has seemingly fast forwarded into the 21st century, the statements do now approach the realm of possibility. I still don’t understand the passage on an individual level, but culturally, we in the US apparently now qualify by claiming to be wise while being fools. For example, consider these recent headlines:
1. Florida University to Award Posthumous Degree to Trayvon Martin (He never even applied to go there, or any other college.)
2. Reed College Radicals Complain That Course in Greco-Roman Thinkers Needs More Non-White Authors (Have they not noticed that it’s supposed to be about only Greek and Roman authors?)
3. Rep. Waters to Hand Out MTV’s “Fight the System” Award, Has served 27 Years in Congress (I consider 27 years in Congress as proof that you are, in fact, part of the system.)
4. UK Students: Ban Clapping and Whooping Because it Excludes the Deaf (Should those who hear also quit talking to each other to avoid excluding anyone?)
5. Gender Bias Study by Women Researchers Suffers from Gender Bias
(Hard to avoid under the circumstances.)
6. BuzzFeed Employee Wishes for Trump Assassination, Company Declares No Bias
(Don’t you know that no news outlet suffers from any bias?)
One has to laugh at the absurdities involved, if only to keep from crying.