Friday, February 21, 2014
Guernica and the PCUSA
Dr. Farmer was the director of an egghead program in college that drafted me.
He introduced me to Pablo Picasso.
A favorite story.
Criticized for his abstractions, the artist said, "When I was 12, I could paint like Raphael. It took years before I could paint like this."
Reminds me of Vonnegut who said something like this, "Once you know all of the rules of grammar, you can break them to communicate."
Let me put it another way.
If you want to understand a clock, don't look at the hands.
Anyway, recently, somebody asked me to describe how I write/speak.
I repeated the above.
Of course, I've never had a best-selling book and nobody pays attention to what I say; so maybe...
Getting back to Dr. Farmer and Picasso, I'd often accompany him when he lectured on the artist's famous painting Guernica.
You can google its history.
Succinctly, it portrayed the barbarity of war through wrenching symbols with the Nazi bombardment of Guernica, Spain as hideously illustrative.
You can google its symbols.
I'll never forget one part of Dr. Farmer's lecture on it.
A Nazi officer looked at the painting with Picasso shortly after completion and blurted out, "Oh, my God, that's so ugly! Who did that?"
Picasso responded, "You did!"
The PCUSA is symbolic of many mainline denominations.
Check the stats.
Nobody really pays attention to 'em.
Indeed, the mainliners have moved to the sidelines of American religious life and influence.
You've gotta be really dense or disillusioned to dispute that.
Of course, there are people who think Miley Cyrus is a fine role model for...
I was trying to mediate an argument between a PCUSAer and an EPCer.
That's alphabet soup talk for addicts to Presbyterian polity competing over who's got better theology.
The PCUSAer kept accusing the EPCer of leaving the denomination.
The EPCer kept accusing the PCUSA of leaving members who were still faithful to Jesus by the book.
Essentially, they were accusing each other of something very ugly and inconsistent with following the One that each claimed to follow more than the other.
I thought of Dr. Farmer, Guernica, the Nazi officer, and Pablo Picasso.
I think of them whenever I witness fights in families, churches, communities, and countries.
Who did that?
There is hope.
We can stop doing it.
There's still time to be...Christian.
Blessings and Love!