I have an answer to Bill Atwood's July 25 musing about "what (Jefferson) would be calling the president." He would be calling him "slave" or "property" or "chattel." And from the complaints wafting from the Tea Party inferno about President Obama's sensitive and deeply profound remarks after the Zimmerman trial, it seems they would approve of that original thinking. After all, why would they want to have the benefit of experience or bother with historical interpretation? We are living in the world exactly as it was in the 1700's, aren't we?
Speaking of needing to consider words and ideas in the context of their times, let's talk about sodomy, a practice condemned by J.R. Froelich on July 25th. One of the several definitions is "anal or oral copulation with a member of the same or opposite sex." I realize that this may be a shock to Mr. Froelich. And how should North Fork's Steve Hall deal with the fact that there are multiple definitions for this term? Back to the original text he goes. Perhaps X-rated cave paintings would meet his "original" requirement.
Alas, this dying breed of old white sages who write often in these pages has not a clue what it's like to be anything other than Masters of the Universe. They display an appalling lack of imagination, much less empathy, for anyone who is not in their WASP demographic. They annually parade a token black Obama critic at their "Freedom Fest" as if to say, "See Even his own kind doesn't like him!" There's something telling that this one featured minority notable was one of the few, if not only, person of color attending.
But enough about that. Let's address Dr. Atwood's complaints about the poor treatment Tea Party groups received by the big, bad IRS. What he failed to mention is that liberal groups were treated equally badly. But the true travesty here is that what should be treated as political organizations may be treated as "social welfare" groups for tax purposes.
The local Tea Party's rag, the Central Valley Tea Party Times, and website are awash with endorsements for particular political candidates for public office and other partisan issues. They are clearly a political organization, but don't want to be seen as such so they don't have to disclose who their donors are. Who is the man (or woman) behind the curtain anyway?
Also on July 25, Mr. Hall took issue with Alan Cheah's referencing a highly respected news and documentary source that discussed the Founding Fathers' works, and referred to it as "hearsay." But the statement I just made is hearsay because I'm relying on the Sierra Star to accurately report his words. For that matter, we should similarly ignore everything Mr. Hall submitted on the subject since, by his new exotic standard, any commentary on "original material" by anyone else than the originator is nothing more than hearsay. I'm not sure in what subject Mr. Hall obtained his Masters degree, but it obviously wasn't Logic 101.
Finally, here's a news flash for all Bible experts. There's a cool new mobile application called YouVersion, also known as "The Bible App," which has come to replace traditional print Bibles for millions. It's reported to be the only mobile application in the world that provides content in obscure languages like Eastern Bolivian Guarani, Inuktitut or Akoose.
Given his mastery of the Bible in its original form, if Mr. Hall starts now, he might be able to explain to the speakers of all these languages how the Bible interpretation in their language doesn't interpret the original Bible as he knows it to be, therefore it's bogus.
In the court of public opinion, it's unwise to restrict oneself to black and white literalism. As difficult and uncomfortable as it may be, we are, each one of us, walking Rorschach interpreters. Everything is subject to interpretation, and should be viewed in its historical context, even by Mr. Hall.