Memory Lane: Out of School for ‘Religious Instruction’

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Before “Diversity” became a shibboleth, and a not-so-subtle way of sneaking around the Constitution’s prohibition of religious tests, we actually had something like real diversity in our sixth-grade classroom.

Back then, you could be excused from school to attend “religious instruction.” The Catholic kids got out early on Friday afternoons. I don’t remember when the Jewish kids got out. As a Protestant kid, I didn’t get out at all. We had nothing called “religious instruction”–we just had Sunday school. On Sunday.

I was jealous of the Catholic kids, because as far as I could tell, there was nothing that made them any different from us Protestants, except that they had to have fish on Fridays. Why should they get a break from that stalag known as Franklin School?

But the Jewish kids went to Hebrew School, and that was a lot more interesting! Neil Katz, who sat in the desk behind mine, used to let me leaf through his Hebrew book–which of course I could not read, because it was in Hebrew. I did know it had something to do with the Bible. There was something very cool about this.

And if there were any more exotic religious traditions represented by anyone in our class, the subject just never came up. I wouldn’t have known about it, if there were.

It’s only when “Diversity” is insisted upon from above that it begins to shrivel down below.

Google Gizmo ‘Disables’ Religious References

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This headline caught my eye: “Google Home Disables All Religious References After Controversy Over Jesus Answer” (https://ijr.com/the-declaration/2018/01/1056523-google-home-disables-religious-references-controversy-jesus-answer/?utm_campaign=conservativedirect&utm_medium=partners&utm_source=email&utm_term=prm32).

Actually, it was a non-answer: Google’s “smart assistant” was “unable to answer questions about Jesus,” although it was okay with questions about Buddha, Mohammed, and Satan. That figures.

Fact: Computers can be no “smarter” than the people who program them. A computer programmed by ninnies will answer as a ninny.

In Luke 9:20, Jesus put the question to his disciples: He said unto them, “But whom say ye that I am?” Peter answering said, “The Christ of God.”

In Acts 16:30, the jailer in Philippi asks Paul and Silas, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”  And they said (v. 31), “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”

What’s so hard about that?

But Google Home can’t give you those answers because they weren’t in the program, so Google has “temporarily” disabled all religious reference…”to ensure respect.”

Do we really, truly, want to receive our religious instruction from computers programmed by God knows whom? I wonder what amazon.com’s little electronic genius, “Alexa,” would answer if you asked, “Alexa, what must I do to be saved?” Something tells me I don’t want to know the answer to that question. “Believe in Global Warming and gender reassignment…” Don’t ask.

Artificial Intelligence is not “intelligence” in any meaningful sense. The operative word is “artificial.” It is a mindless simulation of intelligence, nothing more.

God’s Word is available for anyone to read at any time.

Don’t ask the idol.

 

 

Witnessing to My Doctor

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I had a doctor’s appointment this morning–everything seems to be going well–and it took a long time: not because I had any thorny medical problems, but because my doctor is very interested in Christianity and he had a lot of questions for me.

Born and raised a Buddhist, today my doctor wished to understand the difference between Christianity and Judaism. And he had a tougher question still, in regard to Our Lord Jesus Christ being the Messiah promised in the Old Testament:

“After Jesus did all those things, why didn’t they believe Him?”

Well, we’re working on it. He has so very many questions, and I have to take care in answering them, so as not to give him anything but a strictly Biblical answer. We’re beginning it all from scratch.

I have never done this before, never tried to instruct anyone in the Christian faith; so, like the feller said, “I sure hope I’m doing this right!” Insofar as humanly possible, I try to keep my own opinion out of my answers and resort, always, to what the Scripture actually says.

I find it humbling, that God should have chosen me to minister to this man, an medical doctor with many students of his own–humbling, but also something to rejoice in. Who knows how much good might come of it? Well, God knows and I don’t: so I just press on and do the best I can.