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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
        Monday, May 17 2004

Jon Kennedy, webmaster

Postmodern references

I've heard two references to postmodernism on popular television programs since Friday's piece. One of them reflected my point on Friday, that there is often a strong dualism in the "postmodern character," the virgin-whore; the military police heroes making porn videos while on guard duty at an Iraqi prison. The other reference came with more elaboratation. The character in the TV movie described a murder victim's interest in religion as "postmodern." While personally deriding the idea of religion as valid, he explained that "postmoderns see the proposed alternatives for religion as failures, so they're willing to try religious answers, too."

It appears from this disparity in the content in the term "postmodernism" that it will mean whatever the speaker wants to put into it. It's like "politically incorrect." Both liberals and conservatives think its the kind of label that their opponents like to use.

Though postmodernism is the coming thing, "modernism" is still very much with us. Though its use is already somewhat old-fashioned, "modernism" when applied to religious ideas, members of the clergy, and denominations has the popular sense of meaning those clergy and denominations who want to be "with it," flowing with whatever the current of the day may be. In the Church of England, which tracks such data, about a third of its clergy don't believe in anything like a historical resurrection of Christ, for example. And though this use of the word seems old-fashioned, in the universities "modernism" is still used seriously as referring to the worldview of the modern world, meaning the world that changed at the time of the enlightenment, starting in the 17th century and running strong through the time of the American Revolution (late 1700s) and even more so the French Revolution (early 1800s).

But whereas "modernism" is quite specific, meaning an abandonment of traditional beliefs in God and the world as creation, replacing these with evolution and scientific explanations for everything and a scientific solution for every ill or problem, a form of atheism based more on love of humanity and science than on hatred for the idea of God (as atheism is often thought of)—postmodernism describes a worldview based on the willingness to try anything that seems to work, and just as readily get rid of anything (religion on one side, even science on the other) that seems to be getting in the way.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy 

Will Rogers' wisdom

If you're riding' ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it's still there.

— Sent by Carl Essex 

Thought for today

The 50-50-90 rule: Anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there's a 90 percent probability you'll get it wrong.

Sent by Mary Ann Losiewicz 

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