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 IAmAnAtheist » Sarah Palin’s Christmas: Chapter 4

Sarah Palin’s Christmas: Chapter 4

My notes on “True Grit,” chapter 4 of Sarah Palin’s new book Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas.

Since you’re always going to offend somebody, you might as well do what’s right. [Kindle location 1008]

What if “what’s right” is offending as few people as possible?

What did we learn? The public is starving for high-quality businesses that also honor the community’s values—and don’t retreat from a fight. [Kindle location 1065]

Palin is talking about the large response to a call of support for Chick-fil-A from the Christian community. At best, it seems like what she’s saying here is that businesses should specifically favor the majority, even if it’s to the exclusion of a minority. The problem is that I’m not convinced she’d change her mind about Christmas (and other issues mentioned in this book) even if her opinion was in the minority.

Then I make the kids listen to me read these two stories. On our kitchen table, we place a candelabra and Hanukkah candles, as a way to acknowledge Christianity’s Judeo-Christian roots. See, I embrace diversity. [Kindle location 1099]

She’s so diverse that either she doesn’t own a menorah, doesn’t know the word, or is worried that using the word might bother someone. And it might only be me, but this seems as sincerely diverse as inserting the dreidel song into a Christmas pagent.

I don’t think it’s correct to say that a nod to Judaism acknowledges Christianity’s Judeo-Christian roots. Christianity doesn’t have Judeo-Christian roots — it has Jewish roots. Something can’t be its own root.

I bet Charles Darwin never understood this. If the world could be described as truly “survival of the fittest,” why would people collectively be stricken with a spirit of generosity in December? [Kindle location 1162]

I’ve heard this argument before — that generosity or charity somehow flies in the face of theory of evolution (and not just because “survival of the fittest” isn’t a scientific term). It’s a mischaracterization of evolution, and it assumes that Darwin didn’t discuss the possible evolution of altrusim (which he did).

“Although the circumstances, leading to an increase in the number of those thus endowed within the same tribe, are too complex to be clearly followed out, we can trace some of the probable steps. In the first place, as the reasoning powers and foresight of the members became improved, each man would soon learn that if he aided his fellow-men, he would commonly receive aid in return. From this low motive he might acquire the habit of aiding his fellows; and the habit of performing benevolent actions certainly strengthens the feeling of sympathy which gives the first impulse to benevolent actions. Habits, moreover, followed during many generations probably tend to be inherited.” — Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man

Why would parents worried about braces, college, and taxes suddenly write a check for victims of hurricanes or tsunamis? Why would children empty their piggy banks for orphans in need, even if it meant they’d do without their new baseball gloves, bicycles, or the coolest new clothes? [Kindle location 1163]

Yesterday my child — a 15-year-old atheist — sent $10 to a typhoon relief charity, acting on personal initiative, without any parental hinting or nudging. Why? Because moral people do good things.

And yet, spooning out the potatoes at the high school cafeteria somehow soothed my soul. With each person coming through my line, I felt my heart become lighter and less burdened. [Kindle location 1186]

You don’t have to be a Christian — or even religious — to get that feeling. I have trouble comprehending why some people seem to believe that fath is a prerequesite for feeling good about helping others.

He didn’t have to come as an infant. This has to be one of the most incredibly counterintuitive moves ever recorded in the Bible. “That’s one of the reasons I believe Christianity,” wrote one of my favorite authors, C. S. Lewis. “It’s a religion you couldn’t have guessed.” [Kindle location 1295]

I could have guessed it. Jesus starting out as a baby is no surprise at all. In fact I think I can confidently predict that any person who claims to be the child of God, God incarnate, or anything like that will have started out as an infant.

Tomorrow, on to chapter 5.

Posted on November 18, 2013 at 7:53 pm by ideclare · Permalink
In: Books · Tagged with: ,

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