Caryn’s 23 things – and then some

Racing into Library 2.0 with LOL and others

Theology bunnies?

A friend of mine writes fanfic (and she’s pretty good – check out her Dr. Who-related stories at, and has a word for story ideas that gang up on her and ambush her in far greater numbers than she can ever actually write: plot bunnies.  Well, that’s applicable to why I haven’t written here in a while – I’ve been set upon by so many theology bunnies that they keep running around in my mind, not leaving any of them room to grow.  So I’m going to dump them here – maybe seeing them written down will help me make connections among them and figure out where I want to go with them.  Or maybe (hint, hint) someone will leave comments which will clarify what I had in mind.  These were noted down over time, and I’ve got bunches more on little bits of paper that may or may not ever turn up again.
One to a customer

Americans, death is always the exception, rather than the rule,
unexpected when it happens, and always someone’s fault.  If an
86-year-old dies in the hospital while recovering from a broken hip,
it’s the hospital’s fault.  If a kid runs out into traffic and is hit
by a truck, it’s the city’s fault, or the trucking company’s, or the
driver’s.  I don’t think there’s ever been any other society so unable
to accept death, no matter what the circumstances.  More and more,
safety seems to be the most important, or even the only, value held by
society as a whole.

Part of the human condition is, inescapably, that death comes one to a customer.  What is it about us that makes us unable to accept this?  Maybe it’s the postwar (by which I mean WWII) feeling that there’s nothing Americans can’t conquer; maybe that’s combined with a more recent feeling that “‘impossible’ just means it hasn’t been done yet.”  We need to recognize our condition and our identity, though, and realize that when someone dies, whether it’s God’s will or not, it’s part of creation and part of the plan.

This wouldn’t be so odd if America didn’t
still consider itself mainly a Christian country.  Whatever their
other beliefs, most Americans believe in Heaven, and have a belief that
they’ll go there when they die.  Why are they so eager to avoid it, at any cost?  Most likely, of course, they’d *like* to believe in Heaven, and hope that saying so will make it true, but they aren’t really sure there is one, or that they’ll get there.  So they’ll spend all their money on lying helplessly in a hospital bed for years on end, or stand in line for 2 hours for a flight to fell like they have some control over terrorism.

They must be like that in England, too, though, because on Dr. Who the parents (with whom Companions are, for the first time, copiously supplied) have only one question when their children leave home: Will they be safe?  That’s not the first question to ask, even for a parent.  Remaining safe is so far from the best thing to wish a young adult starting out.  Life isn’t for remaining safe, and putting off joy as long as possible.

Something I’ve thought about for a long time (at least since the first time I read some of Hans Christian Anderson’s stories, like The Steadfast Tin Soldier, or that weepy standard, The Velveteen Rabbit) is ensoulment.  That’s the idea that a soulless creature, like a toy or a robot, can become “real,” meaning, presumably, gaining a soul.  It’s been covered more recently, in slightly different subgenres: Star Trek (both :the Next Generation and :Voyager, with first Data and then the holographic doctor) and Buffy: the Vampire Slayer (with Angel and, later, Spike).  One of the Trek franchise’s best episodes, ST:TNG’s Measure of a Man, was on this subject.  After a very well-written “trial” to determine whether the android Data was a thing, and therefore property, the question was left open.  Is it possible for God to put a soul in something not directly created by God?

Well, for one thing, “is it possible for God” is kind of a stupid question.  The only thing impossible for God is evil.  Even hate has a place within God’s boundless love, and it seems to me that as long as the question isn’t “is it possible for God to do evil?,” the answer has to be “yes.”  All things are possible for God; if we can imagine it, we can be assured that it’s within God’s abilities.  One of my core beliefs is that God’s love is infinite; therefore, I expect it can extend to God’s “grandchildren” – the children of Tes children, us.  By the end of each series, Data, the holographic doctor, Angel, and Spike each had a soul; by the end of the stories, the tin soldier and velveteen bunny did, too.  God is love and creation; it’s our obligation, as God’s children, to try to love and to create as best we can.  If we love our creations, God will too, and they’ll be in Heaven with us.
God, fearing?

The story of the Tower of Babel has always annoyed me.  Whatever reason God had for destroying the Tower of Babel (and whether the story is literally true or not doesn’t really enter into it), it simply could not have been that God was afraid we’d join Tir in Heaven and be just as good.  Next theory!

What does Bab-El mean, anyway?  Wikipedia says: “The word bab-el can also be seen to mean “gate of god” (from bab “gate” + el “god”).”  The Tower of the Gate of God.  Doesn’t explain anything – what is God supposedly afraid of?
That had better be it for now – I’ll have to post more of them later.  If you have any comments, let me know!

July 27, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment