The Clackamas print. (Oregon City, Oregon) 1989-2019, February 17, 1999, Page 2, Image 2

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    Opinion
2
Wednesday, February 17, 1999
1
Search or Solution?
The search for truth is an idea that Great Divorce, describes a meeting
has occupied my thinking a great in the Next World between two spir­
deal. As a thinker, it is important to its who had knowneach other in life.
me to understand the basis for dif­ The first has gained Heaven, while
ferent individuals’ views (including the second, without even realizing
my own), and as a Chris­
tian, it is equally impor­
tar
tant for me to have a solid
foundation for my beliefs,
n ínown
Now, some may con­
sider the terms thinker
and “Christian” to be an­ JOEL P. SHEMPERT
tithetical; that is, that to Copy Editor
subscribe to the narrow
view of Biblical Christianity is an it,
has
end to thought and investigation, found Hell.
and a refuge from reason. I would At
one
like to address that misconception. point, they
I will grant that for many, Chris­ have the fol­
tianity is a substitute for thought. lowing ex­
But bear in mind, many people out­ change: ‘“For me there is no such
side Christianity also lack ability and thing as a final answer. The free wind
interest in critical thinking. No ideo­ of inquiry must always blow
logical group has a monopoly on through the mind, must it not?
shallow minds.
“Prove all things”.. .to travel hope­
So, assuming those involved in fully is better than to arrive.’
the quest for truth are not counted
‘If that were true, and known to
among the shallow, what is it about be true, how could anyone travel
conservative Christianity that many hopefully? There would be noth­
find philosophically distasteful?
ing to hope for.
Religion instructor Bill Briare,
*.. .Listen!’ said the White Spirit.
quoted in last week’s issue of The ‘Once you were a child. Once you
Print, made a statement that may be knew what inquiry was for. There
relevant. Briare said, “Faith means was a time when you asked ques­
that you are still willing to search, tions because you wanted answers,
and you are trusting that there is and were glad when you had found
something worth searching for. If them. Become that child again: even
you found the answers, and you now.’”
stopped looking, then I think that
I must insist; with Lewis, that the
would be a loss of faith.”
search for truth has meaning only in
First, I must emphasize that I do the value of the thing sought. I re­
agree with Professor Briare—to a ally do ask questions because I want
point. It is dangerous for an indi­ answers. Caution is warranted be­
vidual to start believing he or she fore deciding those answers have
has it all figured out. One character­ been found—“now we see through
istic of intellectual life is that it is a a glass, in a riddle”—but the hope
constant journey, never coming to we hold is for areal thing—“butthen
rest, at least in this life.
face to face.”
But I must question Briare’s state­
It is quite correct that we have
ment at the point when this lack of faith because we do not see. But
surety, this fundamental “un-know- we will see someday, and each step
ing” is seen as die basis for all open- we take on earth is either farther or
minded and sophisticated thought. closer to that goal than the last.
This is also die point at which many As Lewis’ Spirit says, “Thirst was
people find Christianity distasteful, made for water; inquiry for truth.
for it is a body of belief that claims What you call now the free play of
not only to be true, but to be un­ inquiry has neither more nor less
equivocally true, in the sense that to do with the ends for which in­
beliefs that contradict it are false.- telligence was given you than mas­
This claim of absolutism seems ugly turbation has to do with marriage,”
and oppressive to our modem plu­
Christianity has a unique place.
It claims to be the missing key to
ralistic minds.
But if absolute truth is indeed life’s puzzle, and we must judge it
stifling, then I must ask, to what on those grounds. As C.S. Lewis
purpose is truth seeking? Is ac­ says elsewhere, “I believe in Chris­
tual truth the goal, or is the eter­ tianity as I believe the sun has risen:
nal, agnostic search an end to it­ not because I see it, but because by
it I see every thing else.” I show you
self?
C.S. Lewis’ beautiful book, The a more excellent way.
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1) just started dating a girl and
1
found out she’s a stripper. What
should I do?
—Cliff, 19
Adam: Enjoy the free shows! I
don’t see a problem here.
Spew: Why don’t you talk to
her about it? But remember, she
was a stripper before she met you,
and the purpose of dating is not to
change the other person, but to
find a compatible mate. If it both­
ers you that much, break up with
her.
Adam: Yeah, and most guys
don’t like a girl who flashes her
stuff around anyway. At least not
formore than two hours.
2) ’m a sophomore at CCC and
I
not yet close to reaching my trans­
fer degree. Just recently I have
met a wonderful man who hap­
pens to live in Southern Califor­
nia. I am thinking about trans­
ferring to UCLA to be closer to
him. Am I making a mistake trans­
ferring now and starting over at a
new college?
—Deb, 20
Spew: OK, first of all. I just want
To know what people are going to
college for these days. Are you
looking for an education or just a
L ove WI tíne W
dating service? I’d also like to
know where your financial support
for college comes from, and fi­
nally—do you believe in love at
first sight?
Adam: Hey, love at first sight is
total B.S. You just met this guy;
do you really want to turn your life
upside down for him? You’ve got
to do what’s right for you. But if
it’s for a noble cause, like great
sex—go for it!
Spew: Now, just a minute! If
your only goal is sex, stay home!
I’m sure you’ll find someone local
to fill the bill. If, on the other hand,
you’re looking for a serious, com­
mitted relationship, then it’s worth
the wait—so again, stay home.
You need to make sure before you
jump out that there’s a limb there.
If he doesn’t return your feelings,
you don’t want to wind up as some
sick, obsessive stalker.
Adam: Let me ask you a ques­
tion: is that dog collar stuffed with
diamonds yet?
Spew: Hold on, Adam. You’re
forgetting that the collar works
both ways. Both of these people
have to be more committed to each
other than they are to anyone else.
Adam: Yeah, well, it sounds like
this guy’s committed to clubbing
his mate and dragging her off to
his cave. Which is, of course, OK
if she’s into that, but is this guy
really a healthy person?
Spew: Now, we don’t know
where this guy’s coming from. He
could have a history of'being
cheated on. These are college
guys, so maybe he feels inad­
equate, or jealous because they’re
spending more time with her than
he is, and besides, he doesn’t even
know them. Relationships need
trust, but it is not the job of the
Adam: Yeah—and quit watching beloved to test that trust every Fri­
“Felicity!”
day night. Samantha, if you per­
sist in seeing those guys regularly,
3) My fiance doesn’t let me go out you’re basically choosing them
with groups of college friends that over your fiance.
have guys in them. He w orks full­
time and doesn’t go to school. Be­ Adam: I get what you’re saying,
fore we were engaged he had no Dr. Spew. There may not always
problem. I love him. What hap­ be a right and wrong in a relation­
pened, and where do I go from ship, but partners can build up or
tear down. I still say you should
here?
—Samantha, 19 dump him—and give me a call.
A cynical Valentine's Day is not so simple!
SHELBI WESCOTT
Staff Writer
When asked if I would write a
‘cynical view on love’ for The
Print’s Valentine’s Day issue, I
obliged. I thought, “I’m a writer.
This should be easy.”
However, after hours of typing,
deleting and re-typing, I realized
that my task was not so simple. I
came to the conclusion that my
original opinion was wrong. My
view on romance was skewed and
needed fixing. _
Yet, in accordance to my assign­
ment I submitted a cynical piece
on romance. Now I would like to
write a rebuttal to my own column.
Romance should be cherished,
loved and (most of all) appreci­
ated. The timé and energy a guy
or girl spends showing love for
someone is not something that
should be spat upon or laughed
at. These gestures are from the
heart. They mean something.
There are two elements needed
in order for a romantic display to
be worthwhile. First, it has to be
from the right person. Buying
roses for a person who doesn’t like
you probably won’t score many
points.
Second, it has to be for the right
motives. Romance should say, “I
love you,” “You mean a lot to me,”
“You are special” or “I care about
you more than anyone.” It
shouldn’t say, “I expect something
in return.”
I spent too many years receiv­
ing romantic gestures from the
wrong people who had wrong mo­
tives.
When I am in a relationship that
is right and meaningful—when I
am in love with someone I want to
spend the rest of my life with—I
will want romance. I’ll want long
walks on the beach at sunset, flow-
ers, surprises and poetry. I’ll want
him to declare his love on a
mountaintop and make me feel
wanted and special.
It took time to come to this con­
clusion and set my “romance ha­
tred” aside. Now I am ready to ex­
perience what romance feels like.!
I apologize to the other cynics
out there who applauded my dec-]
laration of dissatisfaction. I am now
a convert. Life is better on this side]
of the road.