Arthur Saginian | Rationality and Irony

Letters to the Editor
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I thought it just a bit odd for a person who preaches irrationality for a living to be asking the rest of us to be rational, but let’s go with it and see where it takes us. Reverend David Hegg’s appeal for us to be rational, that is (commentary, March 13).

The reverend cites numerous instances of liberals branding conservatives as essentially “bad” people and “haters” whenever they do not agree with liberal positions, whether they be political, social, personal, or whatever. Conservatives are thus “phobic” and “fearful” of anything outside of their comfort zone, which (according to liberals) is most of the natural world, and must therefore be corrected or canceled. The reverend claims this is irrational and unreasonable and thus prevents sincere and constructive dialogue between the two sides. OK.

Hegg opens by describing “science” and “scientific method” and how it plods along experimentally to determine things. So far so good, but that’s where I think the good reverend starts to dig his own hole (out of which I feel it will be nearly impossible for him to climb). There are many things that science can successfully determine, but there are things that it cannot determine, and they include such conservative positions as the existence of a God, the immorality of homosexuality, and many other “hypotheses,” or rather beliefs, that are physically impossible to prove by any method, scientific or otherwise. Hegg’s steep slope is quite slippery indeed. Hegg also forgets one of the fundamental laws of physics, that of action and reaction (equal and opposite), which I found rather ironic in that he was using science to defend his position, and it is precisely that scientific law with which he is grappling today.

While pointing his accusatory finger, Hegg fails to mention the long and violent history of the Christian church itself and its own irrational treatment of those he now charges with irrationality. I wonder if Rev. Hegg is familiar with how his own church for centuries dealt with anyone who threatened the “laws of God” or the church’s own power and position (be it Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, or otherwise). Let’s start with what was done to homosexuals, witches, apostates, heretics, or anyone who resisted or rejected the church’s doctrines — historically, and even to this day — in the name of Jesus Christ and with Bible in hand. It was an institutionally sponsored holocaust that spanned millennia. The total death toll is in the hundreds of thousands if not millions, and that is a historical fact that neither Rev. Hegg nor any member of the clergy, much to their infinite guilt and ignominy, can deny. And claiming that you stopped burning witches as the stake isn’t going to get you out of it. Your kind did that to them — and on what basis? Irrationality.

So I think the reverend’s got a lot of nerve asking people, people who his institution has traditionally hunted down, imprisoned, tortured, and executed, and all on the basis of irrational beliefs, to suddenly forgive, forget, and come in “good faith” to the bargaining table and talk reason (pun intended). I suggest putting your money where your mouth is, Reverend. If you really want them to stop branding you, then use science and those laws of physics to get the “reaction” you want, but it all starts with your “action.” Stop branding them, and I think you’ll have better luck in getting them to stop branding you.

Arthur Saginian
Santa Clarita

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