“Notice, too, their idea of God ‘making religion simple’; as if ‘religion’ were something God invented, and not His statements to us of certain quite unalterable facts about His own nature.” – C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
I was thinking about C.S. Lewis’s claim that God didn’t invent religion while I was walking today. I have to say that I can see where Lewis can make a semantic case but there is a substantive one to be made for the other side. For Lewis to be right, only the elemental can be from God. I don’t think that tracks. God created man who created the ice cream sundae. The ice cream sundae is still a part of God’s creation and so still created by God. If you make the argument that insubstantial things are of a separate creation then you run into trouble with physics and mathematics and other measures by which we see material creation bound. Did God create the rules of the dice game Einstein says he doesn’t play, so to speak?
One of the great pleasures of walk thoughts is that they wander. The sundae got me thinking about the details involved in creating a universe and what an early riser it must require. What are the machinations? What we may see as roundabout may be the most direct and perfect route. We look at the sundae as a minor result of a greater plan. What if it was the goal?
Sometimes I feel bad for people who don’t speak English and are stuck calling their master lyricists words like poeta, digter, imbongi, or tusisolo that don’t form tidy acronyms encouraging their better hedonist angels. Thankfully we are blessed by the vision of William the TBA who noticed that Godwinson was busy in York dealing with family issues and figured even if Harold could get to Hastings in time, he’d have to force march his men with out any bathroom breaks. William won and French words marginalized German words. Instead of the dubious Diners In Cardiff Hate Tasting English Rarebit we get the dulcet Piss Off Early, Tomorrow’s Saturday, so Happy POETS Day! Disassemble, obfuscate, fudge the truth, and gleefully trespass the norms and delicate pieties that preserve our hopefully durable civilization. Nearly all means are justified by the urge to prematurely escape the bonds of employment and settle in at a friendly neighborhood joint a few hours before even happy hour begins, lay comfortably in the grass at a local park or cemetery, take a schvitz, or God forbid, go for a light jog. It’s your weekend. Do with it as you will, but in homage to the mighty Norman acronym may I suggest setting aside a moment for a little verse? It’s a particularly good way to pass time waiting on friends who may not run as roughshod over the delicate pieties and were not as successful as you were in engineering an early exit.
In October of 1944, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien spent an evening in discussion with Roy Campbell, this week’s featured poet. Lewis was put off by Campbell’s, according to Lewis, “particular blend of Catholicism and fascism.” Tolkien, who was writing The Lord of the Rings at the time, reportedly took Campbell as inspiration for a mysterious hobbit character named Trotter who he would over time rewrite as a man, rename Strider, and reveal as Aragorn. People didn’t react mildly to Campbell. Even when they were ostensibly friends and admirers of each other’s literary abilities and fellow members of The Inklings, Lewis wrote a mean poem at him.