I was working some old stuff off my DVR when this exchange caught my ear:

“Would it make a difference, were it demonstrated to be true?”

“No. I wish to keep him close to my heart, as an icon. The truth may be the truth, but I don’t need certain aspects of it to make me feel as if I’m close to him.”

This isn’t a traditional “Who said that,” as who is not as interesting as the context. I’m just curious if anybody else caught this remarkable example of American piety on PBS about a month ago.

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10 Responses to Who?

  1. RubeRad says:

    No takers? What if I told you that “him” is not Jesus…

  2. Chris Sherman says:

    A month ago on PBS? Big Bird?

    Charlton Heston talking about his role as Moses?

  3. Chris Sherman says:

    or was it Mr. Rogers?

  4. Zrim says:

    Actually, Fred Rogers is a good guess. He was a Presbyterian minister, and I think there were always rumors of a coke habit.

    In which case, were the reports true, I wouldn’t care much either. All I know is that Mr. Rogers taught me how to tie my shoes and get to know the people in my neighborhood (in my neighborhood, yeah!). We’re all flawed.

  5. Bruce S. says:

    Would it make a difference, were it demonstrated to be true?

    What is that second “it”? If “it” refers to the resurrection, for example, then I would be trying to identify some unbelieving liberal “XTian”-Jesus-Seminar type guy. If “it” refers to, say, evolution, then I am trying to identify somebody else.

  6. RubeRad says:

    Good question. I’ll give you the preceding interchanges:

    “He visited prostitutes; you know this!”

    “That’s one of the stories which will get you thrown out of my tavern, among other things!”

    “Would it make a difference…”

  7. Chris Sherman says:

    Abe Lincoln? I recall his wife was a bit of a character, so maybe the prostitutes would make sense.

  8. RubeRad says:

    Cue the confetti; we have a winner!

    The PBS show was Looking for Lincoln (apparently you can watch the whole thing online), which was a fascinating investigation of Lincoln myth-making. The quote was an interchange between host/narrator Henry Louis Gates Jr., and the taverness in New Salem, the historical reenactment village that celebrates Lincoln.

    That moment, and many others, just seemed eerily reminiscent of evangelicalism’s desire to cling to an experience; things like history and doctrine only get in the way.

  9. Zrim says:

    And it’s not too unlike Catholicism’s clinging to certain dogmas and presuppositions. The more I listen to each the more it seems I am being asked to suspend belief than have faith.

  10. Chris Sherman says:

    Wht are you listening to Catholic Dogmas?

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