Thursday, September 22, 2011

Body or Soul? Can We Value Both?

Recently, a local philanthropic organization made a very generous gift of a gorgeous illuminated Bible text to our community. This art will be displayed in turn at two (competing) area hospitals. This idea itself, the idea of sharing the sacred text, is inspired and has already brought out a sense of unity between the two facilities. Of course, there are some murmurings. The most concise opposition to be found in a well written letter to our local paper. You can read it here. I wrote a response to him and it follows below. I sent it in to the newspaper but who knows if it will be printed. With me in possession of the password to this blog, I know it will be published! I'd be interested to know your thoughts so feel free to comment away. 

I strenuously disagree with the comments made by Mr. Maierhofer regarding how monies spent on art should be going to the "poor." I'm going to assume that at the time of writing his letter, he was unaware that the bible was ostensibly a gift from private individuals whom already donate sacrificially to The Free Clinic and other local philanthropic causes. I hope this fact alone softens his negative attitude. Secondly, I respectfully ask that the writer would recall an experience in his own life where he was inspired by art. Like it or not, man is a spiritual being with a soul that seeks care and feeding. That's why humans are attracted to music, learning, nature, even Netflix. Should all these "extras" be banished from our lives until every physical need of our fellow man is met? Absolutely not! Art ennobles the soul. Great art causes the soul to look beyond its own chaotic, selfish concerns to focus instead on timeless truths, beauty, the human condition. Art reveals truth, and art almost always requires a response. Without art, the inspiration to give and contribute to causes greater than ourselves would disappear. Then we would experience true poverty.


Learn more about the St. John's Heritage Bible here.

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