ReligionDispatches.org has a posting up today following up on the disciples of Harold Camping, the gentleman that convinced thousands last year that Jesus was about to return and bring with Him the end of the world.
The tales of bewilderment and disappointment are obvious and not very illuminating. The fascinating part is author Tom Bartlett's description of meeting some of these folks before the fall.
"It’s been noted by scholars who study apocalyptic groups that believers tend to have analytical mindsets. They’re often good at math. I met several engineers, along with a mathematics major and two financial planners. These are people adept at identifying patterns in sets of data, and the methods they used to identify patterns in the Bible were frequently impressive, even brilliant. Finding unexpected connections between verses, what believers call comparing scripture with scripture, was a way to become known in the group. The essays they wrote explaining these links could be stunningly intricate.
That intricacy was part of the appeal. The arguments were so complex that they were impossible to summarize and therefore very challenging to refute."
This appeal of the complex resonates. Liberals of all stripes feel that the best descriptions of conservatives include the variations on the word "simple." They dismissed Ronald Reagan as the "Simpleton-in-Chief."
They do not understand how a nation can be governed with a constitution that barely covers 14 typed pages when the EU Constitution runs over 450 pages. They believe, as Phillip Ortiz, a SUNY professor and contributor to the Huffington Post, does, that "Complex problems have complex solutions... It'd be nice if the toughest question we ever needed to answer was 'decaf' or 'regular,' but that's just not true. The world is a complex place, facing complex problems that have complex solutions, and we need to make complex decisions everyday."
It is why liberals can not comprehend the hidden hand of the market, although it could be argued that the market's speed and efficiency is far more complex than any of their rationalizations. But the idea of the market is just too simple for them to wrap their complex minds around. To them it is impossible that the market can achieve a simple answer to what they know is such a complex problem. Surely, all problems need a 2,000 page act of Congress and 10,000 bureaucrats to solve!
Liberals are caught in their own cult of complexity. Common sense is dismissed as the high priests and priestesses rewrite dogma on a daily basis. The words "And the Lord saith" are replaced with "The most recent studies show...".
Reagan reminded us often that "...there are simple answers to many of our problems--
simple but hard. It's the complicated answer that's easy because it avoids facing the hard moral issues."