ON WISDOM & PURITY OF HEART
If You Want an Uncomplicated Life, Seek the Simplicity of God's Truth

June 1997By Mitchell Kalpakgian

Mitchell Kalpakgian is Professor of English at Simpson College in Iowa.

In Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” an innocent, ingenuous child dares to utter the simple, self-evident truth that all the sophisticated adults refuse to admit: The king is naked, “He’s got nothing on!” All the adults in the story, from the king and his courtiers and deputies to the lower officials to the common people, are duped by the clever techniques of the weavers who pretend to make splendid cloth out of nothing. The weavers fabricate the story that those who do not see the beautiful clothing are either ignorant or incompetent. The plain truth is covered or layered with subtle lies and elaborate explanations. The weavers practice the sophistication of the ancient sophists, making the weaker argument appear the stronger through verbal ingenuity. The simple becomes complex, and the self-evident becomes obscure, because no one in authority dares to appear unfashionable. The king defers to the expertise of the weavers, the courtiers do not wish to lose favor with the king, the lower officials will not risk appearing unpopular, and the common people do not feel qualified to challenge prevailing opinion. Thus the artfulness of words (weaving), the influence of fashion (clothing), and dominant opinion (what others are thinking) complicate the simple truth that any child or adult with clear eyes and common sense can discern.

The weavers of the modern world specialize in complicating the simplest truths and defying common sense. What is a family? Everyone knows that a family consists of father, mother, and children. But the weavers of modern opinion argue that the family comes in a “plurality of forms,” attempting to impose the he that homosexual unions qualify as legitimate families. What is a man and a woman? Everyone knows that God created male and female: “male and female created he them” (Gen. 1:27). But the weavers of global opinion at the United Nations Conference at Beijing contended that there is a spectrum of genders from male and female to homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, and transsexual. What is abortion? Everyone knows it’s the dismembering or poisoning of a preborn child, the shedding of blood, the breaking of bones, the ending of a heartbeat. But the weavers of ideology insist that preborn life is not human life or that terminating a pregnancy is not killing.

The simplest truths are obscured by the same kind of weaving and spinning and pretending that occur in “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” Despite God’s condemnation of Sodom and Gomorrah, the self-destructive nature of the homosexual lifestyle, and the deadliness of AIDS, the weavers of opinion refuse to admit the king is naked or acknowledge the unnatural, immoral, fatal nature of sodomy. Everyone knows that the innocence of children requires special protection and that the topics of sex education and homosexuality have no place in the normal fives of school-age children, yet ideologues and Planned Parenthood insist that am students require this information.

Nothing could be simpler than a mother breastfeeding her children. There are health benefits for the child and economic advantages for the parents. It is convenient to be able to instantly feed and pacify the child at all times and in all places. No formula compares with nature’s food for children, and there is no substitute for the bonding between mother and child that breastfeeding effects. Breastfeeding follows God’s plan and co-operates with nature, yet few pediatricians encourage the art of breastfeeding. In a culture in which the artificial has become natural and the natural appears to be artificial, breastfeeding mothers are often made to feel like boors when they nurse their children in public.


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