The Little Children

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Semantics

How we use language to edit reality
without knowing we’re doing it

Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world.
Be they yellow, black, or white,
They’re all equal in his sight.
Jesus loves the little children
of the world.

When I was a little kid we sang that song at church, in Sunday School.
Jesus was a liberal, and a one-worlder. That’s the first thing we learned.
He didn’t just love people, even the people who crucified him; he loved all people, everywhere. Not just white people and white children: black people! black children! Not just black people: yellow people! yellow children.

Suffer the little children to come unto me
and forbid them not
for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 19:14

That’s how I remembered it, now age 75. I just checked wikipedia:

Jesus loves the little children,
All the children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and white,
All are precious in his sight,
Jesus loves the little children of the world.

[Yeah, I guess I heard it that way too. It had a composer, preacher Clare Herbert Woolston (1856–1927): but he didn’t seem to have endowed a team of lawyers to punish departures. We hear it one way, two ways … sang it our way, remember it our way …
(And wikipedia offers other variants: Fat and skinny, short and tall,
Jesus loves them one and all …)
(Should we hope he gets checked for HIV regularly?)]

Remind you of anything? Just like the Bible! We make it up, rewrite it to suit our revisionist convenience, as we go along. Sure there’s some resemblance between the gospel stories told my Christians in the first century and told by Christians in the fourth century and told by Christians in the twentieth century … But they sure ain’t the same. What they show reliably is what the forgers and false-reporters want: they’ve no information what-so-ever about Jesus or his preferences.
(I doubt if there was in the first-century Bible either.) Is there any objective referent? or is it pure group fiction?

There were pamphlets, illustrating. Jesus is depicted as surrounded by three races of children, they’re at his knee, on his lap.

Red and yellow, black and white
thanx michelledastier

As we grow up some of us learn to ask certain questions: Where did Preacher Woolston get his information? from the Greek Bible? from the Latin Bible? Is this hagiography Pope approved?
Or did Woolston just make it up? Where’d he get the idea that Jesus had ever so much as heard of red people and yellow people, let alone loved their children? What about mixed breeds? Did Jesus love mulattoes too?

And if Jesus did love the high yeller gal, how come she wasn’t in the Christian slave owner’s will?

I want to launch a bunch of important subjects this morning. I’ll be lucky as well as diligent to post first installments of a couple such. Ideas crowd, crowd.
I pray I’m judged at least partly by intention, not just accomplishment.
And where I am judged by accomplishment (by God I mean, I do Not mean by man), I trust God to notice how my efforts were interferred with every step of the way, by Christians, by Americans, by people whose religious hypocrisy was exceeded only by their secular hypocrisy, their total lack of intelligent self-interest, their overwhelming presence of short-sightedness.

There’s one thing for sure we can love and enjoy and embrace and be sure of: the idea of humans finding and knowing and teaching facts is as big a joke as we can yuk over.
Media, TV, school … pure group fiction: self-suiting.
I pray for God, hoping against hope that someday, in a next life, I’ll be exposed to at least one fact that I can then lean against.

First draft? first installment? already it’s way-over revised and interfered with, just by me! in the first hour!

2013 11 29 I had a momentary difficulty searching for this post because I was confusing two “Jesus loves …” songs: the above and

Jesus Loves me—this I know, For the Bible tells me so.

Today I see that that popular song too has an author, a composer, and a specific title: The Love of Jesus (1858), by Anna Bartlett Warner.

Social Semantics

About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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