Friday, April 02, 2010

Response to Robert Genn's Newsletter Post Regarding Creativity and Fundamentalism


I wish I had time to write a treatise in response to the article in your newsletter, Creativity and Fundamentalism. I currently am a creative artist who in the past graduated from UW- Milwaukee with a Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree. In my final years of college I "returned" to God. As I married shortly thereafter and started a family, I began homeschooling. It was one of the most creative activities of my life, hanging in trees reading poems, hunting out woodland flowers and drawing them, building forts and dressing up like Athenian heroes. What ever we read as a family, I found my four children pretending and extending. They named all our trees and gave them life stories. They built whatever was needed to make their world come alive.

Today they are grown, or still in college with advance degrees having traveled continents and lived in diverse places among diverse people. They are not all artists but they create artfully and see with fresh eyes in their pastimes. They write, they shoot photos, they use their hands and their minds in their life work. They are invaluable in their respective jobs because they are able to look at the world in different ways. They are not hindered by peer pressure and mob thought, yet they love and respect their fellowman because God has taught them to love their neighbor. They are not perfect by any stretch, but I am proud of their courage.

They are creative, yet responsible...and kind...yet not easily manipulated.

I don't believe in creative divergent thinking without boundaries. Ah, some will say, there is the rub of her fundamentalist religion that smashes REAL creative thinking.

My reply is: do we really want a society without boundaries? More accurately can we survive a world without boundaries? Do we want to define creative freedom as the place to think or imagine and physically build something...anything? I don't think so. Do we really want a place where slashing murder or verbal abuse are just another alternative or divergent pattern of thought turned into "creative" action? How far is too far?

Rigidity is character trait of any cultural group. The boundaries that define rigidity move, but are just as rigid and unyielding. Have culture group A or B define the boundaries of fundamentalism and the fundamentalist attitude regarding man as a creative being; the answers would demonstrate the simple cultural rigidity of both that limits their understanding.

A fundamentalist premise is God created the universe from nothing and we are created in God's image and likeness. Hence...conclusion, we are creative beings. That is our lineage.

A fundamentalist premise is God is moral being and we are created in God's image and likeness. Hence, conclusion, we are moral beings. That is our lineage.

As a fundamentalist, those are boundaries. I am created, I did not create myself from nothing. I am not God, but I am made in God's image. I am most certainly a creative and moral being.

I am not random chance happening. Get serious, imagine what would it really be like to live in a totally random world at the end this sentence?

Judith Reidy

Dawn in the Mist
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