Friday, July 08, 2011
On Jul 8, 2011 9:56 AM Guest from FLA wrote:
Thank you NASA for the wonderful job all of you have done for minds like mine who have dreamed about the stars and wondered what is beyond our beautiful world. You have added joy to my family thru Shuttle launches over the years and I am proud to be an American who has supported you since I was 8 years old! God speed to Atlantis and God bless all of you in your new endeavors on the next stage of Exploration!
We have had many wonderful memories and I want to post a few pictures from over the years...
So, we studied Jonathan Edwards from Colonial times with a focus on Calvinism and Puritanism and here is what I wrote:
Online Discussion: Participate in weekly online discussion regarding Jonathan Edwards/Calvinism in early America. How would you feel if you listened to Edwards give the sermon “Sinners …”? How do you define “Calvinism”? How are Calvinism and Puritanism related? So what? What does Edwards have to do with Hawthorne? Melville? Thoreau? Emerson? How does our American history seem unique because of its Calvinist heritage? How is that history clearly evident today? What kind of person is the ideal person, according to the Reverend Mr. Edwards? Do you see correlations with Hawthorne’s view of humanity? What kind of a person shrivels up and dies, symbolically and/or literally, according to Mr. Melville? Draw a valid conclusion about all the answers your reach. How is this text singularly American? Who living today might remind you of Edwards?
7/6/2011 | 5:42 PM
Calvinism and the Fear of God in Early American History
Rating: --Author: Brower, Sandra
Jonathan Edwards as my reverend in our modern era would have lost me as a member of his church. As I was reading "Sinners in the Hand of an Angry God," my heart started racing and my pulse was beating so hard I could hear it in my ears. I felt as if there was no point to having faith in God if he could just on a whim decide to let me go out of his hands and I could end up in Eternal Damnation without some kind of covenant made between He and I. His God didn't sound loving to me at all! But, then I realized I missed a few key sentences with my usual mode of attacking a first reading and I had not read Mr. Edward's biography yet. I missed the spirit of this man’s sermon. “Thus are all you that never passed under a great change of heart, by the mighty power of the Spirit of God upon your souls.” (McMichael, 287) If we have a “great change of heart” we are able to have the Spirit of God and then we are now the elected beings that we were predestined to be. Mr. Edwards was not the “beastly brayings,” (McMichael, 264) type of preacher that I initially saw; he was a tell-it-like-it-is, calm and steady voiced preacher who “…sought to teach men and women their utter dependence on God and to arouse their yearning for an inner sense of God’s spirit." (264) I am sure that his congregation felt the spirit of his message from the honesty of his words even if they felt they were being terrorized by the message of it like I did.
Calvinists hold the belief that God is omnipotent, the all mighty I AM. He is the Power of the entire universe and without being converted through The Holy Ghost a believer is just a “natural” sinner who has no way to get back to the Eternities but will end up in Hell. Calvinists believe that they are “Elected” before being born and that their sins are wiped away if they are part of that predestination through Christ’s Atonement. The Elected are given irresistible grace throughout their life and are thus “saved” for the Eternities. (B.A.Robinson)
Puritanism and Calvinism are in fact based on the same religion- Puritan’s were a group of people who believed in the Christian religion, Protestantism, but wanted it to be “purer” (hence the name Puritan,) because the Protestants from the Church of England still used rituals from the Catholic church. (Burton) American Puritans separated from the Protestant church in England and Calvinists were also separatists from the Protestant church when John Calvin reformed the Protestant theology in Geneva Switzerland and it was named Calvinism. The only difference that I could tell between the two was that Puritans saw their religion as more of a personal responsibility to make the covenants with God wherein they would find Grace from God, and as I said before Calvin’s believed they were predestined.
Many of Hawthorne’s stories were about the Colonial times that Edwards lived in. He constantly writes about Puritan life and Christianity and their view on good vs. evil. Edwards was a Calvinist preacher who taught about inherent sin, focused on good vs. evil. Both used Imagery to get their message across. In a lighter vein; both men were married to women with the initials S.P. J
All the authors that we have studied thus far are Americans born in New England. They were transcended in their intellectual thinking and just like Edwards had a “Great Awakening” in their lives. All these men believed that a higher being was in control, but that they were individually responsible for their choices. America was formed based on the fact that all people were free to worship the way they wanted. Pilgrims/ Puritans left England for that very belief. The author’s we have studied so far believe this very idea. Historically, the formalness of being a Puritan carried over into the nation, and the religious portion was taught in churches. We still have glimpses of that today in our time, Christianity abounds in the numerous churches throughout the nation, our holidays, our government traditions: the Pledge of Allegiance, our national anthem, prayers at our local meetings etc…
The ideal human according to Jonathan Edwards would be someone who acknowledged the hand of God in all that he was and did. He would be intellectual, virtuous and enduring in their quest for Heaven through their life. Hawthorne also believed that a person needed to endure through life no matter what the situation that they are faced with. Ironically, I don’t know if he did so well on this himself by hiding out socially, but he wrote about facing your fears. Herman Melville so eloquently showed this in his novella, “Bartleby.” Poor Bartleby "preferred not to" adapt to the changes in his life and thus became more and more like a ghost in the world, eventually he just “shriveled up and died” because the will to endure was lost internally. He seemed to not have a faith based on any higher power and thus had no way to draw inwardly for strength to endure. (McMichael, 1374)
American’s are people who don’t back down without a fight, we are confident, we keep pushing along and we stand for all that we believe in and are free to believe in what or who we want to. But, we are also able to change if we are shown a better way. Mr. Edward’s sermon “Sinners in the Hand of an Angry God,” shows how diligent a person must be to not fall down the slippery slope of sin. He wanted his congregation to fight to stay on the safe side of that slope acknowledging God’s hand in all that they do. He showed them another way to endure and expected them to do so. His final words show this, “Haste and escape for your lives, look not behind you, escape to the mountains, lest you be consumed.” (McMichael, 293) In other words, quickly change your ways, don’t look to the sins of your past and reach for higher levels of goodness so that you don’t waste the blessings you are given and receive a spiritual death.
I am Naive when it comes to men today who would remind me of Rev. Edwards. The only Evangelist preacher that I know about was when I was a child and that was the great Billy Graham. I don't feel that Billy Graham taught like Rev. Edwards, but then again he might have since my experience was a snippet on a television set. In our church we have lay men that teach in our classes and to the congregation and God is a God of Love who expects us to make our choices and it is up to us whether we return to his presence or not.
B.A.Robinson. "Belief Systems within Christianity - Calvinism." 13 Jul 2002. religioustolerance.org. 02 07 2011 <http://www.religioustolerance.org/calvinism.htm>.
Burton, Edwin. "puritanism, puritans." May 1997. BELIEVE Religious Information Website. 03 07 2011 <http://mb-soft.com/believe/txc/puritani.htm>.
McMichael, George, et al. Anthology of American Literature. 9th Ed. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education Inc., 2007.
7/8/2011 | 10:13 AMRE: Calvinism and the Fear of God in Early American History
Rating: --Author: Robison, Cassandra
Flag: --Score: --
This is a superior posting, perhaps your finest. You offer rich proof, well organized argument and well documented claims with ample textual proof. I particularly love the graceful and sophisticated wording/syntax of these: "The ideal human according to Jonathan Edwards would be someone who acknowledged the hand of God in all that he was and did. He would be intellectual, virtuous and enduring in their quest for Heaven through their life." (would be their lives, plural) Note the second sentence's graceful persuasion.
You are a scholar.
Comment from peers:
7/7/2011 | 1:15 AMRE: Calvinism and the Fear of God in Early American History
Rating: --Author: L, Cassandra
This was a wonderful post to read. I agree with practically everything you said. I love how you went even further than I did in your description of the last line of the sermon, it was perfect. :)
Comment to Peers:
7/7/2011 | 8:31 AMRE: Jonathan Edwards
I agree with your feelings of wanting to get out of the congregation if Edwards was my preacher. I didn't feel the drive of wanting to do better from it, I felt as if all was lost and there was no point in trying. It is interesting how some religious aspects change over time and now most religions have a fear of God but don't really fear him? Is the Westboro Church in Gainesville the ones that wanted to burn the flag against Islam ? I am eluded to the name of that church or it's history. I am just curious...
7/6/2011 | 7:56 AMRE: Jonathan Edwards
Rating: --Author: Brower, Sandra
I never even noticed about the reference that Rev. Edward's made about Nature. I love the use of the 2nd block paragraph that you used. I had an aha moment with that one. I think you are right about how Edward's sermon makes you realize (that if you are inspired by his words) that you need to make a choice. Maybe that is why I was so anxious when I first read it. I thank you for opening my eyes to places that I over looked.
Comment from our Prof to other Peers--- I don’t know how I feel about these…
7/8/2011 | 10:18 AMRE: Jonathan Edwards
Hi Amanda, while what you do write is apt and shows some close reading, your post is too brief to answer all questions and earn a score higher than average. Take a look at your peers who earned five stars like Lambert and/or Brower to see how to improve your postings in the future or how to revise and add to this one to earn a higher score. Note that you need to reason step by step and offer textual proof.
I hope this helps you earn higher scores in this class and in others too.
Dr. R. : )
7/8/2011 | 10:20 AMRE: Jonathan Edwards
Hi Gerard, like I wrote to one of your peers above, what is here is apt and good, but your post is too brief to earn a higher than average score. It's a shame as you are a good reader and thinker. You can increase your posting score this week and in future weeks by (a) reasoning step by step (give us more detail and thought) and (b) offering adequate textual proof. Take a look at your peers' Lambert and Brower who earned 5 stars this week to see how to write a fully developed, adequately proofed and persuasive post, okay? I know you can do it too. : )
Thursday, July 07, 2011
Another thing that I am in love with that Pintrest makes easier to browse. My birthday/anniversary present from Matt. I love this IPAD2. Maybe the bike picture would make a good skin for this?! yes, I admit it, I know that I am a little spoiled…
A blast from the past visited me off this ipad today. it looked a little something like this---
did you start hearing: la, la, la la, la la, la, la, la, la, laaaaa singing along in your head? I did…
Apple has some great stuff to offer. Now, I can bring this to school, withy my little red stylus I can write on it, I can type on it with my little rollout hot pink keyboard off of amazon ( I haven’t bought that yet, it is still in the decision mode…) and go to town. I just need a cover but I want something unique, and even though I found this, it is WAY too expensive to buy, so I will either look on eBay or find a unique more inexpensive alternative. maybe just a sleeve is needed that I can get in my own fabric choice and line it with some artificial sherpa? If only I could find the sewing machine peddle…
Have you ever heard of Pintrest? I had heard broken whispers, but never really knew what the big deal was, until I decided to post the question to
Curious- what the heck is PINTREST?!
and go an answer from the darling Aliza Randall aka the great giggle girl. because there can never been enough GG girls in my life…
Aliza Randall It's really great Sandi! I'm kind of obsessed with it right now! I think you would love it too! If you want an invite let me know!
June 12 at 7:53pm · Like
Sandi Lynn Field Brower Aliza- YES please?!!! I want to See what the rave is all about!
Aliza sent me an invite and this is what I saw…
and dang was I heaven! No more, having to save images and ideas to the computer taking up precious gbites or annoying Matt with my many CD’s of hobbies and wants… now it is all tucked nicely into it’s proverbial website bed! I love how I feel like curling up in this site and just dream of the amazingness of it all.. Now, I can go and drool, get ideas and be inspired by someone else’s amazing photography talents without searching for so long. someone else has found the website and I can visit if I choose or not…
This is one of my favorite picture(s) that was found on Pintrest- I want to have this in my room, I want to have it as a skin for my laptop or iPhone… It is amazing. It is the epitome of my dream life- Except that it would also have a ton of books mingled in with the flowers in that basket.
If you love creativeness--- you need to go there and sign up… www.pintrest.com enjoy
It was hard reading Thoreau but I learned so much and it made me want to go visit the mountains or the woods for a week just to get away and enjoy undisturbed Nature! But, we did take a trip down the Rainbow Springs river on inner tubes with friends the same week and so that really helped me out on the tranquil feel of what Nature can give, even though we were laughing and having fun throughout the whole thing.
Here are a few of the neat things we saw--- Armadillos! They remind me of Piglet on the old Winnie the Pooh movie.
The swimming hole at the end of the Springs. I guess the spring outlet is somewhere in the upper left corner. It’s a nice balmy 72 all year long.
Trebor trying to catch a lizard and also a shot of the whole group
Mckenna and Devon snorkeling
My dear friend Cindy- who by the way is chastising me for not getting in the water. There was a nice Alligator warning sign off the area boggy area (that green area behind Cindy- see the little bouy rope off?)which I convinced myself was not what I wanted to encounter while swimming. The inner tube float was enough for me thank you!
sorry, I didn’t get any pictures of the float itself- because I only had my phone, (which I got out of the car between the float and the swimming hole…) I need to invest in a cheap point and shoot for stuff like this since I don’t’ want to ruin my Nikon with water anywhere near!
*Note to self- do this BEFORE you go to Palm Beach…
Now back to the Discussion. Interestingly enough, I didn’t get a comment from my Professor on this entry which made me curious to see what she thought about a few things. so, I wrote her an email
Dr. R- I'm curious... Which Parties DO YOU think that Emerson and Thoreau would be a part of if they were alive today? Thanks, Sandi
here is her response:
I do not think they would be Republicans as our current Reps are leaning way too far to the right for our gentlemen scholars Emerson and Thoreau. I'm quite sure Mr. Thoreau would refuse to label himself as "any party" in particular though he would vote for the Green candidates, those who loved and protected Nature. If he had to choose between the two major parties, I think he would lean towards the Democrats although he would have arguments with them too! : ) Mr. Emerson would be a Democrat or a Civil Libertarian. He would tout Green causes. He was not much for personally taking care of the poor, a real character issue on his part in my mind, unfortunately. Other than that, he leans a tad left, I think. Your thoughts? Don't let politics or people's opinions on politics or religion shake you, girl. Stay in the coolly objective air of scholars. : ) Dr. R.
my response back so she didn’t think that I was wanting to use her opinion…
6/25/2011 12:04:46 AM
As per my DF #6 thoughts: In the Lecture Self- Reliance, Emerson stated that “Self-existence is the attribute of the Supreme Cause, and it constitutes the measure of good by the degree in which it enters into all lower forms.” He also said that “A man is fed, not that he may be fed, but that he may work,” we all know that working for our freedoms is part of being self-reliant and so with both these statements, I would believe that Emerson might not have been part of either main Political Party namely Democrat or Republican, but might have been more of a Libertarian. "A Libertarian’s top priority is to increase individual liberty and responsibility, Shrink government, reduce taxes and Liberate education, commerce and personal choice." (Libertarian Party) “That government is best which governs least.” Thoreau probably would’ve been more supportive of the Green Party ticket since his stance on passive non-conformity fits a little better with this political party. "The Green Party stand for peace, social and economic justice, nonviolence, grassroots democracy, respect for diversity, women’s rights and protection of the environment." (GPCA Platform 10 Key Values) Thoreau was jailed for not paying his poll taxes; his book Civil Disobedience influenced not only Martin Luther King Jr. but also Gandhi. (McElroy)
I never let other people's opinions sway mine. I will listen, pull out what I agree with and try to learn and digest the rest and sift it out if it still doesn't sit well with my values. I have learned since moving from Utah 2.5 year ago to be more tolerant of other's views. Since we lived in a bubble while living there. Moving here has been a great thing for my two younger kids who also have learned that it takes all kinds of people to make a great environment, not just those who believe the way you do. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and inspiring me to always reach higher. I was just curious because I didn't get a comment from you in our discussion forum and wanted to know what you thought about the political part... :)
Have a great weekend, Sandi
p.s. I am going to Hemingway's Key West home for the 2nd time in a year in a few weeks. This time the kids get to take the tour and then they are going to read THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA. Both kids are in HS and will be taking Honor class. My son, Kyler is a SR. and he has to read Frankenstein and two other classics this summer, but I thought Hemingway would be great also. Is there a better Hemingway you think he might like? I don't think he would like A SUN ALSO RISES. ~S~
And as any good Literature Lover would do, she gave me that recommendation:
Sandi, I recommend the novella The Old Man and the Sea. He will like that. If it must be full novel size, I recommend For Whom the Bell Tolls. I love your answer. Well done. Talk to you more soon. I'm off with my son and his wife today.
Online Discussion: What qualities in Thoreau and Emerson identify these writers and thinkers as Transcendentalists? If Emerson and Thoreau were alive today, which political party would each probably belong to? Explain your answers thoroughly. Describe the ideal American according to Emerson. Describe the ideal American according to Thoreau. Discuss how Nature is emblematic to understanding God in both writer’s works. How are these men uniquely American spirits? Does America still believe and support such philosophy as expressed in these major works of the 19th Century
6/19/2011 | 3:12 AM Transcending Thought
Rating: --Author: Brower, Sandra
Flag: --Score: --
I believe that Thoreau and Emerson’s main quality that showed them as Transcendentalists was to think deeper and focus on the root of all that’s entailed in this world and in our souls. Their thinking transcended to the Heavens and didn’t bother with the minutia of worldly cares when it came to belongings, working to have those belongings and conforming to other’s way of thinking. Emerson believed that we were not to just exist but that we were meant to provide for ourselves. We are not to be lazy, we are meant to be self-sufficient in our living and that is by learning to do things. "Skill to do comes of doing.”
Both men truly loved to be out in the world of what God gave to us, or as Emerson stated, “…give us a delight in and for themselves,” when he was describing the beauty of the natural world. Thoreau so beautifully described in WALDEN from the chapter entitled, “Solitude” of the natural world in which he was surrounded while living at Walden Pond, “This is a delicious evening, when the whole body is one sense, and imbibes delight through every pore… as I walk along the stony shore of the pond in my shirt-sleeves, though it is cool as well as cloudy and windy…all the elements are unusually congenial to me.” Both men believed that no man should reign over another man and this was proven by their view towards Slavery. Emerson wrote many a lecture on this topic and it was not always viewed favorably. Thoreau’s question in Walden resonated with me when it comes to how we deal with our fellow man, “Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other's eyes for an instant?” (Thoreau) Does it resonate with you?
In the Lecture Self- Reliance, Emerson stated that “Self-existence is the attribute of the Supreme Cause, and it constitutes the measure of good by the degree in which it enters into all lower forms.” He also said that “A man is fed, not that he may be fed, but that he may work,” we all know that working for our freedoms is part of being self-reliant and so with both these statements, I would believe that Emerson might not have been part of either main Political Party namely Democrat or Republican, but might have been more of a Libertarian. A Libertarian’s top priority is to increase individual liberty and responsibility, Shrink government, reduce taxes and Liberate education, commerce and personal choice. (Libertarian Party)
“That government is best which governs least.” Thoreau probably would’ve been more supportive of the Green Party ticket since his stance on passive non-conformity fits a little better with this political party. The Green Party stand for peace, social and economic justice, nonviolence, grassroots democracy, respect for diversity, women’s rights and protection of the environment. (GPCA Platform 10 Key Values) Thoreau was jailed for not paying his poll taxes; his book Civil Disobedience influenced not only Martin Luther King Jr. but also Gandhi. (McElroy)
According to Emerson, the Ideal American would have been someone who was self-reliant, an individual thinker “What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think,” someone who believes that all men are created equal, “The likeness in them is more than the difference.” He also would want that American to be principled, “Nothing can bring peace but yourself. Nothing can bring peace but the triumph of principle.” I believe that he would also think the ideal American would be someone that respected differences in belief systems, because he greatly appreciated all religions which are shown throughout his writings; he talks about the Bible, and Mythology, and points out that the entire world is filled with a Spirit.
Thoreau’s Ideal American is a little more Anarchist than Emerson’s. Thoreau would have an American be an individual who is not afraid to stand up for what they believe in and do whatever it takes to take that stand. He would have them be a person who worked to provide for what is needed but not to have belongings, “…Men labor under a mistake. The better part of the man is soon plowed in the soil for compost. By a seeming fate, commonly called necessity, they are employed, as it says in an old book, laying up treasures which moth and rust will corrupt and thieves break through and steal.” which would clutter the freedom of speech and thought, “Most of the luxuries, and many of the so-called comforts of life, are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.”
Thoreau would also have the Ideal American, like Emerson, be a principled person, “If one listens to the faintest but constant suggestions of his genius, which are certainly true, he sees not to what extremes, or even insanity, it may lead him; and yet that way, as he grows more resolute and faithful, his road lies.” This principled American would be full of virtue and purity, “There is never an instant’s truce between virtue and vice. Goodness is the only investment that never fails.” He would want someone who is self-reliant and a free thinker, “I desire that there may be as many different persons in the world as possible; but I would have each one be very careful to find out and pursue his own way and not his father’s or his mother’s…”
Nature is emblematic to understand God because as taught by Dr. Robison in my ENC1102, “The whole is greater than its parts,” I believe that the nature of words in the world is not as great as the nature of the spirit or of nature as a Whole. We are to understand that metaphorically the Word when mentioned in the BIBLE is God and the World is his school ground. So, when we go into Nature we smell, hear, see, taste and experience entirely what God has created, “Every object rightly seen, unlocks a new faculty of the soul.” 1]We are taught that our spirit is the same as that of what the spirit of the world is, “The world proceeds from the same Spirit as the body of man.” As Emerson told us in Chapter VII of NATURE labeled “SPIRIT,” “The Happiest man is the one who learns from nature the lesson of worship.” We feel reverence when we step into nature the beauty of what is created is manifested a hundred times more to us in the quiet, solitude of all that we are encapsulated by. Thoreau said it best “What do we want most to dwell near to?...the perennial source of our life,” which is God.
Both Emerson and Thoreau are uniquely American because unlike living in other parts of the world, they could write what they learned in their years of study and contemplation on life. They were not beholden to any laws that prevented them from disappearing from the community, they were not told what they could and couldn’t say or do and most of all, they were free to worship as they pleased without fear of imprisonment or worse death. Unlike other nations who condemned freedom of worship, thought or speech and stifled ones creativity with ridged rules, these men were able to be free to create. They truly were independent thinkers who thought on a higher realm and transcended the thinking of what the Americans considered living.
I am certain that there are many Americans who still believe the philosophy of Emerson and Thoreau. I just think that we on a whole today are more conformist than both of them were, we follow the crowd, we are afraid to think for ourselves when it comes to what would be considered different. We should be quick to remember what Thoreau said, “We belong to the community. It is not the tailor alone who is the ninth part of a man, it is as much the preacher, and the merchant, and the farmer. Where is this division of labor to end? And what object does it finally serve? No doubt another may also think for me; but it is not therefore desirable that he should do so to the exclusion of my thinking for myself.” I know right now that American’s are unhappy with their government, they feel hopeless, they feel as if they are being let down, but are afraid to do anything about it. We didn’t think as we made our choices (whether Democrat or Republican,) for who we wanted to run our country by what our true beliefs are. Maybe, there were people who were fooled by the mantra of the present administration, but I think that on a whole the nation followed the “feel good, let’s make history” band wagon blindly and never really thought about what was being promised and how it could be achieved. I do believe that people are becoming more tolerant of each other’s differences and might just be about the business of trying to take care of themselves and not tell others how to live and so in that respect we still agree with the philosophy that we “look through each other’s eyes for an instant” to better understand each other than we have in the past. But, when it comes to the religious beliefs we have gotten far away from what Emerson and Thoreau believed. They believed in a higher power, whatever we tend to call that power, and the freedom to believe in whatever we choose; where now there is no tolerance, people want to change what the Founding Fathers designed and seem to get ugly when someone believes differently from what the other person does which tends to cause contention among the masses.
1]Samuel Jackson Coleridge as Quoted in NATURE by Emerson
GPCA Platform 10 Key Values. 14 10 2006. 17 06 2011 <http://www.cagreens.org/platform/10k.shtml>.
Libertarian Party. n.d. 17 06 2011 <http://www.lp.org/introduction/what-is-the-libertarian-party>.
McElroy, Wendy. Henry David Thoreau and “Civil Disobedience,” Part 1. 25 07 2005. 17 06 2011 <http://www.fff.org/freedom/fd0503e.asp>.
McMichael, George, et al. Anthology of American Literature. 9th Ed. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education Inc., 2007.
Schulman, Frank. Dictionary of Unitarian & Universalist Biography. 1999-2011. 18 06 2011 <http://www25.uua.org/uuhs/duub/articles/ralphwaldoemerson.html>.
Thoreau, Henry David. Walden or Life in the Woods and On the Duty of Civil Disobedience. Cutchogue,: Buccaneer Books, Inc., 1986.