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NBC Heroes, Original Sin, and the Image of God

Heroes is continuing to try to string along the religious viewer by employing Christian verbiage such as ‘image of God’ and ‘God’s will.’  Tonight we had something that passes as a good juxtaposition between the Christian worldview and the secular worldview though ironically the roles were reversed…  Nathan Petrelli has ‘got religion’ and is now seeking transcendental meaning for his life.  So far, so good.  A Nathan Petrelli in the future attempts to reason with his brother, Peter, that we’ve all got good in us since we’re made in the image of God- as such, we can center extraordinary power in a superpowerful army of good intentioned individuals with ‘Heroes’ powers.  (As I understand the conversation).  Peter, who hasn’t said a peep about religion or God doesn’t trust people and believes his brother is wrong.

I’m not denying that we are made in God’s image and that this then necessitates ‘goodness.’  The rest of the story, though, is that that image has become corrupted.  No Christian who knows his Bible and has studied human history and observed human nature would fail to note this critical distinction or reject the evidence of it all around them.

On the other hand, secular humanists thought they had people all figured out.  They thought they could throw off the shackles of religion.  Once everyone was a ‘free thinker’ like they were, things would be swell.  They put pen to paper and created the Humanist Manifesto.   In the 1933 version, we read:

Man will learn to face the crises of life in terms of his knowledge of their naturalness and probability. Reasonable and manly attitudes will be fostered by education and supported by custom. We assume that humanism will take the path of social and mental hygiene and discourage sentimental and unreal hopes and wishful thinking.

Did you see the date on that?  The word you’re looking for here is “Oops!”  After the Jewish holocaust, multiple purges under Lenin and Stalin, Mao’s cultural revolution, World War 2, the Korean War, ie, after the death of some three hundred million people or so, the humanists went back to the drawing board.

From the 1973 version:

It is forty years since Humanist Manifesto I (1933) appeared. Events since then make that earlier statement seem far too optimistic.

Incidentally, the American Humanist Association won the Understatement of the Year award the following year.  You’d think with the worlds smartest and brightest people crafting manifestos, unshackled by religion and superstitious thought, they’d have gotten it right the first time.  Not only did they not, but they found their 1973 edition inadequate, too!

From the 2003 version:

The lifestance of Humanism—guided by reason, inspired by compassion, and informed by experience—encourages us to live life well and fully. It evolved through the ages and continues to develop through the efforts of thoughtful people who recognize that values and ideals, however carefully wrought, are subject to change as our knowledge and understandings advance.

The 2003 version dumps a lot of the material from the 1973 version that might have done some good, and like a dog that returns to its vomit, exudes the same principles- if not the same overt optimism- of the 1933 version.

What is the point of all this?  The point is that Heroes got it backwards.  It is the thoughtful Christian, relying on their own eyes and the insight of a set of documents that didn’t have to be revised every thirty years as ‘understandings advance’ that ‘got’ it right the ‘first time.’

…there is no one who does good, not even one… (Romans 3)

Some people heap contempt on the Bible because it is old and they find it ridiculous to believe in something that hasn’t been ‘updated’ in light of modern ‘progress.’  Our little journey through a century of the humanist mind raises an interesting possibility worth considering:  maybe the Bible doesn’t need to be udpated because it got it right the first time…

What aspect of reality does secular humanism continue to miss while ‘guided by reason’?  Original sin.  People are naughty.  It ain’t gonna change.  Therefore checks and balances is the way to go… which a really informed religious Nathan Petrelli would have known.

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