woe for the lack of culture
My dad sent a couple links on recent "power of prayer" studies -- MSNBC
-- and the latter (a parody site) ended with the line, "Dr. Benson said he would now seek $10 million in grants to explore whether fire can be called down from heaven to kindle a pile of wood. The control group's wood will be drenched
in water to prevent combustion." I was surprised my dad didn't get the allusion without following the link (since it's one of the major stories I remember). He said he somewhat remembered the story of calling down fire somewhat but not the part where the woods gets wet first.
He said he's always amazed at how many allusions go over his students' heads. Recently, one girl wouldn't answer and then gave the right answer and my dad said, "Don't hide your light under a bushel," and he got blank looks. Then someone started singing "This Little Light of Mine" and he said yes, that's exactly where it's from. (Technically they both come from Scripture.)
I said I was surprised, given that it's still such an Irish-Catholic town. Though as I said it, I was thinking about my residual stereotype that Protestants are much more into the text than Catholics. And indeed, he replied that it has been his experience that Protestants are much more engaged with the text, that Catholics have the Church as intercessor.
And when he was longterm subbing for a 10th grade English class doing A Tale of Two Cities
, kids kept looking at him blankly when he would talk about religious allusions -- like the Resurrection
! Now that is intense. And 10th grade is around the time that Catholics are supposed to get confirmed.