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July 16, 2009     The Sundance Times
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July 16, 2009

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Page 5 - Thursday, July 16, 2009 "WHERE THE KID GOT HIS NAME" Vacation Bible School next week Sparx the Fox, with Sundance United Methodist Church and the Chapel of Faith, is excited about CAMP E.D.G.E. (Experience and Discover God Everywhere!) Vacation Bible School on July 20-24, 2009, from 9 a.m. to noon. Come 15 minutes early on Monday to register. All children in the community, age three through sixth grade, are welcome to this Extreem Adventure Camp experience - at no charge. This is not your ordinary VBSI Sparx will lead the children on an action-packed, adrenaline-filled expedition that teaches that strength and might come from God. Rockin' contemporary music, mind-boggling science projects, extreme sports videos, cool crafts, and illustrated stories from the Bible will keep kids on the E.D.G.E. of their seats. A Picnic and Program for the families and the whole commu- nity will begin at 6 pm on Friday, July 24, with hot dogs and all the extras. Then the E.D.G.E Campers will show what they have learned through song and dance. Sparx will be helping VBSers learn: God God God God God is with me. I Will stay close to God. guides me. I Will follow. teaches me. I will learn. loves me. I Will love God and others. sends me. I will go. Call SUM Church (283-1954) for more information. Also check out our Blog at: sumchurch.blogspot.com. Rev. Dave Moorman and Sparx the Fox prepare for Camp E.D.G.E at Sundance UMC. Religion Today The Curious Case of Galileo Galilei By Karl E. Johnson, writing in "Sightings," from the Martin Marty Center at the University of Chicago Divinity School Recently, the Niels Stensen Foundation, a Jesuit study center in Florence, Italy, convened a conference titled "The Galileo Affair" to show how recent research "might alleviate the 'tension and conflict' still clouding the relationship between the Church and science." Indeed, 400 years after the Florentine astronomer's extraordinary discoveries, we are still assaulted with the message that science and religion are at war. Try telling that, however, to Brother Guy Consolmagno. Consolmagno is a Jesuit astronomer employed by the Vatican Observatory, where he serves as the curator of an extensive meteorite collection - several specimens of which he has discovered himself. The Vatican began employing astronomers in the 19th century, Consolmagno says, "to show the world that the Catholic Church supports and Tortured for Advocating Copernicanism. Apparently Carl Sagan's quip that Galileo was "in a Catholic dungeon threatened with torture" has all the academic rigor of the Indigo Girls song that begins "Galileo's head was on the block." Consider: Galileo's Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, the source of controversy, previously had been read and approved by the Church's censors; and Pope Urban VIII, who presided over the trial, was Galileo's friend and admirer. Consider also: Before the trial, Galileo stayed in the Tuscan embassy; during the trial, he was put up in a six-room apartment, complete with servant; following the trial, his "house arrest" consisted of being entertained at the palaces of the grand duke of Tuscany and the Archbishop of Siena. Galileo, apparently, was no ordinary heretic. According to an article by historian David Marshall Miller published last year in the journal History of Science, recent studies of the Galileo Affair have "exploded this 'myth' that Galileo's condemnation was a conflict between science and faith, novelty and authority, or rationality and irrationality." The arrest" were largely symbolic gestures, the Pope's concession to his political cntics, and a way for him to demonstrate his Catholic credentials. History, like science, teaches us that appearances can be deceiving. What appear to be conflicts between science and religion are almost always conflicts over political power and cultural authority. The sin of the Church in the Galileo Affair was not opposing science or free inquiry, but using Galileo as a pawn in what was pdmanly a political tussle. Perhaps the Stensen Foundation conference will finally put the myth of warfare between science and religion where it belongs - buried alongside the idea that the sun revolves around the Earth. Unfortunately, that is not likely. Because the promulgators of the warfare metaphor seem less interested in evidence than in using history for their political and ideological purposes, I suspect the myth of conflict we will have with us always. In the meantime, Consolmagno delights in doing science. "The amazing thing about meteorites," he says, "is that you don't have to go to outer space in order to experience them. Outer science." Affair, Miller says, was actually occasioned by space has come to us!" Consolmagno is Of course, Vatican suppoit for science the Thirty Years.War. Galileo's troubles began only one among many people who believe is partly public relations. Accordi'rlg {o the somewhat suddenly in 1633 -' just after the - without conflict - that what is true of conventional wisdom still taught in schools and repeated by many public intellectuals, Galileo bravely spoke truth (science) to power (the Church), and paid dearly for it, spending his dying days in prison. Except that it's not true. Ronald L. Numbers' Galileo Goes to Jail: And Other Myths About Science and Religion, just out from Harvard University Press, is only the most recent attempt to set the historical record straight on "myths," including its Number Eight: That Galileo Was Imprisoned Holy Roman Empire suffered setbacks in the war. To make a long Story short: Pope Urban VIII, who had been elected with support of French Cardinals, was suspected and accused of sympathizing with France, which opposed the Empire in the war. In essence, Spaniards and others were wondering, "Is the Pope Catholic?" The apparent contradiction between Galileo's widely publicized impnsonment and his actual treatment suggests that his trial and "house meteorites is also true of God himself. In any case, Conso magno, no less than Galileo, is living proof that "Catholic Astronomer" is not ' an oxymoron. Religion Today is contributed by the University of Wyoming's Religious Studies Program to examine and to promote discussion of religious issues. Past Religion Today columns and more information about the program can be found on the Web at www. uwyo.edu/relstds. Opinions welcome The 'Opinions'section of our newspaper belongs to you, ffe readers. Weencourage you to use it to express your opinions. The Sundance Tunes does not solicit any pacular viewpoint and publishes most all letters we receive. Letters ae not published when they cannot be verifie when y arrive unsk2ned, when they are libelous, when ffy are not considered in good taste, when hey am meant persona#y for one reader or when they argue #ology. Letters are edited when they contain poter#elly libelous oontent, when language is in poor taste, or when a letter writer has drecy adckessed a p#vete ci#zen as 'you." All letters must include a sicjnature, physical address and a telephone number Address and phone number wg not be publishe Letters lhat do net have an original signature 11 be verified by a telephone call to bhe  Letters TO e etor are int to express the w#tes vwpoint and vll not be p#nted if #ey are w##en as personal thank-yous or adversing messages. The Sundance Tnes is not responsible fore views expressed in ffe 'Opirons' page and do not, in publishing #ern, necossady endorse any particuler opinion. I ! I S D P00APID CItY REGIONAL HOSPITAL "00alle a Ste# lUlal#$ ll$11lllll tl#ur Ille." 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