Thanks for the initial responses to my query. I will look for the _Mark
Twain & Science_ book...I think I have seen it but, based on its title, didn'
t think it was appropriate.
Peggy: I appreciate your assessment of Twain. I'd be a fool to argue that
Twain was a closet Christian, but the danger for me to do so is there;
thanks for keeping me on the straight and narrow. I think the distinction
to be made in my thesis is between religion and spirituality, which might be
a different way of saying what you did about morality and religion. What I'm
basing a lot of my theory on is "The Mysterious Stranger" and its ironic, in
my opinion, conclusion that there is no God, no universe, etc., only self-
absorbed subjectivity (i.e., Satan's argument). I think Twain illustrates
how both orthodox religiosity and feel-good spiritualism (the two priests in
the story) diminish our Moral Sense, enabling evil to triumph in the various
ways it does in the story. Had either of the priests ventured beyond the
comfort zones of tradition and nice feelings and actually preached the real,
revolutionary Gospel (the one that led to Jesus being nailed to a cross),
perhaps the town wouldn't have been so easily seduced by the Stranger. That'
s what I hope to find out anyway.
P.S., could your "Libby" slip be a result of election burnout (i.e., Libby