On Sunday, July 16, 2017, New York Times reporter Philip Galanes, had his 1 1/2=page interview with Bill Maher and Fran Lebowitz published as a front-page feature in the Sunday Styles section (that is the section with the weddings, goofy stories about weddings, weddings gone wrong, weddings postponed, weddings that involved cabs — you get the idea.
Ms. Lebowitz spoke of her school years and explained, “We said the Lord’s Prayer every morning. The 23rd Psalm was read from the Bible.” Mr. Galanes quickly asked, “Which one is that?” To his credit, Mr. Maher offered, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of Death . . . ” And Mr. Galanes then responded, “Seems a bit dark.”
Sad that Mr. Galanes does not even know the Old Testament of the Bible as content that might have some literary value, not to mention offering a little insight into the human soul, Indeed, if Mr. Galanes took a little time to read that 23rd Psalm, he would find, not darkness, but hope:
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of Death. I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
All in all, not bad promises and endings — the point being we are never let alone in dark places. And it would be nice if a national reporter understood that, before, during, and after the interview. The common references we once all knew, and Ms. Lebowitz explained that, are gone. The darkness is in the lack of knowledge about basic religious tenets. You don’t have to believe, but there should be a mild curiosity and, perhaps, respect.