Who doubts G.E.?

Compare our monastery and the General Electric plant in Louisville. Which one is the more serious and more ‘religious’ institution? One might be tempted to say ‘the monastery,’ out of sheer habit. But, in fact, the religious seriousness of the monastery is like sandlot baseball compared with the big-league seriousness of General Electric. It may in fact occur to many, including the monks, to doubt the monastery and what it represents. Who doubts G.E.?”

The year 2015 is the centennial of Thomas Merton’s birth. Above is another quote from Merton’s Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander. Today he might have written instead, “Who doubts Google?” Or: “Who doubts Facebook?” Or started the paragraph:

Compare our monastery and the Apple store in Louisville…the religious seriousness of the monastery is like no-contact peewee football compared with the NFL seriousness of Cupertino….

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