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So, I was innocently reading yet another helpful blog post from our church’s Executive Pastor

on the topic of Honoring our Mothers which happily includes set theory. Obviously, as a former math major, I was pleased. Really, is there a topic in the world which couldn’t be made more informative with the use of a Venn diagram?

But then I noticed this:

“The set of all people with no mothers is zero. The set of all people with mothers is everyone. The two sets do not intersect.”

The soundtrack in my brain (which was either a fighter verse song or “In Christ Alone”, I can’t remember) came to screeching halt.

I’m sorry. The two sets do not what now?

Obviously, Sam has either mistyped or he has completely neglected to learn/remember basic mathematical axioms.

Pastor Sam, research is half of writing. And even a cursory glance at the appropriate wikipedia page yields this important gem:

For any set A, the empty set is a subset of A! <exclamation point added>

So not only does the set of ‘all people with no mothers’ intersect with the set of ‘all people with mothers’  the set of ‘all people with mothers’ intersects with every set.

What’s that you say? I’m missing the main point of the post? Some thing about “Honoring your mother is a way to honor the One who gives the command to honor your mother.”

No. The main point of any post with a Venn diagram is SET THEORY*.

Update: Sara (see below) made some cogent comments and as I relook at my post I see that there wasn’t actually anything wrong with Pastor Sam’s statement.

So, Pastor Sam, you didn’t really make an error. My bad!

*Yes, this would be a good place for a swear word in order to show how strongly I feel about this. Except (A) I don’t swear, and (B) an optimal place to start swearing is not an open letter to your executive pastor, quite frankly.

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