Friday, May 06, 2005

Okay...

This is just a 'little' disturbing... you have to admit. However, I believe that it is a sign of things to come.

http://www.the-dispatch.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050506/APN/505060896&cachetime=5


Also, I thought that PBS was sacred, but I guess not.
http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=2508

What really disturbs me about the first piece of news is that (assumedly) one's place of worship is a place where one can feel safe, loved and at home. But perhaps this is just too much to ask. Maybe I just have too inclusive a view when it comes to religion. That and the no birth control thing really pissed me off. Maybe it's too much to ask that there is a diety that loves or accepts us for who we are or who we vote for. But a friend of mine would remind me that that's the reason why God was invented... to make sure that people followed the rules of those who were in charge.

I consider myself to be shaped by Catholic values. Religion plays a formative and indelible role in our lives when we are young if we are raised within a religion. Even if we are not we learn moral codes and how to get along by the examples provided by our elders. The good memories I remember from the church of my childhood and adolescence were the times when we spent volunteering and helping others in the community. Somehow there are also hazy memories from when I was five or six of the image of the Virgin Mary as a figure who was loving and accepting, the typical archetype of motherhood. The Holy Mother is probably one of the most appealing and human face of the Catholic church. Her image is shrouded in mystery though most of the pr material developed around her was not put forth until the 20th century. Why wouldn't forsaken children see her apparition? They are looking for a motherly champion.

But where are any such images of compassion or acceptance in the action of religious excommunication? I believe that Christianity (before it was adopted by the ruling Romans) was appealing as an ideology to those Romans who were weary of the harshness of their social mores and the violence and dominance the Empire held over the world and its subjects. Early Christianity's appeal was built largely on it's doctrine of universal acceptance.

Looking at our past as a race of beings, the actions of that church in East Waynesville, North Carolina aren't new or unique to history. History in fact is replete with examples of groups excommunicating their members (sometimes murdering them) because they don't fit in. The other night after watching some documentary on how we kill off natural predators, I entertained the thought that maybe it's getting too crowded on this planet, and intolerance and violence are the manifestation of societal growing pains.

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