Being a former Christian, I have a right to expound on dogma and high ritual in the churches, comparing the old-time religion of the 50s and 60s with today's megachurched world of air conditioned dog houses and preachers with summer homes in California. So let me borrow a snippet of a local TV newscast about some people who are angry that the murderer of a friend is free on bail and awaiting the friend's "justice." They were shown in a Catholic church praying for retribution.
Yep, they were praying to God to destroy the accused. Before a jury hears facts.
If anything sounds wrong with this then perhaps you, like me, have a certain post-enlightenment "nostalgia for religion," to quote the late Pier Paolo Pasolini, famous for his black and white gritty docudrama, The Gospel According to St. Matthew. I don't know about Pasolini, but my own nostalgia for religion finds current Christianity abhorrent and certainly counter to the interpretation of the canonicals I learned in 12 hours of religion in college. Was I wrong to assume that a person who advises turning the other cheek would ask followers to forgive even the homicidal, for theirs, too, is the Kingdom of Heaven. But here are these people praying to the same God to smite a person out of good old-fashioned revenge. Their participation in such an obscenity inside a church is just mind-boggling.
Abraham Maslow wrote that religious people babble rote nonsense when they go to services. Most know nothing about their religion except basics: it's been shown that atheists have more acquaintance with the bible than most Christians. Maslow thought that people go for social, business, and political reasons than because they genuinely believe in something they know little about. How many of them know that Leviticus forbids shellfish? They aren't going to synagogue. For that matter, as George Carlin observed, why honor with worship a God who tells women to cover their head in a cathedral but never cover the head in a synagogue? A God that fickle, that arbitrary, that capricious...isn't worth worshiping. He's worth forgetting.
James - we must be related. I believe your aunt Maxine is the twin sister of my - now gratefully departed by everyone who ever met her - aunt Leona. I recall, late one afternoon, being with my brother visiting our mother's grave. When I asked where the old bitch (Leona) was buried, my brother loudly said we didn't have time to find out, as it was nearing sunset and she would be coming out of the ground any minute. The two women tending the grave near us must have heard us, because they got incensed and stormed off. It was obvious they had never met her.
Heh heh heh. Yeah, strangers to the experience of a person like that might think ill of you for being disrespectful of the dead. I say if they were shits, dis 'em. Maxine was an only child for too long, and when Jeanelle, my mom came along, her older sister was jealous of the affection. She also learned to be manipulative. One day in a general store, she saw those big glass jars of candy that they had, and she threw herself onto the proprietor's flooe, thrashing about, moaning and weeping and so forth. When the poor owner asked her what was wrong, she said, "I'm soooo hungry! I'm sooooooo hungry." He gave her a piece of candy.
I miss none of it--period.