Sunday, April 23, 2006

Backward, Christian Soldiers

Fundamentalist religion, fresh from its latest slide into death and destruction (the Muslim riots over those cartoons), is now steeling itself for new battles. These men of God are never happy, it seems, unless they're at war with someone or something—even if it hasn't turned up yet.

Case in point: the Catholics are already raising their ideological ramparts against a movie that's yet to be released, based on a novel that has clearly raised a stench of fear among the Dies Irae crowd.

Some of the other maniacs in the fundamentalist media gang are also making noise. Here's the story of another remarkable claim in that peculiarly religious victimization strain that we've almost gotten used to hearing.

You see, before you can be a warrior for Muhammed or Christ or Yahweh or even Zeus or Zoroaster; you have to paint yourself with the blood of victimhood. Somebody's dissed you or your God, and it's time for you to fight back. It's a monotonic old theme that goes back at least 3,000 years, probably longer.

So this week at Daily Rev, we'll be spending some time and spilling some ink over it all, to see what it's about and where an alternative to this tired old drone of holy battle might lie. The bottom line, perhaps, is that these fundamentalists wouldn't know spirituality if it jumped up and bit them in the ass. The truly spiritual people of this world have all been agents of change, and change is anathema to the fundamentalist mindset. Thus, they are led into perversion.

I have written about this before (just click on the Dali graphic above for an example). An institution like Catholicism is less likely to settle into community than it is to stagnate amid delusion, and finally collapse into corruption. Tomorrow, we'll be looking more deeply into this problem; but my primary and most urgent message for the moment to the Pope, Cardinal Egan and their "flocks" of priests, bishops, and cardinals would be this: if you (or many of you) practice homosexuality, either among yourselves or with other consenting adult men, then come out, for god's sake. It will only deepen your spirituality and restore the respect that people once had for you, but instead now direct, quite correctly, in my view, toward the likes of Dan Brown and J.K. Rowling. But if you are committing perversions against the bodies and souls of children, then I say that even Gitmo ain't a dark enough place to put you all. In that case, you are a beam in the eye of god; a plague let loose upon the Earth; a sickness for which there is no cure, for you are the agents of the only death worth fearing—the death of true spirit.

I look and listen for the truly spiritual voices of our time in the so-called ordinary people of our world, like a young lady named Marybeth Sullivan, who had the following comment on Cardinal Egan's stone-voiced fundamentalist rant against certain contemporary historical studies of Jesus and his world:

"They denied the Gospel of Mary and now they're trying to debunk the Gospel of Judas," said Sullivan. "Every time current events gives [the church] a chance to reflect and move forward, they've made the wrong decision."

So it is with fundamentalists everywhere, Ms. Sullivan—in government, in religion, sometimes even in science and business. Wherever we find them, we will have to calmly and clearly expose them for what they are—the ideological agents of death, violence, and oppression. That, you might say, is sort of our mission here at Daily Revolution. Tomorrow, we'll start it all again.

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