How do we convince people who do not derive power from it or lose out as a result of it that the White Male Privilege does exist and that it would be almost universally beneficial to eliminate it?
Archive for the 'Religion' Category
Having been raised a Catholic in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, I’ve been following the recent scandals quite a bit. I can’t imagine the grief felt by the core group of victims. What a hardship it must be to see an ideal of perfection in a form that it so completely fallible, and in way that so violates a sacred bond of trust. I wonder, though, about the private emotional battles existing in the minds and hearts of many area Catholics who are questioning their faith in a system that may not have their best interests at heart. If the image of the Church has been put above the welfare of its parishioners, how can it possibly see for the beam in its own eye? Part of me stands in awe at the ability and ease with which the Church sought to cover up these allegations and in wonderment at the parishioners who knew what was happening to the victims and SAID NOTHING. What do you say to someone to convince them that an act so deplorable should not be openly condemned?
People travel the world to study the artwork and music of great men and women because of what it teaches them about themselves and history. They climb mountains and trudge through jungles to seek out the knowledge of one philosopher or another. They will pay thousands of dollars to hear a lecture by a great professor. There are beautiful minds untapped worldwide, and though they may be sparked by the law, by the microscope, or by the Word, they become flames by the work of the teacher. If society chooses to build stadiums instead of schools and cases instead of classrooms, it has already passed judgement on the importance of what I choose to do.
Without knowledge of law there is chaos. Without knowledge of medicine disease reigns. Some teachers sacrifice time and money and energy to teach people to read, but others sacrifice EVERYTHING to teach people to live. Education has built nations and lack of it has destroyed them. Knowledge is so revered that many civilizations believed that only the gods possesed it, yet society places so little value on those who seek to distribute it. If every last being on Earth were destroyed save two, they could recreate the world using our books. I am human, I am fallible, and all I have ever wanted to do from the depth of my soul is to be good enough to inspire someone else to be great. I would do it for free and unappreciated every day for the rest of my life. I believe in education like you believe in God. Judge me as you please.
But did Lennon want to be forgiven? It’s easy to do what you want with someone’s reputation once they’re dead, but what if John Lennon didn’t want to be forgiven for saying that the Beatles were bigger than Jesus Christ. It may have started as an off the cuff remark, but when Catholics and Christians condemned his and his music for the statement, burned albums, refusing to let their children by records, etc… it became something deeper.
In many ways, Lennon became more like Christ than most Christians, professing peace, harmony, and love at a time when Christians themselves were fighting against the idea of equality for all races based on… the Bible. He brought people together in a time when churches were tearing them apart under the “believe this or you don’t belong” doctrine. Lennon was closer to the second coming than most Christians will ever be, and to decry his music because of a statement is reprehensible at best. I’m glad the Vatican is moving on. I only hope Lennon can forgive THEM.
Partisanship has been a huge topic of discussion for the past few years, mosly because when Party A wants to get something done and Party B disagrees, Party A claims that they only disagree because of partisanship. They don’t stop to consider that what they want to do is financially irresponsible or morally wrong. The just think the other party is being obstinate, which is pretty insulting, but I digress. At some point during all of this Us vs. Them fighting, some of us started to realize that there ARE issues in which the parties are diametrically opposed, and agreeing to disagree just doesn’t fly when legislation is involved.
But we all have friends. And having made many of our friends before we were so partisan or found ourselves surrounded by politics, we sometimes find that our friends are of the opposite party. Family is one thing. You HAVE to love them, unless being around them is physically or emotionally damaging. But friends are a gray area. You want to believe that they are good people, despite their political beliefs, but then you have to ask yourself: Can you be a good person if you think it’s okay to deny someone a basic civil right? Can you be a good person if you don’t believe that everyone should have equal access to health care? Can you be a good person if you really believe that we’re doing the right thing in Iraq? Can you be a good person if you drive an SUV or a Hummer for fun? Can you be a good person if you continually ignore the fact that schools filled with minority students are vastly underfunded? Can you be a good person if you think automatic weapons are fine in the hands of criminals?
So the problem is this: They think they can be good people and believe all of those things, and I just don’t. If it divides our country, so be it. If it pits brother against brother and tears families apart, so be it. But no one, especially not in this country, should be forced to compromise on something they believe in with all of their heart simply to keep the peace. And they shouldn’t have to pretend that it’s something it’s not. It is NOT partisanship. It is the difference between RIGHT and WRONG. The Republicans are just WRONG.
One of the most frustrating things that people say about the economy, politics, environment, etc… is, “God will proviode.” We have intelligence. We can learn things. We can support politicians who support education so that we can learn more things. Knowledge is not a punishment. We weren’t punished for wanting knowledge, we were punished for disobeying god. And that’s an allegory anyway.
God will not fix your roof. God will not fix the hole in the Ozone layer. God will not fix the economy. God will not pay your health care bills. All of that is up to us. The closest we get to god is electing the right politicians so that all of that gets done with us having to know as little about it as possible and when all goes well we can say, “See, God has provided.” It may not all be chance, but it is NOT God.
If you want something, if you need something, DO DOMETHING ABOUT IT. Don’t just sit there and pray, then complain about the state of the world. Find the cause of the problem and figure out a solution. If you can’t figure it out, don’t say, “It must have been God’s will.” Find someone smarter than you and ask for help. Is no help is available , accept that it’s just that way through no fault of your own or anyone else’s. The devil is not involved. Let it go. Stoip waiting. Provide for yourself.
I don’t know if Andrew Lloyd Webber intended his musical to tell the story of Christ or to humanize him, but the first time I saw it, it reinforced my belief that Jesu bin Josef was a political figure and an incredible philosopher, but NOT the son of God. My favorite line in the entire show is sung by Judas and states, “You’ve begun to matter more than the things you say.” I can’t imagine that God’s intention was ever for us to worship Jesus as a god, but rather to listen to his words and implement them in our own lives.