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Thursday, 17 March 2016

Deconstructing Christianity, Deconstructing Christ

A bit of shock, sadness and sniping at a Catholic Mass intended for those who have virtually no choice in the time or place of their corporate Catholic worship, or of the sensibility of ars celbrandi embodied in that Mass (which makes it all the more troubling, and cruel, when you consider the purpose of such broadcasts,) that makes use of a shocking, sad, and yes, worthy-of-snipe song. (By the way, this sacrilege took place several years ago, there is not reason to believe that those responsible for it, the problematic nature of such programming having been called to their attention, have not been admonished, been instructed, and amended their ways.)

Gaia? really? REALLY? is Gaia our creator, is she our redeemer, is she our advocate? is she the Word, is she homooúsios with the Trinity, which is then, what? ....a "quadrity"?

Patently not - nor is she a saint, not the mother of Jesus, not a member of the hosts of heaven; in brief, not someone who enjoys the beatific vision.


Really, if Catholics are going to sing, or listen to encomiums to her, why not address Tartarus at funeral Masses?
Oh, sure, in the bad ol' days it was mentioned as a place, but why not as a sentient being, a primordial being?
And why sing about Tartarus instead of to him? O Tartarus, please don't swallow the souls of the departed?
Or maybe, please don't "absorb" them - we might think of Tartarus as a collective like the Borg!

In the great timesuck that is Those Interwebs, I had to look into the source of the Bad Song that kicked off the discussion.
Unitarian Universalist.
Well, not exactly, she's part of "a loose community of women", (word order is everything,) but she is the composer of "most beloved song" of that sect.
And she is also one the creators of the Water Communion, a ritual with a long tradition - going back all the way to the 1980s!
Due to the nature of Unitarian Universalism, traditions vary from one congregation to another; however, most Water Communions follow the same general idea. Throughout the year, members of the congregation collect small amounts of water that have meaning for them, either from a special location (e.g., the family home, an ocean or river, memento of a trip) or a special occasion (first rain after a dry spell). At the service, the samples of water are placed in a single bowl so they can merge. Some of the water is often saved, sterilized, and then used for ceremonial purposes at other times of the year; the rest is returned to the world.
The symbolism, like that of the comparable Flower Communion, can be interpreted in various ways. The classic life-related symbolism of water is apparent. The rejoining of many waters can also symbolize the rejoining of the congregation after summer travels. McDade and Longview chose this way to honor the "journeys" of women, and to represent the way women both contribute to and draw from each other's strength, working both individually and together, to bring change. 
Mayhaps I am looking at this the wrong way, but the emphasis on women doesn't seem very, well.... inclusive.
But that's just me.
The "flower communion"?
A Unitarian minister, (do they call them "ministers"?)
saw the need to unite the diverse congregants of his church, from varying Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish backgrounds, without alienating those who had left these traditions. For this reason he honored the universal beauty of nature by having a communion of flowers instead of the Eucharist. 
In a religion that believes nothing in particular, don't the rituals mean nothing in particular?
Reading this, I wondered - was the danger of "alienation" from referencing something a congregant formerly had rejected? or formerly believed in?
Flowers are pretty, that something we can all get behind!
How would a former Catholic who had reject the tenets of the Faith react to echos of baptism, with PTSD or warm fuzzies?
But Unitarian practice has many echos of Christianity.
In looking at the "most beloved song," I watched a very well sung and arranged version on the Tube of Youse,  the visuals of which were pretty nature photography and the lyrics.
And then, mirabile dictu, the Corporal Acts of Mercy, (though not so named,) or bits of Matthew 25.
Who do most UUs think Jesus was, do you suppose?
Who spoke those words?
Someone Who spoke profound truth there, but was crazy or lying when He forgave sin, or claimed that "I AM" before Abraham was, or declared that the Father and He were One, or when He promised to send His Spirit?

Why, when they are so ready to humbly accept the transcendence of nature are they not ready to humbly accept the transcendence of God, why so unwilling to embrace their inability to understand the One-in-Three?

That is a common feature of modern man, no? Profound ambivalence about the supernatural.
Oh, we moderns couldn't believe in that, we're too knowledgeable for THAT, as he rejects the hard sayings of religion, (as if an Aquinas, or a Ratzinger, or a Lemaître is a silly, superstitious, uneducated, gullible, slightly dim hick,) and then fill the hole he has created in his his soul with vampires, or the earth, or aliens -- or the idol he has made of his Self.
Jesus - is He the Christ, the Son of God, the Logos? or is he, (note lower case,) just some nice Jewish teacher who died tragically young?
If the latter, why does He have such a hold on those who reject the former, why their continuing fascination, their inability to go their merry way and ignore Him, even, very often, their insistence on defining themselves in relation to Him in that very rejection?

Is a puzzlement.

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