Monday, January 24, 2005

Does the Pope have a sponsor child?

DOES THE POPE HAVE A SPONSOR CHILD?

Yes, I’m back. But before I bore you with details of what I’ve been up to, and turn the nausea setting to projectile with talk of The Boy, I have a few serious posts.

Firstly, I’m going to talk about religion. Before I do, I would like those who are reading and may, once completed, want to stone me to death, to bear something in mind; - This is an opinion, not me telling you how or what to think. I welcome your opinion, and even a debate, but not pointless and wholesale abuse. For further clarification, simply look at the name of this blog. This is MY truth, tell me YOURS.

This has come about because I was reading the Monty Python biography yesterday, and I saw something that for me, optimised my beliefs – “Jesus preached tolerance, peace, and love, and his followers have spent the last two thousand years doing the very opposite”

I can’t say I disagree. I n the name of religion in one guise or another – in the name of religious Ikons, countless wars have been won and lost. Who can say how many villages, towns, cities, and human lives have been obliterated from the face of the earth in the name of one who would have wept at the very thought?

By giving your enemy a religious tag – infidel, savage, heathen – your war becomes a righteous war. You battle becomes a battel in God’s name, for God’s cause. You justify the greed, malice, revenge you must satisfy by calling on the highest authority as a myriad of armies have before you.

Does God forgive those who use his name in these terms? How can using a God who preaches peace and love admit these as his children to heaven and turn away those who don’t believe for some reason, or those who make an error of judgement, or those that die without receiving the Last Rites?

Another issue that bothers me with Religion – and you’ll notice I use the term religion, not belief – is the accumulation of wealth by religious organisations, particularly the Catholic church and organisations like Hillsong.

I’m sure there are many, many organisations with a religious base that use the money donated to them for worthy causes. I know there are, and I donate to quite a few of them myself. But for every one of these, there are a dozen churches that collect those funds to no benefit to those who need it.

Now, it’s been a while since I’ve consulted the scriptures in-depth, so I could be wrong, but I don’t recall ‘ol J.C collecting donations for a new pair of sandals, or a Remmington beard trimmer. Okay, your church needs a new roof, your carpet looks a little threadbare – have a bake sale, pass the hat around – whatever. But don’t make your church look like something that makes the Opera House look like a hut in Shanty Town. There’s a church in Wantirna that you can see from four suburbs away – It looks like a fucking concert hall.

And don’t give me your “Monument to God” argument. Wouldn’t a more fitting tribute to the magnificence and generosity of your God be to act a little more generous with the THREE FOURTHS OF THE WORLD who live in poverty? How about the Vatican giving away some of it’s exceptionally high pile of Lira to the children in Africa who are so hungry they don’t have the energy to pray?

Basically, I guess, what I’m saying is, follow the example of the man you claim to idolise. Put on your thinking wimple and have a good, hard look outside the monastery walls at the world around you. The blood you’ve shed in God’s name will not be washed from your hands, and the money you store in the bank vault won’t buy your way into heaven. Did you see Jesus commissioning painters to make the chapels look magnificent? My guess he was too busy hanging out with the poor, the sick, the neglected that have always existed, and always will, if we don’t have a look at the way we treat our communities. I’m guessing the homeless on the street don’t give a flying fuck about the mural on the wall when they don’t have any around them at night. I’m guessing that all the innocent victims of “Holy” Wars weren’t all money grubbing capitalists. How fucking stupid are you going to look when your knocking on heavens door, and St. Peter gets out the tally list and looks at the ledger and the blood of the innocent drips from the pages?

How about a Holy War on poverty? How about a Holy War on hate? How about a Holy War on something that makes a damn difference at the end of the day. When you look back on your life from your deathbed, would you rather you had adorned your church with yet another painting, or adorned a thousand poor children with some clothes to wear, and some food to eat?

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