Sunday, July 08, 2007


"I believe in God as much as anyone on earth. It's his ground crew I'm not too sure about." - RONNIE HAWKINS.

I briefly considered the Priesthood in my early teens. Then I discovered girls and that idea went right out the fricken window.

But I had a good Christian upbringing in a small town where the faithful were so few that all faiths gathered for whatever Anglican, United Church, Baptist, Methodist or Lutheran pastor or priest happened to have our town penciled in on his rural route that particular Sunday.

I think that experience had some part in making me tolerant of whatever others choose to believe.

Basically, I'm a live-and-let-live guy; figure if your version of "what it's all about" gets you through the dark times with less pain and makes you a better person than you otherwise might be, that's a good thing.

But I'm starting to question my own tolerance level...

I've had the misfortune of getting on the wrong side of Christian fundamentalists in the past.

This week I watched a truly disturbing BBC documentary entitled "Undercover Mosque" which gave me the opportunity to listen to the most vile ideals being promulgated by fundamentalists of a different stripe, who laid out the apparently immutable rules for beating wives, murdering converts from Islam and marrying off 9 year old girls.

Video link here. Brace yourself. It's a tough one.

Meanwhile, the Vatican announced that it intends to restructure the Mass to add back a prayer excised in the 1960's in which God will be asked to "show mercy even for the Jews" and advocates converting Jews by "lifting the veil" on their imperfect faith.

At the same time, a group of senior Church of England Bishops announced that the recent flooding there was "God's judgment on the immorality and greed of modern society" and claimed that "laws which have undermined marriage and pro-gay legislation" have provoked God to send storms which have left thousands homeless.

"Flying planes into buildings is a faith based initiative. Religion is a neurological disorder that justifies Crazies." - Bill Maher

All this hasn't driven me to buying Christopher Hitchens new book, "God is not Great", but it sure explains why it's a runaway best seller.

I mean, exactly how much of your brain and basic humanity are you required to shut down as you move up the ranks of an organized religion?

It may well be bucketing frogs in England this week, but I went to school there and remember Wimbledon being rained out on a fairly regular basis. And if it being a little wetter this year means God doesn't like Gays in England then how come He made sure they had stunningly perfect weather for Pride Week in Toronto?

Don't these narrow minded fools realize that people can see what's going on all over the world these days? Their flocks no longer have to take direction from the one guy in the village who could read a book -- and apparently, even centuries later, still sticks to reading no more than just the one!

I honestly do believe a spiritual life can be of benefit to you and watching "Undercover Mosque" made me despair that parts of Islam fall for the same happy horseshit that the Jerry Fallwells of the world spew to their Christian brothers.

Last summer, I completely alienated a Catholic friend bemoaning the lack of attendance at his church by suggesting "Maybe the Priests should stop fucking so many of their parishoners' kids."

Sorry, but I tend to opt for the less tactful approach when the answer to somebody's question just seems so damn obvious.

Anyway, it feels like its time for those of us of any faith to finally demand our own particular Ground Crew start practicing what they preach. And if they don't, we'll just stop going to that particular place of worship and cut off the donations.

Quite frankly, you can't be a spiritual leader if any part of your message includes hatred or intolerance for anyone. I'm done giving these guys a free pass because they're holier than I am. Because, apparently, they're not.

"Think about it. There's an invisible man -- living in the sky -- who has a special list of ten things He does not want you to do. And if you do them, He will make you suffer forever! But He loves you. And He needs money!" -- George Carlin

As the week drew to a close I read an article in Psychology Today indicating, among a catalog of other human faults, that Muslim terrorists are driven less by a devotion to Islam than the frustration of not being able to get laid in repressive or polygamous Muslim states.

It made me get on my knees to thank God for allowing me to discover girls when I did.

In closing. Our hymn for the day is by Garth Brooks and fairly encapsulates my spiritual beliefs. Even if you don't like Garth (You Fricken Philistine!) hang in for the final shot of the Twin Towers. It's an ironic reminder of how far our tolerance of intolerance has really gotten us.

Here endeth the lesson for today.


Marilyn said...

Best sermon I've heard in a long time. Thanks for posting it.

Anonymous said...

The Vatican issued a document Tuesday (July 10/07) restating its belief that the Catholic Church is the only true church. The document adds that Protestant denominations are not true churches.

The decree comes days after liberal Catholic and Jewish groups spoke out against the Pope's move to authorize the wider use of a traditional Latin mass. The Tridentine mass includes a prayer for the conversion of Jews. The Jewish Anti-Defamation League in New York called it a "body blow to Catholic-Jewish relations."