Friday, 9 March 2012

#OccupyFriday When Holy Men Cast the First Stone*

Guest Sermon by Cosmetic Brain Surgery

A Teaching:
"Samaritans were much despised by Jews. if this story [Luke 10:25-37] was just about helping the needy, whoever they are, it would have been sufficient to cast the Samaritan as the victim and the Jew layperson as the person who helped. Crucially, however, the hated Samaritan is held up as the moral exemplar. A much more radical conclusion is this suggested; we must overcome religious bigotry." [Terry Eagleton presents Jesus Christ the Gospels, pp 172]
Church Interpretation:
Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland, says the proposals to allow same-sex unions are “madness” and a “grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right”. [Catholic leader Cardinal Keith O'Brien clashes with David Cameron on same-sex marriage plans, the Daily Telegraph 3rd March 2012]
A Teaching:
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33“If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34“If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. 35“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evilmen. 36“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. 37Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned. 38“Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”
Church Interpretation:
Most Catholic and Church of England school have a higher proportion of middle-class children than the local population...The Roman Catholic church, which has repeatedly insisted its schools are inclusive, comes out particularly badly in the examination of data published by the Department for Education (DfE) last month and in December. Three-quarters of Catholic primary and secondary schools have a more affluent mix of pupils than their local area [Church schools shun poorest pupils The Guardian 5th March 2012]  

One only has to ask where was the moral outcry by the Catholic Church when their priests were performing the gay practises they find so offensive, not with consenting adults but on children. A wimpering half-hearted apology did come eventually but only after four decades of abuse and cover ups. The Catholic Church has also tried to absolve itself of responsibility yet has been found by the law of the land to have sinned. It has not moved with compassion and understanding, but like any other self interested body looks only to protect its own. But by their own teachings do they not expect that their standard of measure is returned in kind?
"The increasingly shrill tone of what Cardinal Keith O'Brien is saying suggests that he believes he is losing the argument...I'm surprised that the Cardinal is now portraying himself as being in the vanguard of protecting children. There are hundreds of thousands of children who were abused by his church, a fact that was hidden for decades by institutional cover-up. And now he feels it necessary to rush to 'protect' the small number of children who might grow up with lesbian and gay parents in long-term, stable and loving relationships." [Ben Summerskill, Stonewall, Independent Cardinal: Same-sex marriage is just as immoral as slavery 5th March 2012]
Our souls are drained by the spiritually gnarled from their high positions, ordained by man not by any higher power. They could well reply
"I think that it is time now to call a halt to what you might call progress. I do not call what is happening nowadays progress"* 
Progress and compassion are diametrically opposed to the actions of the church who have a very good record of trying to stop progress, fomenting war and burning people in the process. This has little to do with spiritual realms but rather the 'sinful' earthly manifestations of greed and lust for power that Jesus, whose teachings they purport to follow, decried against in his frequent ejaculations against the Sadducees and the Pharisees in the Gospels. By taking on the money lenders and the religious scribes he lost his life, depeniding which source you believe. Then, as now, 'He that has ears to hear' fails to use them so blinded by indolent rage that are they that it deafens their hearts also. The words of compassion and love in the gospels they preach are thrown into rocks and wither. Instead of being raised to the light they are are drawn down to the fire, brimstone and hatred of their own personal hells. Sometimes, anyone can be forgiven for wishing there was no God (**).
Chapter 8

1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Now very early in the morning, he came again into the temple, and all the people came to him. He sat down, and taught them. 3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman taken in adultery. Having set her in the midst, 4 they told him, "Teacher, we found this woman in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now in our law, Moses commanded us to stone such. What then do you say about her?" 6 They said this testing him, that they might have something to accuse him of. But Jesus stooped down, and wrote on the ground with his finger. 7 But when they continued asking him, he looked up and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him throw the first stone at her." 8 Again he stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground. 9 They, when they heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning from the oldest, even to the last. Jesus was left alone with the woman where she was, in the middle. 10 Jesus, standing up, saw her and said, "Woman, where are your accusers? Did no one condemn you?" 11 She said, "No one, Lord." Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you. Go your way. From now on, sin no more."
For the rest of the interview with Anne Rice click here

* this man of the cloth is old, has admitted he is against progress and is an obvious fundamentalist. Why has he not been arrested and interned
(**)God is Dead

I wish there was no God,
Then maybe we’d sane,
No intolerance or prejudice,
To vilify his name,
No Acts of twisted love,
Merely Satan in disguise,
Or holy men of hatred,
I question are they wise?
To murder a mother of man,
In the name of moral law,
A sacrifice on your Godless altar,
To the Babylonian hoard,
I have no love of this cancer,
Spread by a poison rod,
So forgive me for my belief,
I wish there was no God.
Copyright Craig Mitchell
March 1994- 24th March 1995 

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