Archive for the 'Religion' Category

Hard-core hagiography

Behold perhaps the most ludicrous movie trailer I’ve ever seen. The unintentional comedy is too various to even mention here, but when are people going to get off this subject? After accepting that the Virgin Mary was impregnated by a beam of light and the doctrine of consubstantiality, why are we pretending to be skeptical and look for evidence for our theories now? On the other hand it doesn’t surprise me that the people that Jesus was supposed to have become the father of are French, or that the French renouncing of the authority of the Catholic Church has by an admirably circuitous act of deviousness now allowed them to claim to be the children of the Son of God.

At any rate, this scanning of old paintings is turning the museums and cathedrals of Europe into Us fucking Weekly. “Is she pregnant?” “Do they look together in this picture?” So far fundamentalist Christians have been locked in a long and extremely un-scary feud with the entertainment industry, but now my biggest fear if Jesus does come back to earth is that religious veneration and its idolatrous cousin celebrity culture will merge. The Beatific Vision is basically the same principle as one long gratuitously doting photo shoot. The Rapture will probably be some interminable red-carpet ceremony and all eternity will be Oscar night, with the blessed collecting their trophies and the condemned passed up for the award for “Most Convincing Design of Prosthetics for 70-year-olds” forced to sit there and stare at the doors with fire-exit signs saying “No Exit” above them.

Whatever the Future Business Leaders of America say, no society would work if everyone were a leader. Most people have to be followers. So it makes sense that most people have an innate tendency to fawn on those that seem to be leaders. But just like with porn, religion and celebrity worship have both managed to lure an instinct with a perfectly useful and necessary biological function for survival off the path and trick it into rubbing its leadership-worshiping member for something that’s either not there or has been created purely to agitate this very feeling.

The keepers of the true not-very-strong religious feeling

Some religions are founded on faith, some on fraud, and some purely to allow some guy to get a divorce and marry someone younger and hotter. The latter is of course the origin of the Church of the England. While this founding isn’t really inspiring or even humanly decent in any way, Anglicans and Episcopalians have at least been able to be proud of their church’s claim to form a moderate “middle path” between Catholicism and Protestantism, but it seems more like a middle path between Christianity and a medieval reenactment society.

I’m not saying that they’re all weak in the faith, but last week I went to a friend’s birthday party and had gotten to the point where the Harvard girls had practically turned into the Miss America Pageant before I found out that the guy I was talking to, who was drinking about the same amount that I was, was training to be ordained in the Episcopal Church. I don’t know if he loved Jesus, but at least he seemed very enthusiastic about drinking His blood (and by the way, isn’t it typical that when the Church finally throws a bone to those who like to party, or at least need something to take the edge off their hangovers on Sunday morning, by offering them a drink during the service, they then try to convince them that they’re actually committing cannibalism?). And from the Episcopalians and Anglicans I know (granted not a very large group), it seems that to be in the church you don’t have to be very devoted to Jesus, you just have to kind of like him, or at least not have anything in particular against him. They’re kind of like God’s Facebook friends.