Sunday, 2 November 2008

Blasphemy again

Is it blasphemy to refer to the apostles as the 12 apostrophes?
How about Paul in his letter to the Parentheses?

Jokes fly around this place all the time in reference to religion, I'm the only protestant in a house of catholics. It's just an invitation to me! I am a regular church goer - to the family catholic parish. The kids are being raised into the catholic church and I have not issue with that, and the ongoing references to my 'heathenistic' nature are diminishing, but still there. Making fun of it all is a must, not to mention great fun! I have long since promised Kim I wouldn't do or say anything that would permanently stain my children's faith. I have to this point, as hard as it has been given the tempting opportunities, maintained that promise. 

I saw a comic on TV today names 'Father Sean', I couldn't find anything on him to reference, maybe someone else can. He was wearing a collar and carrying a bible, reciting gospel passages and adding punch lines. Funny stuff if you have an open mind, there's the key. How many people these days do? 

Bill Maher does, Religulous proved that, I hated the movie but I admire Maher's ability to discuss religion's counterpoints to the likes of Vatican officials and crack pots alike. I'm really surprised that religious zealots around didn't raise the stink I saw coming with that flick. When shitheads protest funerals of fallen soldiers saying that their death were payback for a culture that condones homosexuality, surely Maher's film would raise an eyebrow? Nope.  Maybe they just ignored it, maybe they thought that because there was nothing homosexual about it they didn't see anything to complain about? 

My kids are safer to be open minded. They will be subjected to more opinions in their lives than just Maher's and western crackpots. Extremism, whether pro or anti religious is rampant and we walk a narrow path between them in our daily lives. The kids will have to decide for themselves which way to stray if they do at all. The faith community teaches many Christian values that are universal - love thy neighbour, peace on earth, stuff like that. Things that are common to all beliefs, even the lack of it. Even extremists belief in core beliefs that are commonplace in most world faiths. The problem is when these beliefs get distorted to one's own plan, using them to justify wacko ideas. Look up Mullah Omar

In a world where religious strife and division is becoming more and more of a problem, I have to back off with my own sarcastic ways just in case I inadvertently put a wrong idea in someone's mind, or piss off some right wing nut job. I have a very strong faith in God and the Christian church. Even catholic. (had to, you understand). My children and my wife do as well and that has served us well in our home and our faith community. 

I want to be able to let my son watch the comedian having fun with the bible, but is he ready for it yet? Are we as a society ready to let this guy make fun of the gospels? George Carlin did with great success, one of his best bits was to reduce the ten commandments to the necessary two. Funny stuff, but recorded in a simpler time. I think that in the process of opening our minds in this society we have inadvertently closed them instead. We have fallen victim to the politically correct movement again, which has run it's course and is now dying. Overkill. 

We're getting more and more afraid of pissing people off with our views. Religious extremists are doing it because they don't care who they piss off - it's their goal to piss people off. They think that if they make enough noise people will see things their way. Oh look, those people are protesting Johnny's funeral for a superficially stupid reason, Let's go hear them out! I don't think so. These people are doing what they believe is right and we are slamming them for it. Sound familiar? 

The only difference between me and them is the extreme views. Not the idea that I'm not afraid to express my views. We both do that, so does the Taliban. It's what we believe that counts. I want my kids to believe because they believe. Not because I made jokes. If anything, maybe having fun with it all makes it easier to take.  I have a friend who lists his religion as antagonist, even though his faith is strong. It's all in how open minded you want to be. 

I want my kids to enjoy their faith. I want them to live in a society where they profess their faith and can still smile and have fun. I'm glad they live in a society where this is possible, the question is how long will it be possible?

Now I'm off to read the Gospel According to Bif.


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