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Archive for June 27th, 2010

Because it’s Sunday, religion chomps at the bit to be topic du jour, this being the jour of choice for some to trot into a church and listen to some galloping gospel nag before racing to put on the old feedbag down by la mer (Notice my restraint in not ponying up with a canter/cantor ref … although I was tempted to geld the lily.)

Do you sense that I have been led to the baptismal font, but passed on the drink?

Fodder for my Sunday sermon comes from the news, and, as you know, I can rarely put the blinders on when presented with horse shit.

Winner of today’s “Horse’s Ass Award” goes to Vatican secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone Cardinal Bertone for his take on the Belgian government’s efforts to get to the bottom of sex abuse by priests in that country.

Apparently outraged that men of the cloth were “held for nine hours without eating or drinking” and that police seized 500-some files from a “Church commission” that was supposedly investigation allegations of abuse, the Cardinal expressed astonishment, saying:

“It was sequestration, a serious and unbelievable act,” … and, “… there are no precedents, not even under the old communist regimes”.

Yeah … right, you salacious git … putting dinner plans on hold and forcing bishops to enjoy their own company for a few hours is the “serious and unbelievable act”. He must be vibrating in his vestments over what the cops might find in those files. Could there be information that might be … shall we say … damning?

Moving right along, we flip the unleavened sandwich and find facial hair.

As this report illustrates, to beard or not to beard is ongoing as a hairy issue in the Muslim world, and being taken to new lengths by Hizbul-Islam militants in Somalia who are now ORDERING men to grow their beards and trim their moustaches.

I doubt that one of the dudes involved in the mandate intentionally punned when he announced,

“Anyone found violating this law will face the consequences.”

… or maybe Somali militants are really little more than frustrated comics … hence, the funny face growth?

Probably not, since it would take some humor somewhere under all that hair to grasp that a centuries-old fashion suggestion does not a mandate make.

Muslims learn about the Prophet’s views on facial hair not from the Koran, but through hadith – or sayings – attributed to Muhammad.

One such hadith, related by Muslim scholar Sahih Bukhari centuries ago, stipulates: “Cut the moustaches short and leave the beard.”

Good thing, then, that the 1970s came along later, as a hadith edict on sideburns, silver lamé and platform shoes would be just silly.

As a Sunday offering, I’ll close with some sense from Deepak Chopra, who notes that ” … religion is the primary form of spirituality in most people’s lives … “, then goes on to write about the tug-of-war between religion and science.

Science comes down to earth as technology, religion comes down to earth as comfort. But viewed together, they fall short of a common factor that guides every moment of daily life: consciousness. The future of spirituality will converge with the future of science when we actually know how and why we think, what makes us alive to the outer and inner worlds, and how we came to be so rich in creativity. Being alive is inconceivable without being conscious. “I think, therefore I am” is fundamentally true, but Descartes’ maxim should be expanded to include feeling, intuition, a sense of self, and our drive to understand who we are.

Amen.

And that’s enough horsing around for a Sunday …

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