Saturday, December 03, 2005

Living the Archetype

You know what bugs me? Well, if you've read anything other than this post, you have a pretty goddamned good idea. If not, I'll tell you right now, A-#1 top o'the list is willful ignorance. I pretty much despise liars too, but they fall under the willful ignorance umbrella because they lie to themselves first (the part you don't see) then start having to defend the bullshit (the stuff you DO see) and eventually center their lives on this bullshit. Like a Copernican cow-patty; that's willful ignorance.

Life has been made easier by technology but that shouldn't mean that human beings should stop evolving. If anything, we now have the ability to decide what stays and goes in our reality most of the time. However, people still want life handed to them in a series of unlikely answers to intangible questions given to us by people who have no clue what the fuck they're talking about. If people aren't arguing over what they can worship they're arguing over how they should worship and when. If it was up to me, no one would be allowed to worship anything in public. Trade literature all you want folks, but no more churches, ashrams, fucking meditation centers, or anything else where stupid people could congregate and blissfully bask in their own mediocrity and willingness to use a pathetic archetype as an example of how to exist. Flip the fucking pancake; breakfast was over 2,000 years ago.

Why this rant now? Because Christians are now embracing C.S. Lewis and non-Christians are freaking out about it. Both sides sound like angry spouses snarling over an only child in the middle of a bitter divorce.

I spent my early childhood in a small nook of concrete in central Ohio. My brethren were but baby steps from snake handling Appalachia and all the churches in my neighborhood were filled with holy rollin', heaven bound believers in the liberatin' power of Jesus' name. No joke. So there I was, third or fourth grade. The teacher liked to read books to us right before lunch time. So she gathered herself up and made a statement that some of the kids would be excused to the library. The rustle of sack lunches from under desks was heard, coats slung on backs, and out marched about five or six kids, full of purpose. Confused, I turned around to ask the kid behind me what was going on. "She's readin' The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe." "...and?" "They's talkin' animals in it. That's devil worshippin'." "It is??" "Yeah, 'cause in the Bible, talkin' animals ain't Christian." Hmm. I see. Don't believe me? Check this out. Mmm hmm. That's what I'm talkin' about.

This was sometime in the 70's and it was in a place where "holy rollers" were considered the conservatives. The word "satanic" was heard frequently, many of the evil deeds from lost dogs to colicky babies were attributed to demons. Satan, I suppose, sent lesser imps to handle the stuff in my neighborhood, making personal appearances for oh, things like natural disasters and Led Zeppelin albums (played-backwards, of course). The KKK still considered (and might still, since I've lost contact with much of my extended family, I'm not up on current Klan dogma) Catholics to be akin to Jews, and anyone who wasn't all about church was certainly doomed to burn. Concerned parents pressed the teacher to stop with the entire Narnia series because it was considered satanic. The book was even challenged in Maryland in 1990 because it depicted "graphic violence, mysticism, and gore". Hmmmm. I have searched in vain for what type of mysticism was so offensive to the Maryland crowd and thus far, I have found nothing. So I'm not exactly sure if it was non-Christians who were pissed off because of all the god metaphor or if itÂ’s Christians who were pissed off because talking animals are the devils work. This brings me to my point:
This poor, innocent book is getting it at both ends. I think it best to handle this situation with diplomacy and tact.

To Christians, I say, shut the fuck up. You've been bitching about this book for ages. Now, all of the sudden, it's a badge for all that is holy and righteous and good. Well screw you. It's a much more realistic and heart breaking description of the torture and death of Christ, I'll give you that. But kids will only make that connection later. No kid is going to be thinking, "Hey, that dead lion, all coming back to life and stuff? That's exactly like Jesus! I've been so blind...*sniffle*” Non-Christians who want this book banned from classrooms? You shut the fuck up too. Screw you guys for having to fight a bunch of assholes just so we can read Salinger and then turning around and saying that censorship is ok as long as it's batting for your team. I don't want people forcing kids to pray or to say the Pledge of Allegiance but if a teacher wants to read a book about a friendly lion and a neat portal into another world, let 'em. It's not like any kid ponders that book and says, "Hey, I know. This might just be the primer to world Christian domination. I'ma go get saved right now!"

Get a fucking grip and get it now. Both of y'all are getting on my nerves.


I didn't edit anything above but I am adding this last bit because I had a long discussion with a friend about what I'd written. His take was that barring anyone from public worship is the same as censorship. Good point. My take is that it's not like I think that will ever happen, but I'd like it if people took into consideration that congregating (in its best form) would be a group of people hanging out to either thank *insert deity* for their current bounty or to enjoy the company of like-minded folk. Fine. Not my cup of tea, but hey, no one is shitting on my lawn that way, right? But groups, man. Groups are scary. Someone wants to lead, someone else wants to follow, followers tend to be even more self-righteous to prove that they're serious about the thing they're following, and eventually you end up with a megalomaniacal freak (bolstered by the fervency of his/her followers) and a bunch of freaky followers freaking out over nothing.