Wednesday, April 9, 2014
good ol' hell
The difficulties and corruptions of religious organizations are the same corruptions and difficulties encountered by men and women who never gave a thought to religious life. Religious organizations are made up of men and women -- how could it be otherwise?
The sharper lash that may be felt when religious depredations arise, stems from a self-inflicted format that hopes or promises or promotes a happy dissolution of difficulty and corruption. When difficulty arises, cries of "hypocrisy" rend the air within the flawed religious institution that has tooted its own horn as virtuous, kindly, unflawed and often ethereal. Alternatively, the blindly devout scurry like rats to shore up the religious ship that has been holed and sadly stray still further from the promises the religious institution once made.
For those whose hearts are not broken -- for those who never gave a thought to religious effort in the first place -- none of this is terribly surprising or even, perhaps, very moving: If you're dumb enough to stick a fork in the electrical outlet, what the hell did you expect? Difficulty and corruption are human ... get real!
In one sense, religious organizations do nothing so much as to beggar the longings of religious life. And yet those longings remain, even when channeled elsewhere ... to be free and happy and unconfused and ... well ... blessed. Religious organizations from the dawn of time have made hay based on those child-like and sometimes childish longings.
And the strange thing is -- at least in my experience -- that religious organizations do hold out the potential for something quite wonderful. This is not for lack of screwing up the very mission they claim to be on. Ask any church what it thinks of the church and you are bound to get a glowing report.
But for all the briars and all the hypocrisy ... still I think there is something to be said for the man or woman whose longings lead through the church door, are invariably dashed upon one altar or another, and yet continue beyond the various apostasies....
I guess all this just a blowhard's way of saying what has been said so often before ... you ain't gettin' to heaven before you have found a home in hell.