Reflecting on the death of Pope Paul II: Babbling about religion

In Uncategorized on April 10, 2005 at 9:14 pm

It is hard for me to mourn the death of someone I did not know especially since they had such a long good life. However, in their death it is possible for me to reflect on the meaning of what they represented and who they represented.

In order for me to reflect on Catholicism, I must reflect upon the portion of Christianity that I was raised upon and that was as a Protestant. So I will compare the two Christian ideologies. Mind you I know absolutely nothing about Catholicism, only what I’ve observed.

As I rode across the country the presence of the Virgin Mary slowly began to invade my mind, I suppose I would have never noticed it but there was only one problem the images in the center squares that I would continuously encounter starting with a small church in Alabama were not of white virgins and babies, but black virgins and babies. This was different from anything that I had ever seen before and my enquiries of, oh is that a church for black worshipers would continually net a no. In other words these were not black churches trying to turn Mary black. These were predominately white worshipers apparently housing black virgins in their stained glass. What I know and knew is that some argue that Christianity evolved from the cult of ISIS where actual black goddesses were worshiped, and in France their are still remnants of religions that still worship Black Virgins. Some explain it as dating back to Isis, others say that virgins outside of the united States are black because the soil is black and they represent fertility. Whatever the reason, I am aware that Pope Paul the II made pilgrimages to Poland to visit his black virgin.

What significance does this have? For me it represents the brotherly love, the agape love of the catholic church. The totally selfless love that emphasizes clothing the naked, housing the sick, feeding the hungry, and walking a christlike existence and the willingness to see reality as it is, not as they wish for it to be. Juxtaposed with my view of Protestantism, Catholicism in terms of the good neighbor theology comes out clearly on top. Living in the south with self proclaimed protestants “holy rollers” black and white is indeed strange. The whites that lynched blacks in the old south were largely protestant Christians. The divorce rate of 60% in the protestant south of Georgia is ten percent higher then the rest of the country. The tales of corruption, racism, lack of quality education, infant mortality, lack of economic development, etc. tell the tale of a protestant south that is largely behind the developed world, not the U.S. Living in the South is like living under a Hunta in Latin America. If an official tells you no and you complain, believe it or not someone will make a law or policy to justify that action. The south is Dirty, but what does this have to do with Catholicism you ask?

Whereas Catholics try to walk in the steps of Christ, a large number of protestants in the south are trying to use the words of Christ to get them through their daily lives and justify their existences, this is not a place of folk attempting to walk in the steps of Christ. You will see many disciples and partakers of the word but few that are willing to live a Christ life like. I will use the Brian Nichols case as an example, there is a portion of an article that stated when the accuser of Brian Nichols discovered that he was cheating on her with another woman, she littered him with bible versus, however she never littered him with bible versus concerning supporting his own child, going to visit her, being her friend even calling her. The two could even start a church without giving the child a thought. This is the protestant environment we live in, while I am sure that deadbeat fathers exist in the catholic religion among those who actively practice it. I’m pretty sure that those who are deadbeats do not proudly proclaim that they are. To emphasize this proclamation, I refer to a piece of meaningless legislation passed by the Georgia legislature that said that the incomes of both parents most be taken into an account when evaluating what the non-custodial parent should pay for child support. I am fully aware that judges do this anyway and have been doing this, but what did I hear a female protestant legislature who voted for the bill say. Second families are getting hurt and that’s why we passed the bill.

Unfortunately, my knowledge of the process is of large-scale corruption within the system where deadbeat fathers are living extravagant lives, and telling the system they can only afford to send their children twenty-dollars a month. I am aware of a system that selectively loses files and fraternity, sorority, and church members can get their files taken out of circulation so they don’t have to pay. In this largely protestant society the church has essentially become a pagan religion with the gods of connections, friendship, and advancement in society but the core teachings of Christ are largely ignored. The core teachings of proverbs are just a notion. Proverbs speaks of loving your wife and not giving into the harlots of the street who call to the men saying leave your wife, leave your family come go with me, a divorce rate of sixty percent attests to the fact that protestants of the south are not reading this. There is a passage in the bible that speaks of the vineyards of fatherless children and women and how they should not be disturbed, the failure of the protestant Georgia legislature to hold men accountable for their actions and to further emphasize their adversarial relationship towards women and children by passing a law regarding income that is antiwoman and anti child is horrible. When I think of the south and religion I think of an Erskine Coldwell book that I read years ago entitled Deep South. To summarize the main character he says, ” I became a minister because I did not want to be poor and I liked women, and as a minister I could get all of those things. The south is mired in hopeless protestant ideology that does not provide hope to the hopeless. While largely people in the south call themselves the Christian right, the reality is that this is the dirty south and religion is just but an organizational tool. The main tenant under Hitlers rule was the organization of individuals into groups to promote ideologies. Hitler organized women’s groups, youth groups, senior groups, soldier groups, etc. etc. etc and that was to promote his ideology. In the south religion is functioning as a tool, of ideology.

I will complete this later with juxtapose the west: brotherly love in action.


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