It's almost the end of April. Yr friendly curmudgeon has been MIA for a couple weeks. Doing some freelance work, sweating out finances and otherwise trying to keep the head above water as it were.
Not to mention drinking wine, hanging out with the cat (and lately one of my daughters and her dog) and wasting time on computer games.
Weather has been beautiful, daffodils and tulips starting to appear in all their glory. As are the Smith college women. Ah, spring in Northampton! Stop that, curmudgeon! You are way too old for them and you know it—my conscience says. To Hell with my conscience.
Beautiful weather=procrastination. Why you haven't heard from me lately. I know you were waiting impatiently. Too bad.
The political scene is getting uglier. Democrats showing they haven't lost their touch when it comes to shooting yourself in the foot. ABC proved all the media critics right by airing one of the most inane political "debates" ever. They musta forgot it wasn't "American Idol." Enough people have complained about it already so I will maintain a discrete silence.
The Obamarama is not a happy circus anymore. Our lad is running into the truth that way too many Americans are still racist. They don't see it. They think "Negroes" ought to have the same chances as anyone else. Only in some other neighborhood. I mean, Obama is half Kenyan fer pete's sakes! That's almost "not-American."
And Hillary "doesn't think" he's a Muslim. One of her sillier lines. He's United Church of Christ. Of course to some people that's like being Communist. UCC people believe that Jesus really does love everyone and that he doesn't give a rat's ass if you believe in evolution, or have an unconventional sex life.
Where DO these people come from?
And the Pope visited. I hear he baptized a bear as a Catholic and then took a sh!!t in the woods.
Okay, that was cheap and stupid.
I never could pass up a bad joke.
He did a good thing in facing foursquare the abusing priest issue. Unfortunately he hasn't considered the idea of letting priests have normal sex lives so that this stuff is less likely to happen. I think the argument goes that JC was a celibate and anyway sex detracts from meditating on more important things, like the state of one's soul. Actually, the idea of Jesus' celibacy is an inference (albeit a good one), not a known fact. He did have a way with women, especially disreputable ones, as my minister happily says.
I think the state of MY soul would improve if I could have more sex. Or, at my age, ANY sex.
It's striking to compare how many times Jesus has anything to say that is even remotely concerned with sex to the times he has something to say about wealth and possessions. Then compare that to the number of times your basic priest or minister has anything to say about the evils of wealth as opposed to the evils of sex.
Fact is, it's money, esp. money from wealthy donors, that builds churches and pays ministers' salaries and provides priests with parsonages. Sex seems to be deficient in that area.
Ratzi, Pope Benedict, is putting on a friendlier, less doctrinaire face. Sort of like the one George's buddy Vlad (George looked into his eyes and saw his soul) wore before his term of President of the Russias ended. And you know what Vlad is up to.
My prescriptions to save the church (as an ex-catholic):
Make celibacy voluntary.
Allow women into the priesthood. I don't think Jesus will care.
Drop the idea that people who aren't Catholic will have a difficult time being saved and entering Heaven (saved from what, you may ask)(and if you're Buddhist you can say "saved from having to come back yet again for another round of effing up").
Lose the papal infallibility thing. Pope selection is just another political process. I mean, do these guys think they're President of the US of A? Gimme a break.
Bring back the Latin Mass or if you're going to keep the vernacular get some poets to translate it for pete's sake. Let Art rather than doctrine guide the translators.
You have to work a bit to do better in solemnity than the part where the priest says "Sursum corda." And the congregation responds "Habemus ad Dominum."
Lift up your hearts and we lift them up to God, loosely translated.
"agnus dei, qui tollis peccat mundi, miserere nobis."
"Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us."
That's not a bad translation, but the Latin has it beat for solemnity.
You need a poet to get the right feeling of these verses into English or any other vernacular. And the translation has to reflect the FEELING, not the actual MEANING of the words. It's a mistake to get caught up in the literal meaning of the words. The truth does not lie in the literal meaning, it lies in the response you feel when you hear and recite them.
Intellect will not bring you salvation. You heard it here.
I find myself surprised, I who would support almost any modernization of the church, Catholic or Protestant, yearning for the mystery and solemnity of the Latin mass.
My dream is to go to a Catholic Church and hear the Lesbian priest(ess) intoning "Sursum corda."
THAT would be religion.
A lot of the Protestant liturgies also have a problem with this, they being just as concerned as Catholic clerics with getting the "right" meaning (intellectually) into the prayers and invocations, lest they lead people into hellfire.
Give it up.
And don't go all New Agey in the writing. The UCC's New Century Hymnal has some nice stuff in in it; also some really crappy revisions of old hymns. It's possible to go overboard in anything, including "politically correct" language.
English is a bitch. My prescription (I should go into pharmacology, all these prescriptions—it would be a natural, actually, considering my past interest in drugs) is: he, her, hers.
Let the (formerly) male term have the first person and give the possessives to the females. It usually works out that way in life anyway.
Just kidding, ladies. Couldn't resist another cheap joke. (I warned you).
Enough about Latin, Popes and cheap jokes. You could have been doing something useful and here you were reading this.