Friday, December 9, 2011

Morality

Community and spirituality are largely rejected in the halls of the now. It isn't "realistic" or "scientific" to express (or yearn for) any belief in supernatural things that haven't already been put down in textbooks written by our brightest university scholars. Politicians are expected to pay lip service to "god," and there is a generalized consensus that other religious rituals are to be culturally enshrined--but, for all its past horrific sin, the concept of Christianity or group spirituality itself is under attack. It is simply inconvenient for people to be allowed "faith" in a society organized around mass murder and exploitation. Faith trips things up, and so it must be part-marginalized, part-assimilated, so that the grindery can keep running overtop any old-fashioned traces of shared humanity.

As society shifts into the retroliberal worship of Newtonian physics, weapon engineering, and idolatry, inconvenient things like love thy neighbor need to be traded out for newer models. Solstice became Christmas, the Christian permutation of winter pagan festivals, and Christmas then becomes Prepackaged Giftmas, the season of overspending and unnecessary crap. God asks us now not to avoid killing, but to kill in His name and for His purposes (search "we thank god that").

Churches, whatever their structured biblical overtones, offer a venue where people still expect to get together in person, and where they are able to question the morality of their behavior, their society's behavior, and pursue a goal of being happier and exploring the nature of being. These are not questions that elites want asked, and they are not questions based on corporate TV democracy or "representative republic," but rather, based upon overriding moral concerns that can empower the individual to do the right thing--even in the face of economic or shell destruction--on the road to Jericho rather than the thing that state security forces would command.

Although mostly now (and ever?) megabusiness in organization, the idea of the congregation--of people getting together to explore their own spirituality, the nature of life, and the way they want things to be nicer for their species--is a positive draw on people, and it still holds a trace of cultural power that hasn't yet been wholly stamped out. Though largely being misdirected to horrid ends, the idea of a binding human experience might just be the only thing that has the power to move this train off the rails.

Continued in Religion part 2.  

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