Monday, March 12, 2012


     There is a meditation from the commentary of St Thomas Aquinas for this past Sunday in the prayer-companion Magnificat which is challenging.  The excerpt, from his "Commentary on the Gospel of John," includes this passage:
     "...zeal, properly speaking, signifies an intensity of love, whereby the one who loves intensely does not tolerate anything which is repugnant to his love... Thus, properly speaking, one is said to have zeal for God who cannot patiently endure anything contrary to the honor of that if we notice anything amiss being done,we should try to eliminate it, no matter how dear to us are those who are doing it; nor should we fear any evils that we might have to endure as a result."

    Dozens of young people reportedly have been stoned to death in Iraq by fundamentalisst vigilantes for adopting the haircuts and fashion styles of "Emo," which are seen as an affront to Islam.   I supply a picture to indicate what is offending.  For the record, imams have condemned these killings.  But they have not been able (or willing) to stop them.

     Here is my limited point of view:
     1. Until this news item, I had no idea that anything called "Emo" even existed, much less what it was.  I would never be caught in an "emo" hair-do or fashion style.
     2. I do tend to agree with Muslims that we Americans export the worst of decadent "culture" to the world, in TV and movies and music that are at best quasi-pornographic and which celebrate decadence.  Radical Islamists don't call us "The Great Satan" as idle and irrelevant polemic.
     3. Our own 13th century theologican (quoted above) seems to sanction the mind-set that leads to such vigilante activity, doesn't it?

     How do we break the cycle of the mind-set that believes "God is on my side because it's MY side"?  Is violent hatred really the only response that can be made when I see what I do not like or what I disagree with?

     Alle menschen werden bruder, sings the final movement of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony:  "All mankind shall be as brothers."  When will we learn this and live this?  The fact that you follow Buddha and I worship Christ and others emulate Muhammed should not have to mean we must liquidate everyone else for our own security's (and ego's) sake.  And perhaps the greatest weapon against things like perversion and pornography is simply to eliminate the market for them; can we?

     I have good friends who are Muslim and Jewish; surely we can embrace one another and tolerate one another (even when we think them mistaken in fact); can we not agree to love one another even if mistaken, rather than murder over a hair-do?

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