Friday, December 7, 2007

Victor's Road to Religious Understanding

It is illustrative to watch Romney and Huckabee being challenged on their religious beliefs.

Undoubtedly, the Mormons and Evangelical Christians hold beliefs that are a liturgical gold mine for probing reporters. How irresistible it is to ask a Mormon if he truly believes that the next garden of eden will really be in Missouri. What fun!

I have no brief with the obscure rituals of anybody's religion. Long ago, as a 10 year old alter boy, I lost my fascination with religious rituals when the bishop visited our small church. He wore a tall headdress (the mitre) for celebrating mass, and a skullcap, for delivering the sermon. Sweating as I was, among 50 heathen alter boys conscripted for the service, I remember thinking , " I got it. The big hat is to make him look taller and the beanie is to cover his bald spot." To this day, I still believe that my analysis covers all religious headgear, be it bishops' beanies, yarmulkas or Indian feathers. It's all about male vanity. Height and bald spots. Funny, though, most organized religions pressured women to cover their assets. Hmnnn, men are such hypocrites.

All of that said, I don't care if your religion requires you to wear a red rubber nose. I will fight for your right to wear it, but laugh in your face if you claim it makes you pious.

Which brings me back to Romney and Huckabee, two Republican candidates.

It's easy to question the religious rights in terms of their fitness for presidential office. But what would we do if members of other religions sought the same job? How would the media questions go? Some examples.

A Sikh Candidate.

Question: Sir , we know that the 5 symbols of your religion are (1) uncut hair (2) a turban (3) an iron bracelet (4) a dagger (5) loose underwear symbolizing chaste behavior. Sir, my question is, we have video of you riding a motorcycle while wearing tight jeans and we would like to know if your tight jeans nullified the loose underwear rule.

A Hindu Candidate.

Question. Ma'am, we know your religion holds that elephants are gods and many millions of your religions adherents believe that a ceramic statue of your elephant god, Ganesh, can actually produce milk fit for human consumption. My question Ma'am, is " will you be praying to an elephant when you are President and will you have a ceramic elephant to produce milk in the Whitehouse kitchen.

Moslem Candidate.

Question: Sir, we read in the Koran that Mohammed had a horse called Baraq. We also read that this horse had wings and the face of a woman. Most interestingly, we read in the Koran that Mohammed road Baraq 700 miles over night, that's 80 miles an hour, to Jerusalem, dismounted and ascended to Heaven to chat with God. My question sir, is if you are elected President, given our energy crisis, can you help us get some of these horses? And sir, will they look like Angelina Jolie or Margaret Thatcher?

I could go on. Since I was that 10 year old alter boy, I have been fascinated by the monumental idiocy of organized religion. But I still believe that the red nose religionists need all of our protection.

My major point is no journalist would ever ask these kind of questions of other religions because they know they would be shot dead before they reached the parking lot.

So for now, Christians of any stripe make for an easy, spineless media target.

But that can change. The IRA proved that. I bet there weren't a lot of sardonic, dismissive spoofs on Catholicism on Belfast television in the 1970s.


About ten wonderful comments came in this morning about the new Province column, for which I thank you. For reasons known only to the gremlins of cyberspace, these got posted to HUGE NEWS from yesterday's postings.

You can read them all here.

To clarify...the column will appear only once a week on Fridays. And it will only appear as long as the Province is happy with the work.

I have no idea what I will write for next week, but I have already planned a piece about some Hopeful Signs of Things to Come for the 21st, before Christmas.

Stay tuned....

First Column

It's minus the lovely foto, but you can get that by actually buying a paper. Or shnoring one at a coffee shop.

Here's my first Province editorial column.

Bits 'n Bites

- Larry just won't be quiet. So Carole would be a shoo-in. Yes, Lar, we all know that. Go back to your Red Chamber, collect your sinecure and shutenzie up.

- The Judge makes "an error" and has to apologize to the jury in the Pickton trial? Can Canadian jurisprudence, already reeling from the continuing exposure at the Air India hearings, get any more pummeled by its own neglect?

- Rarely have I seen Vaughn Palmer take after this Liberal government with such gusto as he has in the case of these soul-less Liberals hacking away at the budget of the Child Protection office. And he is ever so right to do so. He is also right to point out that it is the premier who is behind this pettiness and politicking, which will ultimately penalize children at risk. Also noted is the amount cut back equals the amount spent by that idiot, Christensen, on office renos. How do these creeps look at themselves in the mirror?

- Gary Lunn, MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands, has done NOTHING for anyone in all his years in office. But now he has managed the impossible - a tax forgiveness for one special group of people. The group is irrelevant; the issue is why them and not me or you? Can you say, corruption and favoritism, boys and girls?

- "I will take care to separate the affairs of government from any religion, but I will not separate us from the God who gave us liberty. Nor would I separate us from our religious heritage." This is Mitt Romney, the Mormon Republican presidential candidate, who is being rebuffed by some Christians for his religious beliefs, while other flock (sic!) to Mike Huckabee, the Baptist candidate. So this is what American politics has come down to - My God is Better than Your God!

- It sickens me to see Vanoc crying out for 25,000 volunteers for their 2 week multi-Billion Dollar Frat party. We desperately need volunteers for old folks, for youngsters, for health care, for education. At Langara College, we are currently placing 40 new student volunteers into action with the Boys and Girls Clubs and the Louis Brier Home. To take volunteer time and energy and care away from these quiet and honorable pursuits to enable the public scam known as 2010 is detestable.

Su Meng Paganini Caprice no 24

Written for the violin, and often used by virtuosi as warm-up exercises, the Paginini Caprices are almost impossible to play, let alone turn into beautiful music.

Now hear this transposed for the guitar.