Phoenix In Chains

For many people, today is considered the holiest day in their religion.  Easter signifies the resurrection of the Christ and of the coming of life anew in spring, after the madness of the winter.  Since I’m a Deist and not really partial to Churches and trappings and holidays, this day also has meaning for me but in a very different way.  It usually signifies the start of my revival as a person; for the next several months, I will act like a human being again instead of a hermit huddled in his bunker with the heat on.  Coincidently, it is also the start of baseball season, as my beloved New York Yankees take on our hated rivals in Boston this evening.  I have a nice day planned with the kids; just hang out in the sunshine and make a nice roast for dinner this evening.  For many, today will not be such a day.  Today will simply mark another day in their existence with not a shred of significance for them at all.  Today will simply be another Sunday (if that) and they cannot even bear to bring themselves to look at Easter, because they have been betrayed by the very institution that was supposed to bring them salvation.  Their sanity and their souls have been contaminated and held back by the Church of Rome because of the perverted carnal desires of a few men who were supposed to bring light into the darkness, and instead brought darkness upon the darkness.

The current Bishop of Rome (when he was a Bishop and a Cardinal) appears to be implicated in helping to aid and comfort these men by not only allowing them to remain as priests, but aid in moving them from the parish where they committed these atrocities to another, where they would continue to commit them again.  And he would move them again, even after being implored by his own Bishops and others not to.  He would simply cover up their crimes…and like they always say, the cover up is sometimes worse than the crime itself.  So, you are now faced with a very interesting dilemma; an interesting situation that in fact tests the faith of the congregants of not only those parishes but of all of the Church of Rome.  This is not merely a bump in the road or more than a crack in the Church foundation…it will eventually prove to be the undoing of the entire institution.

I like to refer to myself jokingly as a “recovering Catholic” in addition to being a recovering alcoholic.  I was educated at a prestigious all boys Catholic High School in New York City, one considered at the time to be one of the best in the country.  We were required to take 4 years of Religious Education which involved studying both the Old and New Testaments, learning about the Catholic faith…and learning about other faiths throughout the world.  I spent ONE YEAR doing the latter; and it was during all four years of this Roman Catholic High School, that I realized that I was no longer a Catholic.  I realized it on an Easter Sunday when I kept seeing pomp and ceremony, and the congregants impeccably dressed; I realized it when through all of the fog of the incense…that you don’t need a building to be close to God (or the Universe as I later came to believe).  You don’t need an institution to interpret the words of great men like Moses, Jesus or Mohammad…all you need is a belief and a faith in yourself.  Moreover, you need to believe in a faith of Mankind, a universal unspoken truth that we are of one being.  We are one race, one people, one species…and we are so challenged in just being that alone.  How can we attain enlightenment when we haven’t even admitted to ourselves that we are fallible?  How can we POSSIBLY earn any measure of salvation when we can’t even be kind to our neighbor next door when they needed us during one of the many snowstorms this past winter in helping to dig their car out?  If you can’t be kind to your neighbor, then how the hell are you going to love them?  How can we understand words of great men when we have them interpreted for us through the guise of an organization that seeks nothing more than power and control over humanity in and of itself?  It’s not just the Church of Rome, it is any organized religion’s hierarchy.  It is through that shroud that we are “allowed” to seek salvation, as long as we believe in the INSTITUTION and not the FAITH.

What’s wrong with this picture?

There are so many phoenixes in this world just waiting to be reborn, and they are chained to the ground by institutions and trappings.  They cannot allow themselves to soar and their spirits fly and their souls learn of the wonders of this Universe; of learning through it and it through them.  Be a good Jew.  Be a good Catholic or Protestant.  Be a good Muslim…but most of all, be a good Human Being first.  Once you understand how to do that, then all the tenants of Faith begin to fall into place…and you might be able to build a better Church, or other organization.  Believe in the faith, not the institution; believe in peace and justice, not in lies and hierarchies.   Do not allow what happened to those poor souls happen again to another human being.  Take it upon yourself to move the earth to change heaven…and when you do, resurrection is not something celebrated annually but instead daily.  Allow those chains to fall off and be the Phoenix rising.

Then perhaps, Humanity just might have a chance…because if we begin to understand ourselves, then perhaps we can begin to understand each other and through each other the Universe.

“Many a doctrine is like a window pane.  We see Truth through it but it divides us from Truth” – Khalil Gibran