Archive for the ‘ Religion and Politics! ’ Category

He Is Risen

Happy Resurrection Sunday!

From the Sixth Hour…

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?  

Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.  And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.  The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him.

Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.  And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;  and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,  and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.  Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God.

For the world, it was a good Friday.

The Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 27

Much Ado About Something

It really is a big deal, all this talk about religious liberty.

Yeah, yeah, I know, we don’t talk about it all that much from time to time, but it’s been in the news lately even if we aren’t calling it by name.

So, you might ask, “Why today?”

Well, back in 1672, on March 15, King Charles II of England issued a Royal Declaration of Indulgence.  It was his attempt to extend religious liberty to Protestant non-conformist and Roman Catholics in his dominions worldwide by suspending the penal laws that punished “recusants” (those who refused to attend Anglican services) from the Church of England.

Prior to this ill-fated declaration, England had undergone religious turmoil since the days of Henry VIII’s divorce from Rome and his Catholic wife, Catherine of Aragon.

The British Isles had been fighting religious wars on one side or another during the last part of Henry’s reign, his son’s reign, and the reigns of his daughters, Catholic Mary and Protestant Elizabeth.  And at the time of the declaration, not only were the Catholics in hot water, the Protestants within the protestant Church of England were too.

Rules were rules, and they’d for darn sure better not be broken!

The Stuarts (Charles II’s granddad, James I) took over when Liz died.  They were in reality, Catholics posing as Scottish Presbyterians posing as Anglicans.  Charles II’s mom was so Catholic she refused to be crowned in an Anglican ceremony and was never really queen.

Of course, all of Europe was in religious upheaval at the same time as the Protestant Reformation had been going on for years.  The Eastern World had never known religious freedom.  In the Middle East and beyond, it was the religion of the current war-lord that was en vogue.

In the United States, we’ve never had to deal with this stuff.

Sure, sure, some of our first “citizens” landed on our sunny shores for religious freedom, but most of them brought their beliefs from back home and most of them were about as tolerant as an Ayatollah.

That all changed with folks like George Washington, James Madison, Roger Williams and such.

As a matter of fact, George didn’t become a popular name in Jewish communities until George Washington went into a synagogue in New York City and promised the congregation not only religious tolerance, but religious freedom.

But back to Charles II and his Royal Declaration of Indulgence.

It was highly controversial, as most religious decrees are.  Sir Orlando Bridgeman resigned as Lord Keeper of the Great Seal and refused to apply the Great Seal of England to it.

Orlando thought it was too generous to Catholics.

See, Catholics in England couldn’t enter public service, lost lands, estates, and power, and this was Charles’, who was decidedly and not-so secretly Catholic, attempt to restore much of that.

It was a big deal.

Charles’ parliament, known as the Cavalier Parliament, forced Charles in 1673 to withdraw the declaration and in is place, impose the Test Acts.

They required anyone going into public service (lords, barons, earls, dukes, sheriffs, dog catchers) to deny the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation and take communion at the local Anglican church.

To Catholics, then and now, transubstantiation is pretty important.

But with the Test Act, they had to place their hand on the Bible and say “I (state your name) do declare that I do believe that there is not any transubstantiation in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, or in the elements of the bread and wine, at or after the consecration thereof by any person whatsoever.”

If they didn’t, they couldn’t be employed.

If they did, their church taught they were bound for an eternity of torment.

At the onset, the Test Acts didn’t include the peers (lords, dukes, etc.) but they were included in the Protestant only play in 1678 which required all peers and members of the House of Commons to take the oath as well.

It went further and required them to declare against the invocation of saints, the sacrament of Mass, and of course, transubstantiation, effectively excluding Catholics from both houses.

This was in no way religious liberty, religious tolerance, or religious freedom.

It wasn’t until 1828 when the “necessity of receiving the sacrament” as a qualification for office was repealed.

Sir Robert Peel’s Catholic Relief Act of 1829 cleared that UP.

So, again, you might ask why.

Well, it’s my blog, religious freedom is important to me – not just my religious freedom, but yours too –  and the guy down the street whom I’ve never met, for that matter.

So today, when you pray, or chant, or meditate, or go to mass, or vespers, remember, this religious freedom thing, it’s not just a conversation, it’s a right, and a right many fought and died for you to have.

 

Fashion Friday: White Noise.

We haven’t had a Fashion Friday in a while, and I’m sure not a one of you has missed it!  But with all the white talk this week, well, I made me wonder.

And you know what that means!

Yes, I have to post about it.

This all came about when female Democrat legislators and senators wore white “in protest” to President Trump’s recent address to congress.  And several of my home town friends chimed in on someone else’s post. A discussion ensued as to what white is, is there such a thing as Winter White, etc.

The argument was a draw, she says she won, but I didn’t lose, so it was a draw.  Just sayin’.

Right Marcia?

But, back to the post…darn those shiny objects!

Let me just say, I’m not a white fan.

White slacks, white skirts, white shorts, white shoes, white walls, white appliances; just don’t like ’em.

White tennis shoes and tennis shorts and white cars do get passes.

Deal with it, it’s part of my crazy.

And of course if we just talk about me, this could go on awhile, so I’ll move on to white.

An achromatic color, e.g. one without a hue, white hits the eyeballs on all cylinders, er sensitive cone cells.  All things being equal to the eye, the eye tells your brain you are looking at a white object.  It is technically the presence of all colors.

WHITE

Science, medicine, anatomy – stuff like that.

The white color on television screens and computer monitors is created with the RGB color model by mixing red, green and blue light at equal intensities.  I know, I was surprised too!

White is the most common color in nature.  Sunlight is actually white, snow, milk, chalk, many minerals, and Caribbean beach sand.

In the Bible white represents purity, and in many cultures it is the color of purity, innocence, goodness, a clean slate – which I find odd since all the slates I’ve seen are black.

Another topic for another day.

Western Cultures associate white with perfection, good, honesty, cleanliness.

But, white has an even longer history.

Egyptian priestesses wore white as a symbol of purity.  Of course history tells us many of the temples were quasi-brothels, so I think they were scamming the faithful.  Isis was a big fan of white, no, not the terror group or the dog on Downton Abbey, the Egyptian goddess.

In ancient Rome, only citizens could wear white togas.  Note to drunken frat boys:  CUT.IT.OUT!

In medieval times a white unicorn symbolized chastity (and a that a fair amount of weed had been consumed.)  And widows of kings wore white as a mourning color.  When alive, the kings of France wore a great deal of white while their queens wore black.  Marie Antoinette wore all white to the scaffold, some say because that is all she had left, but ever the fashion icon, maven, and motivator, she wore it as a protest showing the nation she was, though broken and bowed, still the Queen of France…for a few more minutes at least.

History has given us White Russians, those fighting the Bolsheviks, and a really strong alcoholic libation.

White has also been used to symbolize government.  Look around, those Capitol buildings may look darker from the interstate, but they are most generally white limestone.  Pollution!

Religions like white too.  Look at the Pope, the Brahmins, Shinto, and Islam.

Early Christians picked it UP from the Romans due to the purity representation.

There’s more, but I’ll get to the point.

It’s a color.  It is obedient to the laws of nature. It has no choice in the matter.  It cannot complain when it is used to symbolize something bad or applaud when something good.

In the 20th and 21st Centuries, White has represented many different things.

Sure, sure, the purity thing is there.  Bridal gowns, christening gowns, yada, yada, yada.

In Western Culture, Black is the color of mourning.  In China, Korea, and other Asian nations, white, or most generally undyed linen is.

The Klan used white at the onset to represent the ghosts of the Confederate dead to scare recently freed slaves and “Carpetbaggers” who’d moved into the South for gain.  Today, as then, they wear white hoods because they are cowards.

Iran had a White Revolution beginning in 1963 lead by their ruler, the Shah.  His reforms included land reform, enfranchisement of women, literacy initiatives, nationalization of forests and others, all of which would lead to his downfall in the 1970s.

White is associated with peace and passive resistance.

The American and British Suffragettes chose white to represent their cause feeling they were unrecognized and white was pretty hard to miss in a parade.  But, back in the day, the Suffragettes were only fighting for votes for white women.  In the 1913 parade, held on March 3, the black women were shoved to the end of the line.  Women of color would not really get the vote until 1960.  Native Americans got it in 1957, and Latinas in 1965.

In WW I, the Great War, protesters pinned white ribbons of cowardice on men who were not in uniform.

The white rose represented a non-violent resistance group in Nazi Germany.  Which brings us to today.

All the women wearing white where protesting.  But for the life of me I’m not sure what. Have we lost any rights?  Or is it just that they hate the President, his policies, his programs?

If that’s it, fine.  Hate away.  It’s glaringly clear he doesn’t care, or doesn’t get it.

But I do, and with me it’s about fashion.  White before Palm Sunday and after Labor Day; well, it’s just plain wrong!  The only people wearing white before Palm Sunday are brides, and not all of them should!

Political statements be damned, laws of fashion must be obeyed!

OH, and BTW, White Noise is the noise of all frequencies of sound combined.  It is used to cover UP unwanted noise.

Metaphor anyone?