November 10, 2008

Why Religion is Stupid

Monks from competing sects began brawling on Sunday at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Israel. This is the traditional (yet unauthenticated) site of Jesus' burial and resurrection. Six different sects of monks divide control of this church, and they often fight over the stupidest things concerning the church. This time it was a group of Armenian monks fighting a group of Greek Orthodox monks over the START OF A PROCESSION commemorating the 4th century discovery of the cross where Christ was BELIEVED to have been crucified. One of the Greek monks was running a little late, and they were afraid that if the procession started, it would somehow subvert their authority and they would lose their claim to the site.

Watch for the young monk in the red robe in the video. He sucker-punches one of the other monks, then goes WWF-off-the-top-rope onto the Israeli police. Based on all the junk that Israeli police put up with in a day, this is probably not the smartest move. Something tells me that after dealing with the West Bank and constant terrorist threat all day, a monk in a red and pink robe isn't too much of a problem.

If you read church history, you'll know that this kind of stuff is one of the reasons for the Great Schism of 1054 A.D. when the church split into East and West.

Other stupid disputes between these six sects include a disagreement over where to put a fire exit (again on fears that it will subvert the claim to the site of one of the worries about public safety, I guess..."hey, want to die where Jesus, died?"), a refusal to come to an agreement about fixing a part of the roof that could collapse, and a ladder that was placed on a ledge over the entry that was put their in the 1800's that no one will remove because they don't know who has the "authority" to move it.

This is religion at its worst. This is what happens when tradition and icons take priority over the gospel message. This what happens when something physical (that may or may not be the actual site of Jesus' resurrection) takes precedent over the spiritual.

A quote from the MSNBC article: After the brawl, the church was crowded with Israeli riot police holding assault rifles, standing beside Golgotha, where Jesus is believed to have been crucified, and the long smooth stone marking the place where tradition holds his body was laid out.

Now, THAT has to make you proud.

By the way, monks...Jesus doesn't live there anymore. You're supposed to believe that. If you did, you'd realize that there is no eternal or spiritual significance to the site other than it being a pretty ornate tourist destination.

How about focusing on living out the teachings of Jesus as opposed to arguing over who gets to guard a rock.

And, someone just move the ladder.

1 comment:

Tim said...

Ooh ooh new joke! How many combative and bureaucratic Christian monks does it take to move a ladder?