Sunday, April 16, 2006

Got Chocolate Hangover?

There’s a great line in a song from the musical “Beauty and the Beast” when the villagers are getting themselves all fired up to hunt down and kill the Beast. The line goes,

Because we hate
what we don’t understand
because it scares us
And the Beast is mysterious at least . . .”

There’s a lot of hate and insanity going on right now.

We read about and see on the teeVEE that Fundamentalists are suing for the right to be intolerant and preach hatred of those different from themselves - Because they hate what they don’t understand because it scares them and homosexuals are mysterious at least.

We read about and see on the teeVEE that the AFA is mighty terrified of a fictional adventure novel that speculates about Jesus being married to and having children with a woman of questionable virtue. Or they are protesting a series of fictional novels about a kid named Harry who has responsibilities thrust upon him that he didn’t ask for - who actually has, at his young age, the sense of right to live up to those responsibilities, despite the loneliness and isolation that comes with them. Pretty dangerous and subversive in a society that teaches us to think only of ourselves and to blame others when anything goes wrong. Like the nanny. Or liberals.

And let us not forget simply being afraid and intolerant of anyone that might have a religion that is not our own – simply because we’ve never bothered to pick up a book at the library and find out about it.

My grandmother was a church-going old school Republican – that is until the Christian Right started going all medieval and she changed her voting habits. When 9-11 happened, she actually took it upon herself to read up on the Islamic faith – simply because she wanted to understand. She was over 100 by that time, and couldn’t read because her eyes were bad, so she got books on tape. It just wasn’t a difficult choice to make. She didn’t understand something and it scared her, so she decided to find out more about it.

As some of us celebrate Easter Sunday – or rather and more accurately we celebrate the beauty and abundance of Spring and new life – the laying of eggs, baby bunnies, pretty colors and new bonnets – ‘cause let’s face it, there is really nothing about an Easter Egg hunt that has much to do with anything Christian – I am reminded of a sermon that the Episcopal priest in my childhood church gave one Easter Sunday when I was very young. Since it has stuck with me all these years – I’d say it was a pretty good sermon.

It goes like this:

A Sunday school teacher at the church handed out Legg’s plastic eggs - those things the pantyhose used to come in - to all of the children in the class the Sunday prior to Easter. She asked the children to go fill the eggs with whatever reminded them of Easter and to bring the eggs back to Sunday school the following Easter Sunday. One of the children in the class was a young boy who was born with Downs Syndrome. The children were often mean to the boy – teased him or shoved him – the kind of stuff that kids like to do to those who are different. He probably dealt with this wherever he went. Easter Sunday came and all the children came in with their Legg’s eggs for the assignment. The teacher opened them one by one. Some had flowers and rocks; some had jelly beans and malted milk eggs; some had little pieces of paper with drawings on them. The teacher got to the egg that the little boy with Downs Syndrome had brought, opened it, and found that there was nothing inside. She frowned a little and asked the little boy, “why didn’t you put anything in the egg like I asked you?” The little boy answered,

“Because the tomb was empty.”

How does a kid, who will never be able to read or write, who suffers the taunts of others for the simple matter of his having been born different – grasp something that even the Sunday school teacher did not?

There will always be people that are different than we are. They might speak differently, look differently, worship differently - and rather than treat them poorly because they are different – we might just want to pay extra attention to them, because they may have something very important to teach us.

Happy Easter, Father Bob. May you rest in peace.


Blogger David E. Patton said...

Well put. I agree with you, while we are all human there are diffeance between us that can not reach our blood and bone, in that we should come to embrace each others.

17 April, 2006 12:25  
Blogger 1138 said...

My reply to your questions to me are on my blog.
Rhonda has taken to censoring the comments and deleting even my older ones.
She will let you speak to me, she will not let me respond.

I appreciate your input.

17 April, 2006 13:43  
Blogger I.M. Dedd said...

Happy Easter to you, too, kiddo.

17 April, 2006 17:35  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Great post. Hope you had a Happy Easter.

17 April, 2006 18:48  
Blogger Seamus said...

Well said Mille! Growing up in the turbulent south of the 50s & 60s and experiencing first hand the intolerance and misunderstanding since we were Catholic, I can relate to you sentiments. I now see that as a gift in my life - that awareness that we may all be different but that shouldn't breed hatred.

19 April, 2006 09:18  
Anonymous pia said...

Have missed you.

And have so much to say on this subject I can't fit into one comment

19 April, 2006 18:23  
Blogger Seamus said...

Just checking on you Mille! :)

03 May, 2006 13:03  

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