I’m not supposed to drive today I remember. Once hired a guy checked
my driving record and found that for several years in a row, I had gotten
speeding tickets, or had some other event involving police and cars on that day. I think that tomorrow is my late fathers birthday, but still I search for whatever real anniversary trigger would create this personal trend.
The reading for the day is: No One has greater love than this, to lay
down one’s life for one’s friends.
I think that in one manner or another this is a shared religious tenet,
and a particularly significant reading in that regard. From what I can
tell, it is a tenet carried to extreme in the Islamic Culture of current
conflict in the Mid East.
It was carried to extremes in all the wars I can think of from the
Civil War to World War l and through ll and on and on day in a day out.
There is always a war going on, always secret little conflicts in which men die for their friends. Suicide in conflict, war, is not new. The style of suicide bombers in the Middle East, in Israel is new, but not that much, and different in style than the Kamikaze pilot or the rush across trenches to machine gun bullets in the attrition wars.
I love the African Proverb: “It is better to have an intelligent
enemy, than a stupid friend.” Friends are either inherited, or chosen, and there is always the time when your choices are complicated by friends who are wrong, or doing the wrong thing.
Certainly there are friends of friends on both sides of the Israeli
Palestinian conflict who suspect their friend of stupidity. The stupidity
is definable as counter productive to obvious long-term goals. Actions that are not practical, may appear practical, and be actually necessary, but only in the short term.
Over and over I have been thinking of what the Ching provided when I
last consulted through it about the wisdom of not carrying on to the bitter end of a conflict. I think it was one thing I at least learned not to do
from my first marriage. At some point any prospect of a win win solution is lost and it makes no difference whether or not you are right.
In the case of the conflict in the Middle East I believe that the
historical partiality of the United States condemns the United States to
failure in any real peace negotiations. I believe that this historical
bias hobbles real resolution that creates a Win Win resolution in a
complexity of international relationships.
The United States would be wiser to ask clearly for the help of the
United Nations in causing peace in the Middle East, than to continue to
think that Super Power status makes all things possible.
The Sexual Culture of the Catholic Church
Early, initial sexual experiences have great power in creating sexual
preferences and orientations. I knew a guy that had early as a young boy been passed around by priests who had sex with him. His orientation, I believe was dramatically influenced by this early experience. Whether or not he would have become gay regardless of these early events in his intimate life, clearly he was taken advantage of and abused. His innocence was violated.
I suspect that priests who have sex with young boys, themselves had sex with men when they were boys. My suspicions are founded in what I know of my own sexual life, and stories from others I have known who told me of their “First Times”, first experiences seem to somehow become consistent.
For instance girls that initially have sex with older men seem to gravitate to older men for the rest of their lives. Of course this is only part of the story. The model of mother and father have great influence, but the bottom line is that the healthy individual has been allowed to abandon innocence in exercise of their own free will. I believe that over time because of the culture of the Catholic Church, the unrealistic strictures concerning sex, specifically celibacy, the sexual culture of priests perpetuates unhealthy sexual trends within this group of men.
My experiences in the first grade attending a Catholic School, taught
by nuns also influences my attitudes towards celibacy as a requirement, for the nuns seemed way too wound up, violent and unhappy.
I recognize how difficult it must be for Catholics to contemplate what
the incidents of child molestation now in the news, brought to light, really mean.