Happy Easter/Happy Passover

8 Apr

In Sunday Morning by Wallace Stevens, we learn that “…death is the mother of beauty”:

But in contentment I still feel
The need of some imperishable bliss.
Death is the mother of beauty; hence from her,
Alone, shall come fulfillment to our dreams
And our desires.

Yes, many people are celebrating Easter or Passover and the start of Spring.  Lest we forget though:

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers. (T.S. Eliot The Wasteland)

What are people searching for? Are most of us on some quixotic journey to find something greater than ourselves and if so, what does that need fulfill?

While I am not religious and refuse to subscribe to any organized religion, I can’t help but wonder and worry for my LGBT brothers and sisters on this Sunday morning. It is both Easter and Passover.  I wonder what it must feel like on a “holy” day to want to worship and be part of a community of worship, only to be met with contempt or self-righteous indignation.  I imagine one must feel quite isolated and rejected.  Don’t get me wrong, I really do believe religion has the potential to build coalitions and unite disparate groups.  I just have yet to witness that.

I was reading a blog by a bisexual youth who identifies as Catholic and my heart broke for this young person. The Pope, or as my husband and I refer to him, Benny the Rat, has been less than Christian toward the LGBT community, as he passes judgement on “the abomination” of homosexuality while wearing his beautifully ornate frocks. I’m sure most of you by now have heard that the Pope has commissioned his own perfume.  How much does the Scent of a Pontiff cost?  How many hungry and homeless could that money have helped?  The designer of Pope Benny’s perfume is the same designer of Madonna’s signature fragrance. No, not the mother of Jesus, that other Madonna.

All I can offer this young person and LGBT people of faith is that: Death is the mother of beauty; hence from her, Alone, shall come fulfillment to our dreams And our desires.  How I interpret Stevens’ line here specifically for the LGBT community is that when the OLD GUARD finally dies and is replaced with a more loving and compassionate community, organically created from a more educated and compassionate populace, only then will we fulfill our dreams.  But it starts with you! Being visible and vocal and by paying attention to politics is our task at hand.  Those of us in the LGBT community do not have the luxury of not paying attention.

Wouldn’t it be nice if religion taught people NOT to marginalize any other humans–if it taught that we are obligated to love all of our brothers and sisters and take them into our hearts?  Yes, that means supporting women, our Muslim brothers and sisters, our Black and Latino brothers and sisters.

12 Responses to “Happy Easter/Happy Passover”

  1. Jani April 8, 2012 at 8:39 am #

    “Without a Testimony” by Jerod Killick is a most fantastic read on this very subject. And others. The other is a friend/former professor that lived in Idaho and is now in Alaska. You should check it out. http://www.jerodkillick.com/on-ibookstore/purchase/ I hope they dont put me in spam for a link hahah

  2. Nancy Campbell Mead April 8, 2012 at 10:48 am #

    I wonder how many mouths could be fed with the money spent by the Vatican to have a perfume made for the Pope? And, of course there are the Prada shoes, and other accruements. This is truly obcene.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt April 8, 2012 at 10:56 am #

      “Obscene” is the perfect word!

    • Nancy Campbell Mead April 8, 2012 at 10:57 am #

      Of course, how many mouths could be fed if the papal jewels were sold? The hypocrasy of the Catholic Church truly offends me. You will not be allowed into the hierarchy of the priesthood if you are LBGT or female. If you abuse children and you are caught, you will be sent to a different parish (to abuse more children). Any form of contraception is expressly forbidden, yet the vast majority of Catholics, at least in the US, use some form of birth control. Etc., etc.. And, where, or where, is any of this in the Bible?

      • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt April 8, 2012 at 11:03 am #

        Yes, the homophobia and misogyny within the Catholic Church and many other religions is absolutely disgusting. It is quite difficult for me to get my mind around it. I think that is why my spirituality comes from reading Walt Whitman.

  3. James Queale April 8, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

    Religion, spirituality and philosophy can be very confusing things. Is spirituality a part of what makes us human or is it merely a comfort and has slowly evolved into our fabric? Something we most likely will never know. I find myself almost daily changing my beliefs and usually don’t bother to put a label on myself and rather keep an independent system.

    I grew up in a Christian home and my father was a pastor (until he had an affair, etc, etc, over 12 years ago). When I was 13 I started to question my religion, my faith and the doctrines that went with it. I started to see the faults and so on. The journey so many doubters take, so I don’t need to go through the entire story. It was difficult to discover my spirituality because of the strict religious home I was in that discouraged looking into other religions. When I was 15 I tried out Wicca, but doubted the possibility of real magic. For a couple years I didn’t give it much thought. I was forced to go to church until I was 17. At the age of 16 I came upon the word “Agnostic” and considered myself that. Though, people claim that the modern definition of being an “in-between” place, is not the original context and only speaks to knowledge, but there must still be a belief or lack of belief, like an Agnostic Atheist or Agnostic Theist.

    For about a year I considered myself to be an Atheist, but then I decided to check out Buddhism. I liked many aspects of it, it lacked a god, because Buddha is more a figurehead mistaken by others as a god. One thing that saddened me was that misogyny was even in some Buddhist sects. Because some believe that you can only reach enlightenment if you are born a male. I would not consider myself a Buddhist (even Buddhism claims one does not have to put that label upon yourself) but I still appreciate many of the teachings.

    If there is a god, I don’t see him or her or it as a being sitting on a throne judging others and so on. In my mind if there is a “creator” then it most likely was something that was not knowing of its creations. Merely a worker bee of nature. Who really knows? I still find myself sometimes believing in fate because life sometimes works out in the weirdest of ways.

    Like I said, it is confusing. I hope I made a shred of sense.🙂

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt April 8, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

      There are so many things I love about your comment here. You are clearly on a never ending journey of spiritualism, which I find wonderful. Clearly the answers you find along the way work for you and do not oppress others. I also love that spirituality can contain so much–it is infinite.

  4. nevercontrary April 8, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

    The journey to the answer of the meaning of life. It’s 42.

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