Sunday, March 28, 2010

Short and Serious

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where we're time-starved and chore-laden! I'm going to keep this one short.

I'm not kept up to date on the news like I used to be before I started teaching school. So it was just yesterday that I heard about the most recent scandal in the Roman Catholic Church -- that of deaf men accusing priests of having abused them when they were schoolboys.

Just when you thought you'd heard it all about that Church, huh?

I've been thinking a lot about the evils of the Catholic Church. Only a few of them are coming to light, I'm sure. Some big ones have made history. Heck, Dante put two popes in the lowest bowels of Hell, and when he sees them on his journey, they tell him that the next pope will soon join them. (In fact at first they think Dante is said pope.) Inferno was written in the early 1300s.

However, throughout its career, the Roman Catholic Church has also done a great deal of good. A huge amount of good. Let's say we were to weigh good vs. evil in the Catholic Church. If we did that, and we found that for every evil deed, the Church produced 10,000 good deeds, does that mitigate the evil deeds? Put another way, does the preponderance of good allow leeway for some evil?

I'm interested in what you have to say on this subject.

As for me, I just look at that whole RC thing and thank the bored gods that I never had any truck with it. Bad enough to have spent time in a Pentecostal Church, but the Roman Catholic Church -- where my poor husband was born, raised, and educated -- seems to have taken the fork in the road that leads to Creepy about 3,000 miles ago.

This is just my opinion, though. I am not going to sit here and lob stones. It's not my place to judge a particular sect of a particular praise and worship team. What I'm wondering about is a deeper issue. Does a preponderance of good mitigate a smaller amount of evil? How much evil is too much? Can any praise and worship team be condemned solely on its bad deeds if it has also done good in the world?

If all this is too heavy for you to ponder, hey. I hear ya. Who do you think will win the World Series this year?


THE Michael said...

If in an effort to save the ramainder of the Earth and it's ravaged ecosystem, a brilliant young biologist created the ultimate human only plague and set it loose, is he "Good" (for Gaia) or "Evil" (a murdering bastard from your average human's viewpoint)?

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Good cannot be offset against Evil. Hitler got the German economy moving again, provided lots of jobs for Germans and made the trains run on time. So what? Same for the Catholic Church. It is directly responsible for centuries of untold human misery and death caused by its unconscionable quest for power and wealth.

Robert said...

We have laws that are not being enforced. Anyone else would have been imprisoned and had a close encounter of the Bubba kinda by now. Good deeds don't create free passes for evil. These people should fry!

Anonymous said...

Using the Bible of the Pope, Ecclesiastes 10:1 says "Dead flies make the perfumer's ointment give off a stench;
so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor."
That was too easy! How come they can't find that verse and use it?

Lori F - MN said...

I was raised Catholic. I never understood the WHY of many things. I still don't understand WHY there is a pope. If we looked at the RC church as a corporation, I suppose the Pope would be the president.
The RC has been behind some of the most horrible crimes through the centuries. I say, disband the cardinals and get rid of the pope.

Maebius said...

While my first instinct is to jump aboard the "catholic=evil" train, I'll answer your question more sideways:

Can any praise and worship team be condemned solely on its bad deeds if it has also done good in the world?

To that specific question, not really, but the bad must be accounted for as well.

However, my Real answer to this is to look at the question itself, (because I'm in a coyote-musing mood today). We are all human, and we, as is Nature as a whole, is neither Good or Bad overall.

My biggest issue with the sort of Praise and Worship teams you are addressing, are that they fail to engage the worse facet of people, and scapegoat it to an almost omnipotent Devil, rather than acknowledge we make mistakes, and have the potential for Great Harm.

Until people acknowledge "you know, we messed up, our bad" it's more a question of what made you do those things to begin with? If they place blame on some external force, and not take "credit" themselves, there's really no reason to "get better" on a personal/organizational level, is there?

Nut then again, that's a much bigger question that you probably intended.

Maebius said...

oh, forgot to add (since I submitted instead of editing my comment again..pesky tab key...)
Last line = But then again... (not Nut then again)

Philadelphia Phillies all the way!!! :)

Jennifer said...

I am grateful as all hell that my Catholic-raised dad got sick of the religion before I was born and thus did not have me raised as a Good Catholic. Because man, that sure seems to do a number on everyone's heads.

I truly don't get why Catholics aren't stomping out the door in a huff. I don't care how much "good" your religion did (even a blind chicken can find a grain of corn now and again and all that), it's run by pure evil, and do you really want to be part of that? Ugh. I know it's not PC to say, but The Church has always given me the heebie-jeebies even before all the child rape.

Pitch313 said...

You're asking something about the character of human beings and the institutions that make them human.

Human beings can do good acts and they can do evil acts. So can human institutions.

But there's no scale to balance those acts. Good is one thing about humans. Evil is a different thing about humans.

So a church institution may do lots and lots and lots of good acts and hold good values. But also do evil acts and hold shabby and corrupting values at the same time.

We are all riding the same human being boat, good and bad together.

The way I see it as a loyal fan, the SF Giants ought to win the world series. But usually, they don't...

kimc said...

As a Universalist, I have to believe that the good deeds and the bad deeds are dealt with, and that there is no weighing them against each other. As a Unitarian, I have no idea how that is done.
I had a friend who said that after death you experience all the pain you caused others. Wouldn't you also experience all the joy too? Then you judge yourself? Just speculating....