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View Diary: Lent--See You Soon (71 comments)

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  •  I've never given something up for Lent. (8+ / 0-)

    Except, perhaps, a certain defensiveness.

    I'm a highly empathetic person. I have an overactive imagination. This combination, for a Christian, is a problem in at last one situation.

    And Latin coursework in college including cultural information did not make my personal issues with the Passion fade AT ALL.

    It's strange, because my favorite Christmas hymns call forward to Good Friday and Easter, but when it comes to actually confronting the crucifixion in the gritty nasty reality of it? Nope, don't want to, can I just read James instead?

    So, for Lent and certainly for Holy Week itself, I don't skip those passages. I make myself listen to all of Jesus Christ Superstar and not just until the trial is partway over - and I plan on listening Good Friday, so I can't just avoid it by not playing it.

    I'll probably never watch Passion of the Christ. I've seen Last Temptation, but that was in a group setting where it was understood squicking out during the crucifixion sequence was not going to be seen as a sign of spiritual immaturity.

    I spent a Sunday when I was in elementary school hiding under a chair even with such being implied of me (2nd graders are supposed to be spiritually mature? What?) because someone got the wise idea to show the children's church group Jesus and there was no quiet room we could go to on the last day of the series - and so far as Mom has told me, the parents were not informed they'd be making us watch that part. It's been over twenty years, and that particular film is a legal free download now, so I may just revisit my childhood horror for Lent this year.

    Prayers and best wishes to those in Japan.

    by Cassandra Waites on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 06:09:48 PM PST

    •  My son couldn't deal w/ the Crucifixion when he (9+ / 0-)

      was about 5-6 y.o.  The whole concept utterly horrified him.  It made me realize how much I've been sensitized to it over the decades.  There's no other faith I'm aware of that worships someone who was executed by the state--esp. in such horrific fashion.

      I have always been fond of James myself.  I'm even fonder of this passage from Acts:

      All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.

      Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

      by RFK Lives on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 06:26:15 PM PST

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      •  If there is, the execution itself (4+ / 0-)

        is not a focus. In Christianity, it is, no matter what theologies of salvation and eternal destinations you're using. Ignoring the grittiness entirely isn't an option.

        I suppose part of the symbol overusage is just how many Christian believers met the same or similarly nasty ends in the years that followed. Crosses and crucifixes wouldn't have been used as symbols back when it was still an active method of execution, but a generation or two after, when the horror had faded... The first Christian-referent cross image we have is an insult against a specific Christian for his belief. It's modern overusage in Christian imagery may in fact be as a reclaimed symbol - "You can't insult me with that, I'm wearing it proudly!"

        But I think there needs to be some more respect for the context involved. There were a bunch of kids I grew up with who got the impression that Jesus and the thieves were the only ones to ever get nailed up (Baptists don't do saints, so we wouldn't have been told how Peter was killed), and not just three victims in a huge progression of slaves and provincial subjects who dared defy Rome. And there was never any talk of just how crucifixion killed, what the process was, and of course Baptists don't do stations of the cross either.

        Just things like Passion of the Christ. Blood and gore and little discussion of how that one day fit in with the everyday world Jesus grew up in. Even the more tasteful presentations, unless on PBS or the History Channel, don't put it in context beyond Jesus' ministry leading up to it. And those are science and history presentations, not the mission-oriented movie-style fare most churches show and most Christians watch.

        And that bothers me.

        Prayers and best wishes to those in Japan.

        by Cassandra Waites on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 06:43:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I prefer the symbolism (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cassandra Waites

          of the Empty Cross as is found in many Protestant churches, rather than the Crucifix with Christ hanging on the cross in full display. To me it goes back to the "O Death, where is thy victory? O Death, where is thy sting?" sort of thing.

          There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

          by Cali Scribe on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:59:59 PM PST

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      •  Executed (human sacrifice) and the cannibalized (0+ / 0-)

        every Eucharist.

        •  That's a nasty comment. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RFK Lives

          And of course you know that, knowing you can get away with all possible anti-Catholic attacks on this particular site. Shame on you.

        •  Um, I see you recc'd the diary. Thanks. (0+ / 0-)

          I guess I'm just not sure I understand this comment.

          I would read with respect (although perhaps not with agreement) if you'd like to expand on this thought.

          •  Christ is referred to as the Lamb of God for a (0+ / 0-)

            reason.  The Jews had traditions of sacrificial lambs which were eaten after roasting.  They were new spring lambs without blemish. Jesus was a perfect man without sin.
            Many religions hold animal sacrifices and feast upon the beast as a means of propitiation to their God. Christ as the son of God was the ultimate sacrifice, a human sacrifice followed with cannibalism of that human as symbolized at the Last Supper.
            Christ is sacrificed for the absolution of sin.  Believers are "washed in the blood of the lamb."
            Take this bread, eat, this is MY body that is broken for you.
            Take this blood, drink, this is MY blood that is shed for you.
            I guess that you have not really given the meaning of Christianity much thought.  Salvation by grace is by means of God sacrificing his son so that you can have eternal life.  You acknowledge that faith in sacrifice every time you partake in the symbolic eating of the body of Christ and drinking of the symbolic blood.  That is symbolic cannibalism.
            Respect indeed.  Have the respect to understand and your own beliefs.
            It amazes me how many so called Christians shrink and even deny the basis of their own salvation through the Christ Jesus.

    •  You might try reading The Last Temptation (4+ / 0-)

      sometime - I found it fascinating and thought-provoking.  The "characters" in the Passion story are certainly more human and earthy than we usually imagine them. The writing is stunningly beautiful in places.  It was a slow read for me because I kept going over the same passages again.

      (Just checked and used copies run around $4 on Amazon.)  

      The truth always matters.

      by texasmom on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 06:35:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you. That's a great post. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cassandra Waites

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