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Edit 4/14/2010: I posted a link to this old article of mine on someone else's journal. It was badly misunderstood by at least one reader to say that I was equating homosexuality with pedophilia. I ask readers to see my comment at the bottom, because on rereading this it's possible that someone who does not know me might come to that conclusion, and it is one I emphatically do not mean.

Out of curiosity I websearched an old friend.

The friend happens to be a priest. (I grew up Catholic, if you didn't know.) This was a man I genuinely liked. He ran a youth group that focused primarily on music and dance, long on enthusiasm and short on segregation by talent. It was a group that helped me a lot, growing up: I exercised a lot of my musical, interpersonal, and leadership skills, and I had a far better life through high school than I would have had if I'd not been connected to the group he ran.

It had never seriously occurred to me, really, before now, even with all the news about such things the last several years. I knew Father Harlan. Great, somewhat caustic, sense of humor. Made the whole congregation both laugh and think with his homilies. A favorite with children and adults at our church.

He was a great guy, as far as I was concerned. I didn't care whether my marriage was sanctioned by the Catholic Church, but I asked Harlan if he could come to Hawaii and co-officiate. He had to decline for health reasons, he told me.

He was very involved with people and cared about them. Several 'troubled teens' -- boys who were having problems with their families -- some of whom became my acquaintances, and a few became friends -- stayed for some time at the rectory with him.

You can probably guess what I've found out about him. Read more... )
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Lev 13:41 is my new favorite Bible passage. Just sayin'.
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Beating a dead lion: I had a revelation about [livejournal.com profile] diony's journal. She said (ranted, in fact) that Narnia wasn't allegory.

This bugged me, because I thought I understood what allegory was. Sparing you the details, I wanted to understand why an English major says Narnia isn't allegory.

Then eyes lit on Camelot 3000.

Oh. That's why. C3K isn't allegory, because it's a reenactment/restaging of events that previously happened within that world, and events unfolded in an echo of the other event not because the author wanted them to but because the author constructed a world in which they had to. Like, say, a Gloranthan Heroquest, or something. Allegories are implicit; this is explicit.

So again, Aslan isn't an allegorical representation of Christ, Aslan is Christ. That he walks through the stations of the cross isn't allegorical, it's the same actors restaging the same play for a different audience.

In Lewis' fictionalized reality, then, Jesus and El Diablo travel about, like the Globetrotters and the Generals but from world to world instead of town to town, putting on the same show for everyone time after time -- with the same victor and the same script, but jazzing up the incidentals to make the yokels happy. (One wonders what the Devil gets out of this -- having to keep being the shmutz over and over, every time losing to a stacked deck. One speculates it's a similar arrangement to Hannity and Colmes -- I find myself hoping s/he at least gets a good paycheck out of it.)

And then again this means Narnia is after all allegory. Narnia and John are, after all, both allegories of the same Hero's Journey; it's just wrong (subtly so, but wrong) to say one is an allegory of the other.

And, as a sort of interesting twist, Narnia isn't intentional allegory; it's a transplanted and fictionalized retelling of an allegorical story Lewis thought was literal.

(In their incidentals they're not the versions of the story that I like very much -- Matthew and Luke are versions I like a lot better than John -- but disputandum non est de gustibus.)


May. 15th, 2005 10:48 am
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I ran across this while reading the thought-provoking discussion that you can start here and follow links to responses and feedback like I did.

But here's the graph.

What's the difference between the 12.7% of the world's population who are "non-religious" and the 2.5% that are "atheist"?

I mean, the place it comes from helpfully describes non-religious as "people with no religion, agnostics, freethinkers, humanists, secularists, etc." but I really don't understand what it is about "atheists" that puts them in a separate category from those. Most freethinkers, agnostics, humanists, and secularists are atheist.

I don't get it.
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I started to write a response to Tavella's journal and it got too long for a response. So here it is, after the cut...

Read more... )


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