Monday, December 17, 2012

This is Why Nothing is Going to Change

You must indulge me in a fit of despairing cynicism that despite the grief and hand wringing and vows that "We can do better!", nothing is going to change.

I had some hope.  At first I thought maybe we could begin to look a little at how easy it is to get guns in this country.  But with talk of laws, I realize that no law is going to change this country's odd love affair with fire arms.  In fact I am beginning to fear that banning guns would no more make people give up their guns than Prohibition made people give up their booze.  And I shudder to think of an even bigger gun black market business.

Well maybe we can do something about the abysmal access in this country to mental health services.  I know something about this but I have NO INTENTION of talking about my experience because of what I see happening to Liza Long who wrote the much shared I am Adam Lanz's Mother .  She wrote a heart wrenching, painfully honest post on what it was like to have a violent mentally ill son.  Everyone I knew was sharing it all over the place.

Then the backlash.  You can read the gory details here.  Okay she's not a nominee for Mother of the Year.   She says some disturbing things in a blog she thought was anonymous.  Seriously - YOU  never felt like throttling your kid?  Disfunction, divorce, abuse, mental illness.  It's messy.  What - are we only supposed to have compassion for perfect families that struggle? 

I also think people are piling on her because she is messing with their agenda.  The gun control people don't want her issues diverting people from their agenda.  Advocates for the mentally ill don't want people to think they are potential mass murderers.  But here's the deal.  Sorry but sometimes mentally ill people ARE violent.  Especially if they aren't treated.  That truth makes people squeamish about the mentally ill, but the answer is not to pretend it's not true.

Anyway the lesson seems to be, unless your life is spotless and blameless, don't write about your struggles and expect any compassion.  Oh wait.  Perfect people don't have struggles.  Or need compassion.

When Jesus heard this, he said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.’ 

Mark 2:17

Anyway it sounds like business as usual.  Everyone has an agenda.  If your experience doesn't fit my agenda, then just shut up.   I feel like all those babies died in vain and it will happen again only next time it won't be quite as traumatic

Kyrie, eleison

Friday, December 7, 2012

Ambrose was a Lutheran

I will glory not because I am righteous but because I am redeemed; I will glory not because I am free from sins but because my sins are forgiven me. I will not glory because I have done good nor because someone has done good to me but because Christ is my advocate with the Father and because the blood of Christ has been shed for me.

 (De Jacob et vita beata, ch. 6, as quoted in Examination of the Council of Trent, Part I, p. 507)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Disturbing Contrast

St. Nicholas and the Schoolboys" by Gerard David (c. 1460 - 1523)

Once I figured out what pinterest was all about I became a very enthusiastic pinner.  I pin everything from food to fashion to saints to bible stories to cute kitties. 

 So of course I have a St. Nicolas' board. And while looking for artwork illustrating the various legends and tales about the saint I came across this painting by Gerard David.  I found it very disturbing.

Well the story it illustrates is pretty disturbing.  A wicked butcher who had no meat to sell lures three school boys into his shop, murders them, chops them up and pickles them.  Fortunately Nicolas is on the case and brings them back to life.  Your typical fairytale horror tale that is supposed to help children deal with the dark side of life.

But what I saw in this painting was not a kindly man protecting children.  I saw three naked boys with a bishop.  I think you can guess what images THAT brought up.  The boys are naked in all the art connected with this story but there is something about the innocence David captures in this, and the way the bishop towers over them.  Creepy creepy creepy.

To me this painting brings out the stark contrast of what the church is supposed to do, protect children.  And what it often has not done.  Kind of a sour note for a fun day but there it is.