Sunday, November 09, 2008

Monk Fight! Monk Fight!

Two arrested after church fight
Israeli police have arrested two clergyman after an argument between monks erupted into a brawl next to the site of Jesus' tomb. WITH VIDEO!
Come to see "New World Waking!" There's a song that directly addresses religious violence.

"I raised my hand and
Asked the guide why
Holy Lands have
So much dirt

Is 'cuz we still believe
There's such a thing
As Holy Dirt?"


Anonymous said...

This is a lot more common than a lot of people think. I think in this Church and some others there are different orders of monk, different religions (Catholic, Orthodox etc) and I think there are demarcation lines where one lot aren't supposed to go. Its bizarre and shows the hypocracy of some structured religions. Morrie.

Lea Ann said...

The text below is a a Lutheran Pastor's take on all this. I think he is right on. It's shameful. I was really shocked that someone from an entirely different religion has to keep the key to the place - and I thought his new name for it was appropriate.

John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us. For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.” Mark 9:38-41

Well, they’re at it again.

Monks representing the Armenian and Greek Orthodox tribes of the Christian movement got into a fistfight this Sunday inside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. You can Google the “he said – he said” details of the fracas, you can even catch the action on YouTube but basically, the Armenians were angry that the Greeks interrupted a ceremony and placed one of their Greek monks where such monks are expected to fear to tread.

The Church is the Holy Sepulcher is the traditional (read: ancient tourist trap) site of the crucifixion, preparation for burial and burial of Jesus. All the more reason that police officers ought not to have to come in a break up a bar room brawl between Christians.

Honestly, any Christian who isn’t significantly embarrassed by the ridiculousness of this event should have their pectoral cross examined!

Unfortunately, such clashes are not uncommon or even all that rare. The Church of the Holy Spectacle (as my band of fellow pilgrims renamed it last spring) is literally divided between six different branches of the Christian faith. The divisions run so deep that the Muslim leaders of the Ottoman Empire finally intervened and gave the keys to the church to a Muslim family who now, every single day since, unlock the doors in the morning and lock them back up at night.

There is a ladder over a doorway in that building that hasn’t been moved since the 18th century because people can’t agree who is responsible for it.

If I’ve left my personal sentiments about this fight too thinly veiled thus far in my Monday morning reactions to it, let me be perfectly clear: Since day one, the primary impediment to the cause of the Christian faith movement has been the Christian faith movement.

Jesus, according to the 9th chapter of Mark, didn’t seem terribly bothered that people were doing good in his name even if they weren’t on his personal team. But the disciples were clearly miffed. Sorry to say, but when Christians attack other Christians we aren’t following Jesus but his turf-protecting, “Look at me, I’M an INSIDER” disciples at their very worst.

The reports I read said that two of the Macho Monks were arrested. I’m sure they will sort it all out and, other than the odd sensationalism of the story, maybe we should just skip it. Turn the other cheek on this little “boys will be boys” nonsense. But I’m not sure that helps. It seems to me that that is what we have largely been doing for 2000 years now.

Will the day ever come when we learn which battles are worth fighting – recognizing that the only battles that matter are the battles inside each of us?

Let us pray: Dear Lord, it is embarrassing to see the crazy sorts of things that we do, often believing them to be the right things without realizing how short-sighted we are being. Will healing ever come to your fractured Body on this earth? What part can we play? In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Lea Ann said...

To quote YOU from 1996 (!!!!!!).

"We talked about it. I told him that I don't remember there ever being a time when a group made a change. It always takes one person. One voice "crying in the wilderness," if you will, to make a change in this world. It can be God or it can be a child. But until someone has the wisdom and the strength to stand firm and tell Truth with compassion and love, he will never make that difference.
Even in my own small way, I have watched this page and my musical make differences in people's lives and it is the most gratifying and beautiful thing that can be. One person telling his own Truth, fighting for life and fighting for decency and respect. Standing and falling. Winning and losing. Hey, that's life, isn't it? But at least it IS life. And all our hopes and dreams come from that simple fact.

We are alive and we can change. And in so doing, we change the world."

Wow - you are still living it. I don't know anyone else in the world still living their faith as consistantly as you Steve. Here's to New World Waking!!!

Oh, and the 1996 shockwave intro thing is so cool.