Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Navel gazing Nazis

I caught this sad story at TitusOneNine.

Closing down a church because a community has ceased to be happens all the time. There are rites for this, because it is a normal part of human life.

But in this case,

Witches, waves of misguided ghost-hunters and self-proclaimed spiritualists, along with common vandals, have swarmed the church in recent years.

“This is the only church that I know of that has been brought to its knees by people ... pursuing some sort of desire for supernatural experiences,” Archdeacon Edward Simonton said during the deconsecration service.

“We could not protect this building,” said Simonton, noting the community’s anger and sadness over the destruction of a holy and historic site.

Church and area residents say they have lost count of the acts of vandalism on church property and the number of graveyard seances they have interrupted.

“There has been a couple of hundred cases of vandalism in the last two years,” Simonton said.

The interior of the church has been virtually gutted. Artifacts, sacred items and pump organs were stolen along with the church bell and its replacement.

The graveyard has been desecrated, with more than a dozen headstones damaged, destroyed or stolen.

One of the affectations of Wiccans, White people who suddenly claim to have Native American Spirituality, and assorted others who claim to be "spiritual, not religious" is a claim to find connection "with nature and all things."

One would think that this "oneness" would include some empathy. That "oneness" would include respect for the property, material and symbolic, of others. "Oneness" with others would be a profound inhibition against aggression, one would think.

Guess not. People who claim to be "spiritual" are often navel gazers, profoundly self-centered and basing all on the "experiences" they have. Oneness with the rest of the universe can't happen when you are turned in on yourself.

"Religion" is much maligned, but at base religion is the sharing of spiritual experiences, taking them out of self-reference into relationship with others. Yes, it can be corrupted by any and all of the sundry flaws that corrupt humanity.

But don't tell me that "being spiritual" is an improvement. It's just the same old stuff in a new costume.

1 comment:

The Archer of the Forest said...

This is indeed a very sad and disturbing story. Although, I am curious as to why people who believe in ghosts and spooks and what not would desecrate the place. Seems to me that if they believe something is haunted that you best leave it well enough alone. But then, I suppose such things aren't logical.

I would also wonder whether turning the land over to secular hands is going to make this problem more or less acute. Seems to be like secular authority would be less inclined to care one way or the other about desecrations, although I suppose they could more like to hire actual security guards.

I would also only add that I remember originally thinking my mentor in seminary was a little paranoid about consecrated Communion wafers. He always made sure people ate them immediately or gave them back. I asked him why once, and he said they had trouble in the neighborhood with some Satan worshipers going and taking actual communion wafers for some sort of black mass desecration purposes. I always thought that was weird, but it was completely true. There are forces out there that do such things.