Saturday, September 4, 2010

Pray in Winnipeg - Being 60 (week 18 - by Margaret Ullrich)

Last week I wrote about how food has become more than just something we have to eat to live.  Cookbooks have developed from simple how-to manuals into rollicking tales of adventure the author had, usually in some far off land, while hunting for the perfect peach, wine or bottle of olive oil.   

Ah, to find the perfect _____!!!!  
You fill in the blank.

Lately religion has become a big topic, too.

I don't know if it's because of the Age of Aquarius or if people are just fed up with the scientific approach to life.  There isn't better living through chemistry.  The answer isn't in a pill.

If anything was learned from watching The Sopranos, Psychiatrists don't have all the answers, either.  Hell, sometimes they're even crazier than the patient.  We're a little more complex than Freud had dreampt we are.

Religion, in one form or another, has been with us an awfully long time.  Most religions, at heart, have the same basic ideas: there is a God in charge of everything, we have to be grateful and remember Him or Her with a few annual festivals, and we should be nice to each other.

No problem with those ideas.

The problem is that God isn't the only one in the house of worship with us.

Other people are there.  
Some are in charge.  
And some people, shall we say,  are a little odd.

I just finished reading Philippa Gregory's latest historical novel The Red Queen.  It's about Margaret Beaufort, the grandmother of Henry VIII of England.  Feminists would've loved the way she masterminded one of the greatest rebellions of all time, just so her sonny boy, Henry VII, could get the job of King of England.

The thing is, she really thought she was on a holy quest; that God was personally speaking to her and telling her to lead an army just like her hero, Joan of Arc.  According to the book jacket, Margaret was "a proud and determined woman who believes that she alone is destined, by her piety and lineage, to shape the course of history."

I guess the problem of religion being used by a power hungry politician has been with us an awfully long time, too.

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