Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” is one of my favorite pieces of music. It is hauntingly serene and creepy at the same time and, according to the stories anyway, there were riots during it’s premier in Paris in 1913. It seems turn of the century Parisians didn’t seal with the pagan nature of the story and the thoroughly animistic choreography.
Archive for April 6, 2009
People often hold Buddhism up as an example of a rational religion, often because it doesn’t (at least in some variations) have theistic beliefs and also because it is (often erroneously) thought to be inherently passive. I will admit that I held it up on a pedestal for quit awhile after dismissing other religions. Buddhism is still a group of superstitions that still breeds irrational behavior.
Like this man, Jacky Tran of Houston, who beat his child to “knock a demon out of him.” The demon was able to get into the boy because he had eaten meat. The child was severely beaten, barely conscious when police found him, and is currently being treated for multiple skull fractures.
Family and friends are doing the usual song and dance about how nice a person he is. I’m sure he is, but he’s a nice person with very irrational beliefs. Beliefs that something as little as ingesting a little piece of meat can forever damage a person for all eternity. He may have been beating the boy but, in Tran’s mind, it was for his own good. Irrational beliefs, eventually, lead to irrational behavior.
This case is very similar to the case of the cult parents from Philadelphia that starved their child to death because he did not say “Amen” after a meal. Holding yourself to an ideal, even if it is silly, is of no real harm to anyone else. Expecting everyone else, including young children, not yet fully developed mentally, to follow your ideals is ludicrous and dangerous. It makes you a tyrant and an abuser.
Religion is as religion does.