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Monday, April 25, 2011

More heavy metal philosophizing

So there I was again, in my car, listening to In Your Multitude by Conception, and a lyric came flying out and hit me in the eyes: "But Mary's crying on the edge of heaven/Deliberation's bad for faith, she claims."

Well, there you have it: the major problem of Christianity, in a nutshell. For boiling down a complex idea to its simplest form, Xander Harris Khan/Ostby can't be beat!

It used to bother me a lot that most of the major faiths in this country really, really discourage their rank-and-file members from thinking too hard about things. It still does. But there's another issue inside this issue (inside an enigma, wrapped in a mystery! Okay), and that is that the major US faiths ALSO discourage feeling too hard. Or rather, feeling the wrong things. It's easy to see why you aren't supposed to think: thinking leads to thinking the Wrong Thoughts, to things like logic and rationality and science and philosophy. But for a faith--and now I will just use Mormonism, because it's all I know in terms of Christian religion--to actively promote "feeling" in the form of "feeling the Spirit" and simultaneously damn all other feelings stemming from religious fervor is pret-ty fucked up. As the kids say. See, the issue with Mormonism specifically is that if you DON'T feel the Holy Spirit, you're doing it wrong. But if you DO feel the Holy Spirit and It's telling you something contrary to what your leaders are telling you, you're ALSO doing it wrong. The LDS church does not sanction direct contact with God except through certain channels--and I assume many other Christian sects also work the same way (if the history of Europe and the US is at all accurate). The members on the ground feel "The Spirit" in the way that they are told to. Its voice tells them the things they know it is supposed to. And if they hear something else, they know it's the devil. When you are raised to know exactly what the Spirit sounds like, if you hear the Spirit say Diana, there is akshually nothing inherently wrong with reading Kushiel's Dart, you understand that God is not telling you this: the Adversary is.

This is monstrous. Members are taught not to trust their feelings, to the point where the only feelings they feel are ones that are produced by the church. Any prompting, idea, issue, tendency, or urge that does not jibe with the church's teachings requires condemnation. Brains and spirits are calcified; if neither free thought nor free feeling is acceptable, only robots are produced.

And now I am thoroughly depressed. Again. I love my proggy metalheads, but they make me have thinky thawts. Time for to change the CD to Britney.

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