Tag Archives: religious leaders

A look behind the scenes of the dysfunctional Mental Health System

Brother T has written, Powerfully, of how Many People are Victims of

Circumstances.

Most of Us look ‘Down’ upon them, Worse, We simply Ignore them.

Lots of VALUES are Involved in this: As presented here, one, people who

do not ‘Bother’ about How their children are growing up, and two, people

for whom Money is Enough.

W-H-O INSTILLS VALUES IN US?

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In North India, generally, (catholic) Priests (and Nuns) Constantly

Visit Families, All Families. This is particularly True in what is known

as the ‘Adivasi belts,’ Jharkhand, Madhya Pradseh, Chhattisgarh, etc.

A (Spiritual) Leader visiting them, on a Normal and Regular basis,

irrespective of money in the bank or position, gives the People a Sense

of Self Worth. And Values are Instilled, without many words getting

Spoken.

A politician does not even Think of Values. Only Religious Leaders can

Teach that.

What has happened is that catholics, especially in India, opening N-u-

m-e-r-o-u-s schools, where Values could and should have been taught,

fell prey to giving the Children Watered down, Bookish morals, and that

too Just for Exams.

We have become what my Father used to call ‘Educated’ Fools!

Religious Leaders are Responsible

The complete title should have been: ‘Religious Leaders are Responsible for Values, and/or Changes in them.’

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Now Stop me if You have heard this Joke:

A Really rich man comes to the Parish Priest and says: ‘Father, my Dog has died, and I want it buried in our Cemetery, complete with Mass, and all that.’

Father gives him a Cold look. He knows Mr. Bimbo is a big contributor to the church kitty, but there are limits! He removes his cigar from his mouth, and says: ‘Now look here, Bimbo, that is Not a Done thing.’

Bimbo says: ‘But, my Dear Father, Jimmy has been with me for the last 9 years. He was like a son to me.’

Father simply says: ‘Nothing doing.’

This goes on. But Bimbo did not become rich just like that. He knows how things work. Now He takes out His cigar from his mouth, and says: ‘Here, Father, is a small cheque for a Million Dollars, just for expenses, You know.’

Father pockets it and asks: ‘Bimbo, Just Why didn’t You tell me Earlier that Jimmy was Baptised?’

cath burial

whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com

Christ’s Teachings of Love could have been Inculcated into the Faithful by the Clergy if they themselves had known What Love is, and had Experienced it. But, from the pope down, Knowing neither Love, nor the Reality of the Happiness AND the Difficulties of Married life, they just let off their Flatulence once a week, and keep eating.

And what has happened?

  • People love Animals more than they love Humans.
  • People speak of Putting off Others if they are too Bothersome. So Okay, if I find a New Friend Problematic, Unhelpful or Worse, I can Unfriend him/her. People have come to think that they can do it with their Parents, Spouses, Children and Relatives.
  • Values have gone to the Mud.

Christ’s Teaching of: “Love one another as I have Loved You,” has become the modern: ‘Let us love if it is convenient.’

And People give Religion a Bad Name. No, Let us go and kick the so-called religious leaders. Let us not blame Religion.

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Does it seem that I keep speaking against catholic leadership? Of course I do. I believe that We have to Clean up Our Own Stables.

Buddhist ‘Monks’ Lead Violence!

The Buddha would be Horrified. Buddhist (so called) monks in lanka had already been at the forefront of Violence against Tamils. Now their next target, it would seem, are Muslims. Whether the lankan locals want to achieve their ends ‘using’ these monks can be debated. But even if the locals give the call, ‘Real’ Monks could have refused, and changed the ‘course’.

Here is a recent Carnage, Instigated, Encouraged and Led by them, AND a Cool monk in the midst of all that.

carnage ag moslems lanka 0614

Image from Facebook.

The dalai lama, instead of Whispering Sweet Nothings, should make out Strong statements against such happenings.

As Should the pope in situations where catholics have been/are at fault. As should any religious leader with regard to his following.

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A Large section of the Martial Arts, from Jiu-jitsu to Karate, and all their sisters and brothers, were developed by our (Old) Buddhist Monks, mainly to protect themselves, for Self Defence. Whereas, at least for the last 30 years or so, it can and will be seen that these (modern) so-called monks seem to have given up all ideas of ‘Shanti!’ For them it seems to be: ‘long live violence.’ But We cannot and Should not blame only the Buddhists for Violence like this.

Religious Leaders – and the Fight for Justice

GOD WANTS JUSTICE, Right Here on Earth.

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Image from: Lady_justice_01_by_restmlinstock

I found some Very Good material in this regard by Timmy Baze, in http://inchristalonedevotions.wordpress.com/2014/03/03/isaiah-61-righteousness-is-justice/

What I give below is from his site and writings. I am giving You Excerpts. Emphasis mine.

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The word δικαιοσύνη (di-kai-o-su’-nay) could be translated either “justice” or “righteousness.” Justice and righteousness are big themes in the book of Isaiah.

This chapter (61) is full of justice and righteousness, but I want you to focus in on the end of this brief chapter.

For I the Lord love justice;
I hate robbery and wrong.
Isaiah 61:8

This is evident throughout the Bible. God is constantly asking His children to stand up for the poor, the brokenhearted, the slave, and the prisoners. God loves the outcasts of society. In fact, when God came down to earth in human flesh, He spent more time with the outcasts than the “in” crowd. God wasn’t satisfied just to hang out with the outcasts, but instead offered them the gift of eternal life—the same gift that the religious “in” crowd had kept from them.

Instead of giving superficial gifts of fancy clothes that could only be worn on special occasions, God gives gifts that have even greater value, and can be worn year-round—salvation and righteousness. Salvation is a free gift, and so is righteousness, because God gives us His own righteousness!

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord;
my soul shall exult in my God,
for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation;
He has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
Isaiah 61:10

What is this righteousness? When people during New Testament times read their Bible, the Old Testament Greek Septuagint, the word that described the robe with which God covers us and what the Lord loves was one and the same. The same word was used for righteousness and justice—δικαιοσύνη.

A righteous person is one who will fight for justice, no matter the cost. A just person is one who accepts God’s robe of righteousness. These concepts are one and the same. Are you righteous? Are you just?

Timmy Baze 😀

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Some thoughts from my side now.

People have become Cynical about political leaders, and have lost Trust in them. In India, for the Most part, People would attend political rallies and gatherings Only if they are given Money and food, etc.

Whereas, even today, Mankind believes in God, Religion and in Religious Leaders. We shall not be discussing the Integrity of this group here. But I want to establish that People go for these meetings and gatherings of their Own Will, and are Ready to listen to these.

So, MUCH can be accomplished by Religious Leaders. In this, Two difficulties raise their Ugly heads.

  • political leaders have cleverly created a mind set, not only in the Citizenry, but also in the minds of the clergy, that Social Affairs, be it a Fight for Justice, is not the field for the Religious.
  • And Religious leaders have fallen for this line. This is due to their Misinterpretation of their own Holy Books, and other Vices like Fear, Lethargy, Sloth and Love of Comfort, etc.

As seen above, and as shown by Timmy Baze, the Right Interpretation of the Bible would show that God Wants Justice, Here and Now. No ‘Pie in the Sky when You die’ stuff. And Religious Leaders DEFINITELY have their Role to play in this. They can Either listen to what political leaders say to them (!), or See What God wants of Them.

Let the Clergy Teach and Seek Righteousness, remembering that Righteousness means Justice.

It would seem that One Always has to Fight for Justice. That is Why Most portrayals of Justice are not only shown as Sightless for Impartiality, but also Carrying a Sword!

But Christ Jesus, Gandhi and Nelson Mandela have shown that One can Fight without Shedding Blood. Let us Emulate Them.

Love, Social Affairs, and the Priest

Can the Priest involve himself in Social Affairs? After all, they say that Religion and politics should not mix.

I am a Christian, a catholic Priest, and this my post is directed More at Christians, though I believe that Everybody will profit by what I present here. Before speaking of the Christian Priest, let me give some Random examples, particularly from Other Religions.

Enough of Hindu Sadhus are in politics today. After all, Real politics need not be an enjoyment of the world. We see many Muslim religious leaders as heads of State in the world. And Buddhist monks, in particular, by their Immolation, etc, have been involved in the Social lives of their People.

Let me come to Christianity. Years ago, when I was in Bangalore, in one of the Franciscan monasteries, I saw the words on a plaque on the wall: “God So Loved the World, THAT HE GOT INVOLVED!” A Bold paraphrase of John 3.16. But is it not the Truth? After all, Involvement does not mean debauchery!

The Lord said to Moses, “I have heard My People Cry.” Exodus 3.7. He hears, and He Acts. That is being One with the Lives of the People. It was a Political involvement, where the ruler is interested in keeping a Whole people as Free or Cheap Labour on the one side, and their Freedom on the other.

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In the picture above, We see a couple of Indian Shepherds. Their sheep are carrying their special colours for easy identification in case other herds are close by! An adult animal can be sold for about rs. 5,000 or more today. If We think these People are Rich, We shall have to correct Ourselves. Just look at their clothes and the thickness of their arms.

For a Person like this,  the Loss of a Single Goat or Sheep can be Costly. Christ knows this. That is why they were given the Parable of the Lost Sheep. Matthew 18:12-14. As Many of them were Shepherds, the Jews knew the Value of Each Single animal.

A Small bit of Jewelry in the form of a golden coin would be something Very Big for Poor Women. Christ knows this, and Uses the Loss of a Gold coin as an Example.

Before we come to more of the Teachings of Christ, let us remind Ourselves of the Leaders of Jewish society of that time. Though the romans were ruling Israel then, as far as the Jews were concerned, they had their Sanhedrin, their priests, the pharisees, the sadducees, and the scribes.

It would indeed be too complicated to speak in detail about each of those mentioned above. The priests did not have much of a voice; but the high priest(s) made up for that! They were in the forefront in calling for the death of Jesus. The pharisees had set out to live the ‘law’ in its fullness, and had become quite a vociferous and influential group. All these groups were political in effect if not in name. Although a religious party, the sadducees were more important as a political force. The scribes used to make copies of their Holy Books, and thus had become experts in it, knowing much of their law. Hence they were consulted.

It is insisted that the Sanhedrin, their religious council, looked after things religious. But the whole life of a Jew was governed by religion! What he/she could or could not do, what and how much they had to offer, how far they could travel on a sabbath… were all decreed. And all the groups I have mentioned above had a say in it.

Time and again Jesus is shown as condemning these religious leaders, who were, in effect, those to whom the People listened. We find whole chapters and more allotted to this subject.

Many of the Elderly in Society were not taken care of. They had a ‘quaint’ law in support of it. They could offer what might have been needed for the care of their Parents, etc, to the Temple, and this practice was called ‘Qurban,’ meaning ‘Offered’. By this, the offerer did not have to look after his Parents, got a good name as having made an ‘offering,’ and at the same time could enjoy the products himself. Jesus Expressly Spoke against this. Matthew 15:3-6.

These teachers of the law and the pharisees would offer even a tenth part of the smallest earnings. For instance, the crop from the smallest sized vegetable and spice garden. When the Common People neglected to do this, these so-called ‘leaders’ not only criticized them, by looked down upon the People. Jesus Notices all these things, and Speaks against these religious leaders. Matthew 23:23.

The ‘priestly class’ would not help somebody even if they were wounded, and fallen by the road side. The very mention of this ‘class’ in the negative role in the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37) shows that Jesus is at least indirectly castigating them.

Jesus Healed! He told His Disciples to continue this Ministry.

The Jews had it that they should love their Neighbours and hate their enemies. Matthew 5:43. In this had sprung the question as to Who All were to be considered Neighbours. And Christ says that Each and Everybody is a Neighbour, to be Loved, to be Cherished and Helped as necessary.

It is not as if these pharisees, etc, were not praying enough. Oh, they were doing that all right, doing it even at street corners! But Christ castigates all these because they are not ‘Concerned about the People’.

John the baptist was killed because he told the ruler that he was wrong.

Paul finds out that somebody is living with his step mother. And Paul Publicly Condemns it. 1 Corinthians 5.

There is a question of Sharing of Property. Ananias and Sapphira err in this. Peter takes them to task, and that too, Very Drastically Indeed. Acts 5:1-11.

All the Above are Examples of How the Lord Himself is Constantly Concerned for His People. And How the Leaders of the Early Church Lived and Behaved in the Same Way.

The last three years of Jesus’ Public Life were not one of Dry Preaching. Jesus was concerned about the Complete Well Being of the People, Body, Mind and Soul. If the Priest does not Emulate the Lord in this, he fails.

If a Priest were to seek public office, that would hinder him from spending time in Announcing the Word of the Lord, as to What is Right and What Wrong. As such, a Priest has to Avoid public office. But he Can, and he Should, Raise his Voice, Loudly Indeed, where the Well Being of the People of God is concerned.

You cannot be Holier than the Lord.