Clerical Banality

I wrote of the domestication of blasphemy by those who seek, first, the affirmation and solace of religious ritual, and second, confirmation of their goodness through clerical sanction.

What of the clergy who cavort with their charges? What do they seek? What story do they tell with themselves as the main characters?

Do they wish to be affirmed as radicals? If so, why?

What does it signify that their principal public act is that of the Pharisee, ‘I thank thee that I am not as other men’?

Do they ever ask themselves such questions? Do they ever turn their hermeneutic of suspicion on themselves and their motives?

This is yet another variation on a theme: the desire to rebel, to curse God and man, while not believing that one is cursing God and man; which is itself a variation of the narcissistic need to define oneself by a story told rather than by one’s actions. It’s about being seen as daring, which is easy to do once your party controls the ever-dwindling money supply, the hierarchy, the seminaries.

It’s also about being seen as open-minded, cool, hip, exciting, and full of love. One needn’t actually be open-minded, cool, hip, exciting, and full of love. It really doesn’t matter, because those are not real qualities of real human beings, but tropes that define a brand.

It’s simple, if you think about it. The rainbow-wearing, gay marriage blessing, smiling and waving minister at a gay pride event is not so much a person acting on conviction, as the product of a decades long branding campaign. It simply suits them to be cast in that role, for who would not want to be seen as open-minded, cool, hip, exciting, and full of love?

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