Big Anti-Catholic Love for School at Home

9 07 2007

So the middle mom (the one from the polygamist compound) on HBO’s Big Love, is suddenly doing “school at home” instead of parochial school for her little boy, because the nuns seemed superior and their belief in “transubstantiation” seemed wacko to her, and the other moms looked at her funny.
Oh dear, now the little boy has run away. And the Baby Mom is saying to Crazy Insecure Mom, “He LIKES the school, what is the matter with you??”
Sigh.

But there’s a happy ending because the child’s cry for help from “the outside world” is heard, Crazy Insecure Mom is subdued, and the boy gets to escape home education and go back to Catholic school.

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3 responses

10 07 2007
NanceConfer

Where he will learn that transubstantiation is the way? That should go over well at home.

Nance

10 07 2007
JJ

That was a pretty funny scene actually — the mom marches into the school’s chapel demanding to know why her little Mormon-sect son has brought home rosary beads. When she hears the nun explain transubstantiation, her eyes narrow and her nose wrinkles up and she gasps, “WHY would anybody want to believe that?”

11 07 2007
JJ

Law professor and NYT blogger Stanley Fish wasn’t just writing about Clarence Thomas and BongHits4Jesus at school this summer. He also posted about religion versus science as articulated by atheist critics such as Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens, in “Is Religion Man-made?”

His argument didn’t do much for me, but there were hundreds of rather intelligent and provocative comments, among which was:

The society of man is an imperfect, ongoing scientific experiment. Man has “evolved’ systems of religions since the onset of civilization, ‘progressing’ from worshp of animals and the various naturally occurring entities, i.e. the sun, the moon and the stars, through polytheism to monotheism.

Monotheism, in the current stage of evolution (that word again) brings us today a single god in many different forms and versions, i.e. Islam, Christian, Jewish, etc. In the truest sense of the word, religion has evolved as has physical man.

Both are still in an imperfect state; the physical man and the spiritual man. The danger of modern religion is that, through ignorance or dogma, it presupposes tht man at the present is in its final form, i.e. an act of perfection by an allmighty god.

That evil (the claim of perfection) is central to the various religions, each one of which lays claim to be the chosen few, and, as such, is the evolutionary equivalent of a lethal gene. I rest my case on the countless number of bodies that religion in its myriad forms have strewn about the world, past and present.
— Posted by Tom Bleakley

Maybe polygamy is one decadent human imperfection and Catholicism is another? Maybe theism itself will evolve as it has in older cultures than ours (Buddhism, say) toward a more spiritual (as in not physical or literal) collective wisdom.
[note – here I use “decadent” as cultural historian Jacques Barzun does, to mean fully played out, game about to be over.]

Maybe human spirituality is evolving as we discover and accept truths not through patriarchal personification and studying “authoritative” writings spelled out for our dutiful performance on demand, but more through an “unschooled” direct personal connection to each other, and to the universe as a system? Maybe that’s what the Don Beck-Ken Wilber cultural “meme” dynamics mean to express?

Not trying to sound all lofty and New Agey, but personally I’d rather interpret power of story with their blue versus green memes, than try to make sense of religious wars by poring over holy prophecy as written by men. 🙂

So applying this to Big Love, there’s no use seeing it as conflict between polygamous Mormomism (“living the principle”) and Catholic school-taught transubstantiation — they are both firmly in the “blue” mystic or pre-rational meme, essentially the same. Their doctrinal differences don’t matter to their cultural position (or their spiritual evolution?) and in that sense, neither one is right or wrong; they are simply mystic and best understood as the same, by those who transcend this meme and hope to nudge progress and evolution along for all of mankind.

For most of humanity’s history, the Left- and Right-Hand quadrants developed lockstep with each other. In the Lower Left, the evolution from archaic (beige) to magic (purple) to mythic (red/blue) to rational (orange) was accompanied, in the Lower Right, by technological development that moved, respectively, from foraging to horticultural to agrarian to industrial. Magical worldviews went with a foraging base, mythic worldviews went with an agrarian base, rational worldviews went with an industrial base, and so on.

But with the rise of modernity (rational-industrial), the increasing globalization of economic exchange made a very intense type of cross-level phenomenon possible: for example, tribal cultures could gain access to rational-industrial technology, often with horrifying results.

Moreover, the same sort of cross-level access could occur within a given culture: Auschwitz was the product of rational-technological capacity (orange) pressed into the hands of intensely pre-rational (red/blue) ethnocentric aggression.

Today, almost any ethnic tribe or feudal order can gain access to nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons that historically they would never have been able to produce themselves, and the results are literally explosive. Precisely because the Right-Hand quadrants are all material, these material artifacts (modes of technology to nuclear weapons) can be obtained by individuals at almost any level of interior, Left-Hand development, even if they themselves could never produce them. These types of phenomena make cross-level analysis of quadrants, levels, and lines absolutely mandatory in today’s world politics, and it dooms analyses that do less than that.

P.S. from JJ – and back to Harry Potter now, it makes perfect sense that those who take it most seriously and feel it threatens their children and world view, are “blue meme mystical-religious pre-rationals” — if they literally believe in that kind of thing, Christians or otherwise, then Harry’s world must be quite terrifying.

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