Cathedral Basilica of Saint Cecilia

Albi, France

I’ve been going to a lot of churches and cathedrals for a variety of reasons. I’m not a believer in any old or new form of organized religion and I’m not looking to become one, but the art and architecture is usually pretty stellar and the rooms still offer a rather serene sense of peace.

The thing that strikes me about organized religion is how power never changes. The hypocrisies of the church are nothing new, and some people make serious money joking about it. Yet our modern power structures are nothing different—advertising campaigns convincing people that affiliation excuses them from the oppression created by their presence. The very options of our society are usually limited to one of two or three major producers, all of whom tend to be deeply involved in the horror show of global economics. We buy Nike shoes caring not for the children sewing them together overseas, iPhones without a whimper for the suicide nets Foxconn had to put up, and vote for candidate after candidate who will perpetuate the military industrial complex. Because it’s the way things are.

Bemoaning the hypocrisy of the past is one thing, but to tolerate—and, in many ways, perpetuate—the current powers seems like a greater crime than those in the past were guilty of. I think of how American culture wars are being fought over the various potential definitions of identity, and people get in such a fury over these words, yet the truth of our identities—our actions, conversations, productions and dreams—are immediately volunteered to Facebook or Google in exchange for the briefest and slightest exercise in vanity.

Posted to Personal at 15:50 on 13 June 2018

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