Saturday, April 02, 2005
Michael at Chaosfactor posted the results of an internet quiz that determines what religion you really are no matter what one you subscribe to, if any. You can find it at http://quizfarm.com/test.php?q_id=10907. His turned out to be Buddhist. Mine came back Atheist, chased by the comment that I was probably pretty well aware of that fact already. Very true. One of the points I have had to stress on occasion is that one can have a highly developed set of moral and ethical values without religion, something many people have been so brainwashed about by the standard religions that they simply can’t conceive of such a thing.
As I write this the Pope is still alive but just barely. I haven’ been a fan of his although I will score him a couple of very big points for publicly denouncing the Iraq war to Bush’s face. There was one wonderful, surrealistic moment yesterday morning on the Today show. Matt Lauer had just concluded an interview with some Vatican official and they cut to commercial. At all their various cuts away from Pope news, there had been a brief choral piece from some hymn or Gregorian Chant. But on this occasion the selection was from the final chorus of Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana.” I laughed out loud, delighted at their slip-up. The text for “Carmina Burana” is based on a cache of medieval poetry and song lyrics by horny students, drunk and defrocked priests and monks, Catholic scholars who had fallen away from the faith, etc. They celebrate the joys of wine, sex, sin, the coming of spring and worldly delights. The selection they played was a prayer to the old Roman goddess Fortuna, meant as an obscene parody of the Virgin Mary, onto whose constantly revolving wheel of fate all men are chained, sometimes riding high in triumph and sometimes sunk in total disaster. It was a moment of delicious irony.