To The New46 YAHOO Group
Shlomoh Sherman
August, 2003

Today marks the Roman Catholics' Feast of the Assumption, honoring the moment that they believe God brought the Virgin Mary into Heaven. So here's a fact appropriate for the day: Americans are three times as likely to believe in the Virgin Birth of Jesus (83 percent) as in evolution (28 percent).

So this day is an opportunity to look at perhaps the most fundamental divide between America and the rest of the industrialized world: faith. Religion remains central to American life, and is getting more so ...

First I will address the specific issue of the Assumption of Mary and then the more general one of the modern religiosity of America.

Several years ago, I read a rumor that The RC Church was considering making Mary a co-salvatrix along with Jesus. As it turned out, it was only a rumor but had it been true, it would have meant that Mary was now a true Queen of Heaven alongside all the ancient Mother Goddesses of the world. As far as I am concerned, this would have been the best thing that the Catholic Church could have doneto enhance Catholicism in the new century. Look at the major religions we are stuck with in this monotheistic culture of ours. They all share a common attribute - nastiness. No matter what benefits they bestow the fact of the matter is that as religion moved from polytheism to male monotheism, it became nasty, blaming, wrong-making, heretic burning, etc. Whenever was pagan polytheism so intolerant of other beliefs as to convene an Inquisition, or burn innocent women? Never, as far as I know. To have had Mary as a Supreme Female Goddess alongside the Male God of our Biblical universe would have been a boon. Mary is popular among Catholics with good reason, and it is even understandable why she should be popular among non-Catholics. All my life, I have heard from my Catholic friends in New York that if you cannot get into Heaven, Mary will open the back door for you. How wonderful a sentiment even if a bit childish! Mary is the opitime of the Ideal Woman and Mother. She is the ideal Virgin! No wonder, Puritan America believes in her!

Now about the resurgence in American religiosity. Whenever there is a crisis in society, people revert to the most primitive levels, emotionally and psychologically. Then everyone wants mommy an daddy to save them. Everyone looks skyward! And why not? That's the direction that babies in the crib look to - when the giant Protectors come to lift us up and save us from whatever frightened us. In the 1950s there was a resurgence of religiosity as there is now. What went on then? Communism and the atomic bomb! GODLESS communism and the atomic bomb. As long as Christian America had the bomb, the world was safe. Christian America could be trusted with such a weapon. But when it fell into the hands of the Reds, what happened? They threatened America. They invaded Korea. They were everywhere, even in the military, even in the government, even in the White House. They were represented as pod people in the media, and as giant bugs that eat up the world. In the 1954 movie, THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, the Martians are about to destroy humanity but at the last minute, with everyone hiding out in this big cathedral or church, the Martians begin to die. How? The narrator of the film says, "The tiniest creatures that GOD HAD CREATED killed them". Germs!

Today the enemy is worse than Reds; the enemy is not easily located on a map. The enemy is faceless, his face hidden by the Muslim KAFIAH. 9/11 happened. A man is being interviewed by a newspaper reported who asks him how he escaped the burning building before it collapsed on him. He replies that he suddenly saw a door that led him to the street and safety. He is crying and the radio audience hears, through his hysterical tears, that GOD REVEALED THE DOOR TO HIM, saving him. God saved him and let the others thousands die. What a nonsensical individual this is and the reporters are feeding his inanities to the listening public. And the wives and children of dead firemen and policemen are listening to this babbler, and what are THEY thinking and feeling?

Fear of the unknown. Fear of the lack of power! It is better to construct a conspiracy theory then to lack power. It is better to say that God punished America for kicking out the Ten Commandments from the public schools and for them substituting the niggers than to admit that we lack power over our destiny.

WE LACK POWER! We lack power to stop the spread of Communism or attacks by the atomic bomb or a giant praying mantis. We lack power to prevent a plane from destroying a magnificent skyscraper. We lack power. We are helpless children for all of our sophistication. The world is in a mess.Any day now, the KAFIAH faced enemy can kill us and our children, obliterate us with a dirty bomb. What can we do? Nothing! God help us. One nation under God needs to defeat One Nation of Islam under Allah! Nothing less will do!

So we revert. Back to the primitive savage mind. The old brain. I am surprised that Paganism has not made more of a comeback in this crisis. But then, maybe the pagans would be burned at the stake. Anything is possible. After all, Sikhs were beaten up the other week because they wear turbans. I am not surprised at all that a majority of Americans believe in fairy tales. At least fairy tales give MEANING to a meaningless world. A mother of a dead child or wife of a dead husband asks WHY? What's the meaning? Someone answers that there is a meaning but we cannot know what God's plan is? The wife and mother says - FUCK THAT! Give me back my baby and husband and the hell with God's plan. Yeah. If she asked me, I would ask her why did 6 million die in Germany? If she can give me the MEANING of that, perhaps I can give her the MEANING of her hsubands/babys death. In the end, we h uman beings have no answer other than the answer that has been passed down to us by our ancestors - the Wisdom of the Ages - King Solomon's words at the end of Ecclesiastes, God will bring every [hidden] thing to judgement, whether it be good or whether it be evil.

In Europe, they are not so sure. Europe has suffered over the years far more then we. After centuries of going to church and praying, they still may suffer. They are already too jaded and callous to be religious. Americans are religious because that is their salvation and the salvation of their sanity. What would America be without its beliefs pointing towards meaning? As bleak and dreary and boring as any Eastern European Communist country was. God bless America, Land that I love. No kidding!

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