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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Bethlehem Broomstick Brawl

Ah, yes: ecumenism at work.

Armenian Orthodox and Greek Orthodox clergymen screamed at each other and beat each other with broomsticks during Wednesday's cleanup inside the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem.
Merry Christmas to everybody!

By the way, the same guys did this last year, too. So now it's a tradition. Which, since they're Orthodox, means it will be repeated without fail forever, using the identical curse-words and, ideally, gold-sheathed brooms copied directly from the originals.

We mentioned in our last post that the behavior of one's fellow Christians often makes other religions, or no religion at all, seem suddenly appealing. Then we recall that Stalin was an atheist and Pol Pot a Buddhist, and the point seems moot. It is human nature, not any particular expression of it, which is the problem.

But here's our favorite bit: Palestinian security forces broke up the melee, and no serious injuries were reported. How bad do tribal relations have to be for the Palestinian Authority to play peacemaker?


Anonymous said...

The Armenians and Greeks have been going at each other for centuries; the Ottoman Turkish authorities used to hand a few of the rioters outside the doors of the church to warn them not to do it but it doesn't seem to have done much good.
But atheists don't have to gather at one particular place and hold it in irrational reverence. There are fewer catalysts for this kind of nonsense with atheism.

Father Anonymous said...

I don't believe you are correct, or that the evidence will support you; what little evidence there is suggests that the catalysts are just different. Which is why I point to human nature as the culprit.

It's like the old feminists who claimed that if women were in charge, there wouldn't be any wars. Hard to prove a case one way or the other, since they aren't generally in charge, and when they are, there are always a lot of men around to blame.

I think it was GB Shaw, both an atheist and a feminist, who argued that as long as women continued to value the things men fought for (whether we're talking about freedom or cheap gas), they were still supporting the war machine.

Still, you're right about atheists not holding places in irrational reverence. Apart from Lenin's tomb, I guess, and even that was never a big draw.

Anonymous said...