The Cross and the Thoroughly Pissed Off

09/11/08 | Posted by feihero

Today they pretty much crucified Christianity. Buried it. In the place where its founder is supposed to have been crucified, and buried, his followers conspired to betray him all over again. With a Glaswegian Kiss. At the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, in Jerusalem, a mass brawl broke out between Greek Orthodox and Armenian monks, who traded kicks and punches at the shrine, until the Israeli Police started making arrests.



All well and good if you are a Shaolin Monk. But kicking and punching other monks because you think they are not following the turn-the-other-cheek, do-not-resist-him-who-is-evil, Lord of Brotherly Love correctly? That is a disaster. And the kind of hideous irony that has threatened to see the Church of the Wholly Missing the Point built smack bang in the middle of what was meant to be The Way.

To be honest this is nothing new – the Sepulchre site has been plagued with nonsense of a similar order for years. During Orthodox celebrations of The Exaltation of the Holy Cross, a door to the Franciscan chapel was left open. This was taken as a sign of disrespect, and a fistfight broke out. Seriously. The Exaltation of the Holy Cross. That is to say – the putting above all other things of the central concept of Christianity – that of emptying yourself in loving submission even to those who hate you.

Oh, those Armenians/Greeks/Ethiopians. (Delete as applicable)

The thing is this isn’t something ‘they’ do. It’s something we do. I’m doing it right now. We’ve always done it.

When Prince Godfrey of Bouillon, became the first Crusader conqueror of Jerusalem he decided call himself not King of Jerusalem, but “Protector of the Holy Sepulchre.” But his actions – butchering most of the inhabitants of the city once he’d scaled its walls - were the punch-line to the joke of his words. Instead of defending the cross he was desecrating it. Just as those today, celebrating the 4th Century discovery of the cross used to crucify Jesus, managed to fashion a new one with their bare fists.

It would all be a comical tragedy. Or a Southpark Episode. But for the fact that the site of his burial is also the site of his resurrection. And if we can quiet our arguing for just one second we might hear him sigh, “Ok – let’s try that again…”

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