We had to share our desks at school when I was a child.
Sometimes this went well, but sometimes we would draw a line in the middle and become overzealous about our boundaries. Sometimes we were charitable, but sometimes we ended up in a turf-war!
But then again, this was when I was eight years old…
It was only about a week ago that I blogged about Christopher Hitchens. In one of his interviews he was angrily explaining how he consistently views religion as a system imposing a dictatorship over our minds and behavior – more importantly, how this theocracy punishes us for not following it.
So, it was ironic that the attached article was sent to me in the spirit of mild absurdity and humor. Regardless of the religion, the scene is beyond ludicrous – it is ridiculous! Or, do I have that backwards? In any event, it is very funny if you don’t think more deeply about all its implications.
However, when I read it the second time, I got angry. After all, is this how I want to experience my religious leaders? Is this the brand of anger-management I want to see in my moral leadership?
More to the point: If I were a religious Christian, Jew, Moslem, Greek Orthodox or Buddhist, would I want my clergyman to take up brooms to fight off other clerics stepping on [our] church’s territory in preparation for Christmas, which is supposed to be about love, brotherhood, and peace on earth?
What would Jesus say?
Clergymen Brawl With Broomsticks
European Pressphoto Agency
Armenian clergymen scuffle with police and Greek Orthodox clergymen during the annual cleaning of the Church of Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem.
BETHLEHEM, West Bank—A brawl has erupted between rival clergymen participating in an annual cleaning ritual at the church built at what Christians regard as Jesus’ traditional birthplace.
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.
They were tidying up the church ahead of Orthodox Christmas celebrations in early January.
The two denominations each control sections of the church and fiercely guard their turf. The violence broke out when the sides accused each other of crossing into each other’s territory. Similar fights have taken place in past years.
Palestinian security forces broke up the melee, and no serious injuries were reported.
The Church of the Nativity is built in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on the site where Christian tradition holds Jesus Christ was born, and it is a major attraction for tourists coming to the Holy Land.